I woke up this morning to find an application on my guild’s forums from a holy priest who stated that she reads my blog and several others on my blogroll as a point of reference. Her application looked great. She was geared to the teeth, had a lot of experience under her belt, a winning personality and seemed to know her stuff. Needless to say, her application generated a lot of interest from everyone and people were excited about scooping her up and adding her to our roster. While I was happy that a holy priest was inspiring such excitement and demand from my guildies, I also found myself confronting some bad habits that I have been dealing with for quite some time and never really got over.
It all started with a druid named Reach.
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (well, a realm called Khaz Modan) I was in a guild called Retribution. I was one of two resto druids already on the roster and we got along pretty well, for the most part. We mostly kept to ourselves and would swap places on the meters, neither one being terribly far behind the other. We were just about to break into Trial of the Grand Crusader when she started taking some time off to deal with things in her personal life. A short time later, we recruited a moonkin with resto tendencies (or was it the other way around) named Reach.
Reach was everything that I wasn’t. He was shiny, happy, optimistic, bouncy. He dropped fish feasts. As far as the guild was concerned, he could do no wrong. His app generated pages of interest and praise. His personality won people over instantly and he outhealed me within 2 weeks of joining.
This infuriated me.
There was a time when I was Reach. I was new and fun, someone that everyone in the guild wanted to get to know and be seen with. I was the one receiving heaps of praise for keeping up with the best healers the guild had to offer. I was the one people would go to for a fresh druid insight. Not anymore. I became the relic, the veteran. It was Reach’s turn in the spotlight and I was determined to not let him enjoy a second of it. I pulled out every demoralizing stunt in the book.
I consistently berated him because of his performance and how he didn’t deserve to be showing higher on the meters to me and he had to be overhealing or doing something else to pad his performance. I called him out on Vent, much to the ire of the officers in my guild and my fellow raiders. I became consumed with taking back what was I thought was rightfully mine and in the process I made myself look worse than Reach could have ever made me look on his own.
It was like self-fulfilling prophecy. Reach was in the guild to make me look bad, alright. Except I was the one who did it to myself.
We ended up spending weeks banging our heads against Heroic Anub’arak and it just wasn’t coming together. Icecrown Citadel still felt very far away and Reach was experiencing a bad case of burnout. He had started a blog, which went from having entries talking about how thrilled he was to be raiding with a guild of our caliber to musing about whether he was meant to stay raiding with us when Icecrown Citadel comes out. The entries seemed to get more spaced out and more depressing. It was pretty clear he wasn’t going to be with us for much longer.
Sure enough, Reach disappeared and eventually quit the game. Rumors spread and were mixed as to the real reasons. Some openly blamed me. Some agreed that burnout took its toll and maybe some things in his personal life played a part in it, too. I was so wrapped up in my own burnout at the time and didn’t pay any of this much thought, what with trying to prepare for Icecrown and dealing with my imploding relationship with our healing lead (who I mistakenly started to date around this time). But when all was said and done and I really thought about it I felt terrible. What the hell did I just do?
I still struggle with my competitive nature, this insecurity to this day. I need to realize that just because my guild is looking for people that play the same class or spec that I do does not mean that I’m one foot out the door. Just because the person who posts an application is better geared than I am or heals for more than I do does not automatically mean that I am less of a healer or that I can’t keep up. Just because people may like this person more than me does not necessarily mean that my raid spot is in jeopardy. Sometimes I need to have these pep talks to keep myself in check and remind myself where I’m at with things. I have gotten a lot better than I was back then, but it’s still tough. It’s hard not to look at the bigger picture and see what you want to see or what you expect to see.
The applicant’s Mumble interview is one hour from now. I have a brief list of non-invasive questions to ask and I will be supportive and excited to have her on board. I quelled my nerves with Chinese takeout and an episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” I’m ready to go. I genuinely hope she makes the cut. Two Lightwells in the raid would be awesome.