I’m having trouble using the PC much due to nasty shooting pains in my right arm and hand and a vicious cramp in my neck and shoulder above them. It just gets worse and worse, so I’m not at the keyboard much. I tried moving the trackball to the left, but then my left hand starts hurting (MS mice are not designed for use on the left). And I truly think that until we get the keyboards down to the proper typing height and get some better chairs, none of this is going to improve much no matter what I do. I do wish I could find a really good “natural” style keyboard with a good trackball in the center instead of the stupid lights Microsoft puts there—that’s a total waste of space. They could be anywhere else because I certainly don’t need to touch them, now do I?
But right now there’s stuff that I really do need to get done. I need to make some revisions to the WHOA site. While that’s easy and quick when it’s just putting up what someone else wrote, I need to write this stuff. One of the legal advisors and I are supposed to be reworking the crappy mission statement. Past experience tells me that means I will reword it, he’ll put in some legalese and make it awkward, I’ll reword it, and we’ll engage in a tug of war until we reach a compromise of some sort.
The stupid thing is way too long. It’s vague. It’s full of phrases that don’t really mean anything. And I don’t dare say too much because I don’t know if our current president wrote it (she’s a published author, but she tends to be wordy, vague, and need lots of editing) or if this is something leftover from the original founder.
For instance, it says we “empower victims.” What the f*** does that mean? Really? In concrete terms? Nothing.
We help people trace messages if they provide them with full headers, or to identify the web hosting firm or other providers to whom complaints should go. We’ll help police with the same kinds of things, or do training for them. On rare occasions, our safety advocates will complain on the victim’s behalf, but that’s usually only if the victim isn’t getting any responses.
We encourage people to avoid sheer stupidity. Unfortunately, most of them come to us after being stupid. We encourage ISPs and email providers and chat room hosts and so on to establish and enforce anti-harassment policies. We advise people to stop handing money to anybody who won’t knock harassers off their systems after the first offense or who make it hard to track things in their system (like AOL).
But what’s empowering there?
Merriam Webster says empower means “1 : to give official authority or legal power to; 2 : ENABLE 1a; 3 : to promote the self-actualization or influence of.”
We don’t have any official authority or legal power to give to anyone. Enable? That has negative connotations to me, but it seems to be used as “to provide with the means or opportunity.” To do what? Really? We help them figure out where to send complaints. We help them figure out how they’ve been stupid and what they need to change so that they’re less easily harassed.
Perhaps mission statements shouldn’t be tampered with when I have a migraine and am even less tolerant of mushy, meaningless chaff than usual.