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Officers' Quarters: A depressed GL

Scott Andrews

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

It's been a couple of weeks since I answered a letter, so let's jump right into it!

Hi there,

I've been in my guild for about half a year now, basically since i started playing WoW. In that time I've gone up from newbie member to officer and done quite a lot of work for the guild (if i may say so myself lol) like starting and setting up the guild site, creating a guild bank, starting a recruitment spree and such things.

Recently I've run into the next problem though: With the guild growing, my GL has become more and more negative in general and is basically only complaining.

I've tried to talk to her about it (being an officer i think its my responsibility to give feedback to others, GL included) in private, which didn't really [have] any effect. After another negative and, other than that, empty response from her on the forum I replied to her in public (well semi-public, it being in the officers' corner of the forum) [and asked] everyone to keep an upbeat attitude and to not complain but instead to come up with solutions (or at least try to do so). I'm really hoping this will work, but I fear that it might not (lol, upbeat attitude?).

The other officers (well some of them, the ones that speak up, only in /w's or private mails to me) agree with me most of the time. But don't really say anything about the situation to her. [. . .]

I was hoping for some advice in this matter, maybe other things i could do or whatever. :)

Thanks in advance,

It sounds to me like your GL is feeling a bit overwhelmed by the position. You mention that your guild is growing, and that is a common experience for GLs during periods of growth. You can start to feel like things are spiraling out of your ability to control them, or like the guild is losing the family atmosphere that you worked so hard to foster. You start to wonder if you've made the right decisions and that leads you to question the decisions you're making now. Some people rise to the challenge; others panic, or let it get them down. It sounds like your GL is in the latter category.

If you want to get to the bottom of it, however, the first place I'd look is real life. Does she have any issues going on outside the game? It's tough to face problems in life and then log on for some fun, only to be greeted by more problems there. You may or may not have the kind of relationship with her that you'd feel comfortable asking about this, and I'm not saying you should pry. But you should understand that if she's having a difficult time IRL, then that is certainly contributing to her negative attitude.

Barring that, maybe she's just not cut out to be a GL. It takes a very patient and resilient person -- with perhaps a dash of lunacy -- to endure the rigors of the position. Do you get a sense that she isn't really doing much to help the guild? Is she noncommittal on important issues? You say all she does is complain -- Is she taking steps to fix the issues she's unhappy about? If she's not, then what's the point of her being in charge?

On the other hand, it sounds like you're very motivated to move the guild in the right direction. I'm sure other officers are, too. Perhaps you need to approach her as a group and offer to let one of you take over as the GL. This is a pretty drastic step. I suggest you feel her out on the issue before asking something like that. She might react as if you're trying to "steal" her guild from her -- and if that's the case, she may shut you out and never trust you again. But on the other hand, she might welcome less responsibility (particularly if, as I hypothesize, she has RL problems going on too).

If you're not comfortable doing that, the only other solution I can suggest is to be aggressive in solving the problems she complains about. Listen to what she's saying and take steps to fix one of the issues. Maybe if you and the other officers can show her that these problems aren't as impossible to solve as they sometimes seem, she'll change her attitude. I wish you luck!


Send Scott your guild-related questions, conundrums, ideas, and suggestions at You may find your question the subject of next week's Officers' Quarters!

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