It’s about the people

It’s about the people. You can have all the politics you want, but without the people it’s nothing.

I sent that  in an email today. It was nothing to do with WoW but another aspect of my life, one that I’ve long considered an important one. One that’s becoming more shakey by the hour following some news I received today.

As I typed those words, I realised how strongly I felt them, how important this is to me.  All the rules in the world don’t matter if you don’t have any people to follow them.  You can be as shouty as you want, be as influential as you want, but enforce things too strongly and things will break. And once one part of the frame breaks, it becomes more and more difficult for the rest of the structure to remain stable.

I’m watching this happen outside of WoW, to something that’s almost as important to me as breathing. And it’s making my fists clench and me weep with anger and frustration.

It’s affecting me in game too. While I’ve been mostly known as that nice kind GM who occasionally brings out her Squid Staff to frighten the locals, recently I sent a very harsh sounding email to officers,  one of whom I upset with my tone . My apologies again for that.

So what’s scared me enough to be so mean? In the other situation it’s one or two people having far too much power, being able to exert their influence over others. It’s not like that in our guild.  And I NEVER want it to be like that. After today, I’m more terrified than ever of that becoming the case and what it can do to people.  The last thing I want to become is …. a Queen! Not dark but beautiful and terrible as the Morn! Treacherous as the Seas! Stronger than the foundations of the Earth! All shall love me and despair!

Instead I made sure that I had a second in command lined up, one who I know will fight as strongly for our guild’s feel as a father would for a child. It’s not just about my worries, it’s practical too, we don’t know what life will throw at us. The hideously painful news about what happened in Cumbria illustrates that all too well for us.  (And yes, I worried for a bit, checked that none of my guildies were from that area, and breathed a sigh of relief when I saw them logging in one by one. Didn’t all of us in the UK?)

Right now – I’ve just had another email about things and I’m close to tears about it – I don’t think I could bear to become someone who wields their political power about in a group. I would rather be run over by a pack of berserking Taurens, shut in an elevator with Jaina for a week….you get the idea? I find the idea repulsive. I find it obscene. This is not what things should be about.

Provide a structure by all means. But don’t crush it. Sometimes compromises are there because it’s about the people, not the politics.  As I say:

It’s about the people. You can have all the politics you want, but without the people it’s nothing.

On a lighter note, I realised something last night, when talking to one of our guildies. He reminded me very much of a real life friend of mine, their voices, their inflections sound so similar. And we got talking about things. Wombles in particular. This friend of mine had a thing for them. No, not THAT sort of thing, you filthy lot! Although…he did have a hot water bottle cover Womble…so…maybe…no…not going there!

Turns out said guildie also likes the Wombles – and The Trapdoor! I shall be really worried if he’s into astrophysics and tabletop roleplaying – my friend R may just have found a long lost twin!

Meanwhile I shall save my discussion of Whitby, my own design for a Goth Womble, and the concept of Alice Springs and Cape Horn as porn Wombles for another time…..


4 Responses to It’s about the people

  1. Issy says:

    I don’t really know what to say other than I hope things are ok. Don’t beat yourself up about being stressed and having an off-day 🙂

    I am so jealous of the womble hot water bottle cover (erm because I want one, not because of what your friend might or might not be doing to it…). I had a big stuffed Uncle Bulgaria when I was little 😛 *Has no interest in Womble porn*

  2. nowiamtree says:

    Thanks! I’m not stressed, if anything I’m just angry on behalf of some lovely friends I know. Plus, if anything, it’s another good lesson for a newish GM.

    Found one on Ebay!

    One of my friends years ago was puppet maintainer for the newer series of Wombles. She got to steam clean them! And….she even rigged up an autograph for one of my other friends, R, the Wombles fan. He was utterly delighted. He was the one who got my design for the Goth Womble as a birthday pressie one year. And reciprocated by getting me a Goth Clanger!

  3. Tam says:

    I’m sorry about the gribbly RL thing coming up – hope it comes and goes without too much misery.

    I don’t think I was in on the round of harshly worded emails – or maybe I was, and I didn’t notice it was harsh.

    Also as far as I interpreted it The Guild Issue was very much about people, not politics. It was never about the point of disagreement, or rather the point of disagreement was a slightly eye-opening catalyst to problems that clearly went much deeper. It’s always a bit shocking to learn for the first time to what people think of you, and what they think you think of them – but if nothing else it proves something I’ve long since suspected: I am, and would have always have been, a terrible officer.

    Regardless, I am very much in favour of the anti-indispensibility measures. For the sake of all our sanity.

    • nowiamtree says:

      Thank you, I think I’m finding some peace with that aspect of my life. It upset me because a number of good people I care about greatly were affected by things. And I am very torn at the moment because a huge part of me wants to walk away with them, simply due to principles. But there are also people I care about who I fear have no idea of what’s gone on and I suspect would be sad if I did.

      Email? No, believe me, it wasn’t you!

      Yep, the GI was completely unrelated to this post. (And no, you’re far from a terrible officer! I’ve dealt with terribad occifers in a different game where I’d inherited GMship, and I know what they’re like. I actually failed with dealing with the one I’m thinking about, it was a steep learning curve, but a bloody good lesson.)

      This post is one that’s set here to remind me if I should ever become a prize prat in my leadership role. And it hereby gives everyone in our little guild authority to slap me, and point me at it, and say “Read, you idiot!”

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