Has this ever happened to you?

Person X: “This thing that I don’t like happened/is happening in guild. I want it to stop.”

Person Y: “Thank you for bringing it to my attention.  I will talk to the person responsible/ discuss the guild policy with officers.”

Person X: “Furthermore, this has been happening for months.  And while months ago, I never voiced my opinion on it, I am extremely irate about it now, and feel like I have been wronged. Because, you know, it happens to me OVER AND OVER again.”

Person Y: “Well, uh, months ago, you didn’t tell me /us, so it’s not really fair to blame me/ us for it now. I can only address going forward, and I am.”

Person X: “But I just DID tell you, and my complaint with the guild now is more super-serious because it’s been going on for months.  Don’t you feel like a jackass?  Because you totally should.”

Person Y: “Uh, what?”

This is pretty much what precipitated the guild split that happened a little while ago.  People claimed after the fact that they had wanted something all along – and blamed guild leadership when the leadership had no way of knowing that the problem existed.

This kind of shit happens in the gaming world and in real life.  I am guilty as charged of letting it go 40 times and on the 41st time biting ATT’s head off for leaving his socks in the living room.  Because at that point the socks had reached critical mass and were starting a breeding program under the couch.

But that’s not right and it’s not fighting fair.  It doesn’t mean I lost my right to complain about the socks because I didn’t say it the first time.  But when I did finally address the socks, I couldn’t hold socks 1-40 against ATT. I had to start at sock 41 and go forward from there.  I had to treat it like it was the first sock, because it was the first time I had mentioned it.  I may have been irate over the behavior happening over and over – but the only one to blame for that was me, for not saying anything around sock 10 or 20.


Conflict, Grudges, and Personal Responsibility – In-game and out. — 16 Comments

  1. Aye. Drama in guilds is as bad and sometimes worse than RL. I hate when people say ‘it’s only a game’ when real people play it, have emotions, and issues/baggage they bring into it.

    When drama such as your are describing starts in this vein, they are looking for ways to leave. I just let them. We cannot be responsible for everyone’s happiness. If the are unhappy and starting drama, they are mentally gone from committing to the guild. I wish them well and hope they find what they are looking for in another place.

    Good post.

  2. This is exactly why all guild/raid leaders and people in long term committed relationships should be required to develop psychic powers… Right…? If the everyone in the world could all of a sudden read everyone else’s mind 100% of the time would we end up in perfect harmony, or devolve into complete anarchy?

  3. On the other hand, when someone is called on a behavior, “Nobody ever mentioned it before” is not a valid reason to KEEP doing whatever. Like, say, some jerk in guild likes to say women can’t play WoW. Finally someone gets fed up, tells him to stop, he pulls the “Nobody else has ever been offended” card – it’s not valid, because now someone IS offended.

    When Reversion and I were on staff for AnimeIowa, there was a “don’t be a dink” policy that basically covered everything. Your example would fall under it, so would mine. I think most guilds need a “don’t be a dink” statement as a catchall.

    • Yep, nobody is allowed to use the “nobody complained before” as a reason that bad behavior has been “grandfathered.” If the person is willing to quit, and does quit, it’s over and done. No secret muttering allowed.

    • “Don’t be a dick” has always been a rule that I believe is important to have with groups of people, particularly online or with groups that are not brought together by work or something they’re getting paid for. I’ve been a moderator of a couple prose-based RPGs, and that’s a rule that covers a lot of potential problem-causing stuff that doesn’t really need a rule of its own, or that we don’t think needs to be said until the problem happens.

  4. But Zel, aren’t you being a little unreasonable… dirty socks add so much atmosphere to a room. They’re almost a decorative must. 😛

  5. This. So MUCH this.

    I’m quite tired of watching adults behave like children and demanding what they want when they want it. I don’t belong to the Psychic Friends Network so I can’t read minds.

    If you’re going to let something go – really let it go.

    If it is actually an issue – bring it up with the person in question and then an officer.

    We can’t snap our fingers and insta-fix it all. And I honestly resent being expected to do so.

  6. I, too, have seen this many times.
    Let me propose a counterpoint, too, though.
    I’m not the person to let it get to time 41. I’ll politely say something after sock #1. I learned early on that (to steal from Oprah – not who I learned it from but from whom I’ve most recently heard it echoed) people train others how to treat them.
    In one guild, what came from this was that I get a reputation of being a “complainer” or a “troublemaker.” I would politely bring up to an officer that X was, say, late to the raid. Or perhaps Y needed to be a little more diligent about their CC’ing. If they didn’t want me to address the person directly (which was fine with me), I figured the officers would take care of it for the good of the raid.
    Instead, I got a large volume of smoke blown into usually smoke-free orifices and, eventually, began being dodged by the guild admins. They didn’t want to deal with problems and were perfectly happy floudering in the raids. I was the one bringing them problems, therefore, I was a problem-maker.
    So, while I 100% support the message of this post, I would also caution against being “that guy.” Take the temperature of your guild leaders, and then decide what to do.

  7. @Stubborn: Yeah, definitely sounds like if you’ve got that many complaints, you need to summarrize it as “it bugs me that raiding is being held back by tons of little things.”

    Or, you can stop being stubborn, and find a new guild that prioritizes efficient raiding.

  8. The amount of people that expect their officers/leaders to possess psychic powers of mind-reading is rather mind boggling at times.

    I try to pick my battles, but I am sometimes put in an awkward spot. A lot of the guild members will complain to me and let me know how they feel about things – not necessarily to me as an officer, but as a friend. I am stuck with deciding where I have to bring their opinions/thoughts to the rest of the officers or keep it to myself – because from what I can see they never go directly to the leadership.

    This means I’m the officer always “complaining”, since I’m the one saying what people are thinking. While I’m okay with that, I think it’d be helpful if the guild members would actually say it themselves. Then it’d be much less of “Saga says that X, Y and Z says/thinks…” and more of an actual problem. After a while it feels like they stop listen since I’m always the one bringing the complaints forward.