Wednesday, June 16, 2010


So I've started on my next big adventure in World of Warcraft: being a responsible part of an officer corps.

To be honest, I've held the rank of officer in a previous guild--more a social guild than a raiding one--but I do not really think that counts. My promotion to officer there was more an acknowledgement that I had earned seniority, rather than because I had any sort of duty to perform. That doesn't mean I did nothing at all. I tended to be the behind-the-scenes counselor, helping guildies work out issues, passing on concerns to the guild master, etc. I had stuck by the guild through at least three splinterings, watching people break off en masse to form their own guilds and then come sheepishly back when they realized that running a guild was not as easy as it looked. (It was a point of pride for the guild master that, "They always come back.")

Because of that experience and because of the things I have read on the Guild Relations forum, I have become a strong believer that guild officers need jobs, and if there isn't a job to be done, a promotion to officer is not necessary. This is why, whenever someone would tell me, "They should make you an officer," I would laugh and tell them that seniority was not a good reason to make someone an officer.

But for the last few weeks, I have had a job. I am the healing officer, in charge of organizing the healers, helping them, making recommendations, etc.

The idea was a little scary at first, but only because it was new. I knew I could do it, and I knew that once I got some practice, I would settle into the position well. Part of me was concerned, simply because I did not have a bunch of level 80 healing alts, so I did not intuitively know all the abilities of each class, as Dreg used to be able to do. But self-confidence and self-esteem come from meeting and surpassing challenges, not from sitting back with one's feet propped up, drinking hot chocolate. (Yum!)

I have heard and I believe that hard work can make up for lack of natural talent. And so I determined to overcome my lack of natural talent by hard work.

In addition to the research I have done (and still do), I have a couple of people in the guild whose suggestions have been invaluable.  I truly appreciate their insights in helping me understand their classes better.  After all, many minds working on the same problem can bring more ideas and more possibilities to the table.  And I think it is working out, so far.  (It will get better from here . . .)

I know there is more to being in a leadership position than the obvious.  Recently I caught a glimpse of another side of officership: the part where you have to put up with the less desirable traits of people you cannot ignore.

I had a particular person whispering me over and over, telling me that so-and-so obviously was having a bad night and was not performing as well as he should be, so I should sit him and bring in the whisperer, who would, basically, shine and save the day . . . I finally told him the truth: that while I can offer suggestions, I'm not the one who ultimately decides who is brought in to the raid.  Then he stopped whispering me about it.

What does this tell me?

1. It tells me that the whisperer thinks I obviously need help to see that someone is not performing well.  This indicates to me that the whisperer does not particularly respect my abilities, which, admittedly, cuts a bit into my pride, but which is more annoying than insulting.

Now, as I've said, I don't mind suggestions from people who can offer insights.  But please, offer help directly and in a manner which will benefit the entire raid, even if it does not involve you.  My most valued advisor will sometimes suggest that he be sat for an encounter to bring in a player with an ability which may possibly be more helpful in downing the boss.  This is the kind of attitude which lets an officer know you really are trying to help the raid, not just working for your own ends.

2. It tells me that the whisperer is not above cutting down his fellow guildies to get what he wants.  This disgusts, rather than impresses me.  Cream rises naturally to the top; it doesn't have to beat the milk to the bottom.

Later on in the evening, I vented a little about this to my husband, who is the director of a training facility with something around 70 employees.  He laughed and said, "Welcome to command, Honey!"

I stuck my tongue out at him.

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