I had too much fun in Single Abstract Noun over the last few days and sadly realized that on my main server I’m WAY overextended.   This is also combined with the recent extreme neediness of Twig at bedtime and being pulled in 2 directions at once.


You know you’re approaching officer burnout when:

  • You have free time and you don’t want to log in.   You get chorecraft done instead.
  • You just want to freakin farm for herbs uninterrupted.
  • No, I don’t want to heal that.   And I resent you for asking!
  • You are raiding and secretly hope that the raid leader will call the raid early.
  • You get extremely annoyed and frustrated that there’s a new person in the raid who will need explanations of all the fights… again.
  • You feel unusually snarky that people aren’t reading a guide first and instead expect someone in gchat (usually an officer) to choose their spec/gear/glyphs for them.
  • Someone is misbehaving and it seems easier to just wish really hard that he’ll lose internet in perpetuity rather than deal with the problem.
  • Transferring all toons to a random server seems like a brilliant idea.
  • You want to level an icky cheater pally rather than play a maxed-out tree.   OH NOES!

I’ve always said that officers need to be slightly more hard-core than the general members.   That’s just the way it works out.

  • If members are expected to be online for 2 raids a week, officers need to be online even more to deal with officery crap that comes up.
  • If you expect members to be fully geared and enchanted and know their classes inside and out, you have to walk the walk and do even more research than the average member.

I’m not hard-core.   I have been combing blogs for stuff to help people get better at their class.   I’ve coached the baby healers through TOC-10 to get them ready for raiding.   And I’m tired.

And being tired and stressed (due to Twig having sleep issues) makes me do stupid things in raiding and stupid things in officering.   That helps nobody.

The Solution

1. A week break from raiding to get Twig settled down.

2. No more raid leading.   At all.

3. A complete focus on recruitment, which is my officer job.   If it is an officer issue that doesn’t involve recruitment, I don’t want to hear about it.

No quitting the game.   No quitting the server.   No quitting blogging.   Nothing drastic like that.   Just scaling back the responsibilities.

And, as always, dear readers, advice appreciated!


Approaching Officer Burnout — 17 Comments

  1. Step away from the Officer-dom. Become a mere mortal player. Log in when you want, do what you want with no responsibility.

    Or do what I did and have an emo officer fit and still keep the status and officer chat, but be on Holiday and get your guild leaders to threaten anyone who hassles you :)

    Twig takes priority and you can't do that if you're stressed out. I bet if you becoem less stressed by guild sh*t then Twig will feed off your more relaxed-ness and settle better.

    Stressy Mummy often equals Stressy baby.

    Buy some chocolate and relax…..

  2. Taking a step away for a week certainly sounds like it could do a world of good for you (and for Twig!)

    Plus… then I get to wallow in blogger chat with you in !

    (Wait, is that selfish?) >.>

  3. Do what you're doing. If you can and want to hand recruitment responsibilities off to someone else as well, that might be a good idea too. In the long term, you might want to examine your officer core and figure out a more focused delegation system; find out what people like and are good at and make that their officer responsibility. Frex, in our guild the two mothers tend to handle bearing of bad news and other such player management (helps that one used to work in customer service), but I handle things like helping players with class/spec research and mastery. I have a hard time striking a good balance in tone when it comes to gently telling someone to knock something off, but I really enjoy research and the one responsibility is just much lighter for me than the other.

    Seeya in SAN chat. Hopefully can get in my own lowbie licks somewhere between finishing off Lunar Festival and raid time…

  4. My mantra is "keep it fun". If it isn't a net positive on the fun-o-meter, it's time to get out. Of something.

  5. That description of officer burnout is so incredibly dead on. So glad I don't have to worry about that anymore!

    Focusing solely on your task of recruiting sounds like a really smart move.

    Sometimes just taking a week or two off helps a lot. When you're spending so much time taking care of guild business, it's easy to forget to take care of your own gaming fun.

  6. This gave me an idea (which might be daft): The military have R&R; for good reason. I wonder if a Guild could rotate its officers off-duty.

    Perhaps it would make Officering (Officerating? Officiation?) more attractive if you had, say, one month on, one month off.

  7. I was an officer (and later GM) of a small RP guild briefly awhile back and even that was stressful and I felt like a weight was on my shoulders. So I can sympathize at least a little on the burnout coming form officer-ship. Taking time off from things to be with family=good idea. Changing some things up in game, also good. The game should be fun, and sometimes change is what is needed to make it so again.

    More generally, burnout just happens sometimes. Too many things going on, drama, raid after raid, blah blah blah….it just gets to you after awhile. In the past I've taken time away from WoW, or turned to alts where I can be anonymous and just play super casually. Last time I was really feeling the burn, I transferred my pally to another server and it *really* refreshed me and was what I needed at that time. It's not for everyone, but it worked out for me and I don't regret it.

  8. Gah! I've been trying to comment on this post since you put it up (even tried you whisper you last night on SAN) but I'm not on my home computer and this one's having some kind of video card issues. I think I've managed to stablize it to the point where it can handle everything but WoW, so here's hoping I don't lose the comment again!

    I don't have anything particularly insightful to add, except to say that I completely feel your pain (with regards to the game, anyway) and that list of Burn Out Tick Boxes more or less describes my life right now – and I'm not just an officer, I'm the GM and the RL. :( I keep praying somebody critical won't show, or trying to think of valid excuses to cancel. I've got more stealth characters than I know what to do with right now (oh wait, no. I know what to do with them. Transfer them to Argent Dawn XD) because I just don't want to log in on my main and have to talk to people, resolve issues, deal with politics, clean the GB because people apparently can't put the freaking ore in the freaking ore tab, answer questions about raid night (which are already answered in the freak calendar invite if you would just READ it), and so on.

    Unfortunately I can't really take a break from any of it without massive guilt because we're such a small guild, and our raid group actually needs every one of its members (we're just over 10 people). But what it means is that if it's not a previously scheduled Guild Night, I run away and hide in other games or on other servers. And it's like pulling teeth to make myself log on on Guild Nights.

    Burn out's a good word for it – on some level it's all still fun, I just can't quite get to the good parts right now. It's blargh. :(

    And I don't even have a baby requiring my attention. ^^ What you need to do is hold your breath until Twig is old enough to play with you. đŸ˜€ Poblem solved (and a whole host of new ones arise).

    See you online whenever I can get to a computer that doesn't crash when I load WoW (I just want to get to the Exodar to see if I can get Aesiri a new hair cut! Is that so much to ask?!)!

  9. Heh I made a post about this almost as soon as I started blogging.

    I admittedly don't have a young'un but given the increasingly stressful period I'm going through at work I've been unable to make raid times midweek for around 3-4months. For the past 2-3 weeks due to other factors my desire to raid has plummeted. The shit that normally I'd be actively dealing with in raids (ie. making fun of people until they stfu) I just can't bring myself to do when I do make it.

    I have had players approach me asking when I'll be back because they wish to hear my dulcet tones questioning their parentage on vent but given my soundcard gave up the ghost I can't even do that. Plus the inability to slap people verbally into doing what they need to do means I can barely bring myself to form the alt run.

    Thanks for posting this – its given me the push to decide I need a break myself.

    I was reading your list up there nodding to myself.

  10. You know when there are dishes to be washed, and you know you have too because they will stink if you don't, but you just can't make yourself do it? Well then, when a game you play to have fun becomes stinky dishes – move away.

    I have been burned out so badly that I stopped playing for a month or so. I resigned on my officer duties, /gquit, all of that.

    I am a member of a casual raiding guild at the moment. There are officers. There is discipline. There are only two 25 man raids in the week. And the best part of that guild is – I AM NOT AN OFFICER IN IT! đŸ˜€

    Oh and herbing rules, just so you know.

  11. In vanilla I used to do raid leading and it burnt me out. It took until WotLK before I decided to come back!

    Right now it feels sometimes like that feeling of burnout is coming back, but it's sometimes easy to confuse frustration from a seemingly unkillable boss ahead of you, and simple burnout.

    All I do to distract myself now is to sink myself onto my super secret web project that will probably never get finished :)

  12. Thanks for all the comments!

    I forgot to add that I can never get really "away" as the husband is GM and we're pretty much in this together. If I step down officership, people will still treat me the same cause I'm the "first lady" so I might as well keep the associated powers so I can at least DO something about the requests coming in.

    I was up with Twig until 10 last night, so I think I've made the right choice to step away from raiding or even doing anything where I need to be "reliable" until the situation resolves.

  13. When I really just want to log in and don't want to deal with anything/anyone, I put my DND tag up. And then I also usually put some sort of snarky comment, so when people whisper me, they see something like:

    Beruthiel Does Not Wish to be Disturbed: I have PMS, had a bad hair day, and I am currently running about Defcon 5. You may want to rethink if you really want to ask that question at this time.

    The messages aren't *always* cranky, but if I really don't want to be bothered but still want to play, I do turn on the DND and then just completely envelope myself in…well, myself!

  14. Though it's not been with this game (as our guild is too blessedly small for it to matter), I have been subject to officer burnout as well. It's tough to remember to take a break, so that it doesn't overflow into total burnout instead (which I've also been through – ugh). Stick to your break-guns!

    P.S. I like Beru's idea too.

  15. I totally understand what you are going through (sans the motherhood part). I'm actually reading this blog because I'm burnt out on my own guild stuff. I stumbled upon Exanna and Miss Medicina while doing some research last week, and all of a sudden reading blogs is so much more fun than playing the game. I joined Single Abstract Noun as well. I was only logged in for a short time, but it was so nice to be one of many and absolutely nobody special.

    When I get burnt out, I usually find that if I back off for a short time, I quickly resume my normal responsibilities. The difference is that I start doing them again because it turns out I like what I do. I just don't like it when it feels like an obligation.

    Good Luck!

  16. SAN has got me back into being a guild – something that I never thought I'd do again due to basically everything that you listed above. I chose the 'walk away completely' option and it was bloody hard. That said I needed to stop raiding and stop officer-dom and staying in my guild would have meant that I'd just carry on.

    I never managed to take the night off when I was online and logged in, partially my fault, sure, for not being able to say no. And DND never worked for me for the same reason. That said if I had a DND message like Beru's it might have worked better.

    In short /hugs and sympathy and I hope it all sorts itself out!