A Matter of Perspective

Someone has, apparently, stated that I am…elitest.  What makes someone an elitist?  Let’s go poke wikipedia, because I loves me some wikipedia.

“Elitism is the belief or attitude that those individuals who are considered members of the elite—a select group of people with outstanding personal abilities, intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes—are those whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously or carry the most weight or those who view their own views as so; whose views and/or actions are most likely to be constructive to society as a whole; or whose extraordinary skills, abilities or wisdom render them especially fit to govern.

Well that doesn’t sound terrible.  I’m an officer-I’d assume that I was promoted due to some skill I displayed.  As an officer, my opinion is to be taken seriously.  So…let’s poke another resource, ye olde urban dictionary, to see if I can’t suss out the actual…intended meaning.

Someone who thinks he/she is beyond everyone else … A Person who thinks that everyone else is worthless and disabled. … elitists tend to be rude, cocky, arrogant, and very selfish; that’s the combination of a elitist.

Oh, well then.  Okay.

I don’t know who said this (they said it to Steve, who said it to Josh, who mentioned it in passing to me) and thus, I have no idea what it is that I do to trigger this reaction.  That, more than anything, vexed me.

Do I come off as cocky?  Well yeah, sure, I probably do.  Fuck, man, I’m sorry that I’ve been healing in this game for 4 years and have no problem acting like I have some vague idea of what I’m doing.  Vague of course is the key word-I disc raid heal and BM hunter DPS for fuck’s sake, clearly I’m neither the best nor the brightest.  I’m not going to tell you that my way is the one and only correct way because LOL IT ISN’T I just do whatever I find enjoyable.  I find not sucking to be enjoyable, though, so I have this general idea of how to gear and what to do in a fight in order to produce some mild success.  I am baffled when other people do not appear make the same effort.

I certainly don’t think that others are me are worthless.  I may not want to bring some of them to progression raids ever again, but that’s not the same as thinking they are worthless.  I consider myself to be a middling-skilled player.  I am able to, for example, DPS and move out of The Bad most of the time.  If you cannot both DPS and move out of The Bad, I am going to be a sad, exasperated panda.  Especially since I’m a keyboard turner.  I mean come on, guys.   If I can do it, so can you.

Selfish?  Here, take my raid slot.  Take my loot.  I don’t fucking care.  I just want to kill pixels with friends.

Rude?  …well, okay, fuck.  Sure.  I can be rude.

Is it just the fact that I raid with expectations?  Holy shit, I expect you to be able to raid and not fuck up all the time, that’s just awful!  Can’t pay attention to shit around you?  Get DBM or something else like it!  Your waltzing through Clouds of Yogg Farts is frustrating 9 other people, stop fucking doing it.  Raiding isn’t public school, there isn’t a No Child Left Behind Act-if you can’t perform you can’t go.  If you fuck up, we’ll let you know-not because we think you’re awful and we’re putting you down because we love kicking puppies, but so that you can…I don’t know…fix it? 

And yeah maybe sometimes we-I-get frustrated because OH MY GOD HOW IS IT THAT HARD IF MY SCRUB ASS CAN DO IT-but we’re human.  I’ve totally said things I really should have phrased differently.  And you’re totally welcome to go “Hey Amber, watch it, woman!”  And I’ll be all like “Oh shit, sorry.”  And then we can move on.  Or you can tell Steve I’m an elitist and I’ll sit here and /facepalm, one or the other…but the latter is totally less constructive.

I want my mistakes pointed out, too, so that I can try to not repeat them.  I don’t really want to come off as a bitch-I may have high standards, I may be demanding, but I hold myself to the same standards and demands and I genuinely do not want to be disliked.

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  1. #1 by theerivs on September 23, 2009 - 4:05 pm

    I really find nothing wrong with being elitist…if you can back it up.

  2. #2 by Jov on September 23, 2009 - 4:09 pm

    If you’re elitist for ‘raiding with expectations’ I’ll gladly count myself a member.

    Of course, I’ll also admit (in private) that “pissing Jov off shouldn’t be an auto-decline on invite”

    But, yeah. I’m certain I come across as the wikipedia definition. I’m pretty sure most of the time I come across as the Urban Dictionary definition, too. But… you know what? The people who are saying that are the people who can’t move out of the fucking stuff that kills them.

    (insert generic “you” ahead — as opposed to you in the specific)

    Your opinion drops 10 points in worth if you’re dying due to Raid101. I might even tell you that specifically to your face (Seri has mentioned I need a PR firm following me around when I’m allowed out “live” hasn’t she?). Call me an elitist for it? I’ll point out it sure as hell beats the sorry ass alternative you present.

  3. #3 by Seri on September 23, 2009 - 4:13 pm

    “Raiding isn’t public school, there isn’t a No Child Left Behind Act-if you can’t perform you can’t go.”

    Best. Quote. Ever.

    Just saying.

  4. #4 by Fluffywumpki of Kilrogg on September 23, 2009 - 4:21 pm

    I dunno, I was kinda fond of “If you cannot both DPS and move out of The Bad, I am going to be a sad, exasperated panda.”

    And I probably have qualified for both definitions at some point, hopefully more of the first than the second.

  5. #5 by shadowtycho on September 23, 2009 - 4:48 pm

    seri hits the nail on the head.
    unless its someone that you need you shouldn’t be held responsible for their incompetence.
    if you where on a sports team would you continue to take the guy that could not ever follow the game plan?
    would you let him play over say, someone who could do his job and be good at it, if only because the second person cares a little more?
    you would drop his scrub ass, or at least you should.
    and he would say that you were full of yourself or that you couldn’t play without him or that you didn’t know what you where talking about or that you where a elitist, and he would be qqing and you wouldn’t have a scrub on your team.
    raiding isn’t really different from the above situation(its a team sport)

    elitist is just someone qqing cause they arnt “elite”, whatever they happen to think that means.

  6. #6 by Oriniwen on September 23, 2009 - 4:54 pm

    “You’re elitist! Also, mean!” translates to me as “WAHHHHHH don’t threaten my privledged entitlement!!”

    While I agree with the spirit of the “everyone is a unqiue and special snowflake. We are all good at something. You can get anything you want if you want it hard enough” mindset, I disagree with the practice of it in that it leads people to think they get the world on a silver platter and anyone who expects them to actually work is a big Poo Poo Head.

    Spare the snark, spoil the raider.

  7. #7 by candy on September 23, 2009 - 5:00 pm

    Expanding on what I said in Twitter, it’s been my experience playing in WoW that when someone calls someone else an elitist it’s often because they:

    1) think your standards are too high
    2 think you are judging them and finding them lacking

    From what you’ve written I would not take it to heart. Folks who raid need to be accountable to the standards of their raid leaders.

  8. #8 by Ron on September 23, 2009 - 5:02 pm

    From experience, I think you get some of those comments not because of the words you choose, but because of the way you present those chosen words. A lot of the “here’s what you did wrong” speeches and explanations come off as very condescending and 2nd grad-ish. Not in the words mind you, but the tone and emphasis used on those words.

    We all have people that we just won’t mesh with personality wise and there’s nothing that can be done about that. I know you do not intentionally mean for your comments to sound how I described them above, but you gotta take things at face value. Fact is you’re frustrated and that’s just how it comes out. I get it and understand it but it’s easy to see where others would not. You just gotta watch out for that if you do not want that type of reaction. You can’t complain about the reaction but refuse to change the delivery is what I’m saying.

    Personally, I think you’re someone who listens to advice and will take said advice better than most people so I would not consider you to be ‘elitist’ in any way. Stubborn, extremely, but there is a difference. <3

  9. #9 by elimeny on September 23, 2009 - 5:21 pm

    i don’t think you’re elitist.

    i just like, wouldn’t want to fuck up around you. /cower

    <3

  10. #10 by Grimmtooth on September 23, 2009 - 5:41 pm

    I think it came from someone that got called on their shit and decided to namecall, and that’s all.

  11. #11 by Oasic on September 23, 2009 - 6:57 pm

    We prefer the term L3371575.

  12. #12 by Ablimoth on September 23, 2009 - 7:42 pm

    I <3 elitism in the respect of 'Show up, perform adequately, don't fuck up' it works well for me :D

  13. #13 by Cassandri on September 24, 2009 - 3:13 am

    What Grimmtooth said. Someone probably just called you “elitist” because they knew it would get to you. Gotta come up with a decent insult for WoW players since “nerd” just doesn’t get us all riled up anymore.

  14. #14 by kyrilean on September 24, 2009 - 5:50 am

    I still firmly believe that “elitist” means anyone “better than you”. Kind of like “hardcore” is anyone that plays “more than you”.

  15. #15 by Kotakh on September 24, 2009 - 8:19 am

    I’m 99% sure i know who said it…but i’m not gonna say his name just in case its not him…but yeah ;)

    I’m going to assume its someone from the raiding group who cant get out of shadow crash and gas cloud…or someone who’d like to raid and complain that its always the same people who get invited. (Maybe they meant elitist as in, you’re always raiding with the same ppl because you think everyone else is dumb…idk).

    If its someone who want to raid but isnt invited…well…idk what to say. You’re not the one sending the raid invite and maybe they should stop complaining and help recruit more ppl instead so we can finally raid 25 man content.

    If its one of our “inept at getting out of shit” dps then he just have to stop sucking. Seriously, our RL/Guild is very forgiving about it imo. I’ve been in guild where if you got hit by a shadow crash once you’d get a warning from the RL…and if you get hit again you were out of the raid. (The RL would cut you some slack on progression fight since you’re learning the fight…but nowhere near enough slack to get hit by shadow crash 7 fucking times).

    And while you do have a particular way to say things that i guess may be misinterpreted (especially by 16yo)…it’d be a LOT worse if i was the one making the comments. People in my old guild described my RL style as “dictatorial” and “pure asshole” but my team was always the first to down new boss and progress much faster than the other raid.

    Anyway…i started rambling again…dont take the elitist comment personal, you’re really not that bad and if we had 10 people “elitist” like you we’d already be farming ToC 10 :)

  16. #16 by Light on September 24, 2009 - 8:44 am

    “Raiding isn’t public school, there isn’t a No Child Left Behind Act-if you can’t perform you can’t go.”

    This is awesome. Can I borrow this? I need it to beat some people over the head with.

  17. #17 by Grimmtooth on September 24, 2009 - 8:52 am

    @Light – borrow, hell. I’m flat-out stealing it and running for the hills. :D

  18. #18 by Beruthiel on September 24, 2009 - 9:24 am

    @Ron – I hate to say it, but why is it that when female leaders are strong willed and know what they want and express ourselves in nearly the same manner as our male counterparts we are told we are “condescending” or bitchy, but males in a leadership role can be just flat jackasses and garner respect?

    I don’t know for a fact that this is what happened in this situation, and maybe Amber does inadvertantly talk down to people, but I have run up against this same very thing in leading raids in my guild.

    Brade can be a flat out jack ass, and it’s perfectly fine, people get their shit together and move on. But if I don’t coat everything with sugar and gumdrops I’m the bitch?

    Somehow I doubt it’s 100% the way that Amber addresses things.

    @Amber – I know you’ve stated that you’ve got some younger male members in your guild. I wonder if there isn’t some resistance from them to a strong female leader. I only comment on it because I actually had to leave a guild as a result of this combination. In fact it was such an issue for me and I wanted to avoid it in the future that Monolith’s application actually states that we have a female member of our officer team and asks if that will be an issue.

    Just some food for thought :)

  19. #19 by Matojo on September 24, 2009 - 9:28 am

    If being elitist means “having standards that I also apply to myself”, then so am I, ’cause Godsdammit, when I want something done I wanna do it right and I expect the same of the four other people in my group.

  20. #20 by Ambrosyne on September 24, 2009 - 10:20 am

    I’ll admit that I sometimes say things in a “Come on, really?” sort of tone (see: exasperated panda), but that’s because the stuff I’m expecting of people is NOT THAT FUCKING HARD.

    Again: I am a keyboard turning nublette. If I can do it, so can you.

    I maen I can be quiet and let the Cranky Tank reign, I suppose…since he’s such a bastion of politeness and patience…

  21. #21 by Elnia on September 24, 2009 - 1:33 pm

    I would humbly suggest that one of the reasons that men often have an issue with “strong willed” women in leadership roles is because the traditional understanding of extroverted feeling is the extroverted female, whose feeling is typically warm and positive. When INFJs extrovert feeling, which they do, it does tend to have a subtle and sometimes not so damn fucking subtle negative tone. That’s because it’s projected feeling and projections are by definition negative. The reason that men can get away with negative expressions of feeling is because we as a society expect men to extrovert thinking and thus when they extrovert negative feeling, well who can blame them for doing something so out of sorts. It’s the way they show they care.

    It’s difficult for INFJ women in that sense because if they extrovert feeling which they are wont to do it comes across as bitchy compared to the traditional extroverted feeling we associate with women in leadership roles. If INFJs instead develop their ESTP animus this is more positive but then they get accused of being more manly than the men. It can be a no win situation until they begin to redefine what leadership is. It’s actually a bit of a surprise to see an INFJ (male or female) in a guild leadership role. It doesn’t really play to their strengths as leaders. The typical notion of an INFJ is one who leads with the pen and not with the sword.

    I would also ask you to take a step back and consider how crippling these cultural stereotypes are not only for women but for men as well. Because there are ENFJ men…only we call them flaming gays because they act too “feminine”. Aren’t the positive rah rah guys on the cheerleading squad homosexual. You know that what people say. Men are not supposed to be positive emotional leaders. Yet all they are are the INFJ looking in the other direction.

  22. #22 by Ron on September 24, 2009 - 2:36 pm

    @Beruthiel – Lets not play the sexist card here. Any female who knows me that reads this blog can vouch against that. It’s not a matter of being strong willed or knowledgeable, it’s a matter of presenting your views and/or issues in a way that everyone hearing can relate to if you don’t want to have a label slapped on you. If you have 16 year olds in your raid then you have to adjust that approach. As I noted, my comments were based off of direct experience with these exact issues and not assumptions like most of the comments that were left are.

    These situations are never 100% anyone’s fault because there has to be an offender and an offendee. 99.9% of the time the offender (Amber in this case) has to be the bigger person and change the approach, especially given her position/rank. If not and it ends up happening again and again then people leave or get pissy and it just creates an unhappy environment for all.

    Anyways, Amber knows I think the world of her and that I try to always offer her my non-biased opinion whenever possible. This is one of those times and that is all it was.

    Now get back in the kitchen and…. lol. Just kidding :)

  23. #23 by Slikrx/Balthazario on September 24, 2009 - 3:53 pm

    Obviously I’m not involved in any of the guild issues that Amber has, so I can only respond to the posts that she has done here on the blog….

    Yeah, she can come across as a bit of a hard ass, and maybe a tad condescending, but, I would probably be the same if my situation were the same.

    One of my IRL (femal, FWIW)friends that occasionally reads this blog had the same “elitist” comment.

    My retort was “maybe a bit, but she’s also extremely self depricating. That’s hardly elitist.”

    She agreed, but I think it does point out, anecdotally, that Amber can come across this way, at least in text.

    (note, when I am not REALLY careful in my work emails, it’s quite common for people to say the same about me)

    Lastly, a quick comment about the gender thing: it is definitely *possible* when chatting over vent, since voice often “genderify” (I know, not a word, but “add a sexual note” is NOT what I’m trying to say… arrgh) Reading someone’s text/posts, etc it’s often difficult to pin a gender to the writer, and I doubt that stereotyping is that common. (hmm that doesn’t make sense, but I can’t think how else to put it)

    Regardless, Amber, I enjoy reading your blog, often due to your “Asperger-esque” lack of tact, especially since I feel the same way about non-functioning idiots. I know I like to try to help folks, but I can’ thelp saying “I hate people” in SO many instances…

  24. #24 by Beruthiel on September 24, 2009 - 5:40 pm

    @Ron – I’m certainly not implying that you are sexist…or if I did, it wasn’t my intent.

    It’s just that upon reading Amber’s post, I felt that I’ve been in her shoes. And frankly, it pisses me off that I’m expected to behave one way, but my male counterpart is not. This is from my own, personal experience through 5 years of WoW and leading raids for two fairly serious raiding guilds.

    To deny that it exists and doesn’t play its part in this evironment is crap.

    I don’t feel that I should have to change the way that I address any member of my guild, I treat everyone the same, equally. I’m an equal opportunity critic.

    I think it more likely that Elnia has hit the nail closer to the head.

    Anyhow…I was just offering my two cents on something that may be part of the problem. Or may not be.

    Now I shall fade back into the blogosphere =P

  25. #25 by Dannyocean on September 24, 2009 - 6:29 pm

    There might be a different way to look at this besides the male/female leader question.

    Some people THINK they want to hear the truth when in fact they really don’t. I’ve been reading Amber’s blog for a while now and she does strike me as a blunt person. I personally admire that… let’s cut through the bullshit and get to the point. People don’t want to hear it. They want you to say, “It’s okay. Try again.” They want their hand held and tolerance.

    And, for the IT people out there, when I think of an elitist… look no further than the Network guys. Most (of course not all) network people won’t cut you any slack until you demonstrate that you have a clue. They will write you off until you prove that you know what you are talking about.

    Why? Cause the first thing people blame is the network when there is a problem. So, over time they get jaded and defensive. Most of the time, they are smarter than everyone else and they know things that even accomplished IT personnel don’t.

    I would even go as far as to draw a parallel. Who is the first person most people (or at least DPS) blame when there is a wipe? The healer… just like they blame the network. We have all heard the person in raid chat/vent complain “if they could just get some heals” or “why didn’t you heal me?” The reality is that if they paid attention… there was probably something they could have avoided to keep from needing those heals.

    Over time, healers get defensive too. So now you take a player like Amber, a healer and a blunt personality. Already on the defensive and standing up for herself when that DPSer dies. No one wants to hear that the did something wrong. It’s not there fault…right?

    Add the healer, the bluntness, the 4-years of experience coupled with things people don’t want to hear, “healer lists”, and the immaturity that sometimes accompanies this game… Hell yeah you are gonna come off as elitist.

    I will even wager that until that person proves that they have some commonsense… that perception isn’t going to change… on both sides.

    Is there anything wrong with that? I don’t think so. I don’t think it is because Amber is female either. Sure, delivery can matter but if they are your guildie and they know you… they should get it.

    For the record, I struggle with the same thing with the people I raid with. It took some time, but after they got to know me… they realized I wasn’t talking down to them. And, eventually… they stopped standing in the damn fire!

    Love your blog Amber. MOAR BUBBLES!

  26. #26 by youyankityoutankit on September 27, 2009 - 2:18 am

    We’re actually getting a lot of accusations of the same elitism as Raid Leaders [hubby and I] because we expect people to bring their best [aka, no alts who aren’t proven/adequately geared] and we expect people to actually follow the directions we give. We don’t sit and scream on vent or honestly, even call people out by name unless it gets seriously blatant. I mean, hey, we’re a casual guild and everyone makes mistakes. We DEMAND a certain level of professionalism in raiding. We expect gear to be gemmed and enchanted [No mats, hey… see the GV and the treasurer]. We expect you to do your best to follow directions and at least have wowwiki’ed, wowheaded, tankspoted or whatever to be vaguely familiar with the fight. Must have vent. Must have DBM or Bigwigs and Omen. Just general stuff.

    We actually had a little clique of friends leave our guild because “we made raiding a second job” for them. I had no idea 2 nights of 4-5 hours the first night and 2-3 the second were a second job [especially when attendance isn’t mandatory]… And people were allowed to come and go as they needed [we only asked they notify the raid leader if they had to leave].

    Naturally, they left to join an elite hardcore progression guild that attempts to raid every night while spamming/bugging our healers to come heal their stuff since their guild has 13 accounts and only pally healers [2 of whom are offspec healers] :P

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