Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Persistent social blindspots

I have this sort of instructive tale that I tell about myself that I find not only helps other people understand why I do some things I do but also helps to remind myself of my own tendencies. See, I was for a while in the U.S. Army. At one point, I was in front of my battalion Command Sergeant Major, standing at ease along with my company First Sergeant, my platoon Sergeant, and my squad leader. I wasn't actually in trouble, but any time you've got that much NCO leadership in one room talking about you as a junior enlisted Soldier, you're going to be on your best behavior.
It was at this point that my CSM asked me: "Specialist, are those new boots?"
In fact, they were not! But they looked new because I hadn't worn them much, and this in turn was true because of a string of reasoning going back to the mid-tour equipment replacement process used while deployed to a combat zone.
It will be evident to anyone in the world that none of the people in that room will have cared about the provenance of my damn boots, but my first instinct is to go "well Sergeant Major, the full and complete answer is as follows:" and then launch into a monologue. She of course cut me off, having only wanted to hear a yes or a no.
So I'm aware that I have this tendency towards pedantry. And sometimes it's the right answer! Sometimes it really does work to get everyone to stop, agree on what terms mean, agree on what the discussion is about, and move forward from there. Sometimes.
On the other hand, sometimes it is not. The guild's first raid is tonight, and I've got a raid calendar with signups that I can approve or leave on standby for the raid, depending on who's signed and what I think we'll need and how often X or Y person has been benched and so on. One of the people that I benched for this first raid was a long-time guildmember and officer (he's been around longer than me, for instance), and he was really mad about it.
He made an angry post about it, essentially accusing me of benching him for a bunch of really shitty reasons. I wrote a long response to him along the lines of "the possible reasons you gave don't make sense for all these reasons. Here's my reasoning behind how I filled every slot in the raid. Here's why you're sitting for this one night." Included in those reasons was my assessment of some relative skill levels in the guild. Skill is an imprecise term, but broadly accurate for the summary here.
This precipitated a gquit, which is a bummer.
My boyfriend later pointed out that it would have been superior to post a much shorter answer along the lines of: "I slotted the raid the way I did because I'm the raid leader and that's what I have to do. Being a long-time member and an officer does not guarantee anyone a raid spot. I will work to do everything I can do to rotate people in and out of the active raid fairly." Of course it would be ideal to always bring the same ten people every single week, but you can't really guarantee that happening.
Really, that's all that was needed. Maybe the guy still would have gquit, there's no way to know. That would definitely have been a preferable answer, though.
Even so, I think we'll be ok.
In other news, I got a super lucky tame of Sambas! And redesigned the blog because of it! So that's exciting. Sadly, it's also causing some weirdness with how the posts format. It used to be that every paragraph would automatically get a linebreak between them because of the div tags, but that doesn't seem to be true with this template, and I'm not sure how to address that. I should also really install a reader, not just for my own use but to get a sense of how my posts appear in others' readers.
I still haven't written the "hunter gems and enchants" post I need to write, sorry. Hell, I'm still not really capable of getting the optimal enchants for Pradzha - that would take somewhere between 6 and 12 maelstrom crystals, each of which go for  about 2k on my server, and I just can't afford that yet. Since we'll be raiding starting tonight we should be getting drops to melt for crystals soonish, so that'll help, but it'll still be another month or so before we're really getting our raiders properly enchanted I suspect. I have high hopes for tonight and tomorrow: I've just finished watching videos, reading articles, and taking notes. I actually feel fairly prepared for the initial encounters in both instances. It'll feel good to be back to raiding again.


  1. I'm awesome at this myself. My bf always tells me that "when you discuss something, you basically say the same thing over and over". But I do that because I don't feel like people understand me, and I want to make sure my point gets across. And also I think while talking so sometimes I want to change my wording somewhat. I'm one of those people who rewrite texts and add little stuff all the time. But yeah, I could probably say what I have to say in way more efficient ways. Have to practice that.

    Using a reader to check your own posts is a great idea, I do it myself to make sure it gets off as intended. That way you can also keep track of your subscribers easily ;)

  2. Congratulations on the tame! That lion is gorgeous.

    I, too, could be more concise. It's tough, but it's a pretty useful skill to work on.


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