Monday, May 24, 2010

It's All In the Attitude

It's always an adventure when someone new joins a guild.  I remember one applicant stating on his application that he had a great sense of humor.  Guild members and leaders alike were reasonably impressed with his application and his attitude, and he was invited to join the guild.  On his very first night, when a good deal of the rest of us were beating our heads against bosses inside a raid, he posted a random "joke" in guild chat.  The trouble was it was rather insensitive and the subsequent comments from guildies showed him that sort of humor was not funny to the majority of the guild.  He quietly guild quit shortly afterward.

I think people forget that joining a guild is like joining any other new group of people.  Sure, you, as a recruit, are trying to impress everyone enough that they will want you to stay.  However, you need to realize that you are also joining a circle of friends, and as such, need to accept that it will take time for people to fully accept you.  (I confess that the Druids almost never immediately invite new Druids into Druid chat right away.  We wait for a couple of weeks first, to see if they will mesh with the group and stay in the guild.  There are some who have never made it into Druid chat, but that is usually their fault, because they didn't believe us when we told them the channel name.)

New recruits to my guild should know there are a couple of ways in which they can really rub my guildies the wrong way.

There is a sort of sore spot for people who put their names in for every piece of loot they can possibly equip.  Too many times, we have watched people take piece after piece of gear, only to either quit the game or leave the guild, rather than staying to help the raid in its progression.  One particular individual left such an impression that to this day, others who might follow in his footsteps conjure up memories and images of him, which only compounds the negative feelings toward those who follow.  It is hard for guild members to trust someone who seems to be trying to to collect the maximum gear for every spec in the shortest amount of time, before they have proven their commitment to the raid.

People forget (or else never really think about it) that gear is considered an asset to the raid.  When a player receives a piece of gear, it is because the raid is hoping they will use that gear to help further their progression.  It may seem trite to say it is for the glory of Tempest, but that is the general idea.  (This is also why the last time I suggested that an unwanted piece of gear be given to me for my moonkin off-spec, there was laughter in the raid.  I never play moonkin in our progression raids . . . which is all right.  I really do enjoy healing best.)

There is also a sore spot for those who come off as arrogant--thinking they know everything and just want to help everyone else, implying that everyone else obviously needs their help.  This should probably not be a surprise to anyone who might take the time to think about how they react to people like this in real life.  One such person was one of our former Druids, and we in Druid chat tried really hard to remind him to not whisper the priest/pally/whomever to tell him his gem choices were bad, especially since he sometimes did not know the facts.  We had to remind him that even if he is right, people do not want to be criticized by a random someone who has no authority over them.  ("If it is really a problem, let the class leader handle it.")

Another way this arrogance may manifest itself is simply in bragging.  Someone who brags and delivers on their boast may earn something of a pass, even if he rubs people the wrong way, but someone who brags and does not deliver earns only scorn. Think about it, people . . . do you like it when others are bragging?

I'd wager that most new recruits mean no harm when they put their names in for as much gear as possible.  After all, if they are picking it up, pretty much nobody else wants it, and it makes no sense to disenchant something which can reasonably be used.  Those who brag are probably just trying to impress people and solidify their position in the raid.  And there are those who may truly want to help people, not having the social experience to realize that most people who really feel they need help will ask, and those who do not ask, do not feel they need help.  But these things indicate to some that the recruit only thinks of himself and is not really interested in being a member of a team.

As I recently told a new recruit, who was frustrated that his attempts to impress were being misunderstood:  Go easy on them.  Take it slowly.  Give it time.

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