Officers, old and new

11 Jun

In girl scouts (yes, I was a girl scout) we had a song with a lyric, “make new friends, but keep the old.”  It went on to prioritize one over the other, equating them to precious metals.  The point (I think) is that we need to see the value of new people, without forgetting the people who’ve gotten us to where we are.  In World of Warcraft, I find we often forget someone after they’re out of our game or even our immediate play circle for more than a few minutes.  I’ve met a great many friends through this game, and some of them have come and gone in a matter of months, all but forgotten.

Tragic as this is, an almost worse problem is when people assume that the contributions of days gone by forgive them for anything ongoing (or taking any responsibility for what’s ongoing).  I’m a part of the leadership team in a guild that’s just over three and a half years old.  These three and a half years are of solid, active raiding, and they didn’t happen without the constant efforts of many VERY involved parties.  These people deserve a lot of respect for what they did, but as was discussed on a recent Officers’ Quarters article, players should be in officer roles for ongoing contributions, not historical ones.  Now, this isn’t a current issue in my guild.  We have a few people in hiatus (including, ironically, both of our GMs—guess who they left in charge?), but no one who isn’t either coming back soon (recent babies) or who isn’t contributing significantly as an officer still (forums are a wonderful tool, my non-existent readers).

Despite this not being a current problem for my guild, I still wonder at the dichotomy.  We have, one one hand, a 2s partner or BFFIG (best friend forever in-game) who leaves WoW and is forgotten after two weeks.  On the other hand, we have officers who don’t/won’t/can’t contribute a healthy amount, and these people refuse to be forgotten (or step into a more appropriate role).  I assume this has something to do with our desire for control over the game we play, and our need for recognition for what we do.  Its sad that an officers endless efforts to keep a guild going are forgotten when they end, but it also needed that folks not sit stagnant in a rank they aren’t working for.  Likewise, perhaps it is an instinct of avoiding stagnation that we turn to a new 2s partner or new friend who old ones move on.

Somewhat related, the Officers’ Quarters that I linked above is a great series for any old or aspiring guild leaders or officers out there.  The author has also written a book, which you should all go out and buy.  I would explain that I’m not affiliated or doing anything other than promoting what I think is good work, but I’m sure incorporeal readers don’t need such reassurances.

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