I'm taking a "break" from this site.

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by ecteach, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Time out room! That's genius! Lets set it up so that if your post gets x number of reports, you are sent to time out. Then everyone in there can fight and argue with each other! The rest of us can just sit back and watch, like an online rubber room with observation windows.
     
  2. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    There is a lot of leeway allowed in these boards. I, personally, only unapproved posts in which the poster personally insults another member. I close threads when an argument has become repetitive. Both of these decisions can be overridden by another moderator or the site owner (and that wouldn't bother me). There are some threads I avoid unless I am alerted to a problem. There are some members I avoid, too.

    It wouldn't be a public forum if we all agreed on everything. What one person might see as bullying, another will see as strongly worded argument. Moderators use their best judgment but tend toward a laissez-faire approach. Mods, of their own accord, cannot ban members. We don't even unapproved threads that seriously irk us; we try to be impartial. It might not seem that way to some members, but so be it.

    Mods appreciate receiving reported threads. We act as quickly as possible when we think it is necessary. Again, we err on the side of least intervention. As we see even in this thread, one person's 'bullying' is another person's 'strong viewpoints'. If you don't like a member's posts, simply 'ignore' them. (You may need to sign out and resign in for it to take effect.)

    Some people seem to want to continue to make their points over and over again, perhaps seeking confirmation from somebody in cyberspace. But, that is not very effective in doing anything but annoying others.
     
  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I think I remember that... assuming I remember correct, you were dealing with a user that... to keep it appropriate, I'll just say me and that user don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, and I sometimes question that user's purpose for being here.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    How often do you see the case where it is obvious that someone misunderstand the intent of another poster? Quite often. How often do you see a member apologize? Rather rarely. Lots of us seem to get stuck in our own takes. Live and let live. Take what you can use and leave the rest.
     
  5. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Ok, now to be serious:

    1. I agree that a tough skin is necessary to participate in anything online. Three words-let it go.

    2. I think that "bullying" is thrown around so often that it begins to lose its meaning. Disagreement does not equal bullying.

    3. Numerous people have called for "banning" members who are obnoxious. That would be great, but those obnoxious members have nothing better to do than rejoin under different names, so that method does not work. So why ban them and have to go through the identification pain-in-the-butt process? Keep your enemies closer.

    4. If you have a problem with my use of the word "enemies" in number 3, see number 1.

    5. I am acquainted with several of the moderators other than in this forum. They are stand-up, honest, hard-working people who do the best they can. If you are feeling picked on, in more than one post and by more than one mod, ask yourself-what's the common denominator?

    6. If you have a problem with number 5, see numbers 1 and 2.
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Feb 16, 2014

    I have a woman at work that reminds us every once in awhile to Q-TIP...Quit Taking It Personally.
     
  7. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Yeah, there is a multiple log in trip indicator. IP addresses are logged. ;)
    Some may slip through if they know how to bounce around IP's but sooner or later their true self comes out and we figure out who it is. We also have to play super sleuth! LOL
     
  8. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I think this is where the problem lies. Some people just don't know when to stop & others feel like they have to defend their stance.

    I agree that the word bully gets used a lot, but when people are intentionally bringing stuff up to "poke" you than your instinct is to defend...that's where the bullying comes in.

    I know I too took a break because this site has changed a lot... but with that said... I just don't respond to as many or I'll PM if I want to say something to someone where it won't get torn to pieces!
     
  9. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Feb 16, 2014

    This thread is very entertaining. I have taken breaks, not because of anyone her, but because my circumstances had changed. I hate when someone takes a break because of others. There are several points that I must agree with.

    1. Sorry that the original poster feels she has to leave because she used a choice of words that someone disagree with. She was using a metaphor and others took it overboard. Remember, this is my opinion.

    2. I too think that bullying is a strong word, but if you feel like you are being bullied, simply walk away. We are online.

    3. Someone stated that a forum is a form of entertainment and when we don't like our entertainment, we don't attend, watch, or read anymore.

    4. AtoZ is a place most of us come for encouragement and assistance with becoming or remaining effective teachers. This is a safe place for most of us.

    To the OP, I hope that your break won't be long and if it is best wishes in all your endeavors.
     
  10. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Feb 16, 2014

    I've taken short breaks before, but I haven't left yet because the positive people still outnumber the negative people. I have been personally attacked on here, as have many of us, and by the same couple of members. Usually I just laugh it off because it's so ridiculous what people do when they can hide behind a screen, but sometimes it really does get incredibly mean and over the top.

    It really is the nature of the internet, though. I actually left a forum about cats (I am a crazy cat lady, no big deal) because the other members were SO incredibly rude and hostile about what food you should be feeding your cats. So it is everywhere, not just AtoZ. I have learned to just never comment on anything with a political slant, or on any threads where certain users are present (or will be present...it's easy to tell when they will show up). It works for me, for the most part. I haven't yet figured out what to do about the super innocent threads that take strange, negative turns...
     
  11. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    I don't have a problem with anyone here but I am not a regular poster. But I do have a problem with something even I have used, that I regret. It is this:

    :dizzy:

    I feel like this icon is used a lot to show one's opinion of someone's thoughts or actions on the forum. Maybe it is just me, but I find it hurtful. When it is used to describe some coworker who isn't on this site fine, but many use it almost as a judging icon. I know I have and wish I didn't. Maybe it is because I used it that now I feel bad and cringe when I see it.
     
  12. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Wow, that's an interesting observation, Sue. Usually I save that icon for when I'm overwhelmed and my head is spinning. However, I can totally see how it can be used in the same way that icon slamming its head against a brick wall can be used. That's one I use sparingly and have been known to delete. That and the icon beating of the dead horse.

    I'm a people pleaser and genuinely like just about everyone here, even if our opinions differ. However, I will report abject cruel posts between members while remaining outside of the fray, the same way I report spammers without egging them on.
     
  13. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    To the poster above ... this thread has been interesting AND entertaining .... But I must say it's too bad more Male Members haven't chimed in???

    Wouldn't it be interesting to see how the typical man feels about "bullying" and taking "time out?" ...... (Maybe not .... :lol:)

    Anyway just a a side note ...... why is it that 99.99 percent of all posts on all threads are by females??? (Yes, I just made up that number but it's probably not that inaccurate..)

    That's it ........ It's Happy Hour in Colorado ....... and I'm Happy... :hugs:
     
  14. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    A guy's perspective as requested by Major

    I have to agree that the term 'bullying' doesn't fit the behavior pattern that's being described. What I feel is being described are members offering aggressive opinions without considering whether they should offer those opinions. Bullying is targeted behavior between two or more specific parties aimed at degrading someone else and it occurs over a period of time. What this appears to be is the barest edge of trolling.

    I would hope that the issue being raised here reaches those that perpetuate the cycle. I would hope that they would write with consideration, then read what they've said before they click post. It's really that simple.

    I read earlier and several times since that some members think that growing a thicker skin is the solution. It is part of the solution but it's not the entire solution. To me this suggests a lessening of sensitivity and that's what causes the problem in the first place. Some don't care so let's encourage everyone to simply not care. Nope, that's not how I was taught to treat others.

    I have to say that from what I'm reading, I get a sense that nothing will be done. There seems to be no interest in correcting the other side of the equation. Maybe that's too tall an order. It's certainly harder to control aggression than it is to tell people to ignore the problem.

    Sensitivity is the issue. The question is how are the staff going to address the issue of fostering more sensitivity? How are the staff going to humanize and validate members who feel attacked? How are staff going to suppress aggressive behaviors?

    I would be very sad if nothing is done.
     
  15. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Securis, very well said. All of it.

    And, using your definition of bullying (with which I agree), I have seen some very aggressive cases of bullying here. As in, one member continually harassing another (same) member, over and over.

    And no, the harasser was NOT one of the special snowflakes we've all been dancing around and not naming in this thread. I've noticed at least one of the more "mature" members HATING on another. I shudder.
     
  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Agreed. Well said, Securis. I had hoped you would provide that response you had previously mentioned. The idea that adults should act like ADULTS shouldn't be a novel one, and I hope that those who regress learn to regret.

    Major, I may not always agree with you, but I ALWAYS appreciate seeing you and your thoughts online.
     
  17. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Growing a thicker skin means not taking others' harsh comments so personal.

    How are we going to deal with validating the ones that think they are being attacked? Don't take their posts personal. They are strangers. Don't take their meanness to heart. Ignore them.

    As for the aggressors. Their posts get muted. They get reminders at times when they continue to be rude.

    If you have any specific ideas, please, share. We want to help all get along on this site.
     
  18. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I agree. I know I have had people apply that smiley to something I have said, and it hurt my feelings. Especially when someone responds with only that smiley and no explanation. I also don't like the winky thumbs up one when it's used in a snarky way, either, especially when used along with someone speaking to me as if I'm a small child instead of a professional adult. If you're going to use a snarky smiley, at least back it up with a reason why you think that what someone said is crazy or silly or dumb or whatever.

    I try to always be nice to people, but I know I sometimes take the bait when someone else has turned snarky or biting. I don't always agree with everyone on here, but I'm working on making sure when I don't agree I either ignore it or disagree with the content of a person's post respectfully without it reflecting on the person.
     
  19. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I'm glad you posted this description, Securis.

    I'm one of the first to agree the term "bullying" gets used FAR too often in our society today; on here, in our school, and in society in general. A disagreeing viewpoint is not bullying. Even if one poster is rude to another, that isn't bullying by itself, unless it becomes a pattern of behavior directed specifically at that person. So I don't consider individual posts, or even individual squabbles between members, to be bullying.

    What I DO consider bullying on here is exactly what you posted; targeted behavior between two or more parties aimed at degrading someone else. I HAVE seen that on here many times since joining 3 years ago.

    Some members simply cannot stand having THEIR viewpoint questioned at all, much less "challenged" by someone else. And a few individuals absolutely DO project an attitude that their viewpoint should not be questioned at all. When it is, one of the most common retorts I see is "Well, if THAT'S how you feel about THIS, I would HATE to see what kind of teacher you really are in the classroom." Even if the topic being discussed has nothing to do with a classroom issue.

    That response IS designed specifically to degrade both the opinion expressed AND the member expressing. And when that response is posted, there are invariably 3-4 other members that immediately chime in to agree with the comment and show their support for their group leader.

    Every one of these posters would fiercely deny they do any such thing, but I've seen it from the very first day I joined here and it has been the same group of members the entire time. Their comments aren't necessarily directed at just one specific member. Rather, they are directed towards ANY members who disagree with any of them, but especially with the default leader of the group. And, no, this is not just my misconception of what is being said. I've had many members send me PM's stating they are actually afraid to disagree with the group leader because of the backlash they feel they will receive.

    So, yes, that IS "bullying" and, yes, it DOES happen on this forum.

    As for the Moderator I mentioned, I've seen the Mod make very sarcastic remarks towards members that are degrading, including the standard "I'd hate to see what kind of teacher you are" comment. And I've seen this Mod make further comments directed at members personally, then close the thread to ensure the members cannot respond back. This is done more on an individual basis and isn't the same level as the group comments listed above. It is more childish than anything, especially the closing of threads to make sure they get the "last word", but it is also an abuse of their power as a Moderator, even if the action IS rather silly.

    So, please understand that I am not talking about normal disagreements when I use the term "bullying" on here. I use it to describe exactly the same behavior you included in your own definition.
     
  20. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Feb 16, 2014

    Thanks Cat ..... :hugs:
     
  21. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I almost always use :dizzy: and :banghead: to describe my school or my director. :cool:

    I'll go ahead and throw in my opinion just for kicks and giggles. I find that this forum likes debate. They like controversial topics. And there's nothing wrong with it, I enjoy it from time to time. But guess what, when you talk about controversial topics you're going to get into heated arguments! That's how it is. I've never seen such crazy topics posted on my other forums. There's one specific thread I remember was started (won't name it so as to not call out that member) but I was like "are you SERIOUS?" I mean it seemed like the only goal of this person was for people to come and argue. It was totally bait. And it worked. I've learned to stay away from those posts. I've learned that I mostly need to stick to education on this forum as many members and I don't mesh well, which is life. I've also learned to take my time away from the site when I need to. No fanfare needed. I've also gotten a lot of GREAT educational ideas from this forum. Which is why, despite the insane topics that occasionally get posted here, I will stick around. :)
     
  22. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Some observations:

    1. The report feature is underused. We can do more with a reported post that names names and specific posts than we can do with a generalized thread like this. Sometimes we need a paper trail to do something, and a thread like this doesn't give us one.

    2. Just because one moderator was the last person to post, doesn't mean that she was the moderator who actually closed the thread. Sometimes I post before closing a thread, sometimes I don't, and I know of at least one time where I've closed a thread where another moderator was the last person to post. I've also unapproved posts by mods and had my own posts unapproved.

    3. Speaking of unapproved/deleted posts: the general membership doesn't see when a post has been removed. To a non-moderator, the posts simply disappear. There's nothing to indicate that there was ever a post there. I see a lot of "well, you let this person continue to post" complaints. That might be, but it also might be the case that we've removed many, many posts that you're not aware of.

    4. Again, we're all volunteers. Sometimes, life happens. Recently, I had to disappear for a while, leaving this entire forum moderated by only 4 people, as at least one other moderator was gone as well.

    5. I personally have spent hours tracking down ip addresses and back-tracing particularly troublesome users to prove that multiple usernames were, in fact, the same person. I also spend time that I should be spending with my kids, my dogs, my friends, etc babysitting this site. Really, how many of you would be willing to check your phone in the middle of a major festival in Key West, or while in a viewing boat (that you paid over $100 to be on) watching powerboat races, because you got a text message from a user who happens to have your phone number and you decided to take a few moments to deal with it? This is a significant personal sacrifice for us. We do the best we can. Do we sometimes fail to make the best decision or fail to address something fast enough? Sure. It's going to happen. We're human and we have lives, so we can' be here 24/7. But we try. Again, that's what the report feature is for, and going back to the first point, it really is under-utilized.
     
  23. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Mm, we so appreciate the work you do! Wonderful post!
     
  24. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    My two cents:
    -The mods do a good job. I don't see a lot of bias or favoritism happening. If someone feels that they are being 'picked on', I think that you need to truly reflect on your posts. Maybe the tone or word choice makes a post sound differently than intended.
    - As Securis mention, I don't think bullying is really the problem. I think it is a difference of opinion. There are many vocal members who tend to overpower conversations at times. Or they like to stir the pot. I just take their posts with a grain of salt- if I read them at all. There are at least a dozen users whose posts I skip over regularly. On the flip side, there are at least 5x as many posters whose posts I look forward to. You have to take the good with the bad. Luckily, we are online, so they are pretty easy to ignore.
     
  25. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    What it boils down to is that there is no black and white decision (unless it's spam! lol) This board consists of a very wide and varied group. What is offensive to one is everyday average to another. We have to fiind the fine line between those. We also have to follow forum policies. There have been many posts and many posters that I personally found rude and offensive. However, they really weren't breaking the rules. Removing their posts, just because I didn't like them isn't what I'm here for.
    If there are posters that you know push your buttons, please put them on ignore. Don't read threads they start, and if you see something from them that you feel breaks forum policy, report it. The first thing I do, after logging in, is check reported posts. I can't tell you how many times I've seen threads like this, where members were complaining about someone, and not a single post had been reported (well, except the one who was being complained about who reported the complaining). Also, don't assume, that just because a post is reported that it will be removed. Sometimes we have to leave it because it doesn't break the rules, and sometimes we contact the poster through PM to try and convince them to "lighten up".
    I agree that the feeling on this forum has changed. I'd like to believe that it's growing pains and that things will get better. It will take all of us making a concentrated effort to make that change. Before you blast off a repsonse to someone, look at what you just typed. Could it be construed as rude or ugly? When you read someone's post, remember, you are reading words, not emotions. It's hard to get the emotion from the words. And sometimes it's just better to walk away.
    I had a professor who gave us all prinouts of this quote:
    I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.

    George Bernard Shaw
     
  26. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    This board is VERY tame and level-headed compared to many I've been on... just sayin'... could be worse. :p
     
  27. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    As far as I know, these things are not within the role of 'staff' on this site. Mods aren't staff, anyway. Nope, we are just going to let the members make of these suggestions what they will and continue to unapproved posts that break the forum rules. That's it.

    I do agree with the point someone brought up about people offering opinions when none are warranted. It isn't too hard to figure out when someone is asking for advice or when that person merely wants commiseration. Use a little of that inference we teach kids about - your opinions and solutions are not always necessary - even when you think the poster needs them.
     
  28. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    ICAM. I am a member of a very popular soap opera forum and it can get very nasty there with all types of personal attacks, even though we are arguing over fictional characters.:lol:

    We soap fans are very loyal to and protective of our favorite characters, couples and storylines. :D
     
  29. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    That is so funny, Go Blue.
     
  30. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I must pick great boards. I'm active on three and all are very mild and tame with great mods!

    One board the mods have a separate username just for moderating. It helps cut down on the so and so hates me.
     
  31. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I gotta say, this is by far the rowdiest board I participate on! Guess I go to mainly calm ones :)
     
  32. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Feb 17, 2014

     
  33. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    So be it. I couldn't disagree more.
     
  34. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Christy, you are so right. The other day someone said something that I found very offensive. I wrote this long post and thought about the topic of the thread and decided my post had nothing to with the topic. It was then that I deleted what I had written and responded to the topic.
     
  35. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    It's hard to do sometimes, isn't it DHE?:) sometimes my tongue hurts from biting it.
     
  36. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I get what you mean but mods are volunteers who have real lives. They do an awesome job and they can only do so much.

    Members need to do their part if they want a quality form.
     
  37. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Christy, yes it is. Especially since I have to say that I am a smart mouth and very often let others know how I feel. That is something that I pray about often and would like to improve.

    To all the moderators, thanks for volunteering your time to make this site one of my favorite "places" to visit.
     
  38. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 17, 2014

    I agree.
     
  39. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Haha... they are it's funny to read some of them!!!
     
  40. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    GH (and Y&R) are my favorite soaps; I've been watching both for over 10 years and feel like I know the characters so well, that I can get very ... enthusiastic ... when discussing them.
     

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