So, a thing happened last night. One of those completely unexpected things that gets so blown out of proportion and convoluted you can't help but feel there's some level of legitimate crazy involved. As you all know, I play a good amount of video games. Rather, I used to before I became a mother and my free time was reduced to zero. In one of these games I was an officer of a guild, which is like middle management if you have no idea what the shit I'm talking about.
I've been the leader (CEO? I don't know, man, real world comparisons aren't easy to relate) of several huge, wildly successful guilds in the past and an officer in many other big, thriving guilds to date. So I kind of know what I'm doing. There's never been a complaint about my ability or judgment. I am the unbias one, the person who will make the tough calls if it's truly better for everyone regardless of my own personal feelings. I am also the person who will stick their neck out for the little guy provided the little guy deserves it.
A few months ago, I was asked to relinquish my title due to my absence following the birth of our son. I agreed under the premise that the title was still in all regards mine to reclaim the moment I wanted to. My privileges on the forums were retained so that I would not become hopelessly out of the loop, since while I could not get into the game often I was on the forums every day. Also to remain in the loop I frequently speak with present officers about current membership and the overall state of things. I know who is who and what is what despite having only logged in three times this month.
I've been popping into the game more recently when I get the chance and upon doing so, I've been receiving queries from people about the state of the guild. People sincerely concerned about things. Why me, as I'm not technically an officer right now? I don't know. It is what it is.
These are concerns, not accusations. Let me note the distinction there. Each complaining member came to me in private, in confidence, for reassurance what seemed to be going on wasn't truly the case. Were these accusations, they'd be chatting about this publicly to the detriment of the guild's image to the community. This is not the case. Therefor when they asked for anonymity, I saw no reason not to promise it to them.
I decided after a number of these concerns being brought to me to make a thread about them on our private officer forums. Which is, you know, the exact appropriate place for such things to be made. Nothing huge. Not a big deal; just a heads up that "Hey, these feelings are out there. Maybe we can try a little harder to assuage them?" To maybe encourage more mindful decision making. Like taking off your shoes when you enter someone's house so you don't get mud on their carpet.
People kind of flipped their shit, however. The reaction was far more hostile than I ever could've imagined. Names were DEMANDED from me. Names I had sworn I wouldn't give out because members were afraid of an adverse reaction (we have one particularly caustic officer). Which I thought unfounded until... they decided to shoot the messenger. My judgment was immediately drawn into question, as was my honesty. Like I had anything to gain from making this thread. As if I would waste what precious little time I have were the concerns not brought to me by reputable, long term, well liked members of the guild. It was pretty offensive to say the least and I'm about the hardest person in the universe to offend.
All of this was being filtered down to me from third parties. Other officers in the guild privy to the conversation about me and what I had posted that didn't actually include me. Not that it needed to be as I pretty much knew exactly how it was taken and who was angered by it when my privileges on the forums were almost immediately revoked. Even were I going to answer questions, I no longer could. I was told these claims held no water unless I gave them names. This, to me, was kind of like demanding to know the name of the person whose house you just walked into before taking your muddy shoes off. It's unimportant. Taking off your shoes is just the polite, civil thing to do regardless. Yet here we were. And here we are, with it still under active debate.
I've been assured the hostiles are few in number and had "had a bad day" but really that's no excuse. I've had plenty of crap days and not once taken it out on other people. There has still yet to be any direct communication about it with me. To the point where I'm ready to just wash my hands of it. As it's gone from an issue that could really be fixed in less than one second just by switching channels in Mumble to some huge conspiracy that requires a witch hunt. For fuck's sake, take your medication.
Disclaimer: Left intentionally vague. This could be about any guild in any MMO, really. That way it remains harmless to present guild's self image, regardless of whether or not they deserve such consideration.