Mission Statement BS

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.

Cur­rent Mood: 😡grumpy
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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