Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Or, Customer service as ritual humilation...

I'm fairly sure if Honda had to issue a product recall on its latest line of hybrid vehicles to repair a major manufacturing defect, they wouldn't make the CEO sit on a gangplank in his rainbow skivvies while a mob of irate customers heaved balls at the nearby target. Then again, if the alternative is a form apology letter, it might not be a totally bad idea.

At least that hypothesis was put to the test yesterday, after Jase Byrne posted out this proclamation, in response to the brutal log-in delays of the previous weekend:

On Tuesday, the 24th day of May, at 12:00PST various persons of Linden lineage shall assemble at the Dunking tank on the Touchstone Fair Ground on FairChang Project island and make themselves available for the good people of Second Life, to dunk at their pleasure. With these actions Clan Linden holds to make good any grievance, annoyance or inconvenience inccured up the good citizens of Second Life over the past weekend.

And so Lindens gathered by the dozens at the Touchstone Fair, Jase's amusement park with educational trimmings (sample images right column, first three pics), where a capacity crowd (lynch mob? clown vigilantes?) were waiting, to unleash soggy revenge. One by one the Lindens came, mounted the dunking pool gangplank, while a Resident took up a ball, went into first-person targeting mode, and took aim at the trigger target. No Linden was spared-- not the CEO, not the VP, not the community-minded Liaisons, nor certainly, not the programmers. (When I arrived, mild-mannered coder James Linden was gamely emerging from the pool in his tightie whities. "Okay, back to 1.6.6 database load reduction work for me.")

Then again, I assume that I'd be exempt, being the mere reporter, but from the moment of my arrival, the throng is in a water frenzy and cannot be appeased.

"Hamlet in the hotseat!" Jase Byrne roars.

FlipperPA Peregrine is even more direct. "THE MEDIA! GET HIM!"

I backpedal protesting. "I'm the fourth estate! That means my butt stays dry, or something!"

"Hamlet," Olmy Seraph reasons, "if Philip gets wet, so do you!"

Torley Torgeson assents: "ALL YOUR LINDEN ARE BELONG TO US!"

To clamor is so loud, I finally strip my shirt and jacket off, and get in position, above the pool (which someone has helpfully added a shark and a pirahna to). But I still demand some kind of fair explanation.

"I want to hear good cause for why I who have not an inkling of blame for the load issues must now be tossed South like so much lobster in the drink!"

The answers are varied.

"Guilty by association," katherine Mullen suggests, grinning.

"PEER PRESSURE," Syless Calliope offers.

Brace Coral is more pragmatic. "Cuz we wanna see the seethru white suit?"

"For the sins of the media," Nigel Linden shouts from the sidelines, "get in the seat!"

"Take it like a man!" Cailyn Miller bellows.

And a splashing cuts across the sky.

Screenshot of Philip Linden pre-dunk by Sean Gorham, originally for Snapzilla, generously republished here with the photographer's permission.

Posted at 05:23 AM | Permalink


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bwah hah hah!
The pirahna was mine.
Knowing I'd miss the event due to RL work, I created him so I could remotely participate in the festivities. I feared he'd be bounced fromt he even prematurely due to potential lag issues (he had a sensor to detect his victims and was physics-enabled). Glad to hear he was still on the loose when you stopped by.

Posted by: Olympia Rebus at May 25, 2005 9:14:16 AM

I'm sorry I couldn't be there - it must've been fun... ...for US! Mwahaha

Posted by: Osprey at May 25, 2005 11:09:48 AM

Hahaha... years from now, it's things like this I'll be looking fondly back on. Always a thrill, and for a good cause too, as donations were being accepted to benefit the groups of the Touchstone Fair. Philanthropic fun. :)

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