Joe: You did a great job!



#2

Joe Rigdon is a man I respect

In April I was searching for someone to repair my ailing HP-33c and HP-15c calculators.

When I contacted HP, they offered no help (my calculators were too "vintage"). So I searched the web-- and that's when I "found" this place.

I scanned the Forum, and a particular person seemed to be one many of you counted on when repair advice was needed-- Joe Rigdon. I emailed him, asking if he could repair my 33c. He replied that he would take a look at it, but I might have to be patient.

I sent off both calculators to him, with a note that Joe could contact me once he knew how involved the repairs would be. (I figured they were likely beyond hope-- the 15c had been mashed and dropped from my shirt pocket a few too many times. I had loaned the 33c to my sister, who had put alkaline batteries in it and then brought it back to me, dead. She is still embarassed about this). Sending off the calculators, I hoped one of them could be resurrected, but I did not know.

In the meantime, this Forum and the MoHPC site in general have become a valuable resource. It has become a regular stop for me (thanks Dave, the Daily View is a marvelous plus).

And then, I waited for word from Joe. But, as I checked in occasionally to the MoHPC Forum, I became concerned: a thread had been started by someone asking if Joe might be a "crook". Ooops-- I had sent my precious calculators... I steeled myself to the fact that, broken, I hadn't been able to use them anyway, so I had little to lose.

Happily, the response to the thread was overwhelmingly in defense of Joe Rigdon. Names I knew from reading the Forum and archives praised him and pointed to many happy repair stories. The testimonies were recent, real and positive. It restored my confidence enough that I felt no need to become any less patient.

Joe determined, in a post to the Forum replying to that painful thread, that he would no longer repair calculators for others. Joe could then have chosen to send back my calculators unrepaired. I would have been disappointed had that happened, but not disappointed in Joe. I did not contact Joe; I figured Joe would decide what to do about me in due time.

Joe did. He repaired both calculators, contacted me by email to tell me they were done, and estimated such a low price, I am sure that it did not really cover the time involved to deal with them. I was happy to send him a check, and thrilled to get two beautifully WORKING machines back (I suspect he cleaned them, too, they look too good).

I wrote to thank him, but I really wanted to know: was he just "wrapping up" his pending commitments, or had he changed his mind and was he open to repairing calculators for others again? I told him that I would be happy to announce his return to the repair business, if he would say yes.

He hasn't replied to my letter after several weeks, which I can only take to mean that, for now, he does not wish to change the way things stand. It's his option.

I can certainly understand his reluctance. Why commit to a position, especially where the gain is small, but the responsibility large and the potential good-will of years endangered every time you agree to take a look at somebody's machine?

Regardless, I want to report to the Forum, and to anyone who happens in, that I have the utmost respect for Joe Rigdon, and for all his work for the user community.

He did a marvellous job for me, coming through when I needed help. He was doing for me exactly the same as I know he has done for many of you: taking on those repairs we don't relish, using his experience and troubleshooting expertise to aid folks who have orphaned machines and therefore few options.

It's sad if someone who cares and contributes his expertise is ever lost to the community. Talented people love to do what they do, but should never be taken for granted.

I wanted to write an antidote thread to the one I saw from another user. There IS no proper antidote. You must decide in your minds what is right. While I could state my opinion about the use of public pressure/guilt/shame to achieve a particular goal, it is by now obvious to at least a few of you that such tactics sometimes have unintended or undesirable consequences. Pressing emotional buttons can sometimes be effective, true; but people are not machines, and so they may find a conditional branch you didn't see in the listing....

I hope I get to meet Joe in person someday. From his web pages, from my dealings with him, from his responses to threads, and from the things others have related, he's clearly a knowledgeable enthusiast with a love for these machines, and a talent for understanding them and even bringing them to "life" again. My hat's off to Joe Rigdon, and he has my respect, thanks and deepest appreciation.

Joe, you did a great job!


#3

would you like a long list of those collectors with opposing viewpoints?


#4

If you're going to post messages like that, then be a man and post your name and email address.

#5

My, Grandma... what big Teeth you have....

Hmm, Mr. Tired Of Waiting, interesting question, if it WAS one. ;-)

You see, I recounted my story to MoHPC both to express my satisfaction publically (I had already done so privately), and to inform Forum members of my particular positive experience, in light of an existing thread which had affected me.

This is something I would generally encourage all Forum members to do, when they find someone who helps them, does right by them... an eBay seller that accurately and fairly represents the merchandise, for example (easier than listing all the ones who DON'T).

And I especially feel this Forum exists to share information useful to the commmunity of calculator collectors and enthusiasts... so even negative information is relevant, as long as it is substantiable and reasonable, not a low shot from an "Anonymous Coward" (no slight intended: merely the assignation you get on Slashdot.org and some other places if you don't offer a name with a verifiable email address, Mr. Tired).

I told exactly what happened to ME... which was relevant PRIMARILY because one user, a Mr. Erik Hedegaard, had used the Forum specifically to pressure someone doing work on his behalf. His post had caused some anxiety, and for me, it turned out, needlessly.

He asked the question: "Is Joe Rigdon a crook?", while not really trying to ascertain if there was a REASON to be alarmed: he was busy alarming others-- as he stated in his very first post on the subject: "I know he's been around here for a long time, and probably lots of you have done good repeat business with him. But I won't use him again, never again. In the beginning, I sent him business from other people, too, and now I deeply regret it. It just really upsets me. I don't like being lied to. And I miss my calculators. Does anyone know what Rigdon's problem is? Damn, I'm upset!" And reasoning didn't, indeed, reach Mr. Hedegaard. Nothing but his EXPECTED outcome would do.

In response to his attempt to play the emotional flute, using public embarrassment for his personal ends, Mr. Hedegaard appears (to me) to be the classic Manipulator, one who tries to get his way by bullying, shaming, and possibly fabricating, all to get his way. He can assert something, assuming that, whether on the defensive or by believing his motives are genuine and his claims have some proof backing them, people will scurry to make him happy.

While Manipulators may often "get their way" in many areas of life (belittling their spouse's perceptions and intelligence, they can cheat and deny; in business, they are expert at impolitic insistent questioning, subtle innuendo and other behind-the-back power tactics to gain power through or over others; their self-importance, impatience and ambition usually masked by an innocent air and their reliance on others to give them the benefit of the doubt)-- in hobbyist circles they only achieve a poor success: people are willing to help only until it becomes clear that the favor is likely unappreciated and will certainly only be met in the future with the glassy stare of indifference or mercenary greed.

While in the process of exhausting the goodwill of his fellow hobbyists, the manipulator will make as much of the information and services he can glean, hoping to be on top of it all and rich from others' labors. As this expectation runs dry, he moves on, perhaps to yet another hobby he has little but commercial interest in.

In the meantime, he will have made it harder for all hobbyists: contributing little himself, he will have driven many who help everyone because of their enthusiasm and amateur interests to smaller and smaller cliques, out of self-protection. He is the classic selfish user; when called upon to contribute, even casually, he answers: "What's in it for ME?"

Now, that is MY perception, and may not always be the case with Mr. Hedegaard... but as I have personally dealt with many in hobbyist circles, certain characteristics seem to afflict a few within them, and the posts available, combined with my own experience with Joe Rigdon, lead me to my conclusions about the goal and character of the poster. Though I had only a small comment in my own post to make about that method as a means of motivating hobbyists, I not only stand behind all my comments, but will extend the same to you, Mr. Tired Of Waiting: your goal and character and method appear to me quite similar to Mr. Hedegaard's, as your chosen nom-de-plume tell quite a story.

As far as anyone asking me, I have had positive dealings with Joe Rigdon, and would recommend him and his work to anyone, and believe his character to be above serious reproach.

But certainly, as for your question: "would you like a long list of those collectors with opposing viewpoints?"-- I would have thought that the length of the list of those responding to Mr. Hedegaard's thread would have included at least some of those already; it didn't, only Mr. Hedegaard himself.

Maybe those collectors simply don't congregate here at MoHPC; or possibly they are comparing notes only by private email, a policy that you apparently eschew (which forces my public response, BTW). Possibly, they know that words, once written, are hard to take back: a knowledge that could possibly have avoided some of the trouble I see in Mr. Hedegaard's original post, and lead me to assess his motives.

So, looking back in the Forum archives, I have compiled a list of responses who, seemingly, agree with my assessment of Mr. Rigdon:

Me==> Glynn Harris (grharris@altinet.net)
Iqbal Mohammed (iqbal@tstt.net.tt)
Reinhard Hawel (hawel@teleweb.at)
Gianmaria Porrini (gianmaria@numerica.it)
Frank Knight (fdknight@mindspring.com)
Dave the "Lostrabbit" (lostrabbit@webtv.net)
Matt (lanrek@attglobal.net)

Now, the responses questioning Mr. Rigdon's reputation:

Erik Hedegaard (floete@aol.com)

To which I guess I can add:
You==> Mr. Tired Of Waiting (.............)

But, yes, Mr. Waiting, if you have something to add beyond what has been written previously in the Forum regarding a groundswell of dissatisfaction, feel free to expose yourself.

In other words, I welcome your response as much as I hope to hear from others in this Forum on the subject. Fish or cut bait, Mr. Tired Of Waiting. That way we can judge for ourselves, not swim in the cesspool of innuendo your question exudes.

Glynn.


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