Higher Education

September 5, 2009 § 3 Comments

Within 30 seconds of my entering the game world a message popped up on my screen:

Thepiper invites you to join the guild: Higher Education.

[Accept] [Decline]

I looked at the message and then over at my roommate.

“Um…what the heck is this?” I asked him.

“That’s a guild invitation. Just hit accept,” he replied.

“I’m not just gonna accept some random message on my screen until I know what’s going on!” I snapped back.

He looked at me, reached over, hit accept for me and said, “quit being a baby.”

Suddenly my chat box text turned green and all these people started talking.  I don’t remember exactly what they were saying but it was probably something like this (note at the time I didn’t know about the profanity filter, so this is what I would have seen. And, names have been changed to protect…the…um…innocent?).

[guildleader]: Time for some arena pwnin $*!#!)

[corbin]: anyone want to run Ramparts?

[rogueboy]: dude, I totally just got the hugest burrito! and I’m gonna have *@# tonight!

[frozenfiremage]: Thank you for that…information.

[rogueboy]: Just letting you know, they might find me dead on the toilet tonight.

[guildleader]: hahahaha I totally just owned this stupid flagged orc in Hellfire.

[rogueboy]: my cat’s breath smells like cat food.

[thistlefizz]: what the hell is going on?

I was confused. Very very confused.  Who were all these people, and what in the name of A’dal is wrong with rogueboy?

In actuality the people in Higher Education were extremely nice to me.  They would answer my noobish questions with only a little bit of mocking.  They helped me with quests and gave me materials for my engineering. They even helped me get over my fear of the Deadmines.  I loved logging in and being able to have all these great people to talk to!

As I leveled up, people in the guild were always there for me.  We would run instances and quest together and have naked-dance parties on the steps of the Ironforge bank.  I was starting to make some very good friends.  I really felt connected and invested in the guild.  I was the only warrior so they were all really excited for me to hit 70 so I could tank for them.  At the time I wasn’t really keen on the idea.  I loved Mortal Strike and I didn’t want to give it up!  But I was excited at the prospect of raiding, so I started doing some research.  However, that’s an entry for another day.

Anyway, I finally hit 70 and had learned a lot of things about tanking and was really looking forward to experiencing the end game raids.  I had learned a lot about lore and really wanted to know what Medivh had done in Kharazan.  And that darn Illidan, he was begging for a beat down.  I had invested a lot of time in getting raid ready and really believed that as soon as I hit 70 I would get to raid.

I was sorely mistaken.

It’s not that I wasn’t allowed.  The problem was the leadership of the guild fell apart.  First, one of the officers transferred to another server.  Then another officer just quit WoW altogether.  Then one day I signed on and discovered that our GL had quit the guild and made Rogueboy the new guild leader.  His reasoning?  None of us were progressing fast enough for him.  He wanted to raid and didn’t want to wait around for us to get raid-ready, so he was off to join a more established raiding guild.

Now, I should pause and say that we may not have been super fast at getting raid ready, but we were by no means slow.  In fact if so many people hadn’t left to find more established raid guilds then there would have been plenty of other raid-ready 70s.

But anyway, there we were.  Rogueboy was the guild leader and there was only one other officer left. However, he lived in Australia and wasn’t really online when the rest of us were.  There was a lot of drama about it, most of which I tried to ignore.  And I have to say Rogueboy really did do his best to keep things together and was doing quite well under the circumstances

One day I logged in to find he had made me an officer.  He pleaded with me to help him run things.  I really didn’t want to because I didn’t want to be in a leadership role, but I cared about the people in the guild so I agreed to help.  I really thought things were looking up!  We were recruiting new members and people seemed happy.

Then one day Rogueboy /gquit and promoted me to guild leader.

Sonofabitch.

I didn’t want to be the guild leader.  I hadn’t even wanted to be an officer.  Nevertheless, there I was.  Guild Leader of Higher Education.  And it was up to me to pull things together.

The first thing I did was to recruit new officers, because I knew there was no way I’d be able to do everything by myself.  My roommate, Wizzbang, became the new officer in charge of the guild bank, and professions.  I had a few other officers that were going to be in charge of guild runs, guild pvp, and the guild website.

It took some doing.  But we have managed to get it together.

So that’s how I ended up the Guild Leader of Higher Education.  I feel like, overall, I have done a good job.  After all, I did manage to keep the guild together after two regime changes.  And we’ve had some turnover, but most of the people in the guild have stayed for the long haul.  I will admit though, recently I have been slacking on my duties.  I just haven’t been there like I should be for my guild. I got burned out on the whole thing.  I made a few mistakes and I think a few people had their feelings hurt. Some moved on to other guilds so that they could raid.  Some just quit cause there was too much drama.  I haven’t been perfect.  But I’m trying.

Hopefully in the coming months I can get things back on track.  I can’t promise we’ll become a top-rated guild or anything like that, but I’m going to re-commit myself to serving the guilds needs, to progressing the guild’s goals, not just my own.  And, hopefully as I chronicle this process, it will be of use to someone else out there who has been unceremoniously thrust into a position of leadership.

And I put it out there to others who may have gone through this themselves, and especially to those who are better at this than I am, if you have any advice, tips, or comments to give, please, leave them so that we can all learn together!

*Cue the star and cheesy music* “The More You Know!”

But speaking of the guild, I have a run to get to!

“[Insert clever sign off phrase here]”

~Fizz

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§ 3 Responses to Higher Education

  • Larisa says:

    Wow… I’m so happy I never got a guild into my lap!
    No one is perfect, but what’s important is that you manage to get some self distance, that you can view yourself from the side and think about how to improve and change things. That’s a good quality that you seem to have. There are several good blogs dealing with leadership issues. Some of them are at my blogroll and I’m sure you’ve read them. Maybe Officers Chat could be of help? It’s more dedicated to this topic than many other blogs, which write about it occasionally.

    • thistlefizz says:

      I feel like I have most of the tools I need and understand how to wield them. Really my biggest issue is encouraging other guild members to not only participate but to take even the tiniest bit of initiative. One of the reasons I got burned out is because it really didn’t feel like other people were putting in any effort. They seemed to just expect everything to be done for them. Now, maybe what was actually going on is they are just shy, or unsure of how to take said initiative. But I really felt like everyone in the guild just expected me to do everything for them.
      But I’ll go check Officers Chat, see if they can help out at all.

  • Tariean says:

    ““Um…what the heck is this?” I asked him.

    “That’s a guild invitation. Just hit accept,” he replied.

    “I’m not just gonna accept some random message on my screen until I know what’s going on!” I snapped back.

    He looked at me, reached over, hit accept for me and said, “quit being a baby.”” I lol’d

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