With the expansion, Mists of Pandaria on the not-so-distant horizon I’m in the throes of organizational hell. Quite frankly, I’m feeling a little under appreciated.
Here’s a little insight into my life as of late. Dates and events are approximate yet an accurate depiction of why I am shattered beyond belief.
Monday. Woke-up a little late because the progression raid team that I am on raids on Sunday nights. We raid “late night” for me, as I’m on the east coast and most of the team is CST or PST. I checked our website for any new forums posts to see if there is something that needs to be addressed. Thankfully there were only cat pictures and commentary about MoP changes. I got to my day job and tried to earn a living. I took a break to chat with people through our instant messenger and browsed the battle.net forums to see if: anything shocking has been revealed and if people had responded to recruiting posts. I started looking up blog posts about Holy Priest healing on Heroic Spine as the raid team I am on is stuck there and we want so very much to progress before the new pre-MoP patch changes everything. More work day things. I checked our site again before leaving my day job to find that we have new applicants to the guild. I stayed late at work in order to do some research on who they are, what they want to do and if they would be a good fit for us – as far as personality and goals. Sadly most are not going to pass muster. Composed declination messages that don’t sound like I’m an asshole.
DC Metro area rush hour traffic is legendary and second only to Los Angeles, with Boston a close third. I fielded text messages from officers and guild mates with questions about raiding, schedules and personnel issues/conflicts during my drive home. Oh look, a phone call from a client that I have established for my soon to exist business. Can I fulfill a major order for them by tomorrow night? Of course I can! God damn it. Completely bail on doing some PvP with the guild and good friends off realm. Feeling guilty about it for hours. Pit stop at home to pick up my boyfriend so we can make a run to Costco because I had no supplies to fill this order. Spent the rest of the night plugged into an iPod and baking, answering text messages from various officers and guild mates.
Log in briefly to say hello and mail check while the last items are in the oven, waiting to go to bed. Realizing that we will need substitutes for my raid team this week because people have flaked out for one reason or another. OK. I’ll get on that tomorrow. Made pre-emptive posts on our site asking people to be patient and flexible about the raid roster.
Tuesday. Went to bed too late again so I’m up late again this morning. I didn’t have time to browse the forums before heading to work but I did manage to start a load of laundry. Go me. I started to look up more healing blogs when BAM – I clicked a bad link and my WORK COMPUTER contracted a virus. Fuuuuuuck. I’m going to be in trouble. Spend the rest of the work day trying to remove the virus to no avail. Had to stay late and actually take care of work things. Cryptic text messages came in asking if I’ve spoken to certain guild members that seem disgruntled. No… but I made a note to do so.
Rush hour drive home. Delivered the baked goods from the night before and do some networking. My boyfriend treated me to dinner out because I’ve been so frazzled lately. At home, I spend time with my boyfriend, all the while pouring over a spreadsheet that was spit out after 57 people in our guild applied to the 40 raid spots we intended to have in MoP. Normally I am out on Tuesday nights because I’m the captain of a dart team in a league; however my team did not make the second round of play-offs so I’m home. Send an encouraging email to my dart teammates and remind them of the upcoming season.
I check our site again to find private messages from players stating that they know they agreed to play a second choice class/raid role/schedule – but in fact can not accommodate after all. OK. Regroup and adjust the spreadsheet. Oh look – one mock-up raid team is now consisted entirely of paladins and druids. Although amusing on some level – that is not going to fly.
Decide that I’m going to watch a television show that I enjoy which has been on my DVR for three weeks because I haven’t had time to watch it, while sipping a glass of wine. I still had the spreadsheet with me because I can’t believe that I was not able to figure this out. Decided to log into WoW – need to pop in and say hello, check mail, do a daily. Whisper spam! Everyone, it seems, has questions, requests, issues or just wanted to chat privately. Disgruntled guildie #1 wants to know why he was demoted from his raider rank. I has no idea what he’s talking about. Proceeded to receive a bunch of crap about how he’s right and I’m wrong once I think I have sorted out the issue. He logged off, pissed. Make a post on the battle.net forums asking for clarification. Get overwhelmed, decide to quest with a friend in the guild who is SO patient that I have to stop every five feet to respond to something. Stay up too late, log out of game and head to bed at 3AM.
Wednesday. Check my site mail to find that disgruntled guildie #2 has once again sent me a message about how to run my guild. Started fuming and drive to work without grabbing my coffee cup. God damn it. More virus on my work computer bullshit. While I’m incapacitated there I look at my spreadsheet print-out and try to brainstorm the schedules again.
How do I keep the pairs and groups of people who want to play together, together – while maintaining good raid comps, being mindful of past raid experiences, skill level, goals and the vast arrays of availability? Decide I need to suck it up and cut the people with the least flexibility in the schedules. Great – now I have 50 people instead of 57. It’s a start. Hey – crazy idea – 50 people, five 10m teams? No, sadly it still doesn’t work.
More messages from other raid leads about attendance problems. Noted. Left the day job late and in a panic because I had to work my night job. How the hell does it take 45 minutes to travel 7 miles? I still hadn’t responded to the message about how I will change the fundamental philosophy of our guild and bribe people as well as institute DKP in MoP.
Got another rush of pissed off and work my night-time retail gig. What? You scheduled me later than I normally stay? Oh for Fux Sake… I have a raid tonight. Run around finishing closing a retail store tasks like a crazy woman in order to get out 15 minutes earlier (or 30 minutes later, depending on which work schedule you look at) – drive home in a panic – praying there is dinner ready. I haven’t eaten anything today. It’s 10:45PM. Oh. We had house guests this evening. My living room looks like a library and Magic: the Gathering tournament blew up. At least there is cold pizza to eat and I log in barely in time to reforge my priest gear and raid. Still no check in the win column for Heroic Spine of Deathwing. I’m growing to loathe this fight. Morale is low between the drop-outs from our core and lack of progress. Note – need to keep spirits of the raid team up. Well, shit. I don’t have an ounce of cheerleader left in me.
After raid – respond to disgruntled guildie #2 with a thanks, but no thanks. Field more issues with the upcoming raid schedule. I want to stab myself in the brain. Oh look, one of our guildies recommended a friend to apply to our guild. This is the most bizarre, elitist, bullshit application I have ever seen. I can tell this will be a problem. After declining, this chode of a person spammed our website with crude messages telling us to suck his dick. He spent 2.5 hours sending private messages to me asking me if I was on my period and telling me how I’m a bitch and shitty guild leader for turning him down. No, honey. This proves that I am an AWESOME guild leader. I finally figured out the privacy and security settings on our website. Problem solved. The sun is coming up. Fuuuuck.
Thursday. I’m so completely knackered. I fell asleep at 6:00AM and now it’s time to get up and go to work. I’m seeing posts on our site that are not making me happy because they are from disgruntled guildie #2 and I know there are nefarious reasons behind these things. Phone call to an officer actually sorted some things out with the raid teams – fresh pair of eyes works wonders. Have an internal debate about censorship on our website while driving to work – slamming two cups of coffee.
Day job actually needs my attention as the virus problem has put me way behind. Still managed to move raid teams around some and by god it seems to be working out. Light at the end of a tunnel! Little did I know that light was an oncoming train. Leave the day job, get to the night job. My gamer co-workers are at the night job talking about Guild Wars 2 and I lament my lack of PC in order to play. Mentally calculate that I can’t even afford a back to school sale crappy PC now. Fielded email from my old competition Guild Wars guild – they are back together – come join them! Oh, I wish I could. I was shaking from exhaustion and a blood sugar crash by the time I got home since I was running on no sleep and no food – again.
Oh look, messages from a new raid leader’s girlfriend wanting to know why she isn’t invited to the officer/raid leader meeting tomorrow night. Patient hat on – explain it’s for officers and raid leaders – hope I didn’t offend her. Can’t dwell. More MIAs from raid groups. COME ON PEOPLE, I know it’s the end of the expansion but think of the nine other people who are counting on you. Check the website, clean out the applicants that went dark and make notes about improvements to our forums. Can’t bring myself to log in to WoW. I just can’t. I watch a favorite movie and fall asleep on the couch having fitful dreams about androids and electric sheep.
Friday. I feel refreshed and almost content. The raid rosters are done. I’m not confident that I haven’t made mistakes, but I am certain that if I have we can work them out. Day job is uneventful and blessedly not busy. I confirmed that some people have no-called no-showed to raids so they are no longer welcome on raid teams. I prepared a meeting agenda.
I returned home from work early and took a short nap. Hungry – decided to go out to dinner, surprise my boyfriend took me to my favorite restaurant. We were thinking of going to our favorite bar afterwards to throw darts and hang out, but I was antsy to get home and go over the agenda and raid rosters again. My boyfriend makes a snide comment, “oh, that’s right, you have your other job to get back to”. I wince. Note – spend more quality time with him.
Receive a blue post about my inquiry regarding disgruntled guildie #1. Vindication! He ignores my messages to him about it. Patience is dwindling. Log into game and into Ventrilo for our meeting. One person isn’t there. Awesome. Patience is gone. We start on time. I’m ignoring all of the whispers in-game – can’t you see that I have DND set? People look over rosters, I’m actually feeling pretty good about this. Not much additional feedback from the officers. There are some sticking points but this isn’t a democracy. Realize that I haven’t talked to a potential raid lead about actually being the raid lead, so he wasn’t in on the meeting. God damn it, I fail. Pull him aside after the meeting and he seems enthusiastic and understanding. Announce to the guild that raid rosters are going to be released in minutes. Set up the website and start posting. Before I have even finished posting the private messages start.
- Why am I not on a team?
- Why am I not on the best team?
- Why am I not healing?
Oh for fux sake. You aren’t on a team because you stopped showing up for the team you were on in the current tier. You aren’t on the BEST TEAM because there is NO BEST TEAM. WTF don’t you get about our structure? We are not elitist assholes. We do not stack teams. We make an even playing field and ensure that EVERYONE has a chance to do their best and make what they want of the team they are on because they are like-minded and like-motivated. You aren’t healing because out of 57 applicants – 28 of them are healers and most of them are AWESOME at it, and you can’t take constructive feedback about how to improve – but hey – I did place your second choice for raiding on a team for DPS. Go me.
That resulted in two rage quits (shockingly, disgruntled guildies #1 and #2) from the guild – one of them stealing items from our guild bank. Now my ire is up. And look. It appears that I did screw up the schedule and put a late night player in an evening team. I’m an asshat. I need a day or two before I can even tackle that. Thank goodness she is sweet as can be, trusting and very understanding
It’s late. I’m tired and angry. Oh look that player that I worked hard to recruit to our guild from another realm who wants to PvP on our struggling rated team that I am failing at putting together… was sitting on our server for three days without a guild invite and joined another guild. Fuuuuck. I love wasted effort. I log out for the night.
Saturday. Sleeping in didn’t seem to work. I made adjustments and changes to the website. I addressed player concerns via PM. Made a late lunch/early dinner with my boyfriend and spent some time together. I wrote a venting/ranty post to a WoW community that I belong to and spend a while chatting with them about upcoming MoP changes and how absolutely shitty players can be when faced with change, especially when they are adults and you expect more from them. I declined an invitation to a party that evening – even though it is the 40th birthday, joint celebration, for three of my friends…. because I had a raid that night. I tried to remember the last time I had seen the three of them outside of chance running into one of them at my night job. It was in March. Can’t dwell or I’ll get depressed.
Oh look, one of my team mates for tonight called out of raid. Fuck. Hop in vent to chat with the raid lead about what’s next for the team in this tier, this particular player and the team in the next tier. Hey – awesome. There is more hate mail in my inbox from yet another guildie who thinks we are out to get them. That thunking sound you heard was me banging my head into my desk wanting to knock myself unconscious. Deep breath. You’ll come up with something later. Focus on the raid.
Raid… had a moment where we could quite literally see the end of the encounter. We had almost won. This godforsaken bullshit of a boss fight would be over – and I lagged just long enough and caused the raid to wipe. I teared up and fought back the urge to just outright cry. I was embarrassed and frustrated.
Once raid was over I responded to my hate mail – tried to play the game on a lowbie leveling toon – answered questions from a guild mate who realized I can’t work around his schedule because he wasn’t very honest about his availability. Just tell me you are going to another guild. Hell, I’ll HELP you find another one. I need no smoke blown up my ass. What I need are mature people who can be honest with what they need, want, can do and are able to give. Went to bed but didn’t fall asleep until 4:30AM because all I could think about was my hate mail. I dreamt about it, even – to the point of thinking that I had spoken to the sender at length and had worked everything out.
Sunday. Woke up at 10AM this morning. Oh look – response to my response to the hate mail. Co-Guild lead is awake too. What the hell would I do without him? Chat for a while. Both agree that I need more coffee and we both need more sleep. We’re both upset.
Spent the morning and afternoon staring at a rainy day and wondering if and when I should take a short WoW break. Decided to spend a few hours telling you why I would appreciate it if you were nicer to me and considerate of just what it takes to keep a large guild running as smoothly as I can.
Just to be clear – this is not a typical week for me. This is what a typical week is like in preparation of a major expansion. In real life – I am much busier than this and around even less.
So hey – it’s fine to come to me with your issues in-game – that is what I am here for. It’s fine to blame me, or the other leaders/officers, for the things you are upset about – again that is what we are here for. What I am asking for is patience, kindness and perhaps having an idea for a solution in mind before you bring up a problem. Maybe when you are blowing up guild chat with silly jokes, collaborating on projects in-game, having interesting conversations, obtaining achievements, killing raid bosses, getting a new shiny and realizing that you are enjoying the company you keep – you can remember some of what goes on behind the scenes to ensure that it continues.
I love you guys, even the three of you that grate on my nerves. =)
You are all wonderful people and give me something to look forward to and be proud of when I do get a chance to unwind and enjoy the game with you.