A General Apology from the Guy Who Was Ashur



  • Okay. I'm not actually sure how long this is going to get. I suppose it depends on what I think of to say. I was Ashur on TR for quite a while. This was not my first staffing position, nor was it my first Headstaff-type bit. Since issuing apologies for questionable behavior seems to be the thing to do, here's mine.

    I am a friend of Troy's, and this has remained true even after I quit my staffbit and characters on TR. I quit because I was so apocalyptically burned out that I was barely able to RP, and because I wanted to avoid Spider, and because I'd completely lost faith in TR as anyplace I wanted to be. But the reason I ended up as Ashur in the first place was that Troy asked for my help, and I could see she was distressed and at her wits end. So I saddled up, with some reservations, and set about seeing if I could help.

    I did a LOT of +complaints. Now, a lot of them were poo-flinging, the online equivalent of "DADDY THE BAD MANS HURT MY FEELS!" I got used to asking if people had tried communication, I got used to saying that we couldn't police Feels, and I got used to reading pages of the most vile logs imaginable because it was 'evidence'.

    I am a human being. I am flesh and blood. I have definite weak points, which I would not deny whatsoever. From the 'inside' - the ones I know about for sure:

    • I want people to be happy. One of the things that motivates me to work harder to try harder, is a strong desire that people be happy and have fun. At the same time, I am completely aware that there is no way to please everyone. Even knowing that, unless I police myself hard, I still try.
    • I absolutely hate having to say unkind things to others. This one's down to upbringing, where "If you don't have anything nice to say..." was oft-heard.
    • I try to 'solve' issues. If I am presented with a problem, I will try to find a solution until I fall over.
    • I have an 'overload' breaking point. It is fairly high, but once it trips off I switch to Final Solution mode. It isn't anything like being angry - I am a very Zen, calm person even in the most awful situations, its more like something in my head realizes that there's no more progress to be made and I need to decide, act and move on.

    These things are why I no longer staff, anywhere. When I am staffing actively I can barely RP, because getting that job done is more important then recreational efforts.

    General apology: If I hurt, offended, annoyed or perturbed you during my tenure as Ashur I apologize. I am mot a nasty person, I am not malice-filled and just looking for people to screw over, but I fail pretty hard at getting everything correct. I can only acknowledge that my actions were incorrect and try to learn from it and move on.

    Now. @Sunny in particular: I erred grievously against you. I apologize for revealing to Spider that you were the source of the (Most recent, there were many) +complaint against her. The only way I can explain my actions (Not justify, Explain.) - She pulled the Victim tag and the Unjust Persecution tag and dance me around like a puppet, and I unwittingly let her do it. This is my fault. I knew what was in all those +complaints, and I knew her reputation, and I absolutely failed to be cautious enough.

    It was painful. I valued your friendship tremendously, and I'd greatly enjoyed playing with you, and the rift thsi created between us was a pretty harsh punishment for me (I am pretty gregarious. I missed you.)

    I -should- have Sitebanned Spider. Its easy to see that now, and easy to say "Yeah, that would have worked out better for a lot of people." Hindsight is always 20/20.

    That's all I have to say, really.

    Ken


  • Coder

    I don't have any experience with TR but I think that situations like what happened between you, Spider and Sunny is why it's a good idea to offer an anonymous way to provide feedback.

    I don't know exactly what you meant by 'I got used to saying that we couldn't police Feels' but what we felt was always one of our top priorities on Kingsmouth was maintaining a good OOC atmosphere and almost half of our staff meeting time each week probably went to solving 'people problems' of various kinds.

    In the end, most things brought to our attention would fall into one of the following categories.

    1. Assumptions of bad faith, either due to rumors, previous history or a 'feeling'. Either way our reply would consistently be an urging to assume good faith and if it turns out that the other person was actually evil, we'll deal with it.
    2. Relationship issues, usually two characters would start an IC relationship and one of the players would try to bring it OOC at which point the other player would want to escape into outer space. The solution here was usually to let the second player switch to another faction so they could avoid eachother, for the most part there were only minor grumblings about the deus ex machina involved.
    3. Actual poor behaviour of some sort. In these cases we'd talk with the offending players about the problem and what we expected out of them. Those that continued behaving poorly would get indefinitely banned.

    What I've really grown to despise is rumours because whenever I investigated them they'd turn out to be laughably inaccurate, resulting from a combination of Chinese whispers and someone with an axe to grind. They're toxic to game atmosphere and genuinely harmful since a non-zero amount of players will believe the rumour to be true and avoid a player for something they didn't do.



  • @Groth
    As someone who had had a lot of the 'can't police Feels' thing to deal with before, I'll chime in.

    In my experience, what he's talking about is that we can't make someone feel a different way than they do. No matter how much maintenance of a good OOC atmosphere there will be on a game, there will be people who take it too much to heart or too seriously, and that will set in to those people. Many people won't want to deal with communication or determining rumors and lies from truth; they were hurt and that's all there is to it.


  • Pitcrew

    @Corruption

    I don't really know what to say. Thanks for the apology, I guess. I don't hate you or anything, but like I've said before, the anger is going to flare up sometimes. I don't think I'll ever be able to trust you on a personal level ever again. That is what it is, and it's just one of the consequences of your actions. I'm sure I'll get over it eventually.



  • It's easier to be an asshole and apologize later than to not be an asshole.



  • @Admiral said:

    It's easier to be an asshole and apologize later than to not be an asshole.

    You know what's even easier? Recognizing that every human being who has ever lived and ever will live has been and/or will be an asshole at some point or another. Your message here being a case in point. (And mine, for that matter.)



  • @Groth said:

    What I've really grown to despise is rumours because whenever I investigated them they'd turn out to be laughably inaccurate, resulting from a combination of Chinese whispers and someone with an axe to grind. They're toxic to game atmosphere and genuinely harmful since a non-zero amount of players will believe the rumour to be true and avoid a player for something they didn't do.

    This. Lots of this. :( Having gone through a ton of this recently... yeah. :/

    Generally: people screw up. It happens. What they do after that is, IMHO, a better definition of who they are than the fact that they screwed up, as, like @WTFE said, everybody screws something up sometimes. Sometimes it's fixable, sometimes it isn't, but it's a much clearer test of someone's nature when you see if they make a good faith effort to fix things, or just try to keep pretending they never screwed up in the first place. I'm willing to trust the former type's intentions; the latter? They can just fuck right off.



  • @Corruption

    This is my fault. I knew what was in all those +complaints, and I knew her reputation, and I absolutely failed to be cautious enough.

    There is no 'cautious enough' with Spider.

    Hindsight is always 20/20.

    I call foul on this one. Hindsight is when looking back, something should have been obvious but somehow wasn't at the time, but come on. If you take in a dog with a history of biting the throats out of children, who routinely escapes wherever you keep it, it's not really 'hindsight is 20/20' when it inevitably bites out some kid's throat on your watch.

    I don't mean this to be especially critical, but I don't believe for a moment you didn't know deep in your soul that sitebanning her way back when would have worked out a lot better for a lot of people. Acknowledging that you should have run with that feeling is just admitting you made a mistake, not a case of hindsight.

    @Groth

    I don't have any experience with TR but I think that situations like what happened between you, Spider and Sunny is why it's a good idea to offer an anonymous way to provide feedback.

    Anonymous anything is above and beyond the worst offender in the 'start rumors because a nonzero number of people will believe there is something to them just by virtue of you investigating' race.

    Spider herself pretty routinely abused this in a number of ways, from the actually anonymous complaints box that existed for a time, to just insinuating where someone in authority could hear that so and so might be doing such and such and encouraging others to do the same, so that nobody reported anything but it got looked into eventually regardless, and thus as far as those outside said investigation were concerned, there was something going on.


  • Coder

    @WTFE said:

    @Admiral said:

    It's easier to be an asshole and apologize later than to not be an asshole.

    You know what's even easier? Recognizing that every human being who has ever lived and ever will live has been and/or will be an asshole at some point or another. Your message here being a case in point. (And mine, for that matter.)

    Yes. In my experience only a tiny minority of people enjoy being assholes. Most of the time poor behaviour is caused by misunderstandings or the person lashing out due to a bad day.



  • Yeah, I really hate to agree with @HelloRaptor.

    I'm tempted to just leave it at that, but… I actually do agree with him. Anonymous complaints are the single worst way to reduce drama in a body of human beings that has ever been conceived.


  • Coder

    @WTFE said:

    Yeah, I really hate to agree with @HelloRaptor.

    I'm tempted to just leave it at that, but… I actually do agree with him. Anonymous complaints are the single worst way to reduce drama in a body of human beings that has ever been conceived.

    While we used them on RfK we didn't have any issues with them, however it wasn't an anonymous complaint box, it was an anonymous feedback survey and we didn't get all that many complaints coming in through that route. The main reason we set it up is because as Staff we are really reliant on getting feedback from players as we're often too busy running the game to be active participants so we'll grow out of touch with how people are behaving on the grid. However players are often very reluctant to say anything to us unless WW3 has broken out (Or someone has decided to not TS them anymore, basically the same thing right?).

    We had a few cases of sexual harassment where it turned out after looking into it that the players in question had been acting inappropriately to almost every player on the entire game but none of them had individually considered it important enough to bring to our attention. It was after the third case of that happening that we started to experiment with anonymous surveys.



  • A survey, where you presumably have specific questions to be answered, is not the same as an complaints box.

    But even a survey I don't particularly see the need for anonymity. Of course I'm also not an abject moral coward, nor am I so attached to a game that leaving one because someone like Spider manipulated things so I was ousted is a paranoid fear of mine.


  • Admin

    I have never bought the idea VAS was the major issue with TR so here's my question @Corruption.

    Given your role on the game, what kept you from doing something about those? I trust you won't ask me to elaborate further since we've discussed them before, but I didn't press in private. I will do so in public since you started this thread on your own.

    You say you were blindsided by VAS, alright, fair enough. But what about everything else?


  • Politics

    @WTFE said:

    Anonymous complaints are the single worst way to reduce drama in a body of human beings that has ever been conceived.

    In the American Justice System, people are entitled to face their accuser. This is why, except in limited circumstances, there are no anonymous civil complaints. In MU* land, however, we have no obligation to adhere to any higher sense of justice or morality, as MU*s do not hold the power of life or death over you.

    I don't like anonymous complaints. As an adjudicator, I want to know who the accuser is. But that does not mean I have any obligation to disclose this to the accused.

    It is far easier not to be an asshole.



  • @Ganymede said:

    I don't like anonymous complaints. As an adjudicator, I want to know who the accuser is. But that does not mean I have any obligation to disclose this to the accused.

    I didn't say that the accused should know who the accuser is necessarily. I said anonymous complaints are bullshit. On this we basically seem to agree.

    It is far easier not to be an asshole.

    This, of course, is the ideal solution.


  • Pitcrew

    Heh.


  • Pitcrew

    I was gone from the Reach before Ashur was staff, so have no personal feelings in this.
    The one thing I want to say and always think in cases like this is simple, the apology is a good first step but the thing that really matters is to modify your behavior so that the mistakes don't happen again the same way in the future. I wish Ashur the best of luck with that and hope that is his genuine intent.



  • @Coin
    <3

    @Ganymede

    I don't like anonymous complaints. As an adjudicator, I want to know who the accuser is. But that does not mean I have any obligation to disclose this to the accused.

    I believe this was covered above, but when talking about anonymous complaints we were referring in particular to the person filing them being anonymous to anyone and everyone. i.e. I can put in a complaint 'Ganymede is a pedophile and tried to show me her kiddy porn collection.' and even the staff reading it have no idea who put it in. Which also means that when multiple complaints about the same behavior comes in, staff has no way of seeing that it's the same person making the complaint, which can be problematic if it would otherwise be clear that it's someone just trying to stir up shit for someone else.



  • Is there no way to alias people for @mail to allow a mostly anonymous exchange?



  • @Coin Always, ALWAYS blame the Evil Twin.


 

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