Classmates.com/Memory Lane, what were you guys thinking?

7 Feb

I got this email saying that my freshman yearbook was available online now. Having not perused it in ages I clicked the link. The first thing I discovered was that this was someone’s personal yearbook. I know this because it has a bunch of signatures on the inside. So if you order a reprint (which they do offer) you will get a reprint of this guy’s yearbook including all of the pages of dedications he got from his friends. Okay, no biggie I guess, if you feel that someone else’s yearbook is better than no yearbook at all.

But then I discovered something truly awful. Whoever owned this yearbook apparently didn’t like some people and recorded this in the year book. One picture of a student was crossed out, had devil horns and a tail drawn on it, and an offensive slur written over the student’s shirt. Like this:

I’ve chosen not to post the picture to protect everyone’s privacy and because of the nature of the word written on the guy’s chest.

So what I want to know is:

A. Why would you even offer your yearbook to this project knowing that you wrote this kind of stuff inside it?

B. If you were in the business of scanning yearbooks why would you accept a yearbook that has this offensive stuff in it?

C. And aren’t you planning on contacting every alum from this school? Including the people who had their pictures defaced? Why would you subject them to that even if it was a long time ago? (By the way, this guy? Hated your guts.)

So why bring it up here? On the blog? Well, I wanted to inform classmates.com that they are putting out offensive material, but when I clicked on this:

I got this:

And when I clicked this:

I got it again.

So I’m writing about it here in the hopes that word will get back to them somehow. ( I know it’s a pretty roundabout way, but that’s the only way I’ve  got.)

I admit that when I was younger I used words that I would never use today. I have no idea what I might have written in my own yearbook back then. But if it was offensive or hateful I’d be EMBARRASSED about it. I just wish classmates.com would be more sensitive to this kind of thing.

By the way the picture in question isn’t mine. I swear. This is mine. 

And before I stopped perusing I did come across this picture of me in Arsenic and Old Lace.

53 Responses to “Classmates.com/Memory Lane, what were you guys thinking?”

  1. Tammie February 7, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    Jorge, I would never have done anything like that to anyone’s picture. If I had, my mother would have punished me if she saw it. (It never occurred to me to do anything like that anyway.) Someone who signed one of my yearbooks did deface the photo of someone I did not really know, and it really pissed me off! Do what you want to your own yearbook, but now mine forever bears the opinion of a thoughtless person who I did not even ask to sign my yearbook, they asked me if they could, and I thought it would be mean to say no. You are right, they should at least blank out that stuff or put a box in it’s place that says, “Photo damaged” or something.

    • Tammie February 7, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

      By the way, were your the old ladies’ nephew in ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’? I loved that play and movie. (So funny!) I bet you were great in it!

      • Jorge Garcia February 7, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

        No I played Dr. Eintstein.

      • Tammie February 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

        Playing Dr. Einstein must have been so fun! His character knew that everyone in the house but Mortimer and himself was completely crazy.

  2. Sarah February 7, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    You are one of my favourite humans. Just wanted to say that. So happy to have you in my country. Every post makes me smile in some way.

    I remember something regrettable I wrote in a yearbook, and everytime I think of it I feel this kind of pinchy feeling in my stomach, even though it was 15 years ago now. I really wish I could take it back, even though it was kind of vaguely mean about someone’s appearance, and I’m not sure anyone really got it. But I know. And I know better now, which makes it hard to forget.

  3. Emily February 7, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    I can’t believe that! That is crazy and so so sad😦

    Is the guy in the last picture with you Jason Segel? It sure looks like him!

    • Jorge Garcia February 7, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

      Not him. But I can totally see it.

      • Tammie February 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

        I did not see that until you said it Emily!

  4. Debbie M. February 7, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

    You’re absoultely right, Jorge they shouldn’t be selling yearbooks that demean any classmates. We’re all adults now and should know better. I’m glad you want to contact them and let them know what you think about this practice. I was able to access the e-mail form here without any trouble:

    http://www.classmates.com/search/help/contact?suggest=suggest

    If the link doesn’t work then go to http://www.classmates.com/help then at the bottom of the page you’ll see:
    GETTING ACQUAINTED under “Suggestions” click on “Feedback” this will take you to the page where you provide feedback. It worked for me and I’m using Firefox. Either it’s your browser or the link from the page you tried to access if from isn’t working. Good luck!

  5. Judy Ann February 7, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    Now you’ve made me want to peruse the yearbook from my school…just in case. I have my own, so I don’t need theirs anyway. BTW, Jorge, you were a total cutie in high school.

  6. niven February 7, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    i can’t count how many things are wrong with all of that. just plain horrible on sooo many levels.

    but i am interested in knowing whether or not you signed it, and if you did, what you said. “have a great summer. K.I.T. (keep in touch)” i remember it was a huge deal to sign yearbooks and then go home and secretly draw hearts around the people you were too lame to go out with. not like i had any personal experience in that…… 😛

  7. Karen C. February 7, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    Not a fan of classmates.com anyway, but much less of one now. Can I just say, loving Alcatraz, and I think the woman co-star is fantastic. It’s clear what a great guy you are, I hope in real life she’s also just as nice.

  8. donna February 7, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    can i sell my old year book with all my gushing about my ex husband? oh yuck.. kissy kissy smooch smooch

  9. cvancil February 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    I’m sorry to say that I did that in my junior high school year book. But I don’t show it to anyone, and it makes me sad to think about that angry, hurt girl. I’m no longer that person, and want to give her a big hug. Matter of fact, I think I just threw them out because it upset me so much. I know that I would never dream of scanning them, much less trying to publicize them!

  10. John Alexander February 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    A kid called me “fat man” in my yearbook and it hurt me so bad I hid the thing away for decades. I just found it the other day. At some point I had actually gone in and drew scribbles all over it to hide the words. People don’t realize how much that kind of thing can affect people.

  11. Debbie M. February 7, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    Hi Jorge,

    I commented a little while ago with a link to the e-mail form that is working for classmates, but I see a note at the bottom of my post that says, “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” Just thought I’d let you know what the link is in case you were afraid to approve the post. Not sure how this works:)

  12. Jorge's Groupies February 7, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    Hi Jorge,

    Here are a of couple of good yearbook stories for you.

    One of us was marked to be known forever as “The Little Witch.” Not even by a classmate, but a teacher, no less. I always asked my teachers to sign my yearbook and that is what my art teacher addressed me as. I knew I wasn’t one of her favorites and I guess she didn’t like my black nail polish. Oh well.

    Our grandmother graduated in the 1930s. Now in the 1930s to be an unwed mother was awful. They had this one classmate who had become pregnant and of course in those days you were hidden away until after the baby came. Well, what they did was someone sketched a picture of this poor girl with all of these babies portraying different ethnic groups hanging on to her skirt. Well, if that wasn’t bad enough, this picture was actually printed in the yearbook and distributed to the entire school. How could people be so cruel?

    By the way, you were such a cute little guy.

    We are still really enjoying Alcatraz, but we are worried about next week and what they are going to do to Dr. Soto based on the previews.

  13. niven February 7, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    in the arsenic and old lace pic, you kinda look like the kid from “two and a half men.” too cute.

  14. Carrie Marie February 7, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    i love my old yearbooks! of course, i was on staff/editor for years, so they are close to my heart. i totally agree w/ your shock about the offensive material being marketed like that. i hope classmates.com will read this & take some action, or at least take some steps to avoid this sort of thing in the future. it’s very possible – i’ve had good results on my blog w/ reps from both virgin mobile and century link when i had blogged about problems. totally unexpected responses from them, but made me a loyal customer to both companies! : )

    customer service DOES count for something! : )

  15. Donna Siano February 7, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    I just love your old pictures. Your still a cute kid.

  16. Claudia February 8, 2012 at 2:50 am #

    It is awesome that you are blogging about this. We all did and said stupid things as kids but now as adults we should know better. Why anyone would put this out there NOW is beyond me. It is bullying to put it in 21st century terms.
    And it would still hurt to see it again years later. High school is a sucky place.
    I love that you are taking a stand here with this Jorge.
    And those pictures of you are simply ADORABLE!!!

  17. LeeAnne Snider-Green February 8, 2012 at 4:56 am #

    I posted a link to your blog to FaceBook, then went to classmates.com to the Feedback section. Then I posted a link there, as well. I told them that was why I quit paying for their services years ago. I was that “hated” kid in school. While I never had anyone deface my picture, I had people leave me “hate” messages in my yearbook.

    I have none of my yearbooks from school- all were destroyed in a major storm. I had considered actually going back and getting them, so my kids could see them. Now that I know that classmates is so lame that they don’t even review what they sell…no way. Thanks for the post, Jorge. As always, you are beyond awesome!

  18. MARTA(BcN) February 8, 2012 at 6:25 am #

    that’s sucks!!! que triste!!!

  19. Edna Thomasson February 8, 2012 at 7:08 am #

    I already thought you were great, Jorge, but it’s really good of you to be so concerned about Classmates.com/Memory Lane posting a yearbook like this. It’s also terrific of you that you tried to contact them to let them know your feelings on it and I’m sorry that you couldn’t. Way too many websites post things they shouldn’t and then when the contact links are clicked upon, they don’t work. What’s the point then, hmm? Thanks again for being such a good person and thanks for those great pics of you, also😀 Always great to see pics you post, of anything. All the best to you, Beth and your pups!

  20. flight815down February 8, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    Thanks for posting this. I get those e-mails every so often myself. What a scam. I bet if you had ordered one, you would never have gotten it.

  21. Hillary February 8, 2012 at 7:56 am #

    Hi, Jorge – My husband has a college friend who works for classmates.com. Let me know if you’d like us to send him this!

  22. Kanadka February 8, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    Jorge, have you ever thought about doing an AMA on Reddit? In the words of Miley Cyrus (SNL edition) ‘that would be pretty cool’!

  23. Jeff February 8, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    When I was in high school, photography hadn’t been invented yet. We chisled our images onto rock walls.

  24. Jen Anderson February 8, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    You can also send a letter to the company’s CEO through PlanetFeedback.com. I’ve found that to be pretty effective.

  25. Lisa February 8, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    I still have the one page class photo for all my years in elementary school. Well, in first grade, apparently there was a girl I did not like very much. I had completely scribbled out her face with a pen. For other students, I put a line under their photo indicating how much I liked them (some people only got half a line). I adored my teacher and put a heart under her picture. I will forgive myself for the scribble on that poor girl’s face because I was probably 6 when I did it. But still….

    Then of course… my senior yearbook. There was a guy who I had a crush on and there was a mutual attraction that was never acted upon. I had him sign my yearbook and he went through and put brief words next to pictures on several different pages. Next to MY senior picture, in MY yearbook he wrote “oh, maybe”. How lovely huh?

  26. Jeff February 8, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    I think it’s lawyer time. The person in the crossed out photo can bring on a defamation of character lawsuit against Classmates.com for placing the photo, and the remarks, online.

  27. Mary Layton February 8, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    Ohhhh, I just had a thought….the guy who’s yearbook it was might not have done the defacement – I was looking through one of my yearbooks a couple of months ago and noticed a similar thing on someone’s photo (although, to be fair, at least it wasn’t an expletive written on the photo, just “Uncool”, but still….). The thing is – I didn’t do it – one of my friends had my yearbook to sign it and did the devil horns and “Uncool” descriptor on the photo because she didn’t like the guy. Of course, I remember giggling about it at the time, and thinking of that now…yeah, bit embarrassing.😛

    Loving Alcatraz, by the way! When I saw Doc drawing the comic the other week, it made me wonder if there was a comic book or graphic novel tie-in planned. How cool would that be!

  28. Teri Milnes February 8, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    Perhaps that is one way they are trying to keep themselves in business, by allowing yearbook uploads. Maybe the student did it directly or even works for them. Irregardless that is so totally wrong.

    Be sure to post a follow up to this if you have an update!

  29. Jackie Denney February 8, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    that’s just wrong…Classmates should not put that book up at all..and a pox on the asshole that turned it in…

  30. Jessica February 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    My year book is up in the attic packed away…..A majority of the signatures read “Hey Medusa, have a great summer….” or something along those lines…..I was teased my entire chilhood for being “so ugly I’d turn you to stone” if you met my eyes. I have no desire to go to a reunion or meet up with any old class members….but I kept that book. I kept it as a reminder and as a tool.

    I’m 36 now…with a 2 year old…..kids will be kids, but boy – those words haunt me….after all these years, I still remember.

  31. Gia February 8, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Yes, that is very sad. I had a similar experience recently. My best friend from junior high school recently stayed at my house and while I was at work she helped herself to my high school yearbooks, in which some of my “friends” at the time wrote a whole bunch of horribly mean things and slurs about her (she’s gay). I had totally forgotten about those things and I feel so terrible now that she got her feelings hurt. Maybe that guy didn’t look through his yearbook and just sold it to the company? I know I forgot about all of the nasty things in my yearbooks.

  32. AlisonB February 8, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    The suggestions box seems to be working again. I sent them a letter with your post linked. I hope other people contact them as well!

  33. CJ February 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    Given that we went to high school together, I’m very curious as to who this was. And it seems all the more appropriate that I named the people in my book about homophobic slurs after kids we went to high school with.

    Good for you for writing to them.

    And why didn’t I get an email from Classmates.com about the yearbook?

  34. Becca February 8, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    You’re adorable!!

  35. Bear February 9, 2012 at 12:20 am #

    Wow!😦

    How can anyone be so juvenile and ignorant back then and not have matured or learned anything since? Sad!😦

    The customer support email address for classmates.com is:
    membercare@mc.classmates.com and their phone is 206-301-5700. Their email form is at: http://www.classmates.com/search/help/contact

    I hope this awful content is removed quickly!

    By the way, you were a real cutie back then, Jorge! It seems that that yearbook poster’s stupidity isn’t the only thing that hasn’t changed since those days.🙂

  36. Miss Scarlett February 9, 2012 at 12:58 am #

    That’s ridiculous!
    I hope they retract that submitted copy.😦

    Great customer service they have going on at their site too. Hoo boy.

    Your pics are so cute! You look so earnest!

  37. riggledo February 9, 2012 at 1:04 am #

    Thank you for writing this! I recently wrote a post along the same lines about the importance of respecting people and not using offensive terminology. Unfortunately, I’ve gotten a few people who responded by suggesting that my concerns were not valid. So disappointing in this day and age to know there are still people who have so little respect for others.

    It’s great when someone like you, with so many people reading his words, takes a stand on these things!

    Thanks, again!

  38. Lachlan February 9, 2012 at 5:20 am #

    Ah! I played Dr. Einstein, too!

  39. Oliverde February 9, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    Ah, yes. The frustration of clicking contact/help links and getting the OOOPS! Makes me wanna punch the screen….sad that someone would advertise that they are ready to reprint THAT.

  40. AlisonB February 10, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    Hey, got this email back from customer support today! Way to go on making this blog and getting things accomplished!

    —-

    Hello Alison,

    Thank you for your email and we appreciate your concern over inappropriate content. I can understand your frustration and will do my best to address your concerns.

    We are aware of the blog you referenced and upon learning of the yearbook in question, immediately removed it from our site. We have also tested our online help center and everything is working correctly for search queries as well as reaching out to us via email. Our members input is extremely valuable to us and we use that in an effort to continually improve our site and overall member experience.

    Thank you for your cooperation and patience. If you have any further questions or concerns, please reply directly to this email and let us know.

    Sincerely,

    Memory Lane, Inc.

    Rebecca
    Member Care Tier II Representative

    • Jeff February 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

      To Alison, Great job!!!

  41. mamanature February 10, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Love seeing younger pics of you. I agree with yearbook comment isn’t high school hard enough without really knowing how everyone feels. I have hooked up on facebook with high school people and it is very surreal after 25 plus years

  42. Marta February 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    Qué bueno eres, Jorge! Por cierto ayer en Los Goyas – premios de cine en España – pusieron un trozo de Maktub en donde salías tú…🙂 Suerte con tu yearbook!

  43. Brian March 3, 2012 at 6:39 am #

    Dear Jorge,

    While I do not know what you wrote in your own yearbook I can tell you what you wrote in my wife’s (C.O.- SCHS ’89) yearbook, and I was not amused!! Well it was a long time ago and we were not married then so I guess I’ll let it slide this time. PS she says Hi!

  44. Clarissa August 16, 2012 at 4:04 am #

    classmates and memory lane shouldnt be belong together but need to be separate way on the websites it can ruins the internets and i am not happy with it all of these changing the websites are upgraded

  45. JEM March 2, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    I am the yearbook adviser for my school. My superintendent gave me the name of a company that had contacted him about scanning our yearbooks and placing them on DVDs for us. I gathered up all of our schools yearbooks for the past 50 years over several weeks contacting people individually that I knew had once attended our school. I mailed them the yearbooks and they mailed them back to me with the DVDs. We were going to use the DVDs for class reunions. I have a contract from them saying that they would not share them with anyone. Today I saw on Facebook a picture from one of those yearbooks. The photo linked me to classmates.com. I just went to that site and they have EVERY yearbook that I sent on their site I know they are mine because they have personal signatures from several of my brother’s old yearbooks that I sent. And the covers have his name stamped on them! They are selling them for $99! How did they get these books? They have no ties to the company I sent them to-How is this legal?

  46. Louanne April 16, 2013 at 12:39 am #

    I just found out tonight that one of these yearbooks is MINE. And I NEVER sold it to them. My home was burglarized years back and I haven’t seen it since. I am PISSED. Law suit. Period.

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