PostHeaderIcon Too Many Residents Look Gift Horse In The Mouth

It's amazing how everyone seems to feel a right of entitlement where none is promised, offered or even deserved. It's so true. Just look at the feedback to practically any Second Life blog post:
"Linden Lab needs to stop with bells and whistles and fix the damned grid"
"Transactions on the blink, I.P. Theft, TPs not working - fix this crap"
"Thanks Lindens for devaluing my land in the blink of an eye"

Before purchasing anything, we want to ensure we are getting good quality. One method of ensuring quality in the health of a horse was to check its teeth and gums. This wouldn't be very polite if the horse were a gift. But more importantly "to look a gift horse in the mouth" is really just a way of looking for the negative in it, instead of the positive.

Remember: a gift you receive - something you get for nothing - is worth every penny you pay for it. Why then would you look a gift horse in the mouth only to find damage there? Now you will have those negatives 'nagging' at you every time you think about it, rather than being graciously thankful for the gift itself. It also is rather disingenuous to to the one giving the gift.

Radio and television signals are free to us, but we must endure the advertising that pays for it. Hell, in the states, paying for admittance to the cinema and you still must still sit through three or four one-minute advertisements. And yet, does anyone complain about them?

In fact, an SL friend sent an envelope to me via the U.S. Post. Let's see, east coast to west coast... three days, four maybe? That's reasonable.

The letter postmarked March 29, 2008 arrived in my mailbox yesterday, April 28th.
I shit you not.

And the U.S. Postal Service keeps raising postage rates, yet their service is getting worse. But do we complain?

And if I complain and they ignore me, should I become more vocal and incensed? But what can I really do? The Post Office is a closed system. I don't really have any access to anyone who matters. I don't have their ears or eyes... I don't have their attention.

And the postage rates have just gone up again!
Where is the service I am paying for?

Second Life is a gift horse.
Think about it.
SL is completely free to use. Completely.

Linden lab has actually found a way to give you access to SL for free and without any forced advertising. None. Zip-zilch-nada.

When I pay for admittance to the cinema, I feel I have a right to complain about their forcing me to watch advertising. The same when I (or any sender) pays for postage and the Pony Express of the 1800's is still faster and better service. Or to complain to anyone to whom you trade money for a service or product and that service or product does not meet standards.

But SL is free.
What right do you or anyone else have to expect anything other than access?
And even that is a gift.

My point simply is this: Linden Lab is far more open and accessible to me than any other company I can think of, other than the one I work for. Even my government is less accessible.

And yet, when the employees of this company try to communicate with their guests, (yes guests - you aren't a "customer" in my mind unless you own land and pay legal tender to Linden Lab for the privilege,) those guests immediately start to rant and vent about the problems in the service they are receiving for free. A product that is actually as complicated (if not more so) than an actual computer operating system of a few years ago. Where those companies very open?

These guests are not only looking the gift horse in the mouth, they slap the faces of their hosts.
They do it when they leave vicious, painful feedback on the SL blog. Granted, it's definitely getting much better. But those who feel entitled (and never were to begin with) are still about.

So, why am I bothering to write about this? Because I want to remind those people that there are real people on the other side of that and any other weblog. The Lindens are human and just trying to do their jobs. So, it's okay to vent and rant.

But, do try to remember the words you choose carry three or four times the weight and intensity than you might intend - and many times your statements can be rather hurtful.
Never raise your voice when you should reinforce your argument.

Nothing wrong with mentioning off-topic things in a blog post - but at least try to be constructive in your comments. And complaining about some feature - such as voice or the new graphics engine - is really just a waste of time. Those features and any newly planned ones are going to be implemented whether you want them or not.

After all, if you don't like what you're getting, take your money elsewhere.
Oh, that's right, it's not costing anything to be a Second Life resident, unless you choose to pay.

Therefore, you 'guests' don't deserve any voice at all. Yet, Linden Lab actually allows you to have one... and they do listen... even though you abuse the privilege.

Even though you look a gift horse square in the mouth.
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