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VTCobaltblood

Staff Complaint - Senpai Jackboot

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BYOND Key: VTCobaltblood, ParadoxSpace, MoondancerPony, Nursiekitty, Sun Sam, Bygonehero, Aboshehab, Sleepy Wolf
Staff BYOND Key: Senpai Jackboot
Reason for complaint: Complete and utter failure as a manager, as well as a multitude of other things that will be mentioned by other people listed in the byond keys list.
Evidence/logs/etc:
Right, I guess this is the section where I outline the bulk of this.
Until now, I had little to absolutely no issue with Jackboot, and considered him a good acquaintance and a loremaster that I worked under pretty productively. Right now, however, I place absolutely 0 trust in him.
So here's what happened. When I got appointed as a loredev, I got Sleepy and Nursie under my lead, who were both not exactly active. Nursie concerned me especially, and Jackboot suggested to "dedicate her time fully to mod", which I refused because I had some hopes for her.

Spoiler

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Roughly around that time, I opened applications for a third deputy with Jackboot's explicit approval, albeit with a minor remark that it's preferred to transition someone out. Referring to synthlore experience, the current inactivity of my two deputies, and my different timezone which would allow me to process my two deputies' work in my spare time instead of being obligated to have an active discussion, I went on with a third deputy slot anyway, saying I can transition a deputy out later if it's needed.

Spoiler

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Jackboot, as I understand, took it as a promise. Nursie's activity, however, improved considerably, and I was quite satisfied with her work on projects, so I ended up not dismissing her - not seeing any issue whatsoever since the synth lore team also had 3 deputies with nobody getting fired. Jackboot approved the third deputy application personally without a single mention that I must dismiss a deputy - again, I took it as just preference, which I am in my rights to ignore. 
Turns out, it was actually a rule, and a week or so later Jackboot says I have to dismiss someone. Firstly, this is what I got on Saturday.

Spoiler

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Then this happens.

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Jackboot is, in fact, lying here. I have information that this rule was talked about for months.

Spoiler

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When confronted about it, Jackboot lies to me some more.

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Then it just goes downhill from there.

Spoiler

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He forgot

He forgot.

Him forgetting a rule that was discussed for months led to a staff member getting dismissed.

This is outrageous. I was lied to multiple times. I was lied to by omission. And now in the lorewriters chat Jackboot is framing me as a liar, grasping at straws, saying that he expressed the preference for two deputies before. However, saying that there is a preference for two deputies and then approving the third deputy personally is absolutely and completely different to there actually being a pretty hard rule for two deputies only. I am not against the rule, in fact, I am in support of it. What I am against is never telling me the rule even exists, or should I say - that the rule is a rule that I cannot break. 

As I've said before, any of my trust for Jackboot has completely vanished. I do not want to work under a loremaster who outright lies to me. 

Additional remarks: This is not a complaint against this case specifically, moreso a general complaint against Jackboot as a loremaster. Skull told me it's better to make one complaint than several if several people wish to complain about the same person. I am expecting other lore writers, current and former, to post on this as well - the entire team is involved here. This is my part.

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Posted (edited)

While I have nothing concrete to pull from in my history of interactions with Jackboot, (I, subjectively, find his communication skills wanting. Sometimes he will drop a very important sentence, disconnect for 30 minutes, and you're left wondering 'what did he mean by this.' Sometimes he makes weird decisions or statements like prior and either doesn't explain them, or fails to phrase them in a manner that doesn't require further explanation.)
I am very disappointed in how Nursie was handled, fired within a day for a rule that none of us knew existed, wasn't written down prior, and we still aren't aware exactly of the maximum capacity for each staff team. I may not want the 'only two deputies and that's final', but I do understand it. However, I am 100% against it being retroactive. I have personally witnessed Nursie contributing wonderfully to the Skrell lore, and she was very passionate about the species since Loow. The communication recently has been shit.

As well, I believe that the current system we work under has a severe lack of checks and balances. The amount of control we have for a loremaster or even a loredev is nil. I would like the ability to form a VONC (Vote of No Confidence) if required. If our trust in a loremaster or loredev has collectively expired, we have hardly any means to do anything about it.

Edited by ParadoxSpace

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I am just going to say one thing. If you make a particular claim involving "he said she said" then i expect discord logs to be posted so can we go point by point. 

48 minutes ago, ParadoxSpace said:

While I have nothing concrete to pull from in my history of interactions with Jackboot, (I, subjectively, find his communication skills wanting. Sometimes he will drop a very important sentence, disconnect for 30 minutes, and you're left wondering 'what did he mean by this.' Sometimes he makes weird decisions or statements like prior and either doesn't explain them, or fails to phrase them in a manner that doesn't require further explanation.)

Like, here. Logs please. I am not saying you're wrong its just this complaint will spiderweb out of control if we dont nail down specifics. 

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Just now, Garnascus said:

If you make a particular claim involving "he said she said" then i expect discord logs to be posted so can we go point by point. 

I have posted logs. Do you need me to provide them in full?

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4 minutes ago, VTCobaltblood said:

I have posted logs. Do you need me to provide them in full?

oh no sorry i should have said. you posted logs of everything i just want everyone else to follow that example because of the size of this complaint. 

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Posted (edited)

I was informed of skulls decision to limit our deputys on april 11th. I rolled with this, but was going to see if further dialogue could be had, but this was not a guarantee.

You were informed on april 13th and later that it was a possibility that a deputy would be let go. You selected nursie in the beginning and explained it was due to their inactivity.

You knew fully well that you might have to see a deputy go. The wording i used was not firm enough.  In the time between informing you i wanted to see if activity would return. It was my goal to wait see inactivity would diminish to allow an exception to be made. This was not possible, and i asked you once again to choose a deputy to dismiss. You chose nursiekitty and i  agreed with this assessment after assessing her activity on the wiki, lore diary, and other venues.

When you originally got upset with me you said i never informed you and i took you at your word. I wasnt lying; you were gaslighting me, unintentionally. I have a full grasp of the situation now. As the logs show, you knew it was a possibility. I also said it was a preference that someone transitions out when you were speaking to me on April 13th.

Paradox, All lore developers were informed of the new rule. No one aside from the skrell department is being retroactively assailed because we are all at or under 2 deputies. This was a staff announcement. Its unacceptable to say you are not aware of the limit.

 

Vt, the gaffe was not an announcement on april 13th about the rule, due to a large number of factors. But this miscommunication is not acceptable, and therefore, as i outlined to you in your dm, all such policy changes will be announced to staff immediately and more firm language is going to be used.

I understand you personally were satisfied with her activity but its not entirely up to you. You took a gamble that I'd change my mind or that nothing would come of it, and ufortunately i made good on it.

It is still my responsibility to add or remove any lore developer or deputy. I try to give you guys a lot of say in the process but sometimes i cant budge.

Edited by Senpai Jackboot

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Posted (edited)

I want to say, for my side, that I did completely forget about the discussion on deputy caps. When he asked me about skrell deputy applications and I provided an overwhelming approval for Abo based on my own interactions and even citing old conversations with Loow, where Loow said he hoped Abo would become skrell developer after he was gone, I did not remember the conversation about 2 deputy maximums. Among other things that I forgot in this conversation was that when Sleepy stopped being the species maintainer, she had stepped down to deputy. For some reason I did not realize Sleepy was still on the team. I was very enthusiastic about my approval and wanting to bring Abo on board in discussions with Jackboot, though I had suggested we wait a few days and strongly consider all applicants before moving forward to prevent nepotism, advice which he agreed with, but from what I can gather, VT already knew who she wanted. Which is fine and fair! Not putting VT down for that. 

If anyone has any questions for me related to this complaint, I'll be happy to answer them here, but as deputy loremaster I can't help but feel that I am involved and should post in here for how I am related to the complaint.

 

Spoiler

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Log of my conversation with Jackboot on Sunday after he told me Nursie was being dismissed. Jackboot's bits of the discussion not included for having important stuff unrelated to the complaint.

 

Edited by Mofo1995
Added discord log "covering my butt.png"

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10 minutes ago, Senpai Jackboot said:

You knew fully well that you might have to see a deputy go.

No. It's a preference, one broken before by the synth lore team. With how you worded it, and my previous experience, I had no reasons not to ignore it if I felt confident I can wrangle three deputies - which I were.

11 minutes ago, Senpai Jackboot said:

As the logs show, you knew it was a possibility.

Again, I did not know you would force me to do this, again referring to the synth lore team experience.

5 minutes ago, Senpai Jackboot said:

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Indeed, I have attached this to the thread as well. "We can do that later" does not mean "I promise you Nursie will be fired" - which you apparently told to the head admin team. 
And yes, I understand that you are the loremaster and can fire people at your discretion. However, you lied to me by omission while doing so. And then... just lied blatantly. Not to mention, the entire firing thing could be avoided if you literally just told me that a third deputy slot cannot be opened and that I can have only two deputies. The communication and lies here are why I'm making the complaint. Your posts just seem like an attempt to shift as much blame as possible on me.

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Posted (edited)

We havent had 3 synth deputies since kyres became maintainer. Im on mobile but i am pretty sure he became maintainer before april, when the rule was coming into being.

 

There are two synthetic deputies; Drago and Chaos. If they wanted to open a third slot id tell them what i told you - that it was likely to have someone transition out.

 

23 minutes ago, VTCobaltblood said:

Not to mention, the entire firing thing could be avoided if you literally just told me that a third deputy slot cannot be opened and that I can have only two deputies.

I told you that you could open a slot on the preference that someone transitions out. It was your informed decision to open a slot knowing you would be evaulating activities with the possibility of a removal.  As i said you seemed like you took a gamble and it didn't pan out. I apologize that i forced your hand. I should have told you it was a sure thing.

 

I wasn't intentionally lying. I stumbled on the timescales because i was embarrassed after taking you at your word that I never breathed a word to you, and had to quickly sort out the timeline. Now im fully confident on the situation.

Edited by Senpai Jackboot

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I'm surprised the "two deputy" issue didn't come up sooner considering Pegasus, SeniorScore, and I were all human deputies at the same time under Zundy.

Now let's get to the complaint.
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Before I start, I should say I don't have access to much of my interactions with Jackboot as I'm not in the staff discord anymore. In my time as a lore deputy, Jackboot continiously failed to communicate with me and the rest of the human lore team. He also made extremely strange decisions without asking for our input or simply ignoring feedback. For example, I expressed dissent with the idea of Frost returning. Jackboot read my opinions on it and continued on without taking in my feedback. Jackboot also refused to change the initial Earth map despite my compliants with the balance and quality of the map. Much later, he added a new map for Earth: this.

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Yeah, I don't know what happened there but it is one example of Jackboot's poor creative direction. There was also a time I remember where Jackboot suddenly really, really wanted Mars to have retrocars despite it completely conflicting with the established lore and focusing only on that idea for a few days.

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2 minutes ago, Senpai Jackboot said:

@Pegasus do you feel this way above?

Regardless of what Pegasus feels, these are my feelings that I came to from my experiences that I have now put on my complaint.

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Posted (edited)

You talked on behalf of the other human devs. I will counter your points now.

I still support my earth map as a way to reinforce its completely different from the 21st century on every level because no matter what we did armchair geographers would dm or ping everyone in human chat wanting changes because someone wanted a fake country to have different borders.

 

I still support my retro cars. We had no lore for cars. We had a headcanon for everyone. I made a thread proposing styles of of cars in our settings including sleek future cars and flying mobile homes. Sad it didnt go off

Will address rest later.

Edit: I dont know how to respond to criticisms of proposals I made that never went through.

Edited by Senpai Jackboot

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Just now, Senpai Jackboot said:

I still support my earth map as a way to reinforce its completely different from the 21st century on every level

Your first map was essentially Europe with a fractured United Kingdom and everywhere else merged together wherever you felt like,

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and your second map is just upside down. That's not being contrary to human history, its just flipping the image. There is no logical reason for why Earth would suddenly decide to flip their map.

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Im not sure arguing about creative decisions is going to make this complaint more productive. I will refrain from doing so unless asked by the complaint handler. I will focus on the complaints in regards to what you say are management weaknesses.

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Just now, Senpai Jackboot said:

Im not sure arguing about creative decisions is going to make this complaint more productive. I will refrain from doing so unless asked by the complaint handler. I will focus on the complaints in regards to what you say are management weaknesses.

 

4 hours ago, VTCobaltblood said:

Reason for complaint: Complete and utter failure as a manager, as well as a multitude of other things that will be mentioned by other people listed in the byond keys list.

"As well as a multitude of other things that will be mentioned by other people listed in the byond keys list" My compliants are your creative choices and communication. Making poor, illogical creative choices is failure as a lore manager.

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1 hour ago, SamansaChan said:

For example, I expressed dissent with the idea of Frost returning. Jackboot read my opinions on it and continued on without taking in my feedback. Jackboot also refused to change the initial Earth map despite my compliants with the balance and quality of the map. Much later, he added a new map for Earth: this.

To be completely fair this is his prerogative as the loremaster. It seems by your own admission he even read the feedback you gave him he just decided against it. Creative decisions are going to very difficult to place here. It would have to be something egregious and repeating like "JACKBOOT YOU DUMMY YOU KEEP DOING THINGS LITERALLY ALL OF US DONT LIKE". Which if that is the case thats absolutely a valid complaint. 

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Well, I've been asked to respond to this since I've been mentioned. Without commenting on any aspects of this complaint aside from where I have been asked to comment, the topsy-turvy map was approved by me, and I was one of the ones who championed bringing Admiral Frost back along with Zundy. As a side note, I would like to ask why the enforcement of the three deputy rule has not been mentioned until recent as for several months human lore had three deputies: SeniorScore, SamansaChan, and myself. 

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Posted (edited)

As I've said already, the rule was decided upon on April 13th between myself and the other Heads. As far as I am aware after asking Mofo and Alberyk to doublecheck, No one had three deputies when the rule was created. No one was impacted.

The one lore developer who was going to bypass the limit was informed that someone would have to transition out.

No one was given an exception. No one circumvented the rule. No one was allowed to have 3 deputies. The Synthetic team had 3 deputies until, i believe, March. This was before the rule existed.

The rule was not announced to staff for a variety of factors; the most relevant here is no one was opening a third slot after April 11th with the exception of VT, who was informed of the need to transition someone out. The second factor was that because no one was being impacted by it, I was using the time to try to discuss the rule with the other heads of staff.

If hypothetically someone wanted to hire a 3rd deputy, say, Mofo, they would be told the same thing.

Edited by Senpai Jackboot

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Senpai Jackboot said:

As I've said already, the rule was decided upon on April 13th between myself and the other Heads. As far as I am aware after asking Mofo and Alberyk to doublecheck, No one had three deputies when the rule was created. No one was impacted.

The one lore developer who was going to bypass the limit was informed that someone would have to transition out.

Yes, but this gave me a very valid precedent to base my decisions off of when you tell me it's just a preference to transition out deputies. If I'm told there's a preference for two deputies, I can simply refer to previous experience of teams having three, since you did not communicate that the rule was new, nor that it is a rule. I considered the preference to always exist and to be successfully broken by the synth lore team, and you gave me absolutely no reasons to believe otherwise. Which is, again, extremely shitty communication, since you knew that it is a rule, and you, despite of it, personally approved my third slot. My complaint is not, say, about you abusing your power - it's about plain bad management on your side.

What kind of a manager makes me take gambles?

Edited by VTCobaltblood

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Posted (edited)

Right. I'm going to make my post here as an overall complaint of Jackboot being on the loreteam and how he handles his position.

One, I agree with the original post. When I heard of it I felt a bit miffed about it. Having a max of two is fine, but assuming that someone knew that this was a solid rule without it being announced and also assuming that said someone would give up one of their devs without even saying that they had to have two devs after allowing them three- note that you said you preferred which means that they could in fact have three if they wanted- is baloney.

Now for my own complaint against Jackboot which I will provide, hopefully with some images. These are points that stand out to me a lot and something I've been really struggling with a lot and will be broken into two parts.

 

1. Poor leadership: Lets things either bad things sit or fails to let other people know things

2. Poor decision-making: Constantly makes questionable choices I.E. past events he has ran

3. Poor communication: Talking with JB is often very confusing, or outright frustrating where it is sometimes difficult to understand what he's saying, if he understands what is being said, and if what he says is a joke or not because he tends to joke around a lot.

4. Bad prioritization/Personal agenda: Will often push his own species first before making sure that everyone else is taken care of, i.e. Auk'tah full-body prosthetics before Human FBP's.

5. Pushing personal agenda/Overreaching: Often tries to include himself in projects past the point of simply being a head loredev, may attempt to make projects out of things that aren't his or take over.

6. Harassment/Pressuring: Keeps making subtle suggestions or repeatedly peruse something even after being told no, will throw weight around of being head loredev if he doesn't get his way.

7. Poor handling: If under pressure himself, JB seems to become stressed and take it out on others. Ever sense the Auk'tah he's become increasingly short-tempered and this past week has become a bully.

8. Ignores others: Often goes around asking for thoughts on things/critiques/advice/etc. and when someone provides it, will completely ignore it if it's negative or deviates from his original plans.

9. Easily influenced/"manipulated"/too soft: Says yes too often to too much without thinking on if he should or not, either to avoid hurt feelings or because he likes someone.

10. Hypocritical: Fights against things that are contrary to his beliefs without consideration, and then after a bit will turn around and do the same thing but at a ridiculous scale

11. Projects: Always finds some way to insert political views into almost any and every conversation.

12. Lackluster creativity: Subjective as an actual problem, but will consistently and heavily rely on human history instead of attempting to make up fresh or unique scenarios and instead make something bland and predictable.

 

This is a big list and looks harsh, I know. But over time what might seem as a lot of little things build up over time. It's a lot like trying to put together a machine out of little bits of scrap and it will hold together for a time, but after a while it will start to fall apart and you're constantly trying to fix it and keep it together. It's stressful and frustrating.

I stayed up really late to write this into the morning, so if any of this sounds off or if it's poorly worded, feel free to let me know and I'll edit it as I'm not always the best with big things with this. It's very early here for me at the moment. Also feel free to talk about the issues and discuss with me and add your own thoughts too, I prefer to talk things out so everyone can come to an understanding than an argument.

 

2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12
 

Spoiler

 

A lot of this can be seen through several events that have been poorly executed. First and foremost, was the event with the Dream Trials. Everything was going great. Everyone was involved in it, and it felt real. I felt that this was finally the event that would set a good standard to follow. It involved everyone, it had real consequences, the characters were on-edge and weary and grief-stricken. There was conspiracy going around, and everyone was working hard to unravel it. But then, out of the blue, Kalren Halstere showed up and stole the show from everyone else. It was fine of him to make a scene, to make people worry about his odd behavior and start gearing up and prepare to assassinate someone that caused him nothing but grief. What wasn't fine? My character was there, saw solid evidence that shit was about to go down, called the cops which literally swooped down in seconds onto Kalren's house, and yet somehow, miraculously, let them slip away despite there being not a snowball's chance in hell to get into an area where cops should have also already been alerted that there were possible shooters on the loose and murder a character and allow the shooter to survive. Sure, my character was the one to make the petition, but judges are meant to lay down the law and give impact to the situation. A finality. Brutish did a decent job playing a broken man, but the one at fault here is Jackboot for letting it get out of control.

Spoiler

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This was a serious conversation that we were supposed to be having. Take a look and tell me how the hell someone was supposed to escape police with such a high-profile case at stake?

After that, we had the return of Frost. Now, Jackboot wanted Frost to have a whole shipfull of people that he supposedly rescued from raiders and the like by supposedly going to a convention where all the baddies are grouped up at this big get-together to sell people. I highly, highly doubt something like that would ever happen in real life, even if it is the Frontier. Bad guys get away with bad things because they do things on a smaller scale so it's easier to hide and thus keep up their nefarious deeds. Might I add that somehow these were all the missing 238 Alliance citizens as well. That doesn't sound small-scale to me. There was also the fact that Frost was miraculously allowed back into Sol despite being literally everyone's enemy, and was declared as such even by the Sol Alliance itself, somehow named as a hero. Sure, historically there might have been one guy that did bad and returned with captives and called a hero, but this is different. It's in the future, and I don't think people in the future would be dumb enough to not see that Frost was obviously trying to get control again and find himself in the seat of power once more.

But the biggest thing? There was an amount of people on the staff team disagreeing with Jackboot to not allow Frost to return. He wanted an event which was fine and to compensate I offered an alternative where someone from his fleet that wasn't completely banned from Sol because they were just a grunt from the 33rd trying to redeem themselves and their name for the terror they had unwittingly taken part in and regretted, gaining favor and even a seat in power only to later betray everyone and show their true face as a loyalist of Frost and acting on Frost's behalf to execute the man's plans, being their puppet. 100% a better love story than Twilight. Was it considered? No. Jackboot wanted what Jackboot wanted, and he got it.

Spoiler

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Keep in mind, Frost is supposed to be a war criminal, which I believe is a situation where he is to be shot on site. The information I personally stated might not be accurate, but you get the gist of it.

 

The third thing was the way of how the Auk'tah came to be. Unathi. A cold-blooded species that's having troubles with poverty and dealing with nuclear war over 25 years after first contact with humans and has very strong religious beliefs and are a stereotypically stubborn honored-bound society where their exiles are treated harshly. And yet somehow, an exile community lives up near the pole has enough money, education, materials, technology, etc. to make full-body prosthetics, a virtual reality, and an AI that is the avatar of a god all within less than thirty years of being shown such technology and radically changing their religious views. The Si'akh Heresy is a more logical leap for a radical religious change, but making carebear robot Godzillas that can somehow reproduce with one another naturally without using external vats despite the fact that a metal chassis cannot hold a child let alone an egg is not. Let's not forget the fact that there is word that @VUX was more or less pressured into the position despite their reluctance and according to a pastebin that's currently circulating, they never wanted to dev for Unathi at all but rather Synthetics. If you read this Vux, feel free to confirm/deny or just clarify, please. I am just repeating what I was told secondhand. The other bad thing about the Auk'tah is that for some reason they got mechanics in to exist first in-game despite the fact that in human lore, they have existed first. It shows poor prioritization.

 

 

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by Neinbox

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Posted (edited)

Oh my god. It ate the rest of my post. All of my work is gone.

Oh well. It's 7 AM and I have an important lunch at 12. I'll get to the other parts later but right now fuck it. I have more to add that will properly explain shit later about the points but right now I'm cranky because of this.

Edited by Neinbox
REEE

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I would be cautious in slamming creative decisions perceived to have been made by Jackboot as some weren't Jackboots. The map with divided UK was mine for example, as was bringing back Frost by and large. 

By slamming others work you're essentially saying you think Jackboot should've overuled those people whilst simultaneously complaining that he shouldn't be overruling people.

What do you eight want to come of this complaint? Do you want Jackboot to be replaced? 

For my part Jackboot has only ever been flexible and polite. I have twisted his arm many a time and rarely if at all have we come to loggerheads on anything. 

The only thing I do think is an issue was the seemingly ham fisted approach to the deputies which seems to have been a knee jerk reaction to coalfs paste bin rant and other times (that I currently can't remember) where Jackboot seemed to have a knee jerk reaction which negatively impacted the community. 

Personally I'd like to see less knee jerk reactions from Jackboot and a stricter vetting process on new lore developers since they're perceived to be a joke amongst staff and for good reason, what with public tantrums and shitty behaviour. That's not aimed at anyone in particular, I just painting broad strokes. Don't hurt me.

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1 hour ago, Zundy said:

For my part Jackboot has only ever been flexible and polite. I have twisted his arm many a time and rarely if at all have we come to loggerheads on anything. 

That has been my experience as well until now.

1 hour ago, Zundy said:

The only thing I do think is an issue was the seemingly ham fisted approach to the deputies which seems to have been a knee jerk reaction to coalfs paste bin rant and other times (that I currently can't remember) where Jackboot seemed to have a knee jerk reaction which negatively impacted the community. 

The deputies thing is unrelated to what you're talking about. The supposed rule was talked about for months - since April, to be exact. Jackboot did not communicate it to me and allowed me to break it.

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