Most people have the same mix of anticipation and excitement when they place their very first geocache: waiting impatiently for that first ‘found it’ log to come in and discover what the finder had to say about your pride and joy. You might have spent an age deciding on the perfect spot, making a creative cache or researching the history of the area for your description. Then the log comes in:
Is that it? When I started hiding what I felt were clever caches, in nice locations or interesting multis with lots of history, I was severely disappointed when all I got in return was a ‘TFTC’. In fact, I came to loathe that little acronym so much, that I vowed never to use it in my logs, opting instead to type out the full words – thanks for the cache – after endeavouring to say something nice about the cache, the location, or the effort put in.
It’s not the worst thing
As time has gone on, I have come to realise that TFTC is really not the worst log you can receive on your caches. There are far, far worse things that people can write, and I’m not even talking about a full stop (period), or a random letter, or even a space – which looks like a blank log.
I’m talking about unnecessarily mean logs. The old adage, ‘if you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing’, comes to mind. So you hate micro caches in busy urban areas? Then don’t seek it out, find it and log it telling the CO how much you hate their cache. You found dog poo near the cache? That’s unfortunate and all, and by all means let the CO know, but it’s not actually their fault that an irresponsible dog owner decided not to bother cleaning up after their pooch took a dump at GZ.
What ever happened to being polite?
At the end of the day, if cache owners didn’t hide caches, there would be no game for us all to enjoy. The very least a CO deserves for taking the time, effort and money to place a cache for you to find is a simple ‘thanks’ and in geocaching, TFTC can be that thanks.
Without question, you should report a soggy log or possibly dodgy coordinates (small note: 5-10 metres ‘out’ does not substandard coordinates make!), but for the love of all things geocaching, just try to be nice. It won’t kill you, contrary to what some folk might think. After all, it’s not a robot reading your logs, it’s a person. A real person who went to the trouble of placing a cache for you to find and earn another smiley. At worst, the owner could be a child or someone who might inadvertently take the criticism to heart and never hide a cache again.
I don’t want to make it a habit to deliver tirades about stuff that irks me, but this has been in the back of my mind for a while and just writing this post has been somewhat therapeutic.
Finally, for all those people who let negative logs get in on them: take a deep breath, mutter some profanities (optional but really helps me) and move on. Choose to ignore the negativity and instead dwell on the positive logs you receive. Most people appreciate your cache ownership so TFTC!
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