An incomplete list of ex-couchsurfing volunteers and their resignation letters.
[links to http://groups.google.com/group/cs-dev-public don't work anymore]
- Kasper, Resigned on May 16, 2007. [His resignation letter]
- Thomas, Resigned on May 16, 2007. [His resignation letter]
- Morgan, Resigned on May 16, 2007.[His resignation letter]
- John, Resigned on May 16, 2007. [His resignation letter]
Highly valued volunteers
- Midsch [His resignation letter, some more words/reasons]. Also resigned from being an Ambassador on May 16, 2007.
20070515 Morgan - morgo Quebec, Canada http://www.opencouchsurfing.org/2007/05/15/and-here-i-go/
And here I go
I said I would continue to contribute if it does “more good than harm,” but I’ve decided to change my stance on an issue, and I’m resigning from the CS dev team & mailing lists.
Prior to working on couchsurfing, I decided that I only wanted to work on Open Source software. When I heard that Kasper was pushing for couch surfing to be open it sparked my interest.
Open source is important to me, because it represents a freedom of information and ideas. But for the record, it wasn’t the non-opensource thing that made me leave per-se; it’s the resistance & lack of communication to comment on, or work towards a New NDA.
Maybe I should hang on and wait, because something is right around the corner? These issues are old, months old. Now I’m cynical enough to think a delay or a ‘not now’ is a politically correct way of saying ‘no’. So, I’m now changing my tactic; If they get addressed then I’ll rejoin.
There’s no reason we need a non-compete clause. I had contemplated signing a non-compete that still permits me to just work for MySQL; but now I’ve decided I’ll choose who I work for.
I had some good times at the Collective. My two most treasured memories include learning how to drink scotch and beer with Gardner (a first for me, and a lesson that will no doubt further me in life), and performance hacking with Joe & Kasper in a 3-way screen, sitting next to each other.
Walter: I’d like to still come and visit the Collective, but I’m withdrawing my request to participate. I enjoyed seeing your comments on MySQL optimization, and that you could also spot so many of the changes that needed doing. It’s unfortunate we didn’t really get the change to work together.
I’ll still keep couchsurfing like everyone else, so keep making the site better!
20070522 Callum Edinburgh, Scotland http://www.opencouchsurfing.org/2007/05/22/ive-been-fired/
I’ve Been Fired!
This morning I woke up to find an email in my inbox telling me that my volunteer services are no longer required by CouchSurfing.
Apparently I have “fundamental differences in ideology and communication styles”. I’ve asked for clarification on that, fundamentally different from whom. I’m not holding my breath for an answer!
One thing was stated clearly in the email, CouchSurfing is not going open source. Not now, not any time soon. So at last the OpenCouchSurfing campaign has received one answer. That’s real progress I think.
Interesting times… :)
20070522 Thomas - tgoorden Antwerp, Belgium http://www.opencouchsurfing.org/2007/05/22/a-final-goodbye/
A final goodbye
I have received a “thank you” letter from Chris Burley that effectively closes the NDA discussion and other related matters for me. To be honest I’m quite grateful for it.
It is much better to know that the Couchsurfing admins really don’t want to discuss our issues than to be left with a false glimmer of hope. CouchSurfing has – for good or for bad – decided to show itself as a top-down run community and while I don’t agree with that decision, it is at least clear and final.
There are a few small corrections I would like to make (read the letter first):
1. OpenCouchSurfing was primarily about a Free and Open CouchSurfing organisation. While OSS (Open Source Software) would certainly have helped in getting there, it was hardly the only proposal that has been made. For me personally, an Open Organisation was a much more important issue for instance. 2. “We value group consensus above individual ideology” seems a bit weird to me. We had over 90 people signing the petition, including two admins, so its hardly an individual ideology. There were many people that really would have like to see some of our proposals come true, but unfortunately we don’t have the keys to the castle. 3. As has happened before, Chris makes it sound like it was more about style than about content (”constructive criticism”). I think most people will agree that there has been ample opportunity to engage in friendly debate for the admins, which was never taken up. Most critical (but friendly/constructive) questions have simply been ignored over several months. It should be of no suprise that this angers people in many ways and it is therefor quite unreasonable to expect friendly banter all the time. “We’re working on it” or “we’ll publish something… soon” can hardly be considered constructive debate either.
In conclusion I would like to personally thank everyone who has tried to help us make a positive change within CouchSurfing towards a more Open and Free organisation. I do not feel that this was a wasted effort as getting the admins to make up their minds is an added value by itself. Amongst the relatively few cases of outright hostility, there were plenty of comments that helped us to continue this extremely difficult effort. Thank you for that support.
20070925 ANU* Amsterdam, Netherlands http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=2125&post=398153
So long, and thanks for the fish
It's finally time to let go of my all my remaining ties to volunteering in this organization, a few words about the why, if you will...
It wasn't a bad year (1) In fact, it was a very good year. How often do you get a chance to see the world, settle down a bit in places, work for the things you believe in and meet the people you've been craving to meet all your life?
I'm still coming to terms with my feelings of this year, and CS more specifically. There's a strong component of unjust treatment, and many questions which are to date not answered. I could probably write a book about all this but this will have to wait until a later date (you might want to check here in the near future though ;) (2)
There's definitely some anger: after all, I started doing CS work after already been burned once in a volunteering setting (3) and for this reason really did not want or need a second similar experience. However, I got one. What makes me angry is not the "wasted time" itself, it's more the fact that had I known the fundamental attitudes (4, 5) of the leadership a year ago, I would probably not have started volunteering to such an extent - my anger is more directed towards concealing these attitudes (with lack of real communication there was no way of telling what the admins were thinking) rather than having them in the first place - for at least it would have offered an opportunity for me to choose if these were the kinds of people I'd like to work with (or as it seems, for). This by now almost feels like purposeful deception to lure in willing volunteers (6).
There's also sadness: thinking of what might have been, the possibilities for creating real difference, all in vain. And not because people, the community didn't want it, they were ready to take CS to the next level, to decentralize (7) along with the mission crafted up after the big crash of 2006 (7, 8) to create a better world, one couch at a time. No, it was the attitudes of the leaders, lack of any real communication by them, lack of meaningful, respectful dialogue with the community or even volunteers who are actively striving to make things better that stopped (sometimes even reversed) (8) the momentum of the community to decentralize itself. I also feel sad that this potential of the community was never recognized by those in power and that corporate structures, top-down management and weeding out all possibility to self-organize were seen as the only way to go forward - where's the space for diversity, more bohemian attitudes towards life and independent thinking that are very present in the spirit of this community?
But there's (always?) a silver lining: if it wasn't through CS, it would have probably taken me years longer to find the people I connected and hope to continue working with (some of them here: 9,10) to create a better world, one whatever (Line of code? Guest bed? Idea? Freedom?) at a time!
I'd like to thank all the great people I have worked with and met on my 21st century version of the"Grand Tour" (11).
Regardless of my issues with the leaders at the moment, I believe the rest of you are still good people and deserve far more credit and appreciation than what you're given now.
Finally, just a fair warning from someone who cares about all of you: please keep your eyes open before jumping in the deep end with CS or if you're there already, and don't stop asking the questions (12) in case there's something worrying you...
Goodbye, and happy surfing, Anu PS. feel free to post a reply in this thread, I'll check it at times... or if you wish, in private through means mentioned on my profile.
1. http://anujossain.blogspot.com 2. http://www.opencouchsurfing.com/author/anu/ 3. http://anujossain.blogspot.com/2007/09/dj-vu.html 4. http://www.couchsurfing.com/group_read.html?gid=7161&post=329495#post332871 5. http://www.couchsurfing.com/group_read.html?gid=7161&post=329495#post331893 6. http://www.opencouchsurfing.org/2007/08/22/follow-the-money/ 7. http://www.couchsurfing.com/recovery_page.htm http://www.opencouchsurfing.org/2007/08/23/the-beginning-of-the-end-of-cs-20/ 8. http://couchwiki.org/en/Idea_to_feature:_lessons_learned (original) http://www.opencouchsurfing.org/wiki/ (backup) 9. http://www.bevolunteer.org 10. http://www.crashatmine.org 11. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Tour 12. http://www.couchsurfing.com/group_read.html?gid=429&post=379068
Uh, to avoid blaming me of misquoting something:
8. couchwiki.org/en/Idea_to_feature:_lessons_learned (original) www.opencouchsurfing.org/wiki/ (backup)
THIS is the backup (just in case, you never know...) http://www.opencouchsurfing.org/wiki/Idea_to_feature:_lessons_learned
And not because people, the community didn't want it, they were ready to take CS to the next level, to decentralize (7) along with the mission crafted up after the big crash of 2006 (7, 8)
It's all referenced in ref 7, which contains 2 links. Nevermind the 8 in this context.
20080116 Diederik Rotterdam, Netherlands http://www.opencouchsurfing.org/2008/01/16/casey-love/
For your information: this is an extract of the original post by Kasper (http://www.opencouchsurfing.org/2008/01/14/ill-communication/)
It would be nice if Diederik could speak up about his experience and his own evaluation of the CS organisation.
@Diederik A (small) word of warning: Speaking out against CS will almost automatically get you lumped in with the “OCSers”, even if you specifically state that you aren’t.
Well, to be honest, I probably already am. Some months ago, I had some posts, also on my own website. Seems that the communication went dead afterwards.
Let’s start at the beginning. I think this gives a better insight in my current feelings towards the Techteam, and in general: the leader of it, and Casey (ok, here comes my ban…)
My CS experience started at my former employer. Walter was a programmer then. I and Walter could (and still can) get along quite well, and I was invited in his house. There were several great people, which had the same “frequency” (another word of saying we could get along, but that sentence would became corny ;) ). I met Duke, Aldo, Tiina, Paul and some others I forgot due to the use of ethanol ) My current position then was system engineer, and I was asked for that position at couchsurfing.
That would become handy, because of the start of the Rotterdam Tech Collective. Some several others were there too. Anu* (love!), Weston, Naz (great friend), Chris where several of them. I got introduced with Nicco and we had great chats about the code (I’m not a programmer, so having some insight is perfect for me), system engineering, the couchsurfing system etc, etc. At that time, there were several things an issue. Nicco and I (as the only admins, besides some Indian people) started to work.
We had an agenda, and could start.
Several issues were addressed quite quick. Most of them are not-to-be-disclosed, but several were visible from the outside:
- Lesser downtime because of an OSS loadbalancer
- More webservers which run an *UP-TO-DATE* OS (Visible through the headers of Apache)(I believe that this was an great deal, yeah, check http://www.opencouchsurfing.org/wiki/Security_Concerns).
That time, the collective was already 3 months (or something like that) in the past. Several people came to become “sysadmin”, Nicco was degraded as leader, while Weston became TT-Leader (managing dev and sysadmin). Communication became less and less. From some times, we couldn’t reach Casey, which was our first contact for the code. At that time, my irritation began (my irritation towards the OCS was already there ;) ). Could some parts from OCS be *INDEED* true?
(Anu isn’t really stupid, you know, and Daz is just Daz and should drop dead, etc etc ;) ) At that time, it seemed to *ME* that some people were only busy programming, and not with management.
We had a great CSInterklaas weekend, and the Thai-collective started. We had several “incidents” before and after that (not-to-be-disclosed), and my irritation was at top. When I decided to resign (1 week ago) at the same time the poweroutage at the datacenter happened. Bad timing… Or probably not, because there were some more “incidents”.
This morning, I pulled the plugs from cs-sysadmins, cs-erc, cs-devel(|public). At my desktop is a Freemind scheme (http://freemind.sourceforge.net, go get it) with my thoughts, idea’s and remedies. I had the idea to post it in the CS-Sysadmin group for learning. If only someone would not only *READ* it, but also *REPLY* to it. Therefor, I decided not to do so. I have the feeling that I’m being ignored, so why should I put more energy in it?
From my opinion (an censored version of the mindmap):
- Where’s the communication?
We are having more and more people, which asks more communcation to happen. The group only has 3 or 4 skype-meetings, and no real agenda. LT has, I believe that dev has. Why doens’t sysadmin have one?Miscommunications happen too often. Get a good IRC channel, AND STICK WITH IT. Use it like SVN, and make sure that you are the only one working on one problem.
- Weston should resign from being a techteam-leader.
Weston is a great guy (as well as Casey btw), but he is a programmer (as well as Casey). I believe that Casey and Weston should either resign from sysadminning and start programming OR do resign from both, and become a real manager (that is: delegate and check).
- Get things prioritized
Sticks with the communication part. Changing passwords is not an problem, but if changing OSes is having an higher priority, get that done.
- Have more communication between CS-Sysadmin and development
Commit often Commit the build to the webservers *NOT* often, but on an weekly base, and *COMMUNICATE* what the differences are. This ensures that everyone knows what is going on, and can act upon unexpected behaviour…
- Learn from mistakes
Let’s end with some positive notes:
- I met all those great people. Some of those I want to mention: Nicco (thanks mate), Anu, Naz, Aldo (thanks a lot with the thinking), Martine (hug), Stijn, and all those others. Not to mention all those people that we hosted, will host, and I blatantly forgot.
- I still believe that CS works. It needs to change. An negative one here is that I don’t believe that that will happen in the near future.
- I still will be hosting with my girlfriend. We have a lively community in Rotterdam, which I love.
- I seem to understand better and better where this OCS is all about. I only hope that I won’t reach the cynical level of communication that some of OCS have. At the same moment I feel that I will become only more bitter.
I guess that the post shuld be called “Casey Love”, the feeling that you were loved, but the other end just decides to move on to the next one.
Love from Rotterdam!
Diederik (And Frank Sinatra… “The best is yet to come”)
p.s. When resigning from cs-sysadmins this morning, I saw the description of the group. Guess that this one is not NDA bound:
“Description: This group is free from political agendas and personal ideologies. It is a place to serve the one of the core needs(server administration) of the CS Organization in order to make sure that the members have access to the site at all times so that they can experience inter cultural understanding.”
20090826 Promitheus Norwich, United Kingdom http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=2125&post=3687028 time to go...
20090924 Flavio - Flapic Rome, Italy http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=2125&post=3912524
After Kon, Aldo, Marco, Brie, Anick-Marie, Amanda, B., Birgit, and many others, here comes my turn too. I have decided to quit from CS Amb and concentrate on different things.
A couple of months ago I was going to take this same step but I have been stopped by Gadget, who asked me to stay. This time I am posting here before informing him so he doesn't know about it and I won't return on my decision.
So, goodbye to everyone and I know I'll stay in touch with many of you anyway. Please don't reply, as I am leaving the group right now.
20090925 Donna, United States http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=2125&post=3923400 Message in the name of Oh Donna !!
20090927 Amanda via Margaret M http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=2125&post=3930180#post3930531 Global Ambassador
20090927 Shai, India http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=2125&post=3930180 Goodbye and good luck!
20091003 BONTOUR Vienna, Austria http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=2125&post=3981137 5 years of volunteering for CS - what my conclusion is so far... by BONTOUR
20091006 desaparecida Vienna, Austria http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=7621&post=4006320 why i quit volunteering for cs
20091007 Anick-Marie Bremen, Germany http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=7621&post=4006320#post4009673
20091020 Yelyam Brussels, Belgium http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=2125&post=4109653 Resigning from Ambassadorship
20091125 FENIX - Cintia Sao Paulo, Brazil http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=2125&post=4390023 Another AST Goodbye
20091201 Brian, United States http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=2125&post=4429632 My Resignation as Verification Team Leader
I am attempting to abide by the guidelines within this group. I share here my letter to Jim and Casey for the reasons why I resigned as the Verification Team Leader, as many Ambs wrote to me off-site and asked for the 'real reason.' Here it is.
Dear Jim and Casey:
As you know, I've resigned as the Verification Team Leader. I currently remain on as a City Ambassador, NMW, CUQ Team Member, and co-moderator of the CUQ Team, unless you decide that it is not to be. I've always realized that this is your site, and the volunteers have very little to do with the direction that CS takes.
When I resigned from the verification team, it was a quickly written message to you. I had logged on, noticed yet another bug within the verification system, and realized that it was time for me to move on. I immediately remembered the bug of July 30 and 31 where everyone who tried to donate did so over and over, so their money was taken several times, many more than ten, but their profile was not updated. That bug immediately cost twelve man hours and we refunded almost $35,000 to members. I did not want to repeat that thankless amount of time working for free, with a 'thank you' given as a token gesture.
My thoughts of resigning actually began the week that I spent in San Francisco, at Base Camp. Jim and I spent a couple of weeks back and forth on email, trying to see if a 'couch' could be found for me at Base Camp. Mind you, this was not to be just a vacation for me, but Jim and I were going to work together to get me better trained. Back and forth the emails went, and the final note was basically, "We'll house you somewhere... if you're willing to sleep on a couch, then we'll have room." Not expecting anything else, I truly appreciated the housing accommodation as any true surfer appreciates an offer of accommodation.
The first weekend I was in SF was SF Gay Pride and I stayed with another CS friend. She also had another surfer (I'll call her, D, as she has a starring role in this saga) for the weekend. We were invited to a CS brunch. Knowing that D was looking for longer-term couches due to a yoga class she was taking in SF, I introduced her to a group from BaseCamp at the brunch. When I mentioned that D was taking classes for Yoga, a couch was immediately offered to her at BC. And for a "week or so." Mind you I had been emailing back and forth so that we could get some work done, but here was a young, cute lesbian who knew yoga, and she had a couch without any checking. Hmmm, didn't someone say awhile back that if you're cute and young......... and I'm sure one LT member would be very welcoming, in his mind.
A small side item... shortly after my visit, Jim, you requested a "friend" link. We were never friendly. We were friendly enough talking about work, etc... but while I visited SF for a week, you never once attempted to get to know me, to become friends.
I've coordinated volunteers for years, with many different organizations. Typically, an organization seeks to appreciate, thank and motivate all of it's volunteers. I've never known an organization to house, feed and pay any of it's volunteers. There's never been (in my experience) an attempt to make the volunteer jobs of remote volunteers any better in this organization... not so if you're at base camp. Meetings are held about how to make the dull volunteer's jobs and lives better. More parties? More travel? More roadtrips? More alcohol and drugs? Perhaps you need more rooms for casual sex or perhaps an orgy room?
There are 100's, perhaps 1,000's, of volunteers who put in many hours in support of The CouchSurfing Project. 99% of those receive nothing in return, except perhaps an Ambassador flag. These volunteers work countless hours answering member questions, responding to issues, groups management, event management, locations management, AST/AMT, Ambassadors, spreading the word, and working remotely on Tech issues, and, until recently, assisting members with the Verification Program. Yet, there are a very few special volunteers who CS seem to revolve around.
These 'core volunteers' who live at BaseCamp or one of the collectives (mind you many may not have had a profile before becoming a 'core volunteer' or their profile had few references, vouches, or perhaps they hadn't even become verified -- profiles that I would be hesitant to surf/host with...) are asked to help make decisions (by voting at BC) and other important issues, but they seem not to be surfers, at all. Most seem very unwelcoming... that another someone is invading their secret society at BaseCamp. More than one person has said of BaseCamp, "they don't seem like surfers."
And if you're tired of living in San Francisco, by all means, go to Costa Rica, or even to Turkey, where we can show even more appreciation to those we've already shown appreciation to. While "collectives" are said to be a mechanism of reaching out, most have their doors closed -- except to a special few. And by the way, CS will pay you to go 'home' to your new house. My understanding is that to even be considered for Turkey, you'll have had to do at least 3 hard months at BaseCamp or Costa Rica. Wow, things are hard! We're sorry, let's let you go to Turkey for awhile.
Many feel that the "volunteers" who live at BaseCamp are spoiled and self-righteous. Many also feel that they do not represent CS well, as many do not seem to be "surfers" at all. Many also realize that nepotism helps you to secure a spot. It's been stated over and over that "who you know" has no bearing on who is 'invited' to live at BaseCamp. I don't think so. Mrs. Gadget has housing and a position. Jim's girlfriend has housing and a job. *Please NOTE that I have NOTHING against neither Ms. Gadget nor CaseyAnn personally.* A former house manager was a friend of TTT's (so it's been reported).
And not just housing, by the way. We'll also give you a job! And a title, perhaps. Let's not worry if you know nothing about Human Resources, Volunteer Coordination, or have no accounting background. Many members and Ambassadors also believe that it helps someone secure BaseCamp status by returning sexual favors. At least you have the rooms/space set up for it.
I've never been to a non-profit's headquarters where there were rooms specifically for sexual encounters. And it comes with anal beads, mind you. Don't get me wrong... I am a Sex Positive person. but when positions and housing and food and travel are given because of this, then the word volunteer should be changed to another word, meaning the exchange of sex for cash or other tangible items. Do you think the American Red Cross has anal beads anywhere within their headquarters? I realize we are not the same, but still.
So, if you volunteer at BaseCamp, you'll be rewarded richly. You'll be housed in one of the most expensive cities in the US, or live in an international location with all the amenities you could never afford yourself volunteering.
The prior verification team leader received an amount for each verification. It makes sense to motivate this person. They are your key to income. Due to poor communication and no technical help, she resigned. I was asked to step in, and I did so. Mind you, I was never told about an "incentive" nor asked if I would like to volunteer at BaseCamp. So be it. The 'volunteers' who took the team over, 3 of them, will all be rewarded richly for their 'hard work and dedication.' They will be at BaseCamp, even though one is out of the country now so that the US government doesn't catch on to what's happening. I doubt the volunteers at BC actually tell Customs they are entering the US to be "paid" in housing and 'stipends.' Seems contradictory for a non-profit trying to gain Tax Exempt status to guide 'volunteers' on what to say so that the same government doesn't block their entry into the US.
So, enough about me feeling sorry and not good enough to warrant an inquiry as to whether or not I'd like to be an "appreciated" volunteer and live at BaseCamp. We'll bring in the store manager and let them stay a good 8 months, but not to worry, no work needs be done.
Many, many times I've answered members questions when they request a variance from the verification team, that "what we do for one, we must do for all." CouchSurfing does not believe this. Let's highly reward a very few, and the idiots who continue supporting our 'chosen' ones, will continue to do so, or leave. Not to worry, there are 1,000's more who would love to give their time, energy and love to CS as others leave because they are tired of the BS.
Then comes the issue of disrespect to the volunteers who work their ass off to help us protect ourselves. Recently, a highly-respected long term volunteer left a negative reference for an LT member. Hers was the second negative reference. Both centered around inappropriate conduct. Almost immediately, the reference was removed by an LT member. NOT from the volunteer team with the responsibility to handle such issues -- the MDST -- but by a leadership team member. The member rewrote the reference, and it was put back onto "His" profile. Then, yet another LT member removed it. Mind you, if it were any of the 1,000's of other volunteers NOT at BaseCamp receiving the reference, we would have had to wait until the MDST completed their review, and rightly so. But, if you "volunteer" at BaseCamp, then references don't matter, it appears that an LT member can just delete ones they don't like... regardless of whether it is factual or not. Again, what we do for one, we must do for all -- does not apply.
Long-term volunteers are leaving in droves. I do not count myself as a long-term volunteer... I've only been volunteering the last year or so. And from what I read and gather, that's fine by the LT. Seems that long-term volunteers are a pain in someone's ass... not that they remember how CS was, but because they state issues, they are seen as trouble makers. I'm now one of them, I suppose.
Another issue that was concerning me were bugs with simple fixes. Europeans consistently use commas to separate dollars and cents. However, many transactions were processed incorrectly, due to the comma. A member would attempt to donate 21,50, and 2,150 would be charged. Then it's up to the member to notice the error, since we did not mail out receipts. I attempted and notified the LT that we should fix this ASAP, but it didn't take top priority.
Then there's the issue where members were using other person's credit cards and the cards were approved. Even though the names did not match. Changing the wording from "Name has been checked" to "Identity Checked" doesn't quite cut it, in my opinion.
The push to hit up members within their first few hours of joining is an attempt to raise funds, not to make the system safer. Period. It's for money. Sadly, I believe that the same amount of money could be raised by asking for a donation, simply and plainly... but you seem to not want to ask for funds to keep the service ad-free and running... but calling it 'verification' seems to rid you of the guilt in asking for funds.
So, with that, you have my 'real' reason for resigning. If you'd rather I not volunteer at all, I'll understand. I still believe in the spirit and ideals of CouchSurfing and love meeting other surfers and hosts. I do not have to be a volunteer to do that. I will remain on to help other Ambassadors and community members.
I would like to train future ambassadors on how they can best serve the community, our fellow surfers and hosts. I also wish to remain on as a co-coordinator of the CUQs... again, to help my fellow members and ambassadors.
However, I leave that to you. Either way, I'm happy to not have the stress and pressures. I never could fill my predecessors shoes, and 3 replacements will have a difficult time in filling mine. But now that they are all "corporation volunteers" they will fall in line, or lose their 'core volunteer' status, not to mention their housing, food and travel expenses.
Casey, this is to you personally. I believe you have great ideas and a great site here. But I also believe that you have advisors who advise you incorrectly. I believe that they only have their best interests at heart. You have an LT member who actively gropes and fondles females... female volunteers, and female guests. Many, many times we lowly members and volunteers have heard of how he places his genitalia on other volunteers' keyboards. Again, I am not a prude... I'm a sexually positive person and believe sex should be enjoyed -- with a consensual partner! He gets away with it, but it will come back to bite you in the ass. He will grope the wrong person, and there will be a price to pay. Please do not be like the Catholic Church and shuffle this person off to a place where women are traditionally treated like material objects... where his gropes will be just as emotionally damaging, but where the objects of his unwanted advances will probably not speak out due to cultural issues. Don't put a wolf in the chicken coop. You already have one ambassador within walking distance of CS who won't speak out publicly about the things this person has done to her, and in her home. Is this really the best you can do to coordinate/energize your Ambassador corp?
20091201 Ricard Oslo, Norway http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=2125&post=4430165 My resignation as Global Ambassador and Regional Coordinator
20091203 Roy Toronto, Canada http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=2125&post=4446530 Resigning as a CS Amb. Happy surfing...
I'm resigning as a CS Amb.
This hasn't been an easy decision. Firstly, I really like the people on the LT/AST - how can't I? They dedicate all their time to a project I deeply love. And this project has introduced me to people who have changed the direction of my life for the better and made me a better person.
But I have realized lately that I'm not an ambassador for CouchSurfing.org but rather an ambassador for hospitality, transparency, communication, fairness, radical inclusion and living life. CouchSurfing for me represented a collective of people who believed in that. People who believed in respect and equal rights and honour and integrity. People who wanted to make positive change in the world and have fun at the same time. I didn't just want to be a member using a service, I wanted to participate on THAT team.
I don't believe anymore that CouchSurfing is that nor can it ever be that organization that I dreamt it would. The specific incidents are just symptoms. From the mass exodus of the Tech Team in 2007 to the mass exodus of the Global Ambs this year, we have not learnt from our mistakes. And we are all to blame. From the Ambs who basically say "don't worry be happy" to the Brainstormers who are bitter and twisted, and everyone in between. We have failed.
I suspect that some of you are like me. Hoping to stay on as a CS Amb so that you can change things "from the inside". However, I realize now that this is all futile. All I'm doing is being a complicit representative to actions that are against my very nature.
For better or worse, CS is the best hospitality exchange we have right now. I will continue to promote the philosophy of hospitality exchange as a member but I can no longer in good conscience, continue representing this organization as an "ambassador". All I can hope for is something better comes along before it's too late.
Remember: All our actions either bring more light or more darkness into the world.