Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Dirty Laundry

Not quite what I mean, but...

I am a self-professed Grumpy Old Woman some days: looking at you kids, frolicking about on my lawn without a care in the world, photo-montaging me your pert behinds and Tweeting your latest obsession with nary a second thought for the consequences. What are you people doing with your lives? Don't you know the Internet remembers EVERYTHING, that those inappropriate pictures on Facebook have a better than average chance of returning to haunt you at a later point in your career? Then I remember that actually, that's PRECISELY the point. The image is everything, the moment of fame, the fifteen minutes in the sun when you did the cool thing and everyone was impressed and it gave you the validation you so desperately were seeking...

There's a problem with this, however, and it is quite apposite to the discussion I wish to have this beautiful Tuesday morning.

Control of your environment is quite a big deal in a Warcraft Boss fight. Anyone who raids with any measure of seriousness will tell you that in complex encounter such as the Dark Shaman in the Siege, there appears to be all manner of crap you can do absolutely nothing about... but actually, that's not true. Positioning is absolutely EVERYTHING: where the tanks move, where dps stand in relation to them. Mitigating damage by individual responsibility is crucial, concentration and focus required to ensure you start the fight with the same number of people that finish it... though in the end, a kill is a kill. Does it really matter what happens between Point A and B if the end result makes everybody happy? Well, no, but what happens in-between those two points says a lot about the people who play and their attitudes to the task in hand.

If you have a problem with that, picking your moment to say so is almost as big a deal as the issue to begin with.

How I feel when people don't consider the team.

Success and progress and brilliance and satisfaction in Raiding are great until someone gets greedy or does something stupid, and it really is one of those two adjectives that cause the most problems. Greedy and Stupid cover a multitude of sins and if you needed two words that sum up why people fail, they're pretty much without equal. Whether it's standing in bad, complaining about someone else not doing their job, obsessing about what you'll win if the boss dies and then bottling it because you're not concentrating on the fight or getting obsessed with what other people are winning and you're not... all that dirty laundry gets flung out in a moment of unmitigated frustration, and it does people no good at all. Absolutely the best thing you can do as a result is turn around and walk away from a bad night, to chalk it down to experience and move on. Totally the last thing you subsequently want to do is go and pour your frustrations out all over Social Media to anyone who will listen, because that will make the Doctor REALLY sad in the long run, yes it will.

Trouble is, it's so seductive to do just that.

It also means, that if you happen to be in a position of power or significance in your Guild or Raiding Alliance, keeping an absolutely impeccable public front is pretty much a given, because if you don't... eventually the truth will come back to haunt you. Don't think you can simply ignore people's issues or pretend they don't exist just because you're high enough up the ladder to be untouchable, and certainly don't hope that individuals will simply roll over and keep quiet for the sake of no drama at their own doors. Everyone has a limit, and everyone can (and will) break eventually, and you may not be ready for the explosion that happens when they do. If your Guild Dramas are all over Social Media I'd argue you're doing it wrong, but as I'm as much to blame for this as many people, I'd have to say that the absolute best thing isn't going back and deleting tweets or posts after the event, it is simply never pressing the button to send them in the first place. Picking your moment's a life skill some of us still haven't adequately grasped either. I'd certainly count myself amongst those on the learning curve, and sometimes it isn't about making a point. Often it's doing what you think is right for you and no-one else.


Most importantly however is the process of apology, which is easy to forget in the heat of the moment. In fact, I suspect for most people who have a moment in Vent or Teamspeak, apologising's the least of their concerns at the time. Making things right however, well that matters a lot, and that can be nigh on impossible in a virtual environment when any attempt at a physical manifestation of culpability might send some people away screaming. I've tried to do this with words, and not simply do I apologise to people I try to show them how their actions have affected me and, as a result, helped me become better by the analysis of the situation that arose to begin with. It is very easy to be friends with someone at a distance until conflict rears its head, and as soon as people become defensive... well that task becomes virtually impossible without a face to face element. Some people choose at this point simply to walk away, and with good reason, and that's all well and good to a point.

If you can apologise, do so. It won't make you look like a Canadian [*]. It'll show you care. The other two come with time, and your desire to exist in the environment you find yourself within. In a raiding environment, the apology should never be the last resort, it should always be the default state. If you screwed up, admit it. If you know why, learn from it and try not to do it again. Most importantly of all, never blame other people for your own failings. That's not your job, ever.

Although I'd like still like you all off my lawn, I respect your right to play there most days, and I often enjoy your twerking and suggestive innuendos, because I still have feelings. Occasionally I find a way to connect with you, and there is the chance of grudging respect, but it is just that. When you play with people you have to understand that laundry should stay in the basket at all times, that effort is it's own reward, and that mixing multiple metaphors is just asking for trouble. Don't be selfish and greedy, don't put your desires about other people's when you play in a team, and never for get that there's no I in this expression for a damn good reason. Most importantly of all, if you want your 15 Minutes of Vine-repeated boss kill money shot, never EVER think you are above reproach. The past has a habit of catching up with people, normally at the most inopportune of moments.

Keep those undies clean and well organised. No-one likes skanky pants, especially their own.

[*] No offence is intended to any Canadians reading my blog. Sorry. NO REALLY I MEAN IT.


Matty said...

I hate letting others down, and take full ownership when I do. I would like my Vine video, though. (Note to self to go learn how to make those…)

R said...

No offense taken, we let Bieber loose on the world and Rob Ford is apparently still the odds-on favourite in the next Toronto election despite continuing to be Rob Ford, we might deserve a shot or two of karmic retribution.