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Boyd's WS position listed on his blog...

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  • I am astounded at how many people are taking this all way, way too seriously.

    Don't like his terms? Don't work for him. It's a big country, lots of other opportunities out there.

    And frankly, I think this thread is a prime illustration of why that COTH line was there in the first place.

    Go Boyd.

    Comment


    • saje, green thumb plus I have to add that I could not have said it better. Thank you.

      Comment


      • The topic of WS is more than worth discussion.... And as I have said several times, my comments have NOTHING TO DO WITH BOYD... I don't know his terms.

        Tasmin makes many many good points. It's worth reading that post with an open mind.

        My point was pretty simple.... If someone is looking for more than a short internship then the value provided on both sides of the equation needs to be looked at. Working students do provide labor .... And frankly that labor has a real world market value that should be recognized. I NEVER said that valued was more than, equal to, or less than the value provided the trainer. I simply said the value should be factored in.

        Of course there are working students that do not pull their weight. But, there are also just as many trainers that do not provide the benefits they promised. The shortfalls on the trainers side IME range from truly substandard housing, to failure o provide lessons, to truly excessive workloads expectations and I don't mean a 14 hour day....

        Making a WS position work is a two sided proposition.... So some of the professionals here have had poor experiences... But so have many many WS.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Tamsin View Post
          Dear Boyd,

          Sorry to be coming so late to this thread, but maybe you’re still reading. The main problem with your position is that it is directed at such a limited pool of applicants, and probably not those with the most potential for success. Do you really want a “desperately hungry young rider who is committed to a long term working agreement?” I find that hard to believe since your terms ensure that the only people who can work for you are extremely well-fed teenagers or young adults who are totally dependent on Mom and Dad for all of their needs. They probably won’t stay long—they will miss their family, friends and fun times, or college will have to happen. I guess the promising kid from down the road could work out since they could live at home while being your ws. But that’s a really limited applicant pool.

          The best ws prospect would be a talented rider who is independent, responsible, realistic, smart, and mature enough to know that she wants a career in the horse world. She’s willing to work super hard for long hours, but has enough self respect to know that her work has value. (As juststartingout said, being willing to work for nothing just tells everyone that you don’t think you’re worth anything). This kind of person is generally no longer a teenager and she’s not the kind of person who expects endless handouts from her parents. Superior young adults don’t sponge off their parents for everything, yet your position absolutely requires this. You are eliminating the very people you should be trying to attract in favor of young spongers, so it’s no wonder you find that most aren’t suitable. Please be realistic—no matter how hard-working a person is, the cost of your program can’t be covered without begging a ton of money from parents. Riding lessons are excellent and essential, but totally inadequate as a form of compensation if a person is striving to be even semi financially independent.

          If ws truly aren’t valuable to you, then just hire someone to do the extremely hard work for extremely long hours. If they are valuable and you want to attract the best people, make the position at least minimally affordable in a manner typical of other successful ws positions (e.g., see Phyllis Dawson’s program).
          Count me in among the people who find this incredibly presumptuous. You're going to lecture an Olympian on how to run his program? Really? Without knowing what they've tried before and what's worked and what hasn't? I'm guessing a lot of thought went into that ad.

          The Martins appear to be looking for a very specific type of person to be their working student and it isn't one who whines about how this is only available to rich kids and whose first thought isn't "I'll have to get two jobs one summer to afford to do that."

          You know what? The job's available to someone who works hard, develops a plan, and saves up money (maybe over the course of years) so they CAN afford to work for a while for free. Kind of like most professional internships out there (except law school, of course. Holy cats, can you make bank on some of those).

          Since I was the designated internship person in my office (other duties as assigned -- always a killer phrase) for many years, let me let you in on a dirty little secret about hiring for an internship (and likely a WS position): No one gives a shiny rats' ass about what we can do for you. We don't know you, we don't care about you, we're not invested in you. We don't care that our internship will help your career (and it will). We just want someone who will do what needs to be done properly and in a timely manner without prancing around like a diva and broadcasting their discontent all over the internets. Once we know you're a keeper, however, there are very few stones we won't turn to make sure you have an amazing experience.

          Most of the interns I have had were not paid. Most of them spent a LOT of time before the internship saving up money so that they could spend three months in a very expensive city working very hard for free. Only a couple of them (out of about 20 or so) were doing it on Mom and Dad's dime.

          The other thing about internships (and I'd bet WS gigs) is that they are set up for the convenience of the hiring party. No matter how good YOU are (or think you are), in a proper internship or other learning environment you will ALWAYS be getting more than you're giving at first.
          According to the Mayan calendar, the world will not end this week. Please plan your life accordingly.

          Comment


          • Don't people pay for an education usually? This one seems to be some money and a whole lot of sweat equity...
            When I went to Potomac Horse Center back in the day (early 80's), we paid tuition for the privilege of working our butts off in between riding lessons and stable management. Stable management was an hour of lecture and many, many hours of practical experience.
            We paid to groom and tack up horses for their other paying clients who lived locally and came for lessons. We paid money to keep that barn clean and all of the PHC tack.
            I guess I don't see Boyd's position as much different? Sure, it will take a special person, and he is being very upfront about that, I'd imagine he wants to waste as little time as possible on people who are not going to work out.
            I really don't see the big deal.
            We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
            www.dleestudio.com

            Comment


            • Originally posted by loshad View Post
              Count me in among the people who find this incredibly presumptuous. You're going to lecture an Olympian on how to run his program? Really? Without knowing what they've tried before and what's worked and what hasn't? I'm guessing a lot of thought went into that ad.

              The Martins appear to be looking for a very specific type of person to be their working student and it isn't one who whines about how this is only available to rich kids and whose first thought isn't "I'll have to get two jobs one summer to afford to do that."

              You know what? The job's available to someone who works hard, develops a plan, and saves up money (maybe over the course of years) so they CAN afford to work for a while for free. Kind of like most professional internships out there (except law school, of course. Holy cats, can you make bank on some of those).

              Since I was the designated internship person in my office (other duties as assigned -- always a killer phrase) for many years, let me let you in on a dirty little secret about hiring for an internship (and likely a WS position): No one gives a shiny rats' ass about what we can do for you. We don't know you, we don't care about you, we're not invested in you. We don't care that our internship will help your career (and it will). We just want someone who will do what needs to be done properly and in a timely manner without prancing around like a diva and broadcasting their discontent all over the internets. Once we know you're a keeper, however, there are very few stones we won't turn to make sure you have an amazing experience.

              Most of the interns I have had were not paid. Most of them spent a LOT of time before the internship saving up money so that they could spend three months in a very expensive city working very hard for free. Only a couple of them (out of about 20 or so) were doing it on Mom and Dad's dime.

              The other thing about internships (and I'd bet WS gigs) is that they are set up for the convenience of the hiring party. No matter how good YOU are (or think you are), in a proper internship or other learning environment you will ALWAYS be getting more than you're giving at first.
              WOW -- I think that Tamsin is allowed to express his opinion just like Boyd and ought not to be criticized for doing so.

              WS positions are valuable when they work and horrible for the WS when they do not. Only the person in the position can determine if what they are giving (free labor) is being returned with like or better value.

              Internships - not paid - are intended to be short term learning positions. I maintain my position that someone who works without receiving a like credit for their labor long term is telling people they are not worth anything. That being said, there are positions where the rewards more than compensate for the free labor - whether it is in the receipt of horses to ride, lessons, housing, a stall, or general living - and there are cases where the value received exceeds the value of the labor given- and therefore the WS works and pays.

              However, it would be remiss of all of us as adults and/or professionals to not recognize that there is a value to labor given and to factor that into what is given back to the WS and to what the working student receives. And, it seems that that is so simple a concept that there should not be any debate.

              Comment


              • Geeze Louise!!! Of course there is a value to labor given!

                And any WS who works HARD, is eligible to be hired for pay! Those who want to play on their cellphones, or move in slow motion, either keep paying, or go home...

                I am so done with the whining on this thread.... probably because I would beg, borrow, and steal to have the opportunity to be a WS for someone like Boyd!

                Comment


                • Who's preventing Tamsin from expressing himself? Certainly not me. He's a big boy -- I'm sure he can handle a little disagreement in the course of discussion among internet strangers.

                  Internships and working student positions are BOTH short term learning opportunities that may lead to a permanent position. Other than the work, there isn't a huge amount of difference sometimes.

                  People tend to overvalue their own work by a considerable margin. They also tend to think they are far better at doing things than they really are, so no, the person in the position is not the best arbiter of value received by a long shot. In addition, the person in the position doesn't take into account the amount of work they are causing their trainer.

                  For example, if it takes me twenty minutes to explain a task to someone, and then a further thirty minutes afterward to go over what's correct and what needs improvement (as well I should, since the goal is learning), I have received very little value AND had to put in a lot of extra work, thus increasing my workload and lengthening my day. Depending on the rate of learning and the variety of tasks, an intern can be effectively useless for up to a month.

                  Do you place a value on the WS's work and a value on my time and subtract (which will leave the WS in a deficit for a while)? Or do you simply say "Hey, these are the conditions of the position. Like it or lump it."

                  Important facets of growing up are realizing that a) life ain't fair even a little and b) sometimes you just don't get paid what you think you're worth and c) as the man says, you can't always get what you want.
                  According to the Mayan calendar, the world will not end this week. Please plan your life accordingly.

                  Comment


                  • Oh it could just be that Boyd knew exactly what he was doing and decided to "dis" the COTH forums because he knew the position would then get talked up and provide him with free advertisement. lol.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by loshad View Post
                      Who's preventing Tamsin from expressing himself? Certainly not me. He's a big boy -- I'm sure he can handle a little disagreement in the course of discussion among internet strangers.

                      Internships and working student positions are BOTH short term learning opportunities that may lead to a permanent position. Other than the work, there isn't a huge amount of difference sometimes.

                      People tend to overvalue their own work by a considerable margin. They also tend to think they are far better at doing things than they really are, so no, the person in the position is not the best arbiter of value received by a long shot. In addition, the person in the position doesn't take into account the amount of work they are causing their trainer.

                      For example, if it takes me twenty minutes to explain a task to someone, and then a further thirty minutes afterward to go over what's correct and what needs improvement (as well I should, since the goal is learning), I have received very little value AND had to put in a lot of extra work, thus increasing my workload and lengthening my day. Depending on the rate of learning and the variety of tasks, an intern can be effectively useless for up to a month.

                      Do you place a value on the WS's work and a value on my time and subtract (which will leave the WS in a deficit for a while)? Or do you simply say "Hey, these are the conditions of the position. Like it or lump it."

                      Important facets of growing up are realizing that a) life ain't fair even a little and b) sometimes you just don't get paid what you think you're worth and c) as the man says, you can't always get what you want.
                      OK... perhaps I come at this another way.... why don't you describe what a WS should be expected to do and then in exchange what they should expect to receive.

                      I agree life is not fair.

                      If you are only for yourself than you are not worth anything.

                      If you are not for yourself no one else will look out for you either.

                      If you do not value yourself no one else will

                      If you overvalue yourself no one will hire you.

                      Its about balance

                      Comment


                      • Snicklefritz you read my mind.......I got a royal COTH rip when I posted about taking on a WS.....But I went ahead And interviewed and did my 1st this summer and am on my 2nd for winter...now I am not a BN anything an don t offer a position that is geared to UL anything..But I read every word asked advice from 2 Top UL rider trainers..Phyllis Dawson and Julie Richards as well as Tara Ziegler and our own BornFreeNowExpensive. I also thought about what I wanted if it were me..My current is a 3* and one of the applicants I didn't take is doing very very well as a WS with Denny on a horse I sold her after the interview (3 days)......can we all agree to disagree and put this to rest......until the next time...

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by loshad View Post
                          Count me in among the people who find this incredibly presumptuous. You're going to lecture an Olympian on how to run his program? Really? Without knowing what they've tried before and what's worked and what hasn't? I'm guessing a lot of thought went into that ad.

                          The Martins appear to be looking for a very specific type of person to be their working student and it isn't one who whines about how this is only available to rich kids and whose first thought isn't "I'll have to get two jobs one summer to afford to do that."

                          You know what? The job's available to someone who works hard, develops a plan, and saves up money (maybe over the course of years) so they CAN afford to work for a while for free. Kind of like most professional internships out there (except law school, of course. Holy cats, can you make bank on some of those).

                          Since I was the designated internship person in my office (other duties as assigned -- always a killer phrase) for many years, let me let you in on a dirty little secret about hiring for an internship (and likely a WS position): No one gives a shiny rats' ass about what we can do for you. We don't know you, we don't care about you, we're not invested in you. We don't care that our internship will help your career (and it will). We just want someone who will do what needs to be done properly and in a timely manner without prancing around like a diva and broadcasting their discontent all over the internets. Once we know you're a keeper, however, there are very few stones we won't turn to make sure you have an amazing experience.

                          Most of the interns I have had were not paid. Most of them spent a LOT of time before the internship saving up money so that they could spend three months in a very expensive city working very hard for free. Only a couple of them (out of about 20 or so) were doing it on Mom and Dad's dime.

                          The other thing about internships (and I'd bet WS gigs) is that they are set up for the convenience of the hiring party. No matter how good YOU are (or think you are), in a proper internship or other learning environment you will ALWAYS be getting more than you're giving at first.
                          Just to be clear, I wasn’t contrasting rich versus poor riders or whining that some riders have more money than others. My point was more subtle: it’s about the kind of young person who requires complete parental support versus one who is determined to cover or at least contribute to their own expenses. I know lots of young adults from well off or middle class families who could freeload on their parents, but the best of them don’t want to. They have enough gratitude for what their parents have already provided and enough self-respect to want to earn their own money. Young adult eventers of this ilk will steer clear of Boyd’s position (probably very regretfully) and look for positions where at least some of their costs are covered. This leaves Boyd with the riders who are content to let Mom and Dad pay every single expense—not an admirable quality in a young adult. A rider of Boyd’s caliber should be able to attract and keep the best of the best, but according to him a lot of his ws prove to be unsuitable. Maybe there’s a reason for this?

                          Some posters have suggested that a young person can simply work hard and save enough to pay for Boyd’s position all by themselves. I doubt it. Young people tend to earn relatively low salaries, and if they are dedicated to riding and want to be good at it, they will most likely spend every extra penny on their horse and riding lessons. It would be extraordinarily difficult for a non-family supported young rider to save the $$$ needed for the position Boyd wants to fill.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Tamsin View Post
                            .... This leaves Boyd with the riders who are content to let Mom and Dad pay every single expense—not an admirable quality in a young adult. ......

                            Some posters have suggested that a young person can simply work hard and save enough to pay for Boyd’s position all by themselves. I doubt it. Young people tend to earn relatively low salaries, and if they are dedicated to riding and want to be good at it, they will most likely spend every extra penny on their horse and riding lessons. It would be extraordinarily difficult for a non-family supported young rider to save the $$$ needed for the position Boyd wants to fill.
                            So now we are insulting the people who started out as WSs in programs like Boyd's?

                            Come up with a list of the "rising stars" in eventing and you will find that a large percentage started as WS's in programs very similar to what Boyd has. And most are not wealthy. They actually have worked hard and saved... many starting with NO horse at all. It is not simple. It takes a huge amount of fortitude.

                            Any young person who already has a quality horse either has family support or has already figured out how to make it work.

                            Tamsin, you really need to do your homework before you start throwing out presumptuous statements such as these. You just insulted quite a few extremely talented, hard-working and dedicated young professionals, who are in, or started out in similar programs.

                            I also have a feeling that your comments are seen as amusing by this group, although they probably are not taking the time to read our dribble, in the middle of the afternoon. They are probably out working their a$$es off to make it work.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Tamsin View Post
                              Some posters have suggested that a young person can simply work hard and save enough to pay for Boyd’s position all by themselves. I doubt it. Young people tend to earn relatively low salaries, and if they are dedicated to riding and want to be good at it, they will most likely spend every extra penny on their horse and riding lessons. It would be extraordinarily difficult for a non-family supported young rider to save the $$$ needed for the position Boyd wants to fill.

                              I actually know at least one person who DID do a WS stint with Boyd...without a parent paying their way (and I'm sure there were others). Simple...they didn't bring a horse. People like Boyd will go out of their way to help people like this who prove they are willing to work hard. And yes, it may mean not having your own horse for a while....MANY of us went without our own horses for a long while but still found ways to ride and compete and grow as riders. THAT is what you do when you do not have a lot of money. And working hard, you meet people and prove your worth....and doors do open.
                              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Tamsin View Post
                                I know lots of young adults from well off or middle class families who could freeload on their parents, but the best of them don’t want to. They have enough gratitude for what their parents have already provided and enough self-respect to want to earn their own money. Young adult eventers of this ilk will steer clear of Boyd’s position (probably very regretfully) and look for positions where at least some of their costs are covered. This leaves Boyd with the riders who are content to let Mom and Dad pay every single expense—not an admirable quality in a young adult.
                                I don't mean to create a pile-on, but I don't see how you can possibly speak for an entire demographic. You are stating that young adults with a hardy work ethic will "steer clear" of Boyd's position to not tax their parents with additional costs. While I suppose that may be true in some cases, I hardly think you can make such a sweeping generalization.

                                A motivated and hard working candidate could take the position, leave their horse behind for a few months, and when they have adequately proven their value and been moved to a paying position send for their horse.

                                Small price to pay for the education and experience of a lifetime.
                                Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

                                The Grove at Five Points

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                                  I actually know at least one person who DID do a WS stint with Boyd...without a parent paying their way (and I'm sure there were others). Simple...they didn't bring a horse. People like Boyd will go out of their way to help people like this who prove they are willing to work hard. And yes, it may mean not having your own horse for a while....MANY of us went without our own horses for a long while but still found ways to ride and compete and grow as riders. THAT is what you do when you do not have a lot of money. And working hard, you meet people and prove your worth....and doors do open.
                                  ok ... but say you already have the horse -- and most hard working WS I know do and they do the work to support them - leaving the horse at home does not cut expenses since the horse still needs supporting.

                                  I think working with Boyd would likely be a great experience -- not doubting that in the least

                                  I do object to the idea that someone ought to work for nothing -- they should get at least the value of their labor. That value may come in lessons, horses to ride, housing or a stall -- if the value the WS receives exceeds the value of their labor, they ought to pay ...

                                  seems odd that that simple a proposition creates so many negative responses.

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by justathought View Post
                                    ok ... but say you already have the horse -- and most hard working WS I know do and they do the work to support them - leaving the horse at home does not cut expenses since the horse still needs supporting.

                                    I think working with Boyd would likely be a great experience -- not doubting that in the least

                                    I do object to the idea that someone ought to work for nothing -- they should get at least the value of their labor. That value may come in lessons, horses to ride, housing or a stall -- if the value the WS receives exceeds the value of their labor, they ought to pay ...

                                    seems odd that that simple a proposition creates so many negative responses.

                                    The person I'm thinking of had their own horse. They turned them out and didn't bring them to Boyds. They clearly had saved enough to allow them to do a WS stint.

                                    Others I know in BNT WS stints didn't bring their horses either. They either sold them...or turned them out. Then others brought them but kept them somewhere else near by that was more affordable. Most got paying jobs on top of being a WS. Braiding, clipping....picking up whatever they could....and had saved. Again....you do not stay a WS for a long stint.

                                    The value they got was in lessons on other horses, learning the system. Most start out unpaid but ARE paid small amounts later after they have proved they are worth the investment.

                                    Look. I've worked in the horse world. Most paying jobs for a barn worker/groom would not pay enough to support a competing horse and its rider (housing, board, training and other costs). When I worked full time with horses...I didn't have my own horse. I rode other people's horses...and worked more than one job.

                                    This is one aspect that a WS position should teach. That making a living with horses that can support yourself and allow you to compete in the horse world is bloody difficult....not impossible, but certainly tough. There is a REASON I went back to law school...earn a good living and now am able to afford multiple horses and my own farm.

                                    There is more than one way.....and if you are not born with $$$, you often have to travel a different path.
                                    Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Jan. 1, 2013, 07:09 PM.
                                    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by ahbaumgardner View Post
                                      I am so done with the whining on this thread.... probably because I would beg, borrow, and steal to have the opportunity to be a WS for someone like Boyd!
                                      There are a lot better things in the world to beg, borrow, or steal for...

                                      But I've been a WS for a high profile trainer and judge (different discipline) and paid for the privilege; then decided to pursue a 4-year college degree.

                                      No contest between which one provided a better return on my dollar, and I was able to pursue paying internships in the horse world during summers that provided better experience and opportunities than the WS stint ever did.

                                      In the long run, it's a lot more fulfilling working long hours on my OWN farm with my OWN wonderful horses. And what made that possible was a college education and pursuing paid positions with top notch trainers and also paying for lessons with those trainers.

                                      Sure, I'm not going to be the next Olympic rider, but there's a lot, lot more that goes into that pursuit than just a WS stint.

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                                      • Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                                        The person I'm thinking of had their own horse. They turned them out and didn't bring them to Boyds. They clearly had saved enough to allow them to do a WS stint.

                                        Others I know in BNT WS stints didn't bring their horses either. They either sold them...or turned them out. Then others brought them but kept them somewhere else near by that was more affordable. Most got paying jobs on top of being a WS. Braiding, clipping....picking up whatever they could....and had saved. Again....you do not stay a WS for a long stint.

                                        The value they got was in lessons on other horses, learning the system. Most start out unpaid but ARE paid small amounts later after they have proved they are worth the investment.

                                        Look. I've worked in the horse world. Most paying jobs for a barn worker/groom would not pay enough to support a competing horse and its rider (housing, board, training and other costs). When I worked full time with horses...I didn't have my own horse. I rode other people's horses...and worked more than one job.

                                        This is one aspect that a WS position should teach. That making a living with horses that can support yourself and allow you to compete in the horse world is bloody difficult....not impossible, but certainly tough. There is a REASON I went back to law school...earn a good living and now am able to afford multiple horses and my own farm.

                                        There is more than one way.....and if you are not born with $$$, you often have to travel a different path.
                                        Actually I think we agree more than we disagree --- the differences are at the margins. Because of that I am going to take one last shot at this.

                                        Making a living with horses is not just difficult - its way harder than that. We agree -- we also agree that for someone willing to make the sacrifices its possible.

                                        I am not sure what you mean by "turning out their horse" but in my area of the country there is not much opportunity to do so and even if you find it its still not free. Selling a horse does not happen that fast - especially in this economy.

                                        So... I leave you with a couple questions:

                                        Do you believe that the labor a working student provides has value -- whether it be mucking stalls or picking paddocks or hot walking horses -- and that value is the hourly rate that would have to be paid on the open market?

                                        If so, then the WS is providing value - that value should be recognized.

                                        If the value exceeds what the trainer provides then they shouldn't have to paid anything more -- if its less than what they receive then the WS should pay for the value they receive.

                                        Is there really some debate over these basic premises.

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                                        • Originally posted by KellyS View Post
                                          There are a lot better things in the world to beg, borrow, or steal for...

                                          But I've been a WS for a high profile trainer and judge (different discipline) and paid for the privilege; then decided to pursue a 4-year college degree.

                                          No contest between which one provided a better return on my dollar, and I was able to pursue paying internships in the horse world during summers that provided better experience and opportunities than the WS stint ever did.

                                          In the long run, it's a lot more fulfilling working long hours on my OWN farm with my OWN wonderful horses. And what made that possible was a college education and pursuing paid positions with top notch trainers and also paying for lessons with those trainers.

                                          Sure, I'm not going to be the next Olympic rider, but there's a lot, lot more that goes into that pursuit than just a WS stint.


                                          Yes, but you are one individual, and your dreams and goals are yours and no-one else's. What works for you may be the kiss of death for me.

                                          Again, there are a lot of programs out there, feel free to choose the one that suits you best. And leave others to choose their own path too, please.

                                          If ever thaere was a case where YMMV applies, this is it.

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