Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Grumpy Grimoire

I'm starting to get a bit too 'wheels on the bus go round and round' lately - too much repetition in my writing. But--let me get this off my chestplate, I'll grab another cup of coffee, and move along, people, nothing to see here.

I had originally titled this draft, "Defense, Defense, GOOOOOO CRAZY!" because of my complete fatal flaw and near OCD response to being misunderstood. I do not have the ability to say what I want to say and have it clearly understood. Sometimes I need to parse it out, analyze, pull the wings off, and repaint, reupholster, and redo. Those of you who are those über-concrete "I'm a dude and always go linear" are driven bat-guano crazy by the likes of me. But like my motto says, to know me is to love me. But knowing me is the key. (If you put up with the crazy part, most of me is pretty awesome.)

Last Tuesday was the patch.

I had to work a very long day.

I had to work an extra long day on Wednesday.

My RL wanted to raid on Wednesday, our normal raid night.

I was still spun out from all the changes, which in my wisdom and experience (these are key words), knew that we all would be feeling our way, and to have patience. I asked him this, "Have Patience." 

The Ultra fight that night we attempted on Heroic. My buttons were off, DBM, though there was a new version, did not download for me properly, or was available, there was a perfect storm of wonkiness and FUBAR. Yes, I did die. But it wasn't because I didn't click the damn button or know what to do. Blizzard does break things now and again, people. Trust me. They are only humans, after all.

Okay, moved on, getting it together, but then last night, after our raid, he kindly tells me that I did much better at pushing the button.

Deep breath, Matty. Deep breath.

Now --in my effort to not be misunderstood here - in no way am I upset with him. He is a Raid Leader after all, and herding us turkeys and having his own life does not mean he is in charge of every player's personal glitches and failings, or successes for that matter. I never would expect him to do that. But I just hope (and this is where my fatal flaw comes in) is when I told him I didn't think his assessment of me "dying all the time because failed button pushing" last week was a fair assessment of my skills he took me at my word. I tried not to take it as a patronizing comment, but I struggled with that. He meant it as a compliment, so I'll just leave that as that. What I can't leave alone is how damn annoyed I get. Every single one of the team last night struggled except for me. I was indeed the last shammy standing. I was back on my hooves. Our warlock couldn't get into Mumble. Our amazing Druid healer wasn't quite used to his DPS spec. Our priest healer, well, whatever. Even our tanks were trying to get used to new things and mulitasking, and damn people, it's not that easy is it? I was thrilled that DBM was working again, for me; other players, it wasn't. I guess I should have known when he said at the start, "No offense Matty but....." That is a dialectical red flag, and signals to the listener: "I'm trying to criticize you in a gentle and polite manner, but move your tail and do better."

Let me be clear: At no point, during last night's raid or any other time, do I get upset with other players' errors, computer glitches, stepped-on-a-rock-sun's-in-my-eyes moments. And gentlemen: you do have them. But I think --and again, reading too much into it is what I do--this may also be a small case of ageism. Had a conversation with a guildie and we have a lot in common demographically. In fact, turns out, I have a lot in common with most of my friends in Azeroth: age, income, lifestyle, etc. Not sure why or how that is. I'm sure my old guildmaster Xak could explain the algorithm of shifting and layering demographic trends in a social media construct, but he's probably busy doing other things.

We want our friends in Azeroth to be like-minded, cool, and 'get us.' I work with all ages, all kinds, all walks of life, and enjoy the freedom of great experiences and education provide me. It crossed my mind that when Navi talks about raid situations and inter-personal experiences, I think, for God's sake, people, she's a medical doctor and has real people's lives in her hands every day! But I am older than Navi, and there is a fine line between respect and squelching the desire to help me across the street in your Boy Scout uniform.

And I am going to share this thought, because I bet many of you have had it too: after a very stressful conversation with cross-dressing rogue about real-life issues, I was lying in bed thinking to myself, "Do I really want to add a layer of an emotional element to my 'play' life, too?" Well, I think getting this written down helps keep it in perspective.

But last word: He is a great guy, and I am still thrilled to be part of this team. I am very lucky that way, and to be sure, I will make mistakes. I will make stupid ones, and I will make ones that are out of my control. I will wear the title of "the Patient" for a while, and at least for my teammates, continue to have that for them.

But hey, at least I'm not worried about rabbits:


  1. Reading this reminds me why I only battle the evil rabbits in the world. I have absolutely no patience with anyone other than animals and small children and I have on occasion a very bad temper that I try very hard not to vent, in fact it's another of my WoW achievements I try to work on.

    I'm sorry, but starting a sentence with no offense would have the same result as telling me to calm down, either would not be pretty,lol!

  2. "Do I really want to add a layer of an emotional element to my 'play' life, too?"

    Devil's advocate, but how can you not? At least, I can't separate them. Whilst playing, I get emotional. I get happy. I get pissed. My interactions with players (and even game mechanics) have an effect on me.

    I think that this emotional lens is sharpened as a raider. When I'm in the game farting about, it's just me that my choices impact. When I zone into an instance, now my choices impact 4 other folks. With a raid, now I'm impacting 9 or 24 other folks. That's pressure.

    Once of the reasons I no longer raid Progression is that I don't enjoy that pressure. I'm glad I got to experience that element of the game so I knew what I was or wasn't missing, but for me, that's not a highlight.

    Kinda part of the territory even as a "casual" raider -- to progress you'll get called out and you have to want to take it. Nobody I know likes being singled out, but I do admire your attitude: even though a RL mentioned something, you're struggling with the emotional and logical aspects (and I totally get that).

    Buck up! It'll be okay!

    And Tome? Kill the wabbit!

    1. I love discourse and I hope I never make my rl feel like he can't criticize me...I deserve it much of the time, and any critique is healthy and helps us grow. I guess I wrote this as a harsh look at my own responses and how to get them under control. I will speak up for myself if something isn't quite right, and I did tease him about the "no offense" thing (it was pretty funny). But the emotional layers...dang I get so much of high-running emotions at work I want to keep this team atmosphere fun. To expect constant fun is unrealistic and dare I say, boring? He is a wonderful raid leader and I do want to perform well for him, the team, and myself. Very insightful Chris, and Tome, always wise words. Efffffing bunny.

  3. When I read your account I don't think of it as a complaint or whine of how you are feeling. Sometimes I think you're like me, you had a moment where you had a thought, a feeling, and you wanted to capture it for later. Well that's what I feel when I read your post. Because in the future you will be doing it smoothly and you'll look back on this post and feel proud at how far you have come.

    1. Well, that's true, I am always happy when I progress, but I guess my point was there are times in game that work against us, and it's not our faults. Stuff gets broken during big patches, simple as that. I can't be proud or discouraged over those moments - you and I are very similar. We take on or own what is ours, good and bad, and then reflect heavily on how we can improve or anticipate.


      Right this very second I'm spinning over something that happened at work this past week, too. Poop.


Thank you for your comment!