Bad Concierge

Yesterday I failed miserably at making any sort of a post.  In truth by the time I had realized I had not logged in and created a blog post it was mid afternoon…  and figured I might as well just call it a day off.  First off this morning I feel like I probably need to update considering my Monday post.  I saw a Doctor Monday afternoon but good or bad the pain had subsided by that point.  The pain in whole lasted roughly 3 1/2 to 4 hours and without it being “acute” the only way they really had to diagnose things was some scans.  Their advice to me is that if the pain comes back at all…  go to the Emergency Room immediately.  Based on my description they thought it might have been either a kidney stone or my appendix…  since I still have one of those so in both cases something dangerous if I allow it to go unchecked.  While I was there however they also told me I had a pretty significant sinus infection and prescribed a round of antibiotics to help clear that up.  I had been coughing up a storm the last few weeks and apparently I actually had an infection to back that up.  The doctor suggested that I not return to work until Wednesday, to keep down the odds of me infecting someone else…  which I guess makes sense given this is a sort of work based free clinic thing that I went to.  So for the bulk of yesterday I chilled out while something cooked in the crockpot and piddled around in World of Warcraft while consuming Netflix/Amazon shows.


One of my favorite things about ElvUi is the AFK screen thing.  Not sure why it makes me happy to see it pop up and I have a directory littered with screenshots of my character sitting down while dancing on the side.  At this point I am level 52 on my newish Tauren Hunter and spending time in the greater Gadgetzan area.  In truth last night before logging for the evening I got the precursor quest to take me to Ungoro crater, so I will likely be heading there shortly.  Being fully decked out in Heirlooms makes the leveling experience really odd given that things rarely last long enough for my pet to even reach the target, let alone need any form of “tanking”.  This means that I am largely running a pet for the flavor of it rather than for the functionality.  Traditionally when I need a pet to be a barrier between me and the target I tend to favor bears…  however for the moment I am running around with a golden brown Owl I picked up somewhere in Feralas that I named Bubo.  The hunter is ridiculously relaxing which has been exactly the sort of thing I have been looking for lately.  One of the things I enjoy about hanging out in Facepull on the Horde side is that I can be a fly on the wall mostly, that interacts every so often but also has the room to simply not interact at all if the spirit doesn’t move me to communication.


I ended up going off on a twitter tear yesterday talking about guild leadership and being the person in the background that makes sure things are happening.  When I first started leading guilds…  I was very young and lacked any sort of responsibility apart from just showing up at work and making sure I was getting my tasks accomplished.  In fact when House Stalwart hit its stride about a year into the release of the game…  I was in quite possibly the worst job I have ever been in.  I had a horrible boss and felt like I had no control over my work environment, and as a result having a smooth running community to come home to and spend my evenings with was almost refreshing.  During this time my home life was in a bit of a disarray due to the large number of deaths that were occurring in the family, and Stalwart wound up being my stability that I so desperately needed.  As we entered Wrath of the Lich King I changed jobs and wound up in a much better place where I had a support structure and actually started taking on more responsibilities.  As such I found myself starting to back away from the same sort of things that I did during Vanilla and Burning Crusade and begin placing myself in more of a distant advisory role.  By the time Cataclysm launched I had moved up to being a Team Lead, and was responsible with juggling planning and task assignment, and similarly I found myself completely checking out of the guild leadership role and even going so far as to quit World of Warcraft when Rift released.  During that time I have shifted from Team Lead, to assumed supervisor, to actual supervisor… to now interim manager of three groups.  While I have kept trying to be the social glue for guilds…  by the time I get home I just have no social capital left to make things happen.

The truth is that every guild you have ever been in that felt active…  had one or more people behind the scenes making sure that things were going smoothly.  I used to have a motto among our officers that I wanted our actions felt but not necessarily seen, and so long as I had the focus it worked smoothly.  From Cataclysm on Stalwart has changed hands numerous times and as a result has kept going forward without me.  While now it takes a more raiding focus, it is still functional and still doing things.  However if you take away the people who are actively moving the ball forward… you end up with 30 people sitting in guild chat and nothing happening.  That has been the problem with so many of these guilds that I have formed as new games come out..  I don’t have the drive to be the cruise director anymore…  and while I gather up the people I don’t have the strength to actually do things with other people.  This was extremely noticed in the recent foray into Destiny 2 where I spent 99.9% of my time soloing, all the while people around me were trying to make things happen.  Guilds work when they have a concierge making sure needs are being met and I just cannot fill that position anymore.  I have transitioned to being one of the players that just wants to log in and have a good evening escaping whatever stresses piled up during the day.  The key difference for me at least is that I do most of this through solo play and am completely happy to piddle along with alts.  There are times that I miss big group activities…  like I wish we had beat Calus in Destiny 2, or I wish we had made a bigger push into Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood.  Then I sit back and think about the frustrations of having to remember to log in on time with all of the materials needed for raiding on a specific night of the week… and I question if I could ever go back to that.  So yes…  I play tons of MMOs as single player games and am mostly okay with that, and yes I realize I am doing it wrong.  I do like knowing people are out there in spite of me not being capable of actually interacting some evenings, so I will always seek out potential communities because someday…  maybe…  I might shift back out of whatever turtle mode I have been in for the last year.

7 thoughts on “Bad Concierge

  1. So, I just want to leave this in a Good Place and say that I absolutely appreciate the perspective of experience from the opposite side of guilddom, and that I think a lot of what you said is very helpful going forward. I know that since it’s difficult for me to assert myself to the point where people take notice I am a bit miffed that there’s rarely anyone there to meet me even half way. That is part of why I view of guild culture as being insular.

    It’s not impossible, and shouldn’t be inconceivable, though, for a guild to look more towards its fringes. I’ve been in two guilds in the past that did, and the results were magical for someone like me. While I understand that it’s difficult for existing members to put their goals on hold in the service of the guild, the ultimate result is that those on the fringe will feel more comfortable when they feel that they have been accepted as part of the group. Then they’re no longer on the fringe; they’re in the core, and the work of growing the guild can be shared among a larger base. I think that’s a win-win in the long run.
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  2. I knew this post was coming 😀

    I appreciate your position. Thing is, the discussion wasn’t actually about leadership. It started as us few talking about the difficulty we had in finding guilds where we fit, so it was about our experience as MEMBERS.

    From your perspective I understand how you view it as a case of leadership; that’s your lens, how you see some/many/most/all guild-related discussions. Down here at street level, though, it’s rarely about leadership; it’s usually about the members we encounter when we’re trying to find a foothold among strangers.

    Yes, the leader sets “the tone” of the guild, but leadership can’t FORCE the membership to adhere to that tone. That’s the sole responsibility of each and every member of the guild to live the mission statement.

    Part of the responsibilities of leadership is, sadly, to deal with the shit end of the stick. Technically, if leadership enjoys it, then setting up guild events and such can ALSO be something that leaders can do, BUT IT IS NOT THE SOLE DOMAIN OF LEADERSHIP. That’s something that membership can — and IMO, should — handle. If a guild is relying on leadership as the source of everything guild-related, it’s like they’re the jerk who allows the nerd to do the entire project in high-school: they get all the benefit without having to do any of the work.

    I also appreciate that you might FEEL the need to take all that responsibility, as I’m sure many people do. Guild founders create these orgs with purpose in mind, no doubt, and if they have to do everything in the service of that vision — even if it means they get little to no help or appreciation — they still think it’s worth it.

    In the end, though, the point we were making was that many guilds as a whole can be insular and contrary to their own advertised mission statements. This isn’t the sole responsibility of leadership since the leadership can only do so much; it’s really a consequence of the membership, and how they view and treat the guild and it’s mission.
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    • I get your perspective as well, however someone needs to be the social lubricant and get the ball rolling. If not the leader or an officer, then it takes a very motivated member to start it. Most people just want to log in and have their responsibility stop there. I’ve never been anywhere that things were just spontaneously happening without someone of some sort shifting into planning mode.

      • Also in my experience “anyone want to do something?” Said across guild chat doesn’t really work either. Now if it changes to “I want to run X activity as Y role” you get some results but only slightly better. In my experience to make something happen you end up needing to message individual people that you know can fill the slot you are looking to fill. Even then you need a deep pool to draw from because lots of people will say no. Which is how it seems like guilds are insular because if Johnny said yes last night, then you are probably going to ask him again tonight if you want to run something. There are so many nights I just don’t do group activities because I cannot bring myself to go through the steps I know I need to in order to insure I can do the thing I want done.

        • I’m under no illusions that it’s as easy as saying “make it so”, but everyone is an individual and has the option to step up. It is not a universal constant that there can be only one or a handful of dedicated individuals in a group that can make this happen, and no more; it’s not a role for everyone, but everyone CAN assume the role if it’s something they desire to take on.

          If NO ONE takes it on, or if no one responds, well…I question why people are in a guild. I know that people find what they’re after and tend to stick with it because altering the situation takes time, energy, and opportunity. It’s not a case where everyone should be a free agent every night until everyone has a partner. On the flip side, it sucks to be the New Guy only to find that no one wants to deal with you because everyone has their internal groups.

          You know as well as I how things go a lot of the time. People ask “wanna do something” because no one wants to overstep their bounds and sound bossy. Especially if they’re still on probation. If they last long enough to learn, then they’ll feel comfy enough to make more specific, bold suggestions and approach individuals. But you cannot and should not fault people for “feeling things out” in ways they feel are appropriate for their personality and station.

          I don’t know when the last time you approached a guild as the low man on the totem pole, but I just want to make sure it’s understood that I look at this from the perspective of an introvert who has to deal with strangers, and how they treat my efforts to step into their world is going to determine whether I stay or go, and how I feel about the experience. When the conversation turns to the leadership perspective, it’s a whole different ballgame. You’re never a leader in a group of strangers, though some that you lead may be strangers. Examples of experience relate to known quantities and personalities, I feel. I cannot argue with YOUR experience, but I hope you understand that things look a lot different from my perspective.
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          • Yeah thinking back it has probably been over two decades since I entered a situation where I did not know at least one other person in the group and by virtue of that at least have some footing. I mostly had to break my way into axioma/tequila mockingbird in destiny from scratch because at first I only really knew squirrel and then jex and slowly got acclimated to a bunch of people. I mean when I joined Machiavelli’s Cats I only really knew Liore and only barely at that, but it wasn’t long until I had worked my way into group and raid rotation. But for the life of me I cannot really remember how it happened.

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