I’m really upset today. Every now and then something happens in gamewhich just gets on top of me when it shouldn’t. This week has been super shitty for me IRL and I’m looking forward to a long weekend off.
Two long term and valued members have declared yesterday that they are leaving the shell. It happens sometimes and it’s never fun. Unfortunately what’s frustrating the whole thing is technology and it’s nothing to do with injustice or drops or anything else. And I don’t know what to do about it.
A few months ago, we moved from Guildportal to Guildwork. The functionality Guildwork offers is fantastic but it is reliant on being run on a current browser. We warned people in game, over Vent and on both Forums (including in public areas) that this was the case.
We have in our shell a married couple, who are generally lovely people and have been incredibly supportive of events until about 3 months ago. But they were struggling a bit with getting Guildwork up and running. They weren’t the only ones.
Eventually one of them started responding to requests etc and managed to post in the forum. The other, could not get it to work on her elderly laptop. Around the same time they had a lot going on in real life and couldn’t be in game as much. The husband let me know his wife was getting a new laptop once they got back from a long family visit and they would sort it out then.
I have offered to many people within the shell to get them started with Guildwork. I’ve talked people through much of its functionality and offered repeatedly on Vent to do the same for this couple. We even had a sack meeting on vent to go through some of the DKP stuff and make sure people got how it works because I was aware it’s very new for some people.
I cannot stress how many times or in how many ways I have offered help. I notice that the wife of the couple stops logging into vent, and that her husband passes messages back and forth. She seemed comfortable with it and so did he, so we didn’t question it. Just assumed that it wasn’t working too well or something.
Because of real life stuff they haven’t been around. The wife decided to take a break from Seren but the husband was still on pearl occasionally and just said he couldn’t be a sack for a while because they had family stuff to resolve. It’s been a hectic time for them. They log off after all Nova events and don’t come to the Sunday events on Seren until the New year.
They both seemed to withdraw from the shell activities a lot and stop communicating. But they had access to the forum and private messaging right? After we closed down Nova, we get a post from both saying they’re leaving. They were both long standing members of Nova and points leaders.
The had their forum access revoked because they seemed very antagonistic to the changes in the shell, however they didn’t seem to understand them clearly but did not respond to private messages.
I then get an email this morning from the wife in response to an email I sent three months ago. She had never replied to it at the time. I then discover she hadn’t even read it at the time… and wrongly associated it with now. I only then discover that she has never found the private messaging on Guildwork and can’t navigate around the site. Whilst she has managed to post on the forum.
So various attempts to contact both of them have been missed and they are angry because they feel out of the loop and punished for being away. Unfortunately, the timing of some of their actions has made things seem far worse than they need to be.
I’ve had this happen to me before. I had someone find the email I sent him in reponse to a tricky issue involving his then partner months after it was sent. He’d forgotten that he’d emailed me from that account several times and just didn’t check for a while. Or missed it. He was livid with me because, not having had a response privately, I posted in the officers forum about the issue. And yet, I’d done the right thing by initially not raising it in front of the other officers because I knew it was a delicate matter. And it involved others so I couldn’t just have a quiet word and leave it. I had months of harassment over that whole issue and then an email out of the blue a while later when he found it.
Technology is not the answer. All it would need is a quick chat… but that involves you being on vent or in game long enough to have it. The fact that you live in a time zone 7 hours behind mine doesn’t help. I know not everyone picks up new technology easily but being yelled at for not being communicative by people who for valid reasons had been away for a while just about made my day. If sending emails, private messages and being available in game and on vent doesn’t cover being communicative, I don’t know what does.
People who until 3-4 months ago were valued members of the shell. Yet essentially we’re in this situation because of assumptions and technology.
I hope the POL messages I have sent in response to this morning’s missive do not fall on deaf ears. People do come and go from shells and no doubt there’s more to it than that but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t yell at me for not communicating yet ensure that you cannot possibly be communicated with. So avoiding Vent, not being in game, not checking the forum and not letting me know you need help with the forum will make it pretty difficult for me to get in touch with you no?
The problem is the assumptions behind the actions. People in shell wondering if they had no intention of staying in shell and were making excuses etc. I know they could be using the above as an excuse but honestly, in this case I don’t think they are. Coupled with the update, we’ve had to make changes to the way we do things in the shell. Previously they would have been involved in those discussions but timing, the update and technology phail have combined to just make something out of nothing.
I wish some days you could just go down the pub with people. It would be a lot easier.