Wednesday, December 13, 2006

So That's What Revert Land Does!

Written 13 December, 2006

My Volcano

XIV: So That’s What Revert Land Does!





Yesterday, I came home for lunch. It wasn’t that I wanted to save money, or was even particularly hungry. Rather, I was anxious to tweak the beautiful waterfall I had put in and put more fish and plants in the river and ocean areas.

When I logged in, I got delayed IM messages from Exuberance and Patrice the terraformer; Xubi had lowered the house a bit and Patrice had touched up the land at the edge of the house. They were offline and so out of reach.

My underwater house might have a little sand in it, Patrice said; I could dig it out. Xubi merely wanted to make sure the main part of the house wasn’t intruding into the underwater section.

It was, but not badly.

I thought the ground around the edge of the house was a bit lumpy, so I began to flatten and smooth it. That put the area I was working on beneath sea level.

One thing led to another, and soon the shoreline was messed up. Before I knew it, I had altered the shape of the mountain. The more I worked on it, the worse it looked.

Finally, in frustration, I selected revert land. I wasn’t sure just what that would do, but by that time I really didn’t care. I hit revert and watched the mountain change shape. Then I hit it again and again, until the land had been restored to its condition at the time of purchase.

It made me sick.

The thing was, just the night before, I had congratulated myself, telling myself the terraforming was officially completed. I had begun to landscape, building a beautiful waterfall edged by a screen of bamboo, and placing an octopus, two sharks, more than a dozen fish, and assorted plants and sea creatures under the water of the ocean and the river. Now, with the ground reverted, the fish were buried deep underground and out of reach.

I chose About Land and ticked the box that would return all of my objects to my Lost and Found folder. Bam! It was all gone. My skybox and the deck I had worked on for so long, the waterfall, the trees I had placed on the mountainside, the denizens of the deep. Vanished into, I hoped, although it didn’t turn out that way, my inventory.

Unfortunately, more than a dozen paid-for objects didn’t show up—sea creatures mostly. This did not improve my mood.

I IMed Live Help and cleared the cache and rebooted, as instructed. Unfortunately, that didn’t work. None of the objects in my Lost and Found rezzed the missing menagerie.

I set about recreating, as best I could, Patrice’s work, mentally kicking myself all the while. I hollowed out the mountain, excavating below sea level, and shaped beaches and deepened the river and ocean areas. I told myself I would hold off on the excavation for the underwater room until I could coordinate with Xubi.

I was working on the last section of beach when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone fly past. It was, of all people, Patrice.

As you might imagine, I was in a foul, foul mood. I mean, I had wiped out Patrice’s $3800L landscaping job and it was long past time to report back to work in RL. I felt like kicking a wall. The last thing I wanted was for someone—much less Patrice, whose work I had destroyed, and toward whom I was feeling a great deal of guilt—to show up. I just wanted to work on the land.

It wasn’t about Patrice; it was about my stupidity. Still, I was taking it out on others. I was replying reluctantly and sporadically to friends who were asking me how I was doing. I was feeling shame and anger and remorse, and I was—a rare thing for me—incapable of being gracious.

But feeling bad and being frantic to finish the beach line was no excuse for being deliberately impolite, especially to someone as committed to her work as was Patrice. I stopped throwing earth around and told Patrice what I had done.

“I know how serious you are about terraforming,” I told her. “You have a meddling fool for a client.”

She kept saying she was sorry. I repeatedly reassured her that it wasn’t her fault, although of course what she meant she was sorry it had happened, sorry I was upset. It's a girl thing.

Ordinarily, I would have been quick to compliment Patrice on her guerrilla-chic outfit—camo pants, a CCCP shirt, and a beret, but I was too busy with self-blame to work around to it. I’m afraid that despite my best efforts, I was not, at that moment, a particularly pleasant person..

Knowing how I would have felt if had been in Patrice’s shoes, I was astonished to hear from her that she really liked me. It was just what I needed to hear.

Thank you, Patrice. Thank you for your graciousness. Thank you for making a black day better.


Photo: Patrice in commie mode. Note Sam Stork's lava flow in background.


Patrice said...

I love this blog, and not just because of the nice comments about me!

Cheyenne Palisades said...

Thank you, Patrice. You were a real sweetie even while I was screwing up all your hard work.