# Mat's back, blame the monkey

When I put down my mug 18 months ago, I promised I'd stick around, and I did. I've been keeping a distant eye on CR and meta, while remaining in our Rubberducking dev chat, and monitoring posts on both Code Review and Stack Overflow.

Seeing rolfl's resignation and the bleeding of several SE communities' moderator teams over the recent events, and since elected moderators that stepped down in good terms can easily be reinstated without putting too much strain on the SE community team, I offered to step back up and patch the gaping hole left in our moderator team, which has been stretched thin with Simon's departure a couple of months ago.

I do not, in any way, disagree or otherwise disapprove of rolfl's handling of the situation (despite how many times he'd tell me to "just blame the monkey"!). On the other hand, elections take a while to arrange, and the SE community team has plenty on their plate at the moment: my reinstatement as a moderator is likely not a complete solution to what's happening with real-life events in the Code Review moderator team - we will need a bit of time to assess whether an election should be held, but with me getting back on the moderator team now, we get to take urgency out of the equation, and let the dust settle a bit on the SE crisis while we determine whether we're all comfortable with the workload.

I can't just sit here and watch CR's moderator team struggle (thanks, monkey!) while the SE Community team is in full-on crisis mode.

So, I'm back, you'll be seeing me around much more often than in the past 18 months, and you can blame the monkey for that =)

Note: "blame the monkey" is kind of a meme among the CR moderator team, since the 2015 elections... I have absolute, complete and total respect for rolfl, and this blame-game is intended to be nothing more than harmless sarcasm.

• Not that I mind having you back (thanks for stepping up!), but will you be wielding your diamond long term or short term this go around?
– Mast Mod
Oct 10 '19 at 16:15
• @Mast I'm not planning to step down out of the blue, but given my rather low main-site CR activity in the past 18 months, I'm not entirely excluding leaving my spot up for grabs if an election happens to be needed.. so, long-term or short-term, I'm prepared for both. And I'll definitely be shifting my SE activity from mostly-SO back to mostly-CR, even if it might (?) hurt my chances for a renewal of my Microsoft MVP award in 2020. Oct 10 '19 at 16:38
• That's some great news, re-bienvenue! Oct 10 '19 at 18:22

Welcome back, Mathieu, and thanks so much!

As I tried to communicate to Mathieu, that while I hold to my belief that resigning my diamond is, on balance, in my best interests, I know that I have put the mod team and the community as a whole in to a state of turmoil.

As I said to Mat: "I understand your concern about the "appearance" aspect of being "recalled to duty", but that is my fault, and not yours.... you are always free to blame the monkey."

The reality of the turmoil in the wider Stack Exchange community is that many sites are in a much worse state moderation wise than Code Review, and this puts us lower on the priority list for resolving these issues in the short term. I really appreciate that Mat is willing to do this for us. It resolves or mitigates a number of issues that the site is facing.

As Mat says, there is still uncertainty as to where things are going to go from here, whether there will be elections, etc. but I am very confident that the site and community as a whole is in good hands and that the mods can navigate us through the rough patches as needed.

As for me, I'm grateful that "y'all" (gender neutral plural - I think) have been so understanding of my decision to resign, and that I hope that you understand that my reasons have nothing to do with the overwhelmingly positive experiences I normally encounter on Code Review.

For me personally, I think it's fitting that this post (my last as a moderator, I think - not sure when my diamond actually gets removed), is to welcome Mat back in to the team that he was so involved in actually creating. In my opinion, it's where he belongs.

Welcome home, Mathieu, or is that Mat's Mug?

P.S. Who knew, special question for new mods, you cannot start a post with "Hi all"

• Thank you for this post, and everything else. You're everything a moderator should be, and I hope to be at least half as wise as you are. See you around! Oct 10 '19 at 18:47
• Suggestion; can you (or Mathieu) expound on a number of issues that the site is facing in a 'state of the union' type of Meta post? Oct 15 '19 at 11:07
• I was wondering... what is the point of going on strike and asking another person to take your place? Shouldn't a strike cause some kind of suffering, in this case CR? With the replacement your protest is irrelevant. Oct 26 '19 at 8:56
• In Texas, "y'all" is singular -- the plural is "all y'all". :-) Oct 26 '19 at 20:30
• @t3chb0t - this is not about me going "on strike" to make a statement or some such. This is about me protecting myself from a risk that previously was not there. If other moderators are willing to accept that risk then I welcome them to do that. I have no issue with people stepping up to take over if their risk "profile" does not conflict with the role. In my case, the risk profile changed, and it's no longer compatible with my requirements. It's that simple. Oct 26 '19 at 21:20

Thank you for stepping up in our place, Mug Mathieu! I know you will do great!

And thanks for reminding me to blame the monkey, I knew I forgot something when I stepped down as a moderator a few months ago...

• I hope my wording didn't make it sound like I was blaming you for anything... thanks! Oct 11 '19 at 14:05
• @MathieuGuindon Definitely not, it was very clear that you were blaming the monkey and not me :) Oct 11 '19 at 14:08

Thanks for stepping (back) up!

Interestingly, Stackexchange seems to think you were just elected this year:

Although the link goes to the correct page for the election in 2015.

• I noticed that as well; it's now a filed bug report =) Nov 6 '19 at 16:18
• This has been fixed in the meantime Jun 26 '20 at 21:13

Welcome back, I know you'll do as good a job as always!

On the other hand, elections take a while to arrange, and the SE community team has plenty on their plate at the moment [...] we will need a bit of time to assess whether an election should be held, but with me getting back on the moderator team now, we get to take urgency out of the equation, and let the dust settle a bit on the SE crisis while we determine whether we're all comfortable with the workload.

Given the odd situation involving the network as a whole, I can fully back you becoming a Moderator Pro Tempore to keep the site stable. But it seems like, from what you've said, you aren't a Moderator Pro Tempore, but instead a full fledged Moderator. To me, a large part of being a Moderator is being elected by the community. And so I would like to ask:

Could you put yourself up for reelection after the greater SE has stabilized, like Moderator Pro Tempore do when their site graduates?

• I was elected by the community though, and as I did mention in this comment, I am not excluding leaving my spot up for grabs, should elections be needed - to be clear, I don't have to. Oct 11 '19 at 17:19
• Your answer here is making a number of assumptions which are not necessarily correct. While elections are a good barometer of community support, and the SE staff typically follow what's been decided there, it's not uncommon for mods to be elevated outside an election. For example, as much as a year after an election, a "loosing" candidate has been elevated when the mod team successfully petitions SE staff to add more mods. An election is not needed for each mod. Oct 11 '19 at 18:51
• As for whether your answer is rude, or not, that's hard to tell. It's certainly confrontational in the sense that you're challenging the legitimacy of his position, and asserting that Mat should jump through hoops that he's in no way obliged to do, since he's done them before already. Oct 11 '19 at 18:55
• Given the large amount of up-votes on rolfl's comments, it's clear a lot more users disagree than have downvoted on my post. Please downvote my answer if you disagree with my request. Thank you.
– Peilonrayz Mod
Oct 11 '19 at 19:17
• @Peilonrayz FWIW I like and respect you, but I disagree with this request. Mat was duly-elected, and did nothing that would result in revocation of his moderator status. As a result, there's absolutely no reason he should put his position up for election when the time is right. (That said, if Mat wants to, he is free to and I would respect his decision there.) He simply took a long vacation, that's all. I guess my point is, the only thing that changed since his election is his username. Oct 11 '19 at 20:18
• This answer doesn't seem as confrontational to me as it appears to others, I think. This answer doesn't disagree with the premise that Mat should moderate. It starts off with stating he'll probably do a good job. All it does is ask a sensible question. Sure, it has been answered on the main meta. But not everyone reads the entire main meta. How this escalated in the comments is beyond me, but the answer really shouldn't be read as aggressive as some seem to do, IMHO.
– Mast Mod
Oct 11 '19 at 21:55