HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

The Asshat Clause

Being an Asshole is All Part of My Manly Essence

Do you have and enforce an Asshat Clause in your guild?

I’m sure you’ve heard of it, and chances are your guild has one:

We don’t care how good a player you are,
if you’re an asshole we’ll boot you.

I have to admit I’m a bit of a softy and take pity on people with poor social skills. I prefer to work around their ineptness by ignoring them as much as humanly possible. For the first time since I started raiding I was tempted to /gkick a raider in the middle of raid even though we were already short a member and really needed him.

What tempted me? This particular player asked Cass in raid chat after having a disagreement (she was standing up for a guildy he was bagging in party chat) if she was an ugly dwarf in real life. The intent was to be cruel, plain and simple and pray on a persons insecurities.

You all know the type of guy this is, the person who’s sitting there in raid chat after a progression wipe raging about the fact that people aren’t focusing and everyone is bad. They of course don’t realise they’re up there with the best of them getting hit by malleable ooze and standing in the green shit.

So back to the incident. My judgment and sense of fair play got the better of me and I instead decided to give them a warning via whisper.  Don’t even ask me to go into the carry on that ensued - having to put up with it the first time was bad enough. He did after prompting apologise, but I believe Cass had him on ignore so it kind of defeated the purpose.

It’s been 24 hours and I’m still regretting just not simply kicking of him.  I believe I would stand up for anyone treated like that, though Cass is my sister so perhaps my judgment is clouded, maybe I’m being too harsh and over reacting.

Or there’s the other side, should I have just got rid of someone who causes trouble and has an ego that is far larger then his play capabilities?

I am interested to know what you guys think and what you would have done in my position. If this incident had occurred in your guild, how would it have been handled by your officers?

33 Responses to “The Asshat Clause”

  1. ViktNo Gravatar says

    I can be an asshole when I get frustrated with something in game or can get as pissed as anyone when I don’t feel people around me are giving it the same effort, but there’s still a line on the way you treat people, you know…Basic Humanity 101. When someone crosses that line it can easily become a cancer, and honestly it would’ve had to have been one helluvan apology for me not to remove said cancer.

    I don’t assume you as having a hard-on for power or leading with an iron fist, but regardless of how your leadership style is there are times where you need to make an example out of someone so that you don’t have to be the perpetual-asshole leader. IMO asking my sister if she was an ugly dwarf irl for no other reason than to insult her was that example.
    .-= Vikt’s last blog … Wintergrasp? Whatever =-.

  2. TamNo Gravatar says

    Had I only the power I would assuredly have g-kicked him instantly…. or perhaps given a non-private warning along the lines of “You have 10 seconds to apologise for that in a way that satisfies everybody present.” This is probably why I’ll never be an officer :P

    Seriously though. I know tempers can get heated and people will say things they don’t mean but there’s a world – a damn world – of difference between saying something a bit snappy and a bit rude and *personal abuse*.

    That to me crosses every line there is.
    .-= Tam’s last blog … the fail pug that wasn’t =-.

  3. I think it depends on what you mean by “Don’t even ask me to go into the carry on that ensued – having to put up with it the first time was bad enough.” See, my reaction would depend on how he reacted to being called out on being a jerk. If he had said “oh crap, I didn’t mean it that way, I’m sorry.” then fine, keep him in the guild, no problem. That’s just learning where the “line” is for joking in the guild. But if he gave you crap about it… no. Just no.

    I think you should discuss with the neutral officers that you have. I think you’re afraid of appearing to be biased and hotheaded based on nepotism. However, if the other officers agree that you should gkick, well that’s that. It’s always good to have backup. It’s very rare that an officer in my guild has gkicked someone without first bringing it to the other officers for a “reality check” to make sure it’s a kickworthy offense.
    .-= crankyhealer’s last blog … The Cranky UI Part 8 =-.

  4. VidyalaNo Gravatar says

    We do have an “asshat clause,” in fact it’s one of few clauses we have. But we also don’t kick “in the heat of the moment,” and I think you made the right call not to do so.

    Definitely get another officer(s) involved who can be more impartial – it sounds like it’s worth getting rid of him anyway, but if other officers agree then you can kick his ass with a clear conscience!
    .-= Vidyala’s last blog … Arise, my champion! Arise and fight once more! =-.

  5. BeruthielNo Gravatar says

    I feel your pain, Lath.

    I always prefer to try and see the best in people, and give them the benefit of the doubt. But sometimes it really is not worth the effort it takes. Back in TBC we house cleaned. It wasn’t on purpose, it just sort of happened. Collectively we decided we didn’t want to play with assholes anymore, and as they couldn’t contain themselves the found themselves removed. From overt negativity to using inappropriate racial connotations, people were removed. And quite honestly, even though we couldn’t afford to loose the members, we ended up a much better guild in the long run for having done it.

    I’m still a bit of a softie, and I’ve not kicked anyone for quite some time (outside of trials that failed), but largely people just treat each other with respect. When we see people step out of line, we bring them back, but nobody has gone far enough to be removed in quite some time. But sometimes it’s just less hassle to kick a member whose attitude is going to infect those around him in a negative fashion, than it is to try to work with them. It’s just not worth the extra effort for someone who doesn’t want to be respectful.

    I wish you the best of luck with this guy in the future! I don’t think I’d give him another chance if his behaviour continues, though :)
    .-= Beruthiel’s last blog … Returning to My Roots? =-.

  6. Dyre42No Gravatar says

    In my experience every guildie that I’ve had to have a talk to for similar reasons either left the guild shortly thereafter or ended up getting kicked later. I would have kicked him. However I would have done so once the night was done (ie Never fire someone till the end of their shift.) and after addressing the issue publicly; “I’m sorry (Jerks name) but your insulting/abusive behavior in tonight’s raid was unacceptable. Take care. /gkick” . That way you’ve not only addressed the issue but you’ve also made it clear to everyone else what is expected of them.

  7. KurnNo Gravatar says

    Back when I was a GM for my guild, we had a trial period of about 2-4 weeks (usually ending around 3), during which we usually got a good idea of the person behind the toon. We were able to identify, pretty quickly, who was a jerk and who wasn’t. We’d rarely actually close someone’s trial because they were not a great player. We DID, several times, close someone’s trial because they were an ass.

    So had that incident happened while the person was on trial, at the next officer meeting (or sooner, if we felt it was particularly awful), we’d vote and probably boot them. But not in the heat of the moment.

    We did have to drop a couple of members for varying reasons after they’d passed their trials, one for being a complete ass. However, being an ass was just part of why — he wasn’t listening to his assignments, wasn’t doing what he was asked (putting up curses — he was a warlock and ALWAYS used Doom, even when asked to put up Elements or whatever) and such. In the end, he got so pissy about it that he apped to another guild on the server. We were informed about the app and had a quick meeting and told him, in no uncertain terms that we don’t permit apps to other guilds while you’re in ours, and that if he didn’t gquit now on his own, he’d be kicked.

    He bitched me out in /g, called us a bunch of noobs and gquit. Problem solved. :)

    So basically, I’d sit down with the other officers, see if there’s any other instances of him being a total dick and then vote to keep him or kick him. GL!
    .-= Kurn’s last blog … Kurn’s Q&A #6 =-.

  8. SpinksNo Gravatar says

    If someone said that to my sister, they’d be out like a shot. I don’t even care if it’s fair or not, I don’t want them near her or near me. (But I think it is fair to have zero tolerance on people just being nasty.)
    .-= Spinks’s last blog … Knockback Man, thank goodness you came! =-.

  9. AneaNo Gravatar says

    Tam said it quite succinctly: There’s a world – a damn world – of difference between saying something a bit snappy and a bit rude and *personal abuse*.

    What he said was completely uncalled for – frustration is one thing but that crossed a line.

    As far as what I would have done… I probably would have wanted to kick him right on the spot, but in the end, I think I would have done as Dyre42 suggests – wait till the end of the raid, address the issue and kick him.
    .-= Anea’s last blog … Love Revealed =-.

  10. SarlalianNo Gravatar says

    Even though I’m not an officer in the guild I raid with, heck I’m not even in the guild, but I usually have assist, and I would have booted him out of the raid right then. I will tolerate all kinds of bad behavior, including a fair amount of “he just don’t have the social skills” rudeness and such. Meanness though, is right out. As soon as someone is being spiteful and mean, they are gone.

  11. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    Now I’m totally bewildered. This particular teenager had been having a go at one of the healers for dying to stupid stuff in Party Chat early on in the night. Since the other members of the Party seemed to be enjoying the conversation, I think I said something along the lines of “why don’t you worry about your own performance and forget about everyone else?” and put them on /ignore.

    I certainly didn’t start an argument. I didn’t even say anything else on Vent or in /Party chat for like an hour and all of a sudden this comment must have been posted – which I didn’t see.

    He ended up apologising to me on another character this morning… but I wonder what prompted the “bet you’re ugly in RL” stuff.

  12. VokNo Gravatar says

    I’m pretty anti-asshat. Well, I’m extremely anti-asshate. I hate them with a passion. That being said, I think you need to tread carefully when dealing with them as not to be one yourself.

    Generally, everyone gets a warning. Generally. In the above situation though, if someone was being deliberately spiteful, they’re gone. If there intent is to be nasty, there are no warnings, no second chances. Kick, ignore, forget.
    .-= Vok’s last blog … Guilds in guilds =-.

  13. NasiNo Gravatar says

    Yea, if it were me it woulda been instant demotion to asshat rank. This makes them realize it was wrong (they have zero access and can’t gchat) but it also let’s everyone else, in or out of the raid, realize that they were being a jerk. I’d then make a decision based on their reaction and their history/like-ability in the guild. Ie. If it was rukiar I would know it was extremely out of character, if it was vok (:-p) BOOM! gone.

  14. KeevaNo Gravatar says

    I called ours the “Iron-clad douchebag clause” and I implemented it after taking too many hits from the asshat stick.

    I do not expect everyone to get along with each other, or to hold hands and be best friends. But we are all adults and should be capable of treating each other with respect and following some basic rules.

    I would rather cancel raids than tolerate people who think that their skill or history with the guild gives them a free pass to act however they want, laugh at the guild values, and treat people like garbage.

    Anyone fitting the description above will be summarily booted. We don’t ever want to associate with those people, as they ruin the game for everyone else. Progression is not so important to us that we would let our members endure having this kind of person in the guild.

    I haven’t had to kick anyone for breaking it yet, nor have I booted someone from a raid.. but I’ve definitely told people to watch their step, and it usually doesn’t go further. I have, however, denied past members re-entry into the guild, and gone on to be grateful that I took a firm stance on it, after watching them get tossed out of another guild for stupid behaviour.

    But… I’ve also been soft, allowed people back in that had been toeing the asshat line in the past, but I wanted to give them a second chance. Or because they said “I’ve changed/I just want to hang out.” I’ve gone on to regret that, and now I will always ALWAYS trust my gut when it tells me that people don’t change, and that this person is going to cause trouble for us again.

    Lately I have been wearing my GM boots a lot more, and reminding people that if they don’t follow the rules, they will be warned and then booted – regardless of how long they’ve been with us or how high their DPS is.

    Basically, I’m not taking any crap anymore, particularly from people who feel that the length of their membership gives them a free pass to be disrespectful to others, and to shoot off at the mouth when they are frustrated in a raid. These days, I don’t hesitate to give someone a warning if they are doing something that has a negative impact on the raid.

    At this point, protecting my guild from negative people is more important to me than having enough people to raid tonight. In the short term, it might hurt, but everyone can be replaced – and in the long term, it makes for a much better atmosphere and happier guild.
    .-= Keeva’s last blog … Q: What has 26 tails and eats headphone cords? =-.

  15. PapaNastyNo Gravatar says

    You did the right thing Lath

    Not all guilds are nice ones like ours, a lot are full of those arrogant arseholes who will fire out abuse at the drop of a hat.

    A single warning should be enough to let them know that that kind of behaviour won’t be tolerated. With good management, some of these arseholes can adjust their evil doing ways and be reformed back into human beings.

  16. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    @Keeva I read your guild policies when you re-launched your guild site – and I loved the wording of your Asshat Clause.

    @Papa I don’t know if you would be so quick to say we’re a “nice” guild if you’d seen some of the stuff said on Monday night :(

    I missed the nasty comment directed at me, although I (wrongly) assumed that I was being griefed about something actually related to my in-game performance – like standing in ooze, or not switching or whatever. To find out that it was a personal attack… I’m a lot more upset, and disappointed about the whole thing today than I was at the time.

    @Dyre42 That is truly excellent advice.

  17. PapaNastyNo Gravatar says

    We are a nice guild :) If people aren’t being nice, then they aren’t really fitting in with the guild culture soto speak.

    These people will need to be reminded of that, so that they can modify their behaviour. Since not everyone has to be best friends, but personal attacks or non constructive criticism aren’t cool, we need to all work together if we’re going to down bosses :)

  18. LathNo Gravatar says

    Thank you guys for all the kind words/support :) I was actually holding my breath before getting up the guts to peek at these comments I was so sure at least one person would have slammed me for being overly sensitive or some such thing!

  19. AlsarusNo Gravatar says

    Depends on what this means – “Don’t even ask me to go into the carry on that ensued – having to put up with it the first time was bad enough”.

    If it means the asshattery continued, then into officer chat with you and propose /gkick to all online officers. Include all of the gory details, and take a vote. If your guild is anything like the ones I’ve been in (WoW and other games), he’d be gone on a unanimous vote.

    Doesn’t matter that Cass is your sister; guildies don’t treat guildies that way. Unacceptable behavior in a guild to me.

    Would you have reacted differently if it was some other guildie and not Cass? I doubt it.

    Go with your gut, but bounce it off fellow officers first.

  20. JaediaNo Gravatar says

    My old guild would have ignored it, probably laughed at him so he carried on even more..

    My current guild might have gone with the “Dude.. not cool.” approach.

    Personally I wouldn’t want to raid with somebody who I’d be a little scared of turning on me and insulting me for no real reason, though that could just be me. A warning is good enough tbh, if he gets any more complaints then perhaps consider taking action.
    .-= Jaedia’s last blog … Overview Of My Characters =-.

  21. ClickityclopNo Gravatar says

    Hmm I actually didn’t see the comment he made, but generally from what I’ve seen of the guy he seems alright. I don’t know why he was so on edge, but I don’t think he really meant what he said. Yea he did kinda fail at the goo himself, but from what I saw he didn’t have such a problem with the goo until after the incident, and he did get called out for it as well. I think his behaviour definitely deserved a warning though.

  22. LathereNo Gravatar says

    @Clickityclop I think your a sweetheart and just too nice :) I can guarantee that it was said to be spiteful, you have to remember I actually got the additional comments/whispers after giving a warning, which I am not comfortable going into over this blog.

    My day job requires me to be a good judge of people and I am very good at tailoring my communication to get the reaction/response I want from individuals. How I deal with you for example, would be very different to how I would respond to Draggy or Dark.

    There are specific people I keep an eye on because they have the potential to be trouble makers and this individual was one on my list. Unfortunately he lived up to my expectations and was, well an ass. Hopefully a warning will be enough to keep him quiet and keep his comments private to his mates – I have no problem with people bitching but don’t do it in public.

  23. ClickityclopNo Gravatar says

    True, I didn’t even see what was said and what took place, and I don’t need to, so I’m not gonna judge anyone involved on it. I also seem to make friends with people who easily offend people, even irl, so maybe I tend to be very forgiving of people who stir up a bit of trouble. But from an officer’s point of view, you obviously have to take all members into consideration, and can’t ignore everything bad that happens like I do.

    I agree with papa though, our guild is generally very nice, as well as the guildies, and I tend to enjoy raid even if we’re wiping all night. So it would be nice to keep it that way, and it’s good that someone is keeping tabs on any trouble makers. I just thank god I don’t have to do it :P

  24. When I was an officer in a 25 man raiding alliance, I took the asshole clause very seriously. I felt that my duty as an officer was to protect the interests of all my raiders, to give them a safe and fun environment in which they could raid.

    If there were someone present who made others feel personally uncomfortable in such an extreme way, by making personal attacks, or calling them names over vent, I did everything I could to at least ban them from raiding signups for a week.

    Besides, there’s no such thing as an ugly dwarf. Hmph.
    .-= Miss Medicina’s last blog … Public Shaming… of Myself. =-.

  25. CaylebNo Gravatar says

    In MoK, that would have earned the asshat-in-question an instant demotion. If he didn’t apologize and behave, a /gkick would be quick to follow.

    We tolerate a lot, especially in /g, but asshattery on that level (cruel personal attacks) is really not something any of us want to see.
    .-= Cayleb’s last blog … Drunken Dragons =-.

  26. RichNo Gravatar says

    I am, as I suspect you are, a self-confessed nice guy (or girl!). The problem with that is of course, not everyone plays by your rules.

    I’m part of an awesome guild on Jubei. Progression we are not, but it’s an awesome, super friendly guild, and one that keeps me logged on long after I’ve gotten my two Frost Emblems.

    But we still get the occasional clown shoe. Like the guy who used the n-bomb to refer to random mobs, bosses and players. When asked repeatably to stop, his answer was “lol, why?”. Again, falling victim to the Nice Guy Role, (found to the right of the Dungeon Leader Role) I against my better judgment didn’t kick him and I’ve regretted it ever since.

    I’m a social player in a very social guild. I hate to be the bad guy. But sometimes an anti-social act like kicking a player for being a douche can be better for you (and the Guild) in the long run.

    So when almost the exact same situation popped up again last night (different player, different epithet, same “lol why?” response) I gave him a chance to apologize, then gkicked his ass to the curb. And God do I feel good.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      By and large the times that I felt forced to gkick someone the remaining member of the guild have all congratulated me for sticking to the rules and standing up for not just myself, but for them.

  27. LidijaNo Gravatar says

    I’m an officer in a casual raiding guild, and I’ve had this trouble before also. Our guild has a 3-strikes-and-you’re-gkicked policy. If you /w the guy and he gives u any trouble (and doesn’t immediately apologise), then take a screenshot of the converdation and post it in the officer section of your forum. Thats his first strike, and it’s important that the neutral officers are aware of it. Also remove him immediately from the raid as he is not helping morale – a quiet pug is better than an asshat bringing everyone down.

    We’ve only had to forcibly remove a player from the guild once, and a couple of times the asshats got pissed and left by themselves. It’s never a nice situation to be in, but after they leave (or are kicked), I always see a wave of support from the ranks. The truth is, none of your guild are paying their subscription so they can listen to abuse. The officers really need to react, otherwise the asshats end up happy and guildies end up down-spirited.

  28. I rarely leave a response, but i did some searching and wound up here The Asshat Clause. And I actually do have a couple of questions for you if it’s allright. Is it only me or does it seem like a few of these responses look as if they are written by brain dead people? :-P And, if you are writing on other online social sites, I’d like to follow everything fresh you have to post. Would you make a list of the complete urls of your shared pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

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