I was asked recently in guild chat why it was that I so seldom blog about our guild. The question was prompted by the individual wondering if this was a conscious choice or that I just didn't think our guild was that interesting. Let me start out by saying it IS a conscious decision. It is not because I am not proud of them or don't enjoy what we do together but whenever I DO write about guild members or issues it is as if I can hear Carly Simon singing in the back ground. Because soon after I post something referencing the guild people will start whispering me. "I can't believe you said that about me!" "Were you talking about ME?" "I see myself in what you wrote."
It just makes me laugh because 10 times out of 10 the people I was ACTUALLY discussing NEVER think it is them. Those that have known me for even a little bit will soon realize that I am NOT the type of person to generalize if I have a problem with someone. I only do that when I am describing the situation to others looking for feedback or I don't have the individuals permission to discuss them. I also prefer to handle my disagreements in private rather than gather a posse in an attempt to force individuals into seeing things my way.
Whenever I do get upset I try to first I consider WHY I am. Did the person do something wrong or am I unusually sensitive to whatever took place? For example I was recently in a pug raid in which the loot rules were "one epic per person unless no one else is interested in it." Well the Cultist's Bloodsoaked Spaulders dropped and NO ONE was interested in it. So I said if it was only going to get disenchanted than could I take them for my off spec? Then we get to Saurfang and Bloodvenom Blade drops. I roll on it and win. The only other person who rolled on it was a hunter and he rolled AFTER I had already received the sword, as well as below my roll. The next thing I know the raid leader is telling me to give the sword to the hunter because I got the shoulders. I was upset to say the least, several others in the raid didn't feel it was right either. I kinda ranted a bit about it in guild chat but I gave up the sword. Depending entirely on how you interrupt the loot rules I could see where the Raid Leader was coming from. I thought it was stupid, (still do in fact), since the hunter has since replaced that sword with something better FOR HIM. The raid leader wasn't WRONG to tell me to give up the sword, I just didn't like the decision he made regarding it. Sure I could have pitched a fit but that most likely would then have adversely effected the raid. So I chose to suck it up and move on then talk to the raid leader about it later. Expressing the opinion that it might be better to make sure there is further clarification of the loot rules.
Sometimes things happen I can't just ignore until later. I am not the type to languish in frustration or invoke the silent treatment in hopes I am "punishing" the person. (Note to those who DO use these methods, the only person you hurt is yourself, few people will even NOTICE if you refuse to speak to the people you are mad at and if they DO you are then labeled a "Drama Queen".) So when these types of things happen I will pull the individual(s) aside and let them know I think there is a problem and explain that issue to the best of my ability. Or at the very least send them a letter expressing my concerns if I am unable to connect with them other wise.
Consider the fact we frequently get younger guild members who use the word "rape" to describe things. "We raped that other Arena team." "Lets rape this dungeon!" Etc. Now being female and knowing that one in four women have been sexual assaulted, I find these types of comments uncomfortable. I know they don't MEAN to be offensive, that for their generation this is a common term used for highly successful accomplishment. That doesn't mean I could go forever hearing them say it all the time or that other women enjoy it either. Personally I feel like a cat getting its fur rubbed the wrong way. So I talk to them about it, explained my sensitivity and asked if they will be willing to take that into consideration. At that point they have two options, they can blow me off and tell me to live with it or they can say "sure, not a problem, remind me if I forget." Now I have had both responses at different times.
When the person agrees there is a problem and together we work to correct it, I couldn't be happier. Most often this is what happens. Other times the person may disagree with my proposed solution or just tell me to "Suck it up Princess". At this point the ball is back in my court. I can choose to acknowledge they are right, the problem is mine OR I can move forward, work harder to gain resolution. Sometimes this last won't happen, strangely enough the few times it HAS gotten to this point the individual usually leaves the guild because of other issues. So I get a solution in the end even if it isn't the one I hoped for.
This is all part of our guild's conflict policy anyway. If you have a problem with a guild member you have to talk to THEM about if FIRST and try to resolve it. If that doesn't work you can then go to a guild officer and ask for some mediation. Often they will be able to find a good cross section of individuals who are aware of the tension or at least have a general opinion regarding the issue. If they ALSO consider this a problem they will set up a meeting in a private channel in vent. If they feel the conflict will adversely effect the rest of the guild then they are usually more than happy to intervene. Sometimes they will confront the individual bringing the complaint saying: "you need to let this go, this is a personal thing." Then members have to respect that. (Those that struggle with these decisions usually end up leaving as well sadly.)
One of the problems you face as a guild leader is that you can't always have close relationships with EVERYONE in your guild. There are some that will be friends, others colleagues and others mere acquaintances. By having a GROUP of officers you open up the option of others having those closer relationships with different people than you do. This will give you greater insight into some situations. Generally whenever discipline has to take place our officers try to have the one with the closest relationship deal with it. They may have insight into the individual that can bring about the desired result as quickly and painlessly as possible. It is generally bad when you see people choosing sides in a conflict and can destroy a guild if you allow things to go this far. So it is best to have a united front on this score. Having clear cut understandable rules POSTED makes this part even easier.
Sometimes I have to conduct the confrontation myself because I am a guild leader and carry the "big stick" as it were. Few people enjoy being the "bad guy". I certainly don't. I don't enjoy silences from everyone when someone logs on for fear of trouble either. I have been accused by NUMEROUS people of ONLY talking to them when there is difficulty. Now this is NEVER the case but I remember enough times when I have felt that way myself when dealing with authority figures to not take it personally. There is a vast difference between being told hello and asked about your day, verses being confronted about something others consider a problem. Few people enjoy being told they are wrong. However I am also aware that NOT doing my job of being the "confrontational one" can lead to greater problems down the road for EVERYONE.
So what does this have to do with Carly Simon's Song? Well the reason I don't blog about those I am irritated with is that I don't see how listening to me rant about annoying guild mates is interesting reading, especially when the vast majority will have absolutely NO CLUE who I am discussing nor does it seem beneficial for anyone. Further more a individual who may drive ME absolutely BONKERS could be hysterically humorous to someone else. (Jay Leno and Connan O'Brian fans know what I am talking about.)
If any of you thought I was a part of the illusive "perfect guild" let me destroy those notions now. I am sad to say that will not exist so long as there are people in it, especially myself. I chose to deal with matters head on in hopes of making my life and that of those around me a little better as time goes on. What about the rest of you?