Am I out of line here?

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Am I out of line here?

SMichelle SMichelle
Okay, so I had a student request me, and I accepted. I sent a welcoming message, briefly explaining how the mentor program worked, and asking them if they currently had any products that they could review. I got a reply back stating that, yes, this student had quite a few items that they already owned, and could review, but they wanted to know about getting free products.

I wrote back, explaining that I don't like to offer push assignments, especially to students that already have things that they could review. I explained that graduating the mentor program would promote the student to an advanced reviewer, and that they'd be able to select a monthly free assignment (as well as buyout assignments) at that time.

I got back a response which.. well, I don't want to share it directly here, but the response was more or less very angry about the fact that I would not do a push assignment for this student that already said they had items to review.

So... am I out of line for not doing push assignments in cases like this?

I hate offering push assignments. I find that it's a real hassle to find a product that's eligible for a push assignment, and I would feel terrible if a student bailed before completing their assignment.
10/06/2012
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Lildrummrgurl7 Lildrummrgurl7
Quote:
Originally posted by SMichelle
Okay, so I had a student request me, and I accepted. I sent a welcoming message, briefly explaining how the mentor program worked, and asking them if they currently had any products that they could review. I got a reply back stating that, yes, this ...
I'm not a mentor but I wouldn't offer them push assignments in this case. It's kind of clear that they only want a mentor to get the free items. That's not the point of the mentor program.
10/06/2012
Shayla Shayla
sounds like maybe they were just trying to get free products
10/06/2012
Llewey Llewey
I think your position is perfectly fine. Sounds like they're in it for the free toys. The mentor program is meant for improving one's reviewing skills, not free things.
10/06/2012
Kindred Kindred
Many people have come to associate the mentor program with free assignments. If you do not plan on offering free assignments, I would state that clearly in your mentor profile so that prospective students are aware before requesting you as a mentor. Personally, I feel that we're here as mentors to help students and part of that is sometimes helping them pick an appropriate item for them to review. And worrying about whether or not a student bails on an assignment is not our concern. Yes it bothers me too, but it's up to EF to deal with it. If it becomes a problem, EF can change the mentor program.
10/06/2012
js250 js250
It depends. Are their items in the realm of a more difficult item to review? I have had that happen with my students--or items I am not familiar with at all, so we find other items that I can guide them about in the proper review form. If they have items but only want a free item--then we discuss the benefits versus the additional time and effort factors. I will also make them choose an available item, this often changes their mind or at least gives THEM the experience prior to graduating.
10/06/2012
SMichelle SMichelle
Quote:
Originally posted by js250
It depends. Are their items in the realm of a more difficult item to review? I have had that happen with my students--or items I am not familiar with at all, so we find other items that I can guide them about in the proper review form. If they have ...
No -- the items that they have aren't items that I would classify as difficult to review at all. The student sent me a list of over 20 items that they owned from EF -- including basic vibrators, dildos, lubes, and lingerie. Lots of items.

In the end, I ended up cancelling the class. The student told me in no uncertain terms that they didn't want to work with me if I wasn't going to get them free toys, and that was that.
10/06/2012
SMichelle SMichelle
Quote:
Originally posted by Kindred
Many people have come to associate the mentor program with free assignments. If you do not plan on offering free assignments, I would state that clearly in your mentor profile so that prospective students are aware before requesting you as a mentor. ...
A lot of my issue with the push assignment is that they can be really difficult to find. I spent literally hours one day searching for a product that was eligible for a push assignment for a student who had no items to review. In the end, I couldn't find anything, and I told the student to take a look on her own and see what she could come across. The student then spent awhile looking. Finally, that student decided to just purchase her own items --- and I helped her pick out ones that were suitable to her needs.
10/06/2012
Kindred Kindred
Quote:
Originally posted by SMichelle
A lot of my issue with the push assignment is that they can be really difficult to find. I spent literally hours one day searching for a product that was eligible for a push assignment for a student who had no items to review. In the end, I ...
I generally give students the assignment parameters and ask them to look first. I help if they have questions or have difficulty. I agree, it's not an easy task but to me it's part of what being a mentor is about. It also helps to teach students about relative costs for toys and gives them an opportunity to try things that they might otherwise not want to spend their own money on. As I suggested, if you feel it takes you an inordinate amount of time, simply state in your profile that you do not offer free assignments and this will no longer be an issue. But to not offer it simply because a student already owns items doesn't seem completely fair to the student either.
10/06/2012
Virgingasms Virgingasms
Sounds to me that the student was interested in free products, not learning how to be a better reviewer.
10/06/2012
spineyogurt spineyogurt
Hmm thats tough one
10/06/2012
indiglo indiglo
Quote:
Originally posted by Kindred
I generally give students the assignment parameters and ask them to look first. I help if they have questions or have difficulty. I agree, it's not an easy task but to me it's part of what being a mentor is about. It also helps to teach ...
I'm like Kindred, I do not actively look for items for Push Assignments. I tell the student what to look for, and tell them to send me a list. Then I review the list, and send it on for the Push Assignment.

I think, as a mentor, you are allowed to do anything you want. If you want to have certain policies, that is absolutely fine. I also think that if you're going to have certain policies as a mentor you will more than likely encounter students who don't like your policies - it's just to be expected. So perhaps stating those policies in your little blurb about yourself, instead of just in your welcome message might help weed out those who are really looking for free items. In outlining your policies from the get go, maybe you will be able to lessen the number of angry messages you receive.

I feel like Kindred. The mentor program allows for push assignments, so I have no problem with it. I will explain to a student that sometimes it can take a little while to find an item and then get it assigned, so if they want to keep moving forward quickly it will be faster to just review something they already own.
10/06/2012
SaiDiscordia SaiDiscordia
While I am not a mentor, yet (hoping one day to be one) I think that you were completely in the right on this one. When I first came to EF, the first hing I did was look for toys on here that are already a part of my collection to review. It was the perfect way to start learning how to write reviews. They are products I already own and know the inner workings on, I don't have to wait for shipping, and I could bust out quite a few reviews right away. It would have been selfish to ask for a free toy without proving that I am capable of writing a worthy review for it.

Don't second guess your actions, I would have done the same. Kindred does have a good idea of putting something in your class description. Perhaps you could state, "Your first assignment will be a product that you already own and can be found here on EF. IF you do not have any toys that can be reviewed, we can see about the POSSIBILITY of a free toy, nut those are limited, so you may have to PURCHASE your first toy for review." Best wishes.
10/06/2012
TheSinDoll TheSinDoll
I ask students if they already have a product to review because they are probably already familiar with it, given the fact that I might have to put their first review through the ringer. I at least want them to know the product inside and out. They can't do that if it's brand new and have only had it for a week.

You're doing fine SMichelle. Don't second guess. They're learning from you.
10/06/2012
travelnurse travelnurse
Yes SMichelle, it sounds as if they were only doing it for free stuff. I did my first review on a shaving lotion that I owned and then my mentor put in for a push for me. I did own the reflections vibe that I did a review on too. There is no guarantee that you will get free stuff. I received a great inexpensive cock ring from my assignment but that was it. I didn't do it so I could get free stuff off of the bat. I would not take this personally at all and please tell me you let admin know about it!!
10/06/2012
Beck Beck
Humm? I must be one of the few mentors who do push assignments. I have the student do at least one review and work until it's published, then I will do a push assignment. I keep a wish list of available items and go over it weekly. It makes it easier to find something. If there is a hard time finding something, I feel bad and gift the students items.

Anyhow, you aren't wrong. You are entitled to run your class how you wish. But push assignments are part of the incentive for a student to sign up in the first place.
10/06/2012
Neotigress Neotigress
Quote:
Originally posted by SMichelle
Okay, so I had a student request me, and I accepted. I sent a welcoming message, briefly explaining how the mentor program worked, and asking them if they currently had any products that they could review. I got a reply back stating that, yes, this ...
You're never out of line when you have integrity and look to quality. Mentors do a lot of work to make Eden a quality forum and help guide and teach us noobs to the site.

Unfortunately, there will always be a few folks that just want something for nothing. I'm sorry that you bumped up against one of them.

You do great work. Don't stop doing what you do.
10/06/2012
- Kira - - Kira -
I usually do like Beck does. I have them do one review of an item they own/buy and then happily send push assignments to them. To me, coming off the top and saying "how do I get free shit?!" just sounds like you're out to scam the system. The mentor program allows for free assignments, yes, but it should be more about learning than getting things for free. I weed out the "I only want free things" by requiring one self purchased review first.

I've made a few exceptions in the case of someone who is a student or otherwise simply doesn't have funds for a product, though I'll normally first recommend the points system.

The reason I started doing it the way I do is because WAY too many students got an assignment and then flaked out on the class. That pissed me off, so I started the one on your own rule first.
10/06/2012
freud13 freud13
I am not a mentor but I would not offer push assignments either. The point of the mentor program is not to get free assignments but to improve your writing so that you are able to improve your reviews. If a student already has products to do assignments on it makes sense to do those first. If they want free products then they should save up points to get them. I don't think you were out of line at all.
10/06/2012
Ryuson Ryuson
I am usually pretty willing to push assignments, especially when they say something like "I'm a poor college student, and the only toy I've really ever used is this POS bullet I got from a passion party a few years ago. I'd really like to do a push assignment."

If they come out and say that they only want free things I'm MUCH less likely to even really offer them a push.

I keep a wishlist of things that are open for student requests and revise it every few days. It makes me happier, the students happier, and the admins happier because JR doesn't get a list of weird, obscure toys that got discontinued like 10 years ago.
10/06/2012
- Kira - - Kira -
Those of you that make lists: do you mind sharing? I've had students send off four and five lists before and nada. I'd love to start a list of possible items for review.
10/06/2012
SMichelle SMichelle
Quote:
Originally posted by - Kira -
Those of you that make lists: do you mind sharing? I've had students send off four and five lists before and nada. I'd love to start a list of possible items for review.
I'm wondering the same. It's SO hard to find products that are eligible for push assignments -- one of the main reasons I don't.
10/06/2012
mama2007 mama2007
Quote:
Originally posted by SMichelle
Okay, so I had a student request me, and I accepted. I sent a welcoming message, briefly explaining how the mentor program worked, and asking them if they currently had any products that they could review. I got a reply back stating that, yes, this ...
I always ask the students to send me a list from the new additions section that has 0 - 2 reviews and is under $30 in value as links and I'll send them to admin to get 1 approved, and if they have any items at home from Eden that they want to review, I will happily help them with both reviews. It took 5 or 6 sets of links once for a student to finally get one eligible, but thankfully they were patient and understood why and I helped with 2 assignments and they did an excellent job in both, and i graduated them.

I'd specify that you don't do push assignments unless they do not own anything they need to review.
10/10/2012
BrokenChell BrokenChell
Quote:
Originally posted by SMichelle
Okay, so I had a student request me, and I accepted. I sent a welcoming message, briefly explaining how the mentor program worked, and asking them if they currently had any products that they could review. I got a reply back stating that, yes, this ...
I am not a mentor and am totally in need of one, I did however hear back from someone, but to me it sounds like they just want free stuff. Free stuff is awesome everyone loves free stuff but if you are going to be a part of the community, you should be a part fully. And from someone who just bombed their first review, and someone who loves free stuff, I do not want my mentor to just send me off on my way for free points, I want help on improving my review skills, points or not...
10/10/2012
Ansley Ansley
While we allow mentors to teach their students as they see fit, there is one part of the program that remains a constant: offering push assignments.

It's a show of goodwill on Eden's part and the mentor should welcome the opportunity to show off just how great the program really is. By trusting new users and showing them how things work, we develop a tighter-knit community of people who are invested in Eden.

If a student runs off with a product, the assignment is still active. They won't be able to request anything else until it's completed.

It's only fair right? If you are on the forum or reading blogs about EF, the word "free" can be found frequently when referencing the review program. Why wouldn't someone ask about it? Why wouldn't someone want to take advantage of that?

Just because they asked about the push assignments doesn't mean they intend to leave Eden high and dry and assuming such is not very friendly or welcoming.

All mentors should be willing to offer push assignments.
10/11/2012
Red Riding Hood Red Riding Hood
Not out of line at all. I don't even know what a push assignment is, but I would think one should expect to EARN a free product. Not just be given stuff. I don't think it's wrong to expect more before allowing such a thing. I'm glad you stood your ground to be honest. I agree that it is a good thing to offer, but I also feel that a lot of perks of EF are abused. I guess I'm on the fence about it. I can see it being a GOOD thing to offer, but at the same time I can also see why it might concern someone. If you feel that it's being abused, I can understand why one would question the action.
10/12/2012
indiglo indiglo
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
While we allow mentors to teach their students as they see fit, there is one part of the program that remains a constant: offering push assignments.

It's a show of goodwill on Eden's part and the mentor should welcome the opportunity ...
Thanks for jumping in here Stormy. That makes perfect sense to me!
10/12/2012
SMichelle SMichelle
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
While we allow mentors to teach their students as they see fit, there is one part of the program that remains a constant: offering push assignments.

It's a show of goodwill on Eden's part and the mentor should welcome the opportunity ...
I might consider offering more push assignments if there were an easier way to find items that are available for push assignments. As I said above, it takes literally hours to do so for me, and often times even after hours, it's still without any luck at all. I've talked to a few other mentors who have said that they have a hard time finding items that are available for push assignments, too.
10/13/2012
bayosgirl bayosgirl
I'm not sure how I feel about this. What Stormy said makes a lot of sense as far as push assignments being a gesture of goodwill on Eden's part. I also understand the OP's frustration spending a lot of time looking for available items. I think ultimately Mentors should follow Eden's guidelines for the program, and if that requires that push assignments be allowed, I think they should go along with that.
10/13/2012
SMichelle SMichelle
Quote:
Originally posted by bayosgirl
I'm not sure how I feel about this. What Stormy said makes a lot of sense as far as push assignments being a gesture of goodwill on Eden's part. I also understand the OP's frustration spending a lot of time looking for available items. I ...
It's not required that mentors offer them (as far as I know). They are able to be offered, but it's up to each mentor if they wish to.
10/13/2012
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