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Officers' Quarters: Silent revenge

Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available now from No Starch Press.

Guild drama comes in many forms, and it can thrive even after people quit the guild -- with some unpleasant consequences. This week, one officer describes how an angry former member took revenge on the guild with a particularly spiteful act.
Hi Scott,

I've been reading your column on and off for a few months now and I don't know if you've covered this, but my guild is having issues with a former officer (we'll call him X Member) who /gquit of his own accord . . . X Member still has ties to many of the guild members and to some extent he is expecting us to treat him like he is still a guild member (i.e. not hold him to the same expectations that we hold all PUGs when raiding and automatically take him along on both progression raids and fun runs.) When we treat him the same as other PUGs, he takes it out on our guild in vengeful ways.
Last week he wanted to bring his slightly under-geared alt to our weekly run ... We know he knows the raid encounters as he learned the fights with us, but it's not fair to the other PUGs if we bring in someone with that low of an ilvl when we require higher for both PUGs and our own guild members ...

We didn't bring his alt and as a result he whispered our raid leader nasty comments and then later that night after our raid he changed the Vent password for our guild's Ventrillo ... He even told us that he did.

Now the player in question has a history of taking things in game way too personally way too quickly ... I'm acquainted with X Member and a lot of his in-game behavior and attitudes stem from issues he has outside of WoW that he can't leave at the login screen, but that's not an excuse for his pre-/gquit behavior. After Cata came out his attitudes seemed to get more and more depraved and were spreading to most of the guild as he was online more than any other player in the guild. Despite all the drama he brought to our guild most everyone in the guild harbors him no ill will, though he treats some of us with contempt ...

Being an officer, I was discussing the situation with an officer and both of us are stumped on how to deal with this former guildie who seems to be bent on taking his vengeance out on our guild. He knows who [our] officers are and what our raid expectations are and could have easily asked any of the officers why he was not taken along ... Also, X Member did not pay for our Vent server, he just has access as a former officer, and us not removing that access was a mistake.
Yikes. Normally, in a situation like this, I would suggest some strategies for coming to terms with the player in question and eventually working out an understanding. Rarely are there problems between people online that can't be solved with proper communication and compromise.

A special case

In this case, however, I would recommend a more forceful approach: Cut all ties with this player.

The moment he maliciously changed your Vent info, he gave you every reason you ever needed to stop taking him on any runs or having any interaction with him at all. He's no longer a member of your guild, so that makes it easy.

The sense of entitlement he still bears since quitting is preposterous. How has he earned special treatment beyond not only what you expect of PUGs but your own members as well? You certainly don't owe him any favors. The fact that he expects this shows just how out of touch with reality he is.

When he was an officer for you, he did passive harm to the guild, slowing poisoning the social environment. And now he is doing active harm. Whatever is going on in his life does not excuse his behavior. He may think it does. He's wrong.

Cutting ties

As soon as possible, inform him that he's no longer welcome in your raids and (if it's even necessary) why. You don't owe him an explanation, but if you have to deal with him when you're trying to put a raid together, it will be a major distraction for you. For your own sake, then, tell him well before your next run.

Then put him on ignore and be done with him. His lack of maturity and self-entitlement issues will only cause further problems for you otherwise. No raider is worth that kind of hassle, particularly one who isn't even a member of your guild anymore.

For everyone else, there's a great lesson here: Change your Vent password when an officer gquits!

/salute

Recently, Officers' Quarters has examined how strong new leadership can create a guild turnaround, the pitfalls of promising more than you can deliver, and lessons learned from Scott's own guild demise. Send your own guild-related questions and suggestions to scott@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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