I expect this post will end up as a jumbled wall of text, a therapeutic outpouring of thoughts with (most likely) no cohesive point. Sorry about that.
Somehow on Wednesday night I went from being a raider who gets to just rock up and heal, to an officer. This was completely unexpected and it’s all still feeling a bit surreal.
This isn’t the first time I’ve been in a leadership position within a guild, in fact I seem to be incapable of staying away from them. Which is probably why Cass laughed when I got promoted. Sisterly love at its best.
It’s been 6 months since I’ve been an Officer. And I can tell you that I haven’t missed worrying about who /gquit the night before, stressing if there are going to be enough raiders online to fill the raid this week and walking that fine line between being a good healer and being responsible for the healers.
When I was GM I loved it. Yes, the work load was huge but even though my officers would give me suggestions, I called the shots – I think most of my guildies would say I was a benevolent dictator. While I made some mistakes I would like to think that the reason I still am still in contact with most of my guild members is testament to a job well done. In the end it was all too much and coincided with some nasty-real-life stuff. At the time I didn’t have enough officers around me who I could trust to pick up where I left off.
Lesson Learned: You can’t do everything yourself no matter how much you think you can.
After disbanding my guild I joined a raiding guild called Defiance. Somehow I was promoted to an officer position within the first month. The officer core was mainly filled with people who did SFA and were the Guild Master’s buddies. The liked Officer chat. They liked getting a guaranteed raid spot. But they didn’t actually do anything to benefit the guild. Things weren’t running well at all. Making an actual change to the status-quo just seemed too hard for the GM. No matter what his Officers were advising him to do. It was like talking to a brick wall.
Being an officer under him was impossible and was ultimately the reason I had to get out. I can’t deal with indecisive people who prefer to sit back and do nothing. Suggesting ways to implement change was met with resistance at every turn and most suggestions were ignored completely or brought up as his ideas a couple of days later.
The lessons I learn in this brief two or three month period could possibly fill a book but the main lessons I learned were:
Lesson Learned: Don’t try to change the world.
Lesson Learned: If you don’t respect the GM don’t become an Officer.
So this leads me to my current guild Vitare where I’ve been playing happily, as a member, for the last 6 months.
When I joined the healing team was pretty much in shambles. Half of the healing team were new recruits (including me). No healing assignments were given out. Everything that went wrong was blamed on the healers. I was pretty shocked at the disrespect shown to the healers by the entire raid – officers included.
Over time this attitude has really shifted (otherwise I would have run for the hills months ago!) and the healing team is pretty strong and stable. I think we are all good players. But at the time that I joined I was itching to take over and had to really force myself to sit back and go for the ride. Guess what? I succeeded and really started to enjoy raiding again.
But now that I’ve gotten used to being a regular raider with next to no power or responsibility, I get promoted.
So why the sudden need for another Officer?
I really have no idea. I personally felt things were running pretty good with the 4 officers we already had. Sure, none of them play healers or caster main specs (which can perhaps skew the strategies a bit) but I didn’t think it was that large a problem that we needed someone else promoted to assist. Perhaps some of the other raiders/healers felt we needed representation.
Here is what I think my “official” role is:
Keep the healing team happy and healthy by giving them a voice within the officer group. Formalize our healing assignments and keep track of which DPS has the strongest healing sets and offspecs. It’s time to re-download my healing assignment mod and start having a good look at what healers we have.
My gut instinct however is that my job is actually to:
Be the person all the healer QQ goes to so the rest of the raid doesn’t have to hear it.
Yes, we have some very vocal healers.
If you really liked doing nothing why did you accept the promotion?
That is a very good question! Part of me actually believed the job would be somehow different this time round. Naïve? Absolutely. But Vitare runs, how can I say, on the KISS principle (the DKP rules aren’t even written up) which I was hoping meant of a lot of the issues I’ve tackled in previous guilds would be negligible here. The drama-level in Vitare seems to be relatively low too.
Day 1 as an Officer and I learnt differently.
Apparently the rule is that epic plans/recipes go to Officers first and then to raiders. This isn’t written anywhere that I can find and it was the first I had heard of it. Of course at the end of the raid night, the last boss went down and a Tailoring recipe dropped. I rolled for it and lost (seriously I have the worst rolling luck!) but was then given the recipe anyway. One of the raiders who also rolled (and not the person who won the roll either I will add) complained about it over vent, also making it very clear that he had been in the guild longer. I’m not stupid. I knew he was making it clear that he felt I did not deserve to have the recipe, or was not an appropriate choice for promotion or was somehow cheating the rules. Perhaps all three.
I whispered him and apologized saying I felt bad that things hadn’t been clearer and was happy to pass it to the roll winner on this occasion if that would make him feel more comfortable. The response I got back was essentially “this just makes me remember why I’m quitting WoW at the end of the month” and he then asked me if the Officers were anti-American.
I couldn’t help it, I rolled my eyes. Being an Officer wasn’t going to be any different this time around.
After going to bed that night severely regretting my promotions, I thankfully woke up feeling a bit more optimistic. I started making a plan of what my next steps would be.
So What Is My Game Plan?
Well I have a lot of ideas but trying to make it all happen at once is probably a bad idea (see Lesson Learned #2). So instead I’m going by the small steps principle. The last thing I want to do is alienate the other healers by enforcing new things upon them quickly and create resistance and stubbornness instead. So these are the first steps I plan on taking:
- Start a Healer Channel. We need to work as a team and chatting together in a private chat channel is the best way to go about it. It’s also a good way for them to get used to trusting me with their concerns so that I can present the problems (I hope) to the other officers in a more constructive manner.
- Let the other existing Officers get used to a girl in their midst! I’m all of a sudden in their Officer chat channel (not that our officers are particularly well know for reading typed chat!) and I imagine it will take them a little bit of time to adjust.
- Step back and work out how the other Officers handle problems. The guild runs pretty well and I don’t want to do anything to change that.
- Track healing assignments. Who was assigned to heal what? What was the healing makeup when we earned that guild first kill? Eventually I can start compiling these into set assignments that can be used by the guild, keeping the healing assignments consistent week to week.
- Go back and create healing assignment “templates” to cover farmed content.
So what do you guys think – was I crazy to say yes? What do you wish your healing officer would do? Suggestions are very welcome.