A.Net Should Say 'Sorry'...

Sat Mar 16, 2002 6:57 am

This comment might be misinterpreted but try and stick with me to the end.

The post by bapilot2b: is a reaction that is not uncommon, particularly regarding photo-rejections. If you read Jason's post, you will see that he has reproduced the rejection e-mail in italics in a moment of anger.

Why is that? You may think he over reacted, then subsequently retracted it when he was prompted.

As I say, it happens a lot and it will keep on happening, particularly from new guys that are experiencing rejections big-time from this website.

Have you felt angry when you got that rejection e-mail?
Anyone who says no is a liar or hasn't got a pulse.
Have any of you given any thought as to why this happens?

Well, I can see it right in front of me on my rejection e-mail.

It's the way the rejection e-mails are constructed. They are written in a defiant and controlling manner and it does not give any reasoning or latitude to the recipient.
It's all very well offering an automated reason for improving a low image quality, but care in offering the advice is needed at a human level.
There are a few simple words missing on the rejection e-mail. They could begin with: I'm very sorry but.....
If you think it's easy to just say no and not expect a bad reaction, then you need guidance.

I'm surprised Johan has not reaslised this yet, especially since he's been getting reactions like this for a few years now. Also, you can see from Johan's answer, he confronted Jason's flame with more defiance. Of course that's natural. It's also noticable that Johan rarely uses his icons to reflect an emotion. It's his website, so why doesn't he use them?

The icons serve an important function because it's written text and there are no vocal sounds or body language to base the context of the message. Another small, but possibly significant problem is that this website's primary language is English. Even though it is my first language, I am very well aware of it's ambiguity.

So, what I'm trying say is this: It's all very well having automated rejection e-mail scripts but they also have to be written in a manner to diffuse anger. That hasn't been done, yet.

I am not a professor of linguistics, just a common guy who occasionally deals in business with customer complaints. Not everybody is good it, but it doesn't take much effort to learn. Some would say it is common sence, but it's easily overlooked if it's not part of your personality.

This is not a flame at Johan, just an awareness. A few minutes of thought appending some diffusing words onto your scripts could save you a lot of greif.

Hope this helps...

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RE: A.Net Should Say 'Sorry'...

Sat Mar 16, 2002 7:22 am

I'd be happy to change the wording of the rejection emails. English is not my native language and that's probably why some of the sentences in there might come across as defiant although they aren't meant to be. The screeners have been a great help in improving the rejection messages but I'm sure there's still a lot that can be done.

Please feel free to suggest alternative phraseology.

Working on the site from morning 'till night that's livin' alright (1997-2007)
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RE: A.Net Should Say 'Sorry'...

Sat Mar 16, 2002 11:47 am

The problem is not the use of English, which is better than many poorly-educated "native" speakers of the language (one of its several varieties, that is!). The problem is that some people interpret not meeting standards as "rejection" of themselves, not the material. I write as one who has received many rejections from the site, as I learn the process of digitizing photos made on film, and also, as someone who has been fortunate enough to get some shots into the database. I've enjoyed the "thrill of victory" and the "agony of defeat". In the process, I've learned, and some of the previous "defeats" are now out there for the world to see.
We've just had the opportunity to see world-class athletes compete at the Winter Olymics. Did they give any medals for fourth-place finishes? Did they worry about the feelings of those placing worse than third? If you're not ready to compete without accepting a reasonable outcome, don't enter the arena. None of us enjoy getting the dreaded "the following photos were not accepted", but that's part of this process, in most cases. In some cases, it's arguable that a rejected photo "should" have been accepted. Given the size of, this is going to happen sometimes. That's life!
If the language needs to be changed to improve communication, fine. I also recognize that many participants are communicating in a foreign language, so that the message needs to be made as plain as possible. On the other hand, I also think that this strengthens the case for clear, concise wording, without emotion. This site has excellent standards for its photos; that way a contributor can be proud when his or her work is admitted. should not be sorry for having and maintaining standards. I hope that this doesn't sound too defiant, because it was not meant that way!
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RE: A.Net Should Say 'Sorry'...

Sat Mar 16, 2002 7:16 pm

I agree. The rejection messages come over as extremely rude. What it basically says (if you're in a bad mood after spending a long time prepping photos only to have them all rejected rejected as 'poor quality' when shots that look inferior to you did make it that same day) is 'go play somewhere else and come back when you can afford a $10K digital SLR and have learned how to use it'.
That's completely different from the message on the upload page that says basically that is for people of all skills and you can use any equipment.
I wish I were flying
Jan Mogren
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RE: A.Net Should Say 'Sorry'...

Sat Mar 16, 2002 7:58 pm

All skills?? Can't find anything suggesting that anywhere!
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RE: A.Net Should Say 'Sorry'...

Sat Mar 16, 2002 8:07 pm

Good thinking Gerry...

I'd be lying if I never said I was annoyed at rejections, but I haven't been angry since, well, a long time ago. Now, even if I get all my shots rejected I realize that they musn't be up to scratch, and there is something more I can do.

But, I think that some people can take the rejection emails the wrong way, but you can't put all the blame on the emails. If you upload 30 photos to the site, when you haven't had much experience with photography or with, then you can't expect to have them all accepted. I think it even states, somewhere, not to upload so many photos at once. If people really paid attention to everything that is written by Johan pre-uploading I think that rejection would be less of a burdon.

One thing that should be put in the email is 'Uploading to is a privaledge, not a right. We are giving our best service that we possibly can, our database cannot be matched by any other aviation website, we have high standards and we aim to keep them, no matter who you are'. Its rude, but you can't let people down gently or they will never learn..


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RE: A.Net Should Say 'Sorry'...

Sat Mar 16, 2002 8:09 pm

Oh, Is there such thing as 'harsh sympathy', if so, I think we should write the email in that sort of tone!!!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

RE: A.Net Should Say 'Sorry'...

Sat Mar 16, 2002 8:32 pm

From, the page all uploaders have to pass through:

6. The photos must be bigger than 800x600 pixels and of high quality. We only accept the very best! On average, one out of four photos uploaded is accepted.

Special Note to new contributors: Our standards are high, and you can expect that your first attempts may not meet the standard, unless you already have a lot of experience with photography and scanning techniques. We therefore strongly suggest that you upload only a few of your very best pictures and wait for the feedback you will recieve before you spend time uploading a large number of pictures. The rejection notices will include the reasons for rejection, and will allow you to identify what needs to be done. We also recommend that you visit the Aviation Photography Forum, where you will find plenty of helpful advice.


I must accept some of the blame for those email messages: Johan asked me over a year ago to take a look at re-wording some of them, but I think I ended up trying to pass off the job onto Gary. But I think the screeners are now perhaps the best group for deciding on what exactly should be said...

RE: A.Net Should Say 'Sorry'...

Sun Mar 17, 2002 8:56 am

Thanks for your comments.


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