About a year ago I visited Torley's Watermelon paradise, when a female avatar dropped on my head. Immersionist that I sometimes am, I said "ouch", and that was the opener for what must have been nearly 3 hours of talk. Turned out she was fairly new, didn't have a clue and since she skipped orientation island was weak on the controls. I taught her the basics, gave her a couple of freebies and some cash, and we generally chatted along about what is ossible in SL. As I had to go, we said goodbye - uncharacteristically she did NOT issue a friendship offer. I put "Newbie help" in the "My Comments" section of her profile and logged off.
The story could have ended here.
Last night I was delighted to manually find the entrace to the "Super Secret Sewer area" at Silent Sparrow, where hyasynth Tiramisu is retiring some of her old outfit. Happily I announce to the small crowd "I found it", when a kid avi wide exed stared at me and asked me if I know a certain avatar. The name she said rang a bell, I looked the profile up in Search and, sure enough, there was "Newbie help" in the comments section. Turns out that kid avi was said avatar. She changed her account once in the meantime, but for over a year she hoped to run into me again, to say thank you. We talked in open chat and I was a litte bit embarrassed since she painted my picture in the brightest colors, but she said I was the person that really made the difference to her first days.
I usually make it a point to help newbies who are halfway polite. This amount of gratitude after a year really made up for all the jerks I ecountered in the meantime. Go out! Help a newbie today! The first days are so critical, and you don't know what gifted designer, artist, entrepreneur or just good person SL might lose only because she/he made bad experiences in those critical days. We all started - and we all neded help. Help a newbie today!