Lurkers wish to know, how one goes about losing membership to a group such as janitors?

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Re: How do janitors get fired?
by ptum (Priest) on Jan 10, 2007 at 16:48 UTC

    I upvoted this node, not because I think janitors need to be fired, but because it raises an interesting question. Presumably the gods decide such things, but I have noticed that the list of nodes for consideration is growing lately and several nodes languish un-janitored with a large number of edit votes having been cast. Perhaps we need to recruit some more janitors?

      Your question differs from the topic addressed by the original poster in this thread. But I'll respond to it here too.

      It's not an issue of how many janitors we have, but rather a slight shift in our attitude. Generally speaking, we feel that it's better to wait awhile before unconsidering nodes so that they don't get reconsidered for the same thing by someone who missed seeing the first consideration (this is in regards to nodes where we have opted not to act upon the node itself). We also are trying harder to minimize our impact. We want to reserve action for nodes that really need work, leaving minor issues alone if they don't present a hazard to navigation or seriously hamper readability.

      Some considerations will sit for a long time and may not get implemented. This doesn't mean we won't work quickly to fix a code tag issue, but for some things we just want to be more thoughtful.

      We're also trying to be more considerate of authors by asking them to make their own fixes when practical, and when they can do so in a timely fashion. That way they'll become more familiar with the way things work around here, and we won't keep seeing their nodes getting considered for the same sorts of problems.


        It certainly seems a good thing to educate node authors (and Friars) on what kind of node errors should be fixed or considered, since our janitors are unpaid and the perks associated with the job seem minimal. I wonder, though, at the effectiveness of leaving nodes un-janitored to avoid re-consideration ... wouldn't it be better to simply display the consideration history for a node so that people could see it had already been considered and un-considered?

        Hmmm. Looks like something along these lines (RFC: a nodetype for considerations) has been discussed recently ... did any change to the site come of that discussion?

Re: How do janitors get fired?
by davido (Cardinal) on Jan 10, 2007 at 17:17 UTC

    Participation in a cabal group is at the discretion of the gods. While it is possible for the gods to reconsider an individual's membership in a group, and it does happen, it's not common for an individual to be singularly dropped from a group. The few times I've seen it happen have been when someone is repeatedly "talked to" about abusing a privilege of his cabal group, or has explicitly stated that (s)he doesn't desire that responsibility anymore. It's not always a bad thing, it's just a change.

    Recently the gods asked the janitors collectively to reaffirm their individual desires to participate. Those who didn't express an interest in continuing have been freed of their obligation and duty. This was partially motivated by a need to know who we really have, and who is just 'on the list' but essentially inactive, or worse, active but not reading the memos. The gods simply wanted to ensure a more consistent application of site policy.


      I was mostly absent from the site when ysth announced in the Janitor's Wiki that all janitors who wished to remain on the team say so. Just because my participation was at a low level at that time does not mean that it will remain so in the future. I have been a member of janitors for many years -- i have abided by policy when making formatting corrections and it is hard not to take this personally.

      I feel that making this request at the Wiki was sneaky. If ysth wanted to cut back on the number of janitors, then i feel he should have sent out private /msg's to every member asking if they wish to remain on the team or not. Now that i have been kicked off the team, i feel that i will have to prove my worthiness again. The first time, i was appointed by vroom. Now someone else gets to call that shot, and i find this to be very unfair. I put in many hours as a janitor, and i do not appreciate someone removing me from a group without directly contacting me first.

      I hope this is the first and last time such behavior happens here at the Monastery.


      (the triplet paradiddle with high-hat)

        Yes, it was sneaky. That is part of why it worked as well as it did. Although it risked some false positives (catching good, active janitors who happened to be out of contact with the site during the window), the alternative had greater risk of false negatives (alerting inactive janitors to jump in and request continued membership). Given previous attempts to cull inactive members from privileged groups, I think the level of sneakiness was appropriate.

        Also, given the number and activity level of those who did respond in time, it was decided that no second chances would be given to those who missed the time window. This was not so much a reflection on those who missed the window, as it was that we had sufficient janitors and we don't want to add more at this time, even if the sample of janitors that remained was obtained somewhat at random rather than strictly on merit, and thus not as fair as desired.

        Privileged access is, not surprisingly, a privilege. Loss of privilege requires little justification, perhaps unfortunately. In some ways we would prefer to have good reason for removing privileges (in some ways, not). Privileged membership had previously been granted sometimes with too little care, guidance, and oversight. This means that some people will be losing privileges without damning evidence that they need to lose the privilege.

        There has recently been a shift in attention to policy; I complained about some long-standing shifts away from policy and pushed to get responses and found that much of the silence in response to my previous complaints had been silent agreement rather than apathy or silent disagreement and this resulted in several people pushing for changes. A shake-up among janitors is one result of that.

        I'm sorry that you missed the opportunity to remain in janitors, jeffa. But we're going to keep with our decision to not give second chances in this case. Thank you for your years of service, they were appreciated.

        - tye        

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      Good idea, poor implementation, whomever thought it out and executed upon it.
Re: How do janitors get fired? (second chance)
by tye (Sage) on Jan 12, 2007 at 09:27 UTC

    Due to the clear problems with parts of the process, it was being reviewed (of course). We've decided to review requests from those who missed the original window. To be reinstated, a newly-ex-janitor would need to at least want to be reinstated, have a record of active janitorial work, no record of disregard for janitorial policies, and be willing to commit to actively keeping up with policy discussions and honoring policy decisions.

    I also e-mailed jeffa since he may not be visiting PerlMonks in the near future.

    - tye        

      Thank you. I think you did the right thing of taking the exact worded stance you did - if you are a middle man or not. I hope to hear your voice more often when things go astray, regardless what the others think.

      People lingering, such as myself in pmdev, is messy. Putting in contracts like the one you stated, even if it affects everyone in the future, gives everyone the understanding that is their future is in their hands.

      NB: When making timeout clauses, you may want to stipulate that reasonable, premeditated, communicated absenteeism may be ok depending on the time absent. 'cause you know, people get hit by trucks and what not. :)

      Update: Well, jeffa is gone. Congrats.

      I don't know if this can be of any help, but I'd like to offer my experience of this situation.

      I have 'worked' on projects similar to PerlMonks (in that there is a community, there are moderator, janitor and god equivalent positions). These 'higher ranking' positions are by invite only, and mostly thankless - carried out by volunteers.

      How absenteeism is handled: Upon invitation it is explained that holding the position means that person must be 'active'. Any up-coming period of in-activity (for whatever reasons) should be brought to the attention of the 'gods'.

      How other 'administration of the admin' compares to PerlMonks: firstly is that there is a little more apparent (now I base this mainly on this thread) open-ness as regards to how things work and how they are implemented (within the 'higher rankings'). And secondly open discussions (such as this thread) are discouraged - enforcing the understanding that as thankless as the position is, it is a privilege not a right.

      I admire your efforts here. Keep up the good work.

      {Edited to correct my English}

      -=( Graq )=-

Re: How do janitors get fired?
by ww (Archbishop) on Jan 10, 2007 at 16:49 UTC
    Some (where "some" eq "those who have the creds to do so") can see a bit of discussion in archived editors wiki by starting at 14 December and working upwards. FWIW, I view the concurrent discussion of appropriate vs. inappropriate janitoring as contextual.
Re: How do janitors get fired?
by idsfa (Vicar) on Jan 11, 2007 at 06:32 UTC

    This node never contained anything.

    A good friend of mine (now departed from this world) used to tell anyone whose emotions started to overflow their reason: "Penalty: Drink a Beer". I'll buy the keg ... you have to ask for a glass.

    Updated: My apologies for being insufficiently clear. I did not intend it to be implied that jeffa was the OP. A person unknown to me posted about an issue affecting jeffa and I connected the two by my sentence construction. Again, my apologies.

    The intelligent reader will judge for himself. Without examining the facts fully and fairly, there is no way of knowing whether vox populi is really vox dei, or merely vox asinorum. — Cyrus H. Gordon

      In your spoilers, idsfa, you imply that i authored this thread. I did not. I don't know who did, but it was not me. I did bitch about this in the chatterbox, and shortly afterwards someone authored this thread anonymously.

Re: How do janitors get fired?
by porqui (Acolyte) on Jan 11, 2007 at 17:14 UTC
    PerlMonks is a Fantasy Role Playing game. You don't get "fired"; you just create a new character.
Re: How do janitors get fired?
by Jack B. Nymbol (Acolyte) on Jan 13, 2007 at 21:24 UTC
    I think it's worth mentioning that the word janitors is less preferred now in the english lexicon. The correct title is "Liason between the mop and the floor". But I have no answers.
      Jack B. Silent