Minipost: Control

Team. You don’t mind if I call you team, do you? We should have shirts or something with Team Alt on them or something. Anyway, I digress.

Team, I have a conundrum, a horrible, festering badness that is attempting to ruin my happy fun times. Usually, when I’m annoyed, I go rage in my little private forums, talk to a cohort, or pester my husband with whatever is bothering me. I’ve tried all these methods, and nothing. I can’t seem to get the bad out of my system.

Problems can always be solved with bit of Gnomish ingenuity and Dwarven engineering, right?

Basically, to protect the innocent and make me not feel like the horrible person with the blog, I’m not going to get into details about what’s bothering me. It’s really not that important in the grand scheme of things. Suffice it to say, that there’s an issue I’m not happy with. I’ve done all the things I normally do when I’m not happy: I’ve made a regular nuisance of myself. I’ve talked to everyone, and it’s still not making me feel better.

Thing is, I have a sneaking suspicion that the issue is a long-term one. It’s not something you want to fix mid-stride, not when you’ve already got little perculations rumbling through your roster, and a general pall of change hanging over everything. However, the very fact that the issue is not resolvable, either yay or nay, I think is the very reason I’m so very uptight and pissy about it. I can deal with a fair amount of unpleasantness: be it policies, people, or strategies, if I know that’s the way it’s going to be. Knowing that it is immutable and in stone let’s me know: deal with it, or get out of the raid.

Usually I try to deal. When my own toxic level reaches critical mass, I leave. Even better, is knowing that something different will be happening soon™. I don’t even need a date: just knowing that change and action is in the planning stages drops my frustration levels down a few notches, because I know that the problem is being handled. However, I suspect that the issue I’m having is a big one. It affects a lot of people, and so making a hasty decision would be a bad idea.

Now, this issue has been with me as long as I’ve been with the guild. It’s only in recent weeks that I’ve noticed a problem. My first inclination was: stop being an idiot, and get over it. But have you ever had one of those problems that seems to explode out of control until it squeezes not only other problems, but all the fun stuff out of whatever activity you’re doing? Like, you’re looking in the mirror, and you  have this little imperfection, but every time you look in the mirror it just seems bigger and bigger even though nothing has really changed.

Looks like a new record for spectacular failure!

That’s me right now. And I need help. I know it’s not ok to let some issue take control of my fun time. It’s just silly is what it is. But I realized that whether or not the issue will be resolved, aye or nay, is really bothering me. I blame it on all that guild leadership experience. For most of my time in WoW, I was one of the people in charge of making sure things got handled. Now that I’m not, it’s easier to get my panties in a tangle because I don’t know what might happen… or not.

So I leave my troubles at your proverbial door Team Alt, and a few questions as well:

Have you found yourself frustrated because you’re not in guild leadership anymore, even if you never, ever, ever want to be any kind of guild leader again? How do you reconcile yourself to shit you can’t control (my little prayer isn’t working!) Any tips for a control freak who lacks control? :)

11 thoughts on “Minipost: Control

  1. I remember as a young woman listening to the wise words of Jean Luc Picard stating, “That kind of control is an illusion,” and those words have steered my metaphorical starship ever since. But——–> I have to constantly remind myself of them. In my work life, I attended an informal meeting last week. Though no one wanted it to turn into a bitch fest, it did, although we did take action and decide to bring in desserts today. (See? Donations of Dalaran brownies may be all we have!) We have some real, big, big problems. I think about these problems at 2AM. They affect hundreds of people, these problems, and those who are in control are a toxic combination of ineffectual and oblivious. Every day, wise colleagues remind me to diagnose what is in my control, and as my cross-dressing rogue told me last night, “You deserve to be happy, too.” Now–talk about control! When someone places a “you got this” in my lap, that’s kind of scary for me. That means, I am in more control of my emotions, outcomes, and big-picture view than anyone. And, I cannot tell you how many times I have spoken up, said the emporer was wearing no clothes, and in fact, brought the old guy a blanket to cover his shame, to have nothing matter and all I am left with is a big sack of “I Told You So’s”

    So – my advice: Go Ahead and say what you need to say clearly. And go buy a sack, a big one.

    And remember – that kind of control is an illusion.

    • It’s because Brownies cure all ills :D

      Until you started talking about work issues, I didn’t even make the corollary to how much I’m just like that in work situations too. I’m definitely a project and get ‘er done type person, so seeing something I’d like resolved is like taunting the kitty with catnip. Drives. Me. Nuts.

      In these situations, I actually deal better with a highly delineated hierarchy as it allows me to safely pass the buck, and know it’s not my problem anymore. While we definitely have a loving dictatorship, I’m so used to use working together in a group format to not be able to turn my mind away from the issue.

  2. Teachers are, by far, the absolute worst audience you can have. If you put 20 or 30 teachers in a room and try to have a meeting or do a lecture or whatever, it’s likely they’re going to be talking to one another, grading papers, or doing other off-task things.

    My point in sharing this is that often people in leadership roles have a hard time moving back to the follower role. Teachers are used to being the show, not the audience, and when asked to be the audience, they have a hard time adapting. I’ve found the same true with raid leading then not; I never had that much power as a raid leader because I wasn’t an officer, so my complaints about raid behavior still had to be “acknowledged” by my superiors, but it was still hard to go back to not raid leading (though, perhaps, easier because of my weird in-between position). I assume guild leading would be equally true, if not more so, since you’ve got more to deal with than just raiding stuff.

    I also totally know what you mean about small things becoming big. There’s NO REASON for me to be so irritated about people not making the jump on Thaddeus, but when it happened week after week after week – and the people had jump-helpers like slowfall, sprint, or the like, it just started to consume me. It’s hard sometimes to let things go when you know there’s simply no reason for them to be happening.

    • You mean it’s going to get worse?!

      In the course of venting some frustration the other day, I learned not only did the current management know to bar me from any leadership roles (per my request) but even intermediate guild members knew that I was not to be wrangled into anything leadership-like. It’s kind of embarrassing to offer yourself up for some mundane activity, like fishing or AH price watching and to be told that it might be construed as leader-like and is off limits.

      I’m glad to know the safeguard is in place, though, because it’s definitely hard to let leadership-like things from happening in my vicinity. I think I’m magnetized that way.

      • Well, you know the old saying: “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” It often comes down to whoever has the least tolerance for letting things go, and whoever that is has to be the one to step up and fill the role. I’ve been lucky to be able to split raid leadership duties in the past between my buddy, my wife, and I; my wife might watch buffs, my buddy does more core research, and I do the boss explanations, raid positions, and the like. Doing that, though, made me hyper-aware of those duties when they went undone, making it more likely that I end up “responsible by default” for making sure they’re covered.

        I wonder, too, about whether there’s not a little part of us that likes being important/needed/wanted/whatever like that, too (;

  3. Having never been in guild leadership I may not have the exact experience to help you here. However, I have been in management before and have later found myself not in management. Bottom line, when you are not the one with the authority to make organizational decisions you do your best to provide constructive feedback, then you make the one decision you do have in your control: what do “I” do? The decisions you have control over at all times are how you choose to feel about something, and what you do about it. I will be praying for you wisdom and strength.

  4. Sometimes even when you think leadership is wrong for you, it finds you. I know you have a lot on your plate with school and no desire to be a Guild Leader, but you are a wonderful sounding board, researcher, and organizer of information. Is there a happy medium between no responsibility leadership and too much?

    • I’m sure there’s a lovely medium somewhere, I’ve just never known where to find it. I still make myself a useful sounding board from time to time, and you can see how much time I have for research judging by my blog posts ;)

      Maybe I need a notecard to add to my desk that reminds me: You are NOT the center of the universe. Even when you should be. :P

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