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Officers QuartersNov 16, 2016 3:00 pm CT

Officers’ Quarters: Guild election controversy

guild battle standards

The world isn’t sick of hearing about elections yet, right? This week’s question is from a guild member who wanted to be an officer, but lost in the election process after some ethically questionable moves by his opponent.

Kyle asked
In my guild, we lost one of our officers to the content lull, and he didn’t come back for Legion. So we had an election as outlined in our guild charter. I was one of the two major candidates, and we gave our reasons for why we should be officer, etc.

Now, our guild is old, full of people who don’t play anymore but their characters are kept in should they decide to come back. I’m newer, having joined in the past year and a half, so I don’t know most of these people. The other candidate, however, has been around forever. She got these inactive players to come back solely to vote for her. They are not active, they don’t even play the game anymore. They’re just old friends from WoW she has contact with.

In addition to this, she began offering people flasks if they voted for her. Seeing as how we’re a raiding guild and flasks are super pricey, I can understand why they voted for her. I could have done the same, but it didn’t feel right. She won, and is now the new officer. That wouldn’t be a problem, in my opinion, if she were competent. But after the election, I got a message that she needed a healer for a mythic. I agreed to help, and when I logged on, the very first thing she said to me was, “Oh, hey, its the loser!” If that were an isolated incident, I’d get over it, but she said it to everyone else who ran against her.

Now, during raiding, we have discipline issues. People talk in the comms, they don’t come to the raid prepared, they aren’t pulling their weight. This isn’t her fault, and I’m not making it out to be her fault, but we needed someone to step up and make the harsh calls. Being military, I’m used to doing just that. Instead, we got someone who contributes to this problem.

Our other guild leadership took issue with all this, but she technically didn’t violate the charter. They can’t remove her unless she violates that charter. So, my question is, how do we deal with this new officer? We can’t revise the charter because we need a majority vote, but her addition splits the vote. As soon as we obtain 15 more active players, another election will be held for a new officer and I’m confident I’ll get the position, but how do we deal her in the meantime?

The way this person ran her campaign, and the fact that she taunted you about losing the election, tells me a lot about her. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to gain a position of influence, and she has no empathy with you or the other candidates. She sounds petty, a bully given real power who can now turn that power against those who opposed her. She doesn’t sound particularly interested in carrying out the hard work of leadership. It seems like she ran simply to satisfy her own fragile ego. Now her behavior may encourage others in your guild to act out against members they don’t like.

Perhaps I’m judging her too harshly based on a few paragraphs. Maybe deep down she’s a good person and she let the election go to her head. I doubt it, but maybe.

Unfortunately for society, elections throughout our history have most often been won by the most ruthless or the most wealthy, and not the most qualified. You can blame your fellow guild members for letting her free flasks influence their vote, but what’s done is done.

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Coping with the fallout

She is now your officer. You don’t have to respect her as a person, but you have to respect her office. Her flaws will likely become obvious to everyone over time. You’ll feel some sense of vindication when that happens, but you’ll be sad for the state of your guild.

If the other officers don’t like the way she ran her campaign, they should amend the guild charter to make the rules of such elections more clear. In the interest of fairness, bribing guild members with expensive gifts shouldn’t be allowed. Otherwise, the candidate with the most gold is more likely to win. You can’t do much here except talk to the officers about your concerns over the election process and hope they enact changes for the future.

Also, tell them about her taunting. Talk about how much it bothered you and how you feel like it sets a bad example. Express your worries about the consequences of her behavior, such as driving new members out of the guild. Whenever she says something like that to you or demeans another guild member, talk to the other officers about it.

Don’t call for them to demote her or suggest what they should do about it. Just report the behavior. Let the officers decide for themselves what they should do. Most guild charters have a “Don’t be a jerk” clause. Yours probably does.

guild battle standards

What you can do

You have to stand up to her. Don’t let her talk to you like that. People like her count on you being too afraid or intimidated to speak up. If she calls you a loser again, make it known that you don’t appreciate being spoken to like that. Be civil. Don’t stoop to her level. Take the high road, always, but don’t let her push you around. When other guild members see that you won’t let her bully you, they’ll be more likely to realize how small she really is. They won’t feel so helpless if she tries to bully them, too.

Beyond that, make an effort to be the type of guild you want. Always show up to raids prepared. Ask for quiet over the voice channel when the raid leader is trying to talk. Set an example according to the expectations of your raid team and make it clear that you want your fellow raiders to do the same.

Take comfort in the fact that no leader rules forever. I hope you get a chance to run again and turn things around.

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