Monday, January 25, 2010

The guild leader personality type

I don't normally do this kind of thing, but this one really stuck out as an example of the amazing lengths people can go to make themselves feel important and avoid rejection anxiety.

I had a tank type whisper me asking if he should bother applying.  I told him that was his choice, and here is the website.

Our application template is quite lengthy.  All the questions are there for a reason, and we like to have them answered.  For reasons best only known unto himself, this applicant chose to not answer them all.  With this comment at the bottom of the app:
"...I have played WoW for 5 years. I have had 10 Level 70's and 4 Level 80's over 4 accounts I am now solely focusing on this Tank and a Druid Healer. I have RAID experience, skills and talents I believe your guild and I will be best served with a two raid trial. I have purposefully chosen to not answer some questions as I would prefer to have my actions and game play / style speak for itself.

I do not like the gear score or achievement system as it is used much too often to form an image of a player; usually of a character who just levelled to 80, these players generally have the required skills and determination to see a RAID through to the end but never get noticed.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me in game and I will happily jump on vent and chat."

Ok... apart from every time he wrote raid it was in all caps for some reason, alarm bells were going off in my head.  Something tells me this guy knows who I am and has read my rants about gearscore and it trying to earn brownie points.  So I replied with this:
"we ask questions for a reason.
We like them to be answered one way or another, in the applicaiton[sic] process, before we test and trial.

We also think actions speak louder than words.  Your actions in this case are saying that you are trying to not answer things becuase[sic] if you do you will look bad on your application.

We prefer people to be honest with us.  I get the strong impression from your applicaiton
[sic] that you are hiding a lot of things from us.

Please answer all the quetions
[sic] on the application or I cannot go further with the process.  I would also recommend you reread our "about us" section and really think about how you are answering the questions we are asking.  You might also want to reread the application template and understand exactly waht[sic] our application process is.  Reading your extra comments makes me think you havent."
 Yeah, my typing is terrible.  So sue me.  Anyway, my point is that the guy either didn't care about his application or was yanking our chain by deliberately not reading and pushing for a response.  My GL partner in crime merely -1'ed it and the melee officer outright declined it, prompting me to lock the thread (as I do all declined applications to minimise nerdrage fron within and without the guild)  Apparently, this guy was "testing" us.  He follows up with a rather pompous PM to me and my two officers who bothered to reply (yes, I am colouring your perception of these snippets deliberately):
"If I had been accepted on that application I would not have joined, after 5 years of wow I know what to look for and what to ask or say to get into a guild....
 ...I have no doubt the application was not to your expectations which was my intention by completing the application in a half hearted manner which I have no doubt this email is an unexpected move for [your guild]....
... I do have a question though from all the responses I have seen which for the most part were courteous, why is it applicants must only be worthy of your time, why are applicants not worth 5 minutes of your time to fix an application or clarify a point? ...

... It is worth noting that a guild that cannot accept criticism is not worthy of my dedication and time, additionally I do see the hypocrisy in wasting your time to make my point when I do not like my time being wasted....
...Thanks for your time and patience in reading this deliberate and thought out response...  "
The mind boggles.  So, why are applicants not worth 5 mins of our time?  Well, they are.  We actually spend a lot of time to-ing and fro-ing in applications trying to figure out whether or not a person is right for us.  However, occasionally, we find applicants who dont bother to put the effort in for us to bother to look much at them.  I was not going to grovel and apologise to this guy to get him to apply properly (something he should have done in the first place)

I am reminded at this point of the very first line in our application template:
"Please, carefully read the entire contents of this post and other posts linked here before deciding to make an application. Remember to put a lot of thought into your application as your first impression will be a deciding factor. If you write thoughtlessly, expect nothing more in return."

In this case, his little ploy completely backfired on him.  Here are some of my responses to his PM:
"I am not surprised that you have continued dialog, you are not the first person to seek alternative means of communication with us when an application is declined.  There are many ways to continue an application if the applicant feels they were hard done by....

...And no, this is not unexpected.  I was actually waiting for your in game PST, to be honest, raging about the denial.....

...Indeed we have had our time wasted, which is why the application process and questions are as they are - it becomes very obvious very quickly who is talking out their arse....

...Most of the questions on the application are about personality couched in wow terms.  Some are pure tehnical[sic], but TBH, one armoury link is enough for that.  We can glean everything we need to know (technically) about a person from the armoury these days.

I could use yours as example.  One look at armoury and a few other sites tells us that you are probably not up to what we are looking for in a tank from a tech pov.  Your toon is new, you havent tanked the content and you are quite likely inexperienced at paladin tanking.  Your blase attitude in your application sealed the deal for us.  You didn't bother to read up on how our application process works and decided to tell us how to suck eggs with regards testing and trialing, when one proper look at the documents would have pointed out we do exactly that.

So, not only are you not up to scratch technically, but you pissed me off by being impertinent...

...Honestly, if you are going to be double talking every single thing you do and say, as you are proving right now, you will be a very high maintenance guild member to have in guild and I am disinclined to continue dialog with you.

Prove me wrong and I will happily eat my words, but I and my other officers dont appreciate games being played - we simply dont have time for this shit.  You will get responses like you got on your application.

[I am] Always willing to read applications that do us the respect of answering all the questions and are honest in their dealings with us.

Reapplication is up to you.  But given the way you dealt with this thus far, unless you can really wow me with awesome, you are not the right personality type for [my guild]."

I was pretty brutal, but I was pushing him for a response as much as he was pushing me.  As a guild leader, you can't really have someone come into your guild entirely on their terms, with them calling all the shots.  It has to be on mutual terms.  This guy, from a leadership perspective, would have caused issues down the track pushing his opinion and playing his games to get his way in the guild.  He is the type of person who should be running a guild, not playing in one.  And there is only room for one perhaps 2, with good understanding, communication and partnership, guild leader types in any one guild.  And I have my partner in the leadership stakes at this moment, I dont need another one to argue with or to have take the piss liberally out of me in raids (oh, sorry RAIDs)!

The applicant came back with this which quite literally made me guffaw at my desk:
"Thanks for taking the time out in your busy day to respond so poorly to my reply which was written with the best of intentions and was done as a courtesy not as an attempt to win favor to be given a trial.
Your cynical and attitude reflects poorly on [your guild] in my opinion which i believe is important to you....

...Your break down of everything i said is so hastily replied to without taking the time to genuinely and respectfully absorb it and determine what it is I am saying, your knee jerk responses show that you are easily upset and offended...

..You are not the type of GM I am looking as you are overly judgmental and opinionated without grounds based on what you "think" is occurring regardless of any amount of nerdrage received in the past and not the facts this combined with the inability to read between the lines is a recipe for major failure, i am certain you have lost very good players because of this already...

...What i have achieved in a few pages text has saved me considerable amount of time by evaluating you and [your guild], which was my intention from the beginning, a test on core character and personality of officers...

...The judging my tanking and skill based on my new toon was your biggest flaw finding point, not having seen me tank anything you base an opinion...

As you have so justly stated I have been tested - So has [your guild].
So, what do you make of this little exchange? 

Personally, I think I came out the better of the two of us.  He is still looking for a guild to raid in (I assume he is).  I will take the back handed compliment when given however, that he felt my guild was worth the time to play his game.  Have we lost good players because of  my attitude?  Honestly, I don't think we have.  If anything, I am far too forgiving and willing to give people a trial than most of my officers are.  I give second chances were others would not, and I wear the consequences of that if I think the person is worth it.  

This guy would have been an absolute pain to manage.  He would be challenging authority, playing games, and stirring trouble where trouble didn't need to be stirred.  He simply would not fit in our guild because I called him on his behaviour and I was 100% on the money, as he didn't offer to make me eat my words.

He is right about one thing, people's opinions of the guild are important to me.  However, one person having a bad experience from generating a bad experience I have no issue with.  He can go around bad mouthing us as much as he likes.  I know that I maintained my integrity and morals for my guild intact.

So, watch out for people like this Guild Leaders.  Always be on the lookout for potential troublemakers in your applications and don't be afraid to call them on their behaviour and decline applications that might be technically sound, but those alarm bells in your head just wont shut up.