Wednesday, February 7, 2007

A Dreaded Realization

Please excuse the rant if that is what this becomes. I am simply bothered, perhaps needlessly, but probably not needlessly. I hope someone finds this blog and reads it so they aren't taken in by what I'm about to describe. I name no names and I quote no materials intentionally. If you're the one perpetrating the scam described below just stop. You are abusing people's trust and stealing their money.

It pains me to find a course called "SL Master Jeweler Career" course in SL that isn't led by a master jeweler. I know of only two in SL and I am neither of them, but my work is passable and respected by those masters I look up to.

A friend IM'd me because she was having issues with some of the terminology they're using. They are teaching "snap to grid" (in a "master's" course!?! Get real!). My dear friend had points take off her score because the jewelry box she made didn't have a script to open the box. More points were docked because her logo wasn't up to par. Puhlease! What does any of this have to do with becoming a master jeweler? Master marketer, perhaps, but it is so far away from being relevant to being a master jeweler that it's ridiculously insane.

But how would the uninitiated know this?

The syllabus ranks the levels of jewelers as Apprentice, Journeyman, Master, Black Belt. Uh... there is no such thing as a "Black Belt". Either one is a master or not, and Master doesn't follow Journeyman. Expert might, but Master is above that level.

But how would the uninitiated know this?

So I had to go see the store of the instructor, whose name I had never heard of. I kid you not, I was dropped into the middle of a store with most work containing fewer than 20 prims, heavily textured and extreme bling scripts galore. I felt my gut wrench.

Not all the work in the store is by the instructor. Some students have displayed work as well. Looking around I rated all the abilities and came up with "Beginner" to describe the majority of the store owner's (the Master class instructor, mind you) work and "Intermediate" for the work of one or two of the students. For $500 per two hour block of class they're giving out "Master Trained Seal" certification... for beginner to intermediate level skill?

But how would the uninitiated know this?

I teleported a dear and knowledgeable friend over and showed her the syllabus. She looked around and was as flabbergasted as I. Guess what she said to me...

"Do you see now why you have to market, Random? People don't know any better than this."

Resignation. I had to, in the face of obvious fraud and deception, admit she is exactly right.

We shall see where this goes. I don't now yet. But I do know someone has to do something. There are way too many people being scammed, misinformed, and dispossessed of thousands of their linden dollars.


Taffy Allandale said...

Hubba, Hubba! I am aghast and amazed at what people will do next! Words defy how I feel at what you've told us, Mr. Calliope.

I support you in whatever you need to do to combat this scam be perpetrated to the good residents of SL.

Reputable Jewelers Unite!

Random Calliope said...

I have to add to this now; some months later, because the solution is about to come to pass.

If you do a search for Second Life Master Jewelers you will find many instances of individuals who graduated from the course I describe above and are now using the "Certified Master Jeweler" tag on their names to further business agendas. Their customers don't realize it means they went to a beginner course and they are not master jewelers at all.

Both the customers and the frauds will know very soon.

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Anonymous said...

Hi there Random! I think your stuff is just sooo amazing! So I just thought you should know things are still like this with so called Master Jewelers. If you ever join the Jewelers of SL group you'll definitely see tons of group chat with so called Master Jewelers talking big about how wonderful they are and how many classes they are teaching and on and on. But if you go look at their stores - of the master jewelers, instructors and course founders - you'll see many of them are still pretty much beginner to intermediate! It is so sad that these people are teaching courses when they can't even get their own textures to look right or prims to line up! Well so, just thought you and whoever else reads your post should know it's still going on. Only now the courses cost many L$1000's. So be careful people! Don't be tricked! Research your instructors and if you don't think their work is what you think as master jeweler work, go find someone else!