I had a bit of drama the other day in guild which was unpleasant and it left a bad taste in my mouth.
Last week someone asked me if they could join my guild. I don't normally let people just join willy nilly, and I do talk to them for almost an hour (give or take a few raid bosses or arena battles) and if they're still hanging around after that after all my questions then I usually ask them to come to Flex and see what they're like. If they're social, then I let them in and see how they go. Most of the friends of guildies get in with no issues, but it's not often we have a few solo flyers. We have only had a few socials join that way lately, and Thohand, one of them, seems to fit in well as a social non raiding member, playing his alts and making friends with others in the guild. Even Morz came that way - though he was a raider recruit.
Anyway, this person, whom I shall call Bob, said they would like to be social but maybe raid one day. I told them I had no raid spots and it was unlikely they would have a raid spot in the future, unless it was just Flex (or normal, which is what it would be now) once a week as a guild group thing. They seemed happy with that and said they were looking for somewhere with friendly people. So I went over my guild rules of no trolling and being nice to people etc and let them in.
Over the next few days they chatted a little bit in guild, but nothing particularly noticeable or annoying. Bob was online a lot.
I was at home getting the kids ready for bed when I got a text from one of my guildies:
"Ooooh Bob is Evilzod, no wonder I found him annoying lol"
I read that and my blood froze. There is someone on my server that everyone who knows him finds annoying and despises, and that person I shall call Evilzod for this post. He is known to be one of the server's biggeset trolls and is whiney and annoying to boot. Sev and I did something with him once on the Timeless Isle and we don't remember him being horrible to us, but there are others who have said that he harrasses them constantly with tells and macro spams. Someone that I certainly don't want in my guild. And someone that I had refused entry when he asked, and my guildies had implored me strongly that they did not want in our guild ever.
"Oh really? Dammit" I replied. "Oh god does everyone know?"
"No just me" my guildie replied.
I was fully intent on getting online and confronting him when I got the kids all tucked in. Boy was there gonna be hell to pay for lying to me. I had never gkicked anyone before.
Then my guildie told me that Evilzod was doing stuff with the guildies who had strongly worded their opposition to him joining the guild. It was not going to be pretty if they found out. Oh my god there would be an explosion.
Thank goodness said he wanted to put the kids to bed.
I raced online and logged on to see them finishing their challenge modes. I went and did an internet search on a world of warcraft related site to verify what my guildie had said was true, and it was. I whispered Bob and said "Tell me the truth. Are you Evilzod?"
He said he was not. I said that I had just looked it up on a certain site and it said that he and Evilzod were the same person or alts on the same account. Bob said that he was Evilzod's brother and had taken his account.
Alarm bells were ringing. But in fairness, he hadn't done any crappy things in the guild. Yet. And though I cannot condone lying, I could see what was going on.
From all accounts, Evilzod seemed young. If someone annoyed him once I could see that he would have been an idiot and trolled them back. I am not saying this is the right thing to do. But it's an example of the cycle of abuse and rudeness spiralling out of control - you hit me, I hit you, you hit me again, I hit you again blah blah blah. Somehow, this kid had started attacking everyone around him, lashing out like an idiot, a stupid idiot. Perhaps somewhere in that silly head he realised this is not what he wanted to be and wanted to start over. Change his name, change race. Hope that nobody recognised him and try to be a more mature player and get out of the cycle.
And now he was lying because he was found out. Typical teenager. God I hate to think my kids are going to be like this in 10 years. Though I had no proof that he was lying, it didn't sound right. I kept thinking to myself, "innocent till proven guilty" and so I wrestled with myself to give him the benefit of the doubt. But man, I hate people lying to me. But I tried to be calm about it.
"I don't care if you are Evilzod or his brother," I said. "Evilzod has a really bad reputation for being whiny and a troll. You haven't done anything wrong here yet and I would like it to stay that way. Many people here don't like Evilzod and will want you to leave."
"But I'm not him. He's whiny and he's a kid. I'm not like that."
"Ok," I said. "I'll take your word for it. But I don't want to see any Evilzod behaviour. NOT ONE. There will be no trolling and no whining. I'm sorry but this is your only warning."
GOD where were other officers when I needed someone to talk to DAMNIT.
"Have I done anything wrong?" asked Bob. "I haven't done anything bad in guild have I? Has anyone complained?"
"Nobody has complained." I said. I could not fault that. He hadn't done anything wrong that warranted a kick yet. I feel bad, but I was itching to find a fault. Lying should have been the reason for it, but I could understand why he did it, but I didn't condone it. And I started wondering if maybe he was trying to be better. Maybe he wanted to change. How could I not encourage people trying to get back on the right path, because if I just booted him maybe he wouldn't head on that path to being better and go back down the idiot path again. Oh by the earthmother, what do I DO.
And then... it started.
I got a tell from the Frostwolf who was with him in challenge modes.
"Why did you invite Bob to the guild?"
"He's social." Fuck, he knows. Everyone will know now. For 2 minutes I thought I might be able to help this kid. That time was about to be over.
"No. WHY did you invite him. DO YOU KNOW WHO HE IS?"
"Yes," I wasn't going to lie. "I know."
"Why did you invite him when you knew?"
"I only found out literally just now. I didn't know when I invited him."
"I want him out of the guild. Do you know our reputation has just taken a huge hit? We are the laughing stock of the server!"
Now that was a bit extreme. What the hell do I care what other people think for me making a mistake? "For doing what?"
"For helping him with his challenge modes. Nobody would take him because he's a troll. And now we just did."
"Why did you take him? He's only been in the guild a few days!"
"He paid us."
I rolled my eyes. "You took his money - so you took money from an idiot. That's his problem."
"I want him gone."
"I can't kick him till he does something bad. I have already discussed this with him. One Evilzod move and he is gone."
"I am really unhappy about this Navi. We are all really upset."
I decided to ask Luxy, who was the nicest person in the guild, what she would do. She never trolls, she hates being mean. She never swears. She gives things away. She likes helping people. Even she said to kick him. Or maybe just encourage him strongly to leave.
I whispered Bob. "They know who you are."
"But I haven't done anything wrong," he said. "Are you kicking me?"
But I wanted to. But my conscience was burning me. I could have helped him. I could push him to be better. Maybe all he needed was one person to be nice to him. Or maybe I'm just kidding myself.
It was raid time. Officers were getting online now and I told them what was happening. Neither Morz nor HK knew who Evilbob was. They don't read trade chat enough.
"Just wait and see," they said.
So I'm trying to concentrate on Heroic Paragons and I start getting tells. Another guildie has found out who Bob was. And telling me to remove him because he hates him. Not only guildies. Other people I know are whispering me, asking me if I know that Evilzod is hiding in my guild. Word travels fast.
I should just kick him. But I can't. Not yet.
Suddenly in the middle of raid, there is yelling in guild chat.
"I AM EVILZOD! I LIED ABOUT WHO I AM! I AM EVILZOD I LIED!"
I actually don't know if there was anything else said. There must have been something bad because people didn't like what was said. The screen was panning too fast for me. HK said in officer "I'm kicking him" but Bob left the guild on his own. Phew. That drama sorted.
Naturally, now there were lots of people asking questions in guild chat. Who was that, was he hacked? What's going on?
Some of the guildies started to enlighten the guild by saying he was a douchebag troll who had lied to get into our guild and so that he could get challenge modes done. I was already cranky and I did not want to see all this crap in guild chat.
"That's enough. Nobody talk about it!" I said in guild chat. "I don't want to see another word about this in guild chat, It's over. If you have any questions you can whisper me personally and I will explain it all to you."
Well, that silenced guild chat. I had a few whispers but I think people asked the others what was going on. I explained what had happened, but everyone now thought what an idiot Bob/Evilzod was.
I whispered Bob and said that it was a very immature thing to do. I said he didn't have to do that. He said he left because "I thought you were going to kick me anyway." I said I hadn't definitely thought about doing it, but after that outburst, it was inevitable. It kinda reminded me of the "I'll quit first before you fire me" defence. "Everyone hates me anyway," said Bob.
"I don't hate you," I said. "I am very disappointed in you lying to me and also for the childish outburst just now. But you've not done anything wrong to me." And I meant it.
Everyone is glad he is gone. I am glad too. I don't need the stress - it felt like a timebomb waiting to explode. But inside I have the small niggling of guilt, because I might have been able to make a difference. All of my guildies would say that he's not worth it, he will always be a little shithead, and he will never change.
But what if I could make a difference? Shouldn't I at least try?
So I sat down to write to him about what he should do if he really wants a new start. For one, he would have to not indulge in any of that crappy behaviour and he should be honest and upfront with any new guild he wants to join. Tell them that he had a history of being difficult but is willing to make a change. People like honesty, and it's even better if you manage to keep being honest. No more lying. It only undermines your integrity and resolve.
Secondly, I thought he would do better on a new server. No matter where he went here, people would know who he was and it wouldn't surprise me if they continued to troll him like he had trolled them before. Also, telling his new guild of what he was capable of, "warning" them, wouldn't surprise me either. Bad reputations stick like shit to fur.
Thirdly, I said he is welcome to talk to me if he wanted advice on stuff. If he was really a total asswipe he would just ignore me and tell me to F-off. But it's no skin off my nose if he wants to talk and ask about something. As long as it's not begging for a run, gold or an item, and not asking to come back to the guild, that's ok.
But I do understand that most people would think I am wasting my time on him, as he acted so poorly in the past. The only difference is that he didn't act poorly to ME. I didn't see proof of what he did to others, but I don't disbelieve them. If someone was truly all bad, then surely it would be in everything they do. I can imagine them reading now and thinking "I wouldn't care if he died." What a horrible sentiment. But people who were hurt by him in the past want to hurt him back, I understand that. I just don't agree with it. And what if he did die - as in he killed himself because everyone was mean to him all the time? Would I and should I feel guilty about that? I think I would feel guilty. But I can see the general reaction. "What an idiot." "The world is better off." "He won't be missed." Does that sound familiar to you? Doesn't it sound like bullying? Is bullying him back when he bullies others the right thing to do?
I don't know why I am spending time thinking about this. I'm sure that he will not change. I'm probably wasting my time and he was just using me to get places. But maybe, just maybe he might have been going the right way. And if he did, then it would be all worth it. Because even one person redeemed is worth it. Sigh, I think that's what is bugging me, is that maybe I could have helped, but I failed. Or was too scared to try.
Gawd I sound like a bloody missionary. Enough of the goody goody talk - back to business as usual with bug squishing and alliance smashing.