New Purgatory Procedure

I’m going to cover this in the meeting, and update the Wiki to match this. I’ve read up on how a couple of other spaces do their Purgatory, and this follows from what they’ve done.

We’ve gotten to the point where huge amounts of stuff aren’t on Purgatory anymore, so it makes sense to go to a finer-grained Purgatory for better turn-around. This doesn’t mean that items are going to be on purgatory any less time, but instead there will be different shelves in different stages. We have five shelves, so there will be about a five-week cycle for stuff on Purgatory. This is longer than the old way, which only guaranteed a one-month cycle, but was played a little loosely, so it wasn’t obvious where a given object stood, and we tended to purge in huge batches, plus there was an unclear window for stuff to be claimed.

Each item goes onto the current week’s shelf. Please do not add items to any other shelf. Each Tuesday the shelves will be cycled. There will be a sign notating which shelf (A-E) is where in the cycle (1-5) - that way we don’t have to move everything every week.

Week 1 (partial week): Goes onto the shelf.
Week 2 (first Tuesday it has been on the shelf): Stays on the shelf.
Week 3: Stays on the shelf.
Week 4: Stays on the shelf.
Week 5: Up for grabs by anyone. On the following Tuesday, everything on this shelf is disposed and it becomes the new Week 1 shelf.

  • There will be a weekly Purgatory thread on the mailing list with a picture of Purgatory as of that Tuesday. This is where all notice with respect to Purgatory will occur.
  • At any time, you may claim any item belonging to you on Purgatory. No notice needed; it’s yours.
  • At any time, a warden or the COO may claim any Hive item that has erroneously ended up in Purgatory and place it back into its rightful place. The wardens or COO should post a notice to this effect on the thread.
  • Any item on the Week 5 shelf may be claimed by anyone at any time. No notice needed.
  • Any item claimed by a member must be either removed from the Hive or placed in that member’s personal storage area. Putting your name on an item and placing it somewhere else in the Hive does not count.
  • Any item that has been placed in Purgatory but has been re-located back into the Hive without COO or area warden approval may be discarded by the wardens or the COO at any time.
  • Dibs may be called by any member for any item at any time by posting on the thread. Each week, the new Purgatory thread will have any “dibs” notices still relevant carried forward. If an item is not claimed by the end of Week 4, the person calling dibs has first crack at the item.
  • Stuff not fitting on a shelf may be placed near Purgatory with a note saying it’s in Purgatory and what shelf it would’ve gone on to.
  • An item may be released by its owner - whether the Hive or a member - for immediate grabs. When it’s added to Purgatory, just post on the thread you’re giving up the item and it’s immediately up for grabs by the first person to claim it. The usual rule about removal or personal storage area applies. If Hive leadership gets rid of stuff (like when Ian and I re-did the server rack), we’ll post on the thread that it’s up for grabs.

I think I’ve covered everything; let me know if I haven’t. As of this Tuesday (tomorrow), everything currently on Purgatory will start in Week 1.

Good work Greg, glad someone took some time to look over this. I guess my only question is what if someone claims something that’s too large for personal storage and wants to use it on a project? Sometimes things are larger than personal storage allows. Do we have an official large project policy?


Looks good. My only concern is with “dibs”. I have had to reclaim hive items from purgatory a number of times and place them back in the electronics area. At one point, one of these items had a “dibs” post-it on it. It was disappointing to the person expecting free stuff that the items were actually inventory. There was no disagreement or argument in this case, but I can see disagreements coming up in a similar situation.

Maybe “dibs” should be reserved for final week on purgatory only? At that point plenty of time is given tension-free to the owners and the wardens to figure it out.

Also, could we move the purgatory shelf somewhere else? It’s ugly and the dead center of the space is not the best place for “here’s our collection of unclaimed junk”. Doesn’t make us look too good.


Coy: These procedures were only intended to cover what’s in Purgatory. There are currently procedures in the Member Storage section of the Wiki ( covering storage of things too big for the shelves - basically it’s “COO’s discretion” right now. Once we get Purgatory running smoothly with this new method, that might be what I tackle next procedure-wise. I was sort of waiting for the new space to get settled down so we see what we have for open space after everything’s set.

Lorin: Once something’s on the final week, it’s past dibs - it’s free to the first person to grab it. The whole point of calling “dibs” is as soon as it’s spent the requisite time in Purgatory, you get first crack at it. I’m still trying to think of a good way to deal with it. My initial thought is it now is considered to belong to the person claiming dibs and gets kicked back a week or two in the process, and once it hits the last week again, dibs is off and it’s fair game to anyone. All that being said, I would like to re-iterate that dibs does not guarantee that the person calling dibs gets the item.

Also, I’m up for moving it - I just don’t know where. I do like that it’s in a high-traffic area, so people get a chance to see what’s on it.

I just meant to suggest that there should be a dibs-free period of 2 weeks to mitigate frustrations, and also improve window shopping opportunity.