I've been a member of our local Freecycle group here for a while. A few times I've picked up interesting things, a few times I've been able to give things away.
Sometimes, because I'm in one of the wealthiest counties in the United States (a statistic to which I do not, I can guarantee you, contribute) you see pretty outrageous things posted in the "wanted" category, like:
- Anyone have a baby car seat for a Porsche Boxster? I'm a daddy now, but I don't want to give up my real baby! So, if you have a spare of the one specifically made for the Boxster, let me know! (Hey, Daddy Porsche -- if you can afford to drive your baby around in a Boxster, you can afford to go pay for the Boxster baby seat!)
- My maid is going to have a baby. I'd like to give her a bonus of a crib. Does anyone have one available? (OMFG, don't be such a cheap-ass rich tightwad - pay for your maid's bonus yourself! Get her a damn crib!)
A while back, some a-hole on the list actually listed one of his female friends as being available and not a bad choice. Har har har. Oh, the jocularity! Giving away a middle-aged single woman! (Were I his friend, I would have been pretty pissed to know he'd decided I was worthy of giving away on the "going to the dump, but still has some life left in it" list.)
Today, someone posted that she wanted a bookshelf for her daughter's room. Aha! Well, I have three really old IKEA-style bookshelves (Target, circa 1992) down in the storage room. I wrote to her - twice - and her Freecycle-registered e-mail address failed. So, I posted a message to Freecycle, simply saying, "Re: Bookshelf Wanted - your e-mail address isn't working - zap me a message, and these shelves are yours!"
Plain, simple, straight to the point. Someone needed something, I had something, her addy didn't work, I did what I could to get my message across.
Believe it or not, the moderator for the group sent me a snippy message telling me this was "not a discussion list", that my post would be deleted, and I should get in touch with this person directly.
Uh... okay, bubba... tried that.
I wrote back and said, "You're kidding, right? Did you even read the message? I only posted this because her address didn't work." I'm just tryin' to help a sistah out here, people.
Moderator wrote back that he'd read my message and that's how he knew it wasn't "appropriate" for his list. Appropriate? It's not as if I wrote, "I'M SITTING IN FRONT OF MY COMPUTER NAKED, SHAKING MY MASSIVE GAZONGAS AT THE SCREEN AS I WRITE THAT I HAVE 15-YEAR-OLD CRAPPY BOOKSHELVES AVAILABLE FOR THE WOMAN WITH THE BAD E-MAIL!! WHOOOOOOO-WEEEE! SHAKE 'EM!!!" Apparently, if I'd just written "Available: bookshelves" and not said, "Hey, chick with the bad e-mail, I'd love to give you these for you kid!" that would have been fine.
Whatever. Frankly, nobody trying to do something nice deserves to meet Mr. Snippy Moderator.
Look, I run a mailing list, too. And I know when someone breaks the rules egregiously, you need to use a measure of discipline. But I also know you don't smack someone around for trying to do something good or appropriate, especially when it's a first offense.
But you know what? Life is way too short to deal with snippy people. Fuck 'em. Most of the people on this particular Freecycle list can afford their own stuff. I unsubscribed. Salvation Army can have all my old stuff, thanks. And the tightwads of Potomac can buy themselves Boxster car seats and cribs for their maids.
No good deed goes unpunished, kids!