In the past 2 days I have been swamped with letters, from former and current counselors, SRCs, and seers. Every single one of them backing up my position that the volunteer program is rotten to the core. (Then again, those who disagree with me have probably already given up on my heathen soul.) Here is one letter from a former high-ranking member of the volunteer program which takes everything I’ve heard about the corruption in the ranks, wraps it up in a neat ball, and throws it at your head.
Note that as always, this is one person’s story, and is biased and of course, unconfirmable. But you might find some insight within, both on what we’ve heard the past couple of days and on the volunteer program in general. I know I did.
I am not looking for absolution – as I am proud of my dedication and contribution to UO – but I think I am looking for someone to say, “Geez, you know, don’t beat yourself up for being a sucker”.
I have been a part of the support program for quite a while, beginning as one of the first counselors. I have seen so much of what goes on behind the scenes at OSI that I feel like I have walked the halls. In the beginning there was so much excitement, we were going to wear *robes* and help people, and we didn’t care that OSI still charged it’s volunteers 9.95 a month to do that.
About 6 months after the counseling program started, we inherited Bassanio, and I gotta say, Bassman, was by far the best leader we ever had. He wasn’t an ass, he wasn’t full of himself, and he was a people person. He came up with the idea of Senior Counselors. They approached me, and I accepted of course, as I thought being part of the *elite* was going to be cool. And do not let anyone fool you, yes, we did think we were special, and yes we did trash the counselors behind their backs. We had our own room, and more often than not make fun of the folks we thought were losers.
Male GM’s started to become friendlier with female counselors – flirting started, favors started. I received a castle for free from a former GM. All because I flirted with him. Another GM gave me 10k ore, so make money. The internet is a very powerful place, and the GM’s were looked to as gods, and to be on their good side was a good thing. I heard snippets of female counselors (younger ones) saying GM’s had called them at home, and phone sex was kinda fun. I thought that was amusing. A part of me was envious that these young girls got all the attention, but hey, I was just lucky to be where I was.
The reign of terror began when Bassanio stepped down — and who can blame him, we grew by leaps and bounds, and it was too much for one person to handle. So we inherited IronWill. Who in the beginning, was a cool GM, but once he got the title of Lead of Volunteers, he became an asshole. He made comments in #uo-council publicly against those he felt were beneath him, which was pretty much everyone. The GM’s formed a PK group during this time, and they were sworn to secrecy about it. They made characters and super charged them, gave them goofy names and they went on regular rampages and killed players on purpose. For fun. To release stress. GM Ja, GM Treefrog, GM IronWill, GM Datura, who is now GM Gabrielle, and I believe there was a GM Bunny, (who is not to be confused with Shard Lead Hellbunny) they were part of this group. There was a lot of drinking going on at work. Many GM’s were on duty drunk or stoned. They would convey that to us in IRC. SRC Zaronia made a trip in about this time period (thanksgiving I think) to go see GM JA, she and he were on line lovers I guess. Well I am not sure if he chickened out or what, but one look at her — and I think he freaked, and he ditched her. Treefrog came to her rescue and he rescued her all right, for an entire week — in bed — she says they didn’t get out much, except to drink. She also bailed his ass out of jail for a DUI — she had to call OSI — and Treefrogs mother to get the money back she paid to bail him out. I am thinking about now GM JA is glad he didn’t follow through with his plan of sacking her. I know Ironwill was really angry at Zaronia, as they were close personal friends, I suspect he liked her and she didn’t return the favor – or maybe she did – and he wanted more, who knows. But that’s one of the reasons she wasn’t chosen the first time around as an SRC. She went to Texas, and didn’t hang with Ironwill. I was approached by another counselor, named Sonya, who wanted to know about Treefrog, I laughed and said, “Well don’t let him break your heart”, she said she’d been carrying on a hot steamy phone relationship with him for a while – and was going to meet him. I laughed to myself, as I thought, “his bed is still warm from Zaronia, and he’s scheming for another counselor” Treefrog used to talk to me, I think much like I was his way older sister, and I used to laugh at his antics. You know, even though he was screwed up, he was a good guy, he had no hidden agenda, he wanted to screw chicks and this was a tool to do it with. And those he didn’t screw, he gave stuff to. SRC Boots, got all kinds of stuff from him in game, she was one of the ones who helped get him fired. She felt it was her duty to step forward and speak up and say what he did was wrong. I don’t know, I wasn’t there, I didn’t see their logs, but I bet he fooled around with her too.
Fast forward – March of 99 maybe April
So now we have Jack Wood as our Arch Counselor, I believe that is his title. He started out like the others, he promised that things would get better. Terendil took a liking to him, and soon she had him in her back pocket. No one can prove if anything went on between the two, but he sure couldn’t say no to her, no matter what stunts she pulled.
In May the SRC’s/SLC’s went to Austin for a field trip. Most of them behaved themselves. Some didn’t. SRC Sonya who started out a hot and heavy love affair with an SLC, allowed him to pay for her ticket and the hotel room, but when she got there and saw him in person, she said, “NO WAY”. She called IronWill and he came to her rescue. They stayed in bed for a week she said. She says he is incredible. Not at all like he is in game. I again, was laughing my ass off at this soap opera. She had fantasies in her head of moving to Texas and setting up house with him — He thought a good time was had by all, and left it at that. Now, OSI is really about perception, talk about two totally different interpretations and perceptions. Sonya was a piece of work, she worked more GM’s than you could shake a stick at. You should have seen her house, it was totally decked out. She bragged about all the stuff GM’s gave her. Zaronia went on that trip as well. She disappeared with SRC Kurse, who now works for OSI. Sonya says they had a *good time*, Zar says they just had a *fun* time. Terendil I believe, laid her resume out for all to see in Texas, as she wanted a job at OSI — who knows with her…she was one psycho SLC – was hell, she still is.
Finally I said I had enough, it wasn’t fun anymore, it was political, it was shady, and I felt dirty. This was no longer what it was supposed to be.
So what did I get out of this?
7 characters on 7 shards who are GM’d 7 times, all do to game masters altering my stats. I never worked for my stats.
No houses, because I didn’t feel it was right for a GM to delete a house to place mine, although I was told, “Give me the word and it’s yours”
Many deeds – many many deeds.
More money than you could count.
Several one hit weapons that were given to me specifically from GM’s.
On my last day — I gave out deeds like candy, people went crazy. All my armor was given away. There were several pieces custom dyed that weren’t to give out. I gave away my money. But the one thing I didn’t do, was give away the weapons. I put them in a sack and took them in the middle of the forest and placed them under a log, and watched them rot. I guess I was unscrupulous, but not all the way.
Oh and before I left, like in July, Zaronia was making plans again – this time to go visit a very single SLC Teserax. Thankfully, he didn’t bite — but maybe he did, she allowed him into her account, gave him her password, with the understanding he’d maintain her account while she was on leave. She says he took liberties, she also says that SRC Tigger admits her son got into that same account, (as Tigger and Zar were at one time tight and she too gave her password to Tigger) and trashed all Zaronia’s characters. So that’s how her characters were “raped” as her spouse said.
What else can I tell you — Terendil states she received a written agreement from OSI to work at home for 2k a month working on their companion program. Terendil claims once she met her first goal, that Durga, told her move to Texas or you can’t have the job and reneged on the job offer. This may be why Terendil gets away with murder, OSI is afraid they will sue her.
I made a lot of friends at OSI and I know I made enemies. But I always took responsibility and told the truth. It makes me sad these folks don’t do the same.
I am telling you it’s a very corrupt organization. On one hand they turn their hands and allow their GM’s to abuse their power and use it in exchange for stuff and sex, but on the other, they will fire an employee who has almost 7 years in their company (7 years is the magic number for vesting and bonuses at OSI) for downloading a program after hours.
I just don’t get it, Lum, do you?
Unfortunately, I do get it. All too well.