The Complaints Department:

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The Complaints Department:

Post by MagicRob on Thu May 04, 2017 2:36 pm

Hello loyal players!

So I was recently having a conversation with the ST and Narrators that work the boards and I had a strange realization:

Complaints are happening largely off-board. That is to say, over Facebook, PMs or other methods that aren't easily referenceable by the whole of staff. 

This is a problem. This is actually a big problem.

For starters, it introduces a game of telephone. When you, or anyone really, have a complaint and don't take it to the person who is the root of it, but expect resolution, you are now relying on someone else to interpret your desires and root issues. It also seems to introduce a further separation from IC and OOC harmony and in-harmony. Mostly though, it makes it really hard to track these things.

So, here's the deal. Moving forward, I'm instituting a policy where complaints need to go somewhere visible on the boards if they involve Staff (either as a mediator or the person being complained about). I know that I personally can give off a somewhat unwelcoming vibe, and I promise you that's just the medium. Rob is a very tongue-in-cheek, dry-as-a-desert-humor sort of guy. Literally 9 times in 10 if you're reading emotion in something I've posted it's either non-existent or very very minor. Either way, if your complaints are Rob-Shaped, still put em in the staff area and I'll still have Admin take point in soothing things out. Mostly what I need here is a 'straight from the horses mouth' sort of thing. I can't correct behavior or make amends if I don't know about it directly.

Also, Narrators aren't to be brought complaints about anyone. They're here to tell stories and represent PCs and anything that isn't one of those two things isn't their problem. As a further reminder, Narrators of any kind can't see your character areas, so if you're in a scene where you are wanting to use a power, please PM them your stats and the power in question, or post it in the thread if you don't mind people knowing your stuff. 

I love you all, don't think I don't. If I didn't want you here, I'd have told you by now. Trust me.

-Rob.

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Re: The Complaints Department:

Post by Allison Jordan on Thu May 04, 2017 6:15 pm

I'm uncomfortable interacting with you, Rob.  

I understand why Cody* said he felt sick to his stomach thinking about this game.  I'm starting to feel the same way, though only with respect to certain aspects of it.
*(Note for those not in the know:  Cody is the real-life name of the person who played Rex Mercer.)

I'm fine with you when you're writing scenes.  You're a great writer, you develop NPCs well, and you move things along.  It's all good.  

But when we interact OOC, such as when I ask a question, it gets dicey.  I feel as if you interpret things in the worst possible way, as if I'm attempting to challenge your authority.  I used to wonder why Rex's OOC posts to you were sooo preemptively defensive, and I'm beginning to see why.  Hell, I saw it then.  Some of it was Cody, but some of it was you, and the way that the two of you played off one another.  

I may be getting more sensitive to it.  Feeling psychically bruised, and then getting poked in the bruise.  That kind of thing.  

I feel as if the process that you and I go through is:
 - I ask a question.
 - You come back with a response.  Sometimes I get dinged for asking the question.  Sometimes I get dinged for not understanding how things work.  Sometimes I get dinged for something I didn't actually say, or because I made a mistake, or forgot something.
 - I reply, clarifying and apologizing.  (I feel like the apology is the important part here.)  
 - You come back with a friendly, welcoming response.  And we move on.
I would love it if we could skip steps #2 and #3.  

You've made a couple of rulings that I disagree with.  In another game, I would have discussed that with the GM off-line.  In this game?  I might do it under some circumstances, but the bar is set much higher.  

I already find myself feeling somewhat antagonistic, writing this, before you've even replied.  That "preemptive defensive" thing.  That's not good, and I apologize for it.  It's worth mentioning, though, as it speaks to the greater context.

Admin mentioned that other people have had similar issues communicating with you.  I don't know how large a percentage it is, but there is a distinct subset who have this experience.  

I'm trying to think of proposals for ways to handle this, but nothing has come to mind.  "Change your communication style" is easier said than done.
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Re: The Complaints Department:

Post by MagicRob on Thu May 04, 2017 6:22 pm

Not all of my thoughts translate super well via text. It happens.

Cody's issues with me revolved around specific issues, my communication style only part of it. Having issues with me and taking them to other people doesn't answer them, ya know? It just dilutes the problem or gives us a weird tension that can be felt but not directly interacted with.

Regardless, my request here stands. I understand that I'm not everyone's cup of tea, but if you have issues with me or anyone and you take it to an ST (any ST), I ask you to put it in your character area. You can ask that I not reply to it, and I won't. You can ask that I don't address it, and I won't. But second or third hand discontent is just poison and doesn't give me any sort of grounds on which to remedy the situation.

Honestly, text can be interpreted so many ways. Where you put a period, or adding an extra separation can shift a statement from being read as a statement to being read as a condemnation.

I get it, and believe me, I am aware. I've put work into it, believe it or not. Either way, things don't get better without a more collaborative effort. So, help me help me, ya?

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Re: The Complaints Department:

Post by Allison Jordan on Thu May 04, 2017 7:08 pm

Clearly, this is where I apologize. Smile
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Re: The Complaints Department:

Post by MagicRob on Thu May 04, 2017 7:16 pm

Not at all, you aren't wrong. I wasn't saying you're wrong. I'm saying that I'm trying, and am really more often misread than genuinely malicious.

Really, this is sorta a slanted apology from me. To these points:

- You come back with a response.  Sometimes I get dinged for asking the question.  Sometimes I get dinged for not understanding how things work.  Sometimes I get dinged for something I didn't actually say, or because I made a mistake, or forgot something.
- I reply, clarifying and apologizing.  (I feel like the apology is the important part here.)  

My tone over text tends to be horrid. Much like in this post right here that I'm doing right now, I consider it a sign of respect to explain my stance and where I come from (which can often come off as pedantic or speaking down to, when in actuality it's me trying to convey that I had either previously considered your points or wrestled with a similar issue). Sometimes this goes on too long. People (you're in good company here) go 'oh snap, I'm sorry I wasted your time with asking this question you clearly think is stupid'. And I reply with a 'What? No, we're cool, everything is fine and you should always ask questions when you have them Very Happy'

I'll work on my replies being more to the point and feeling less condemning. Sometimes I'm just dog tired and my replies are unnecessarily terse (I do a lot of ST work), but most of the time I'm just trying to elaborate whatever point I have (which can also come off as defensive, which results in the players being defensive- it's a terrible cycle).

See? It happens all the time.

Anyway, if I grate you wrong or frustrate you, really, honestly and truly, notes in your ST area are the best way to go. Smile

(THE CYCLE REPEEEAAATTTSSS)

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Re: The Complaints Department:

Post by Allison Jordan on Thu May 04, 2017 8:00 pm

Thank you.

Predictably, I feel much better from your response. Smile
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Re: The Complaints Department:

Post by MagicRob on Thu May 04, 2017 8:32 pm


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Re: The Complaints Department:

Post by MagicRob on Thu May 04, 2017 8:33 pm


I should communicate exclusively in memes.

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