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Anonymous

Beating Around the Bush

Morrigan

Lets be real human people here and know for a fact that no good admin worth their salt would EVER actually tell a member they are a dick without purple prose. Anyone that actually didn't take the original anonymous as being overstating and emotional is obviously not really reading the situation properly.

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So I recently left a roleplay community because an admin was sorta an asshole to me. I got a standard PM that said "we're doing an activity check" and I asked "well do you have a list so I can know if I'm a culprit" to be told "NO!" just to get a message a day later to tell me "yes you're a culprit, stop being a dick". To me I am actually more upset that they couldn't just outright tell me when I asked them to tell me in the first place and it's actually what upset me and made me tell them I was leaving fully in the first place.

 

What the point of this is.... why do we beat around the bush? Why do we sit here and try to make nice when we know what we mean? We mince words when we all are here for direct and accurate words?

 

As an admin do you really tell the people that are upsetting you why/what they are upsetting you on?

As a member do you appreciate or get upset when an admin is direct with you?

Anonymous poster hash: a77f4...15f

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It's funny because this seems exactly like a situation a staffer friend of mine has been talking about.  She showed me the PMs, wondering if there was something she'd done wrong, and I can attest that there wasn't a flat 'no' given to start, only a note saying that there wasn't a list yet, not that the member in question wasn't on it.  Then the moment there was a list, the member got a PM - specifically because they'd asked for one, and then they got all upset about that and left.  

 

It's particularly funny because this staffer WAS direct, and THAT seems to have been what most upset this member... in pretty much exactly the same situation.  So it's odd that there's any claim to wanting 'directness' when that's what pissed the member off and made them leave.  -shrug-  Yea.  Odd.  

Anonymous poster hash: ebb5f...87c

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That's... weird. Kind of super weird.

 

Everyone has a right to know what they're doing wrong if they're doing something wrong. I can see that the first response was in regard to the existence of a list, the second one seems out of the blue and lacking in tact if you've faithfully quoted the PM there. There's nothing to be gained by calling anyone a dick. Especially if you're just following up to an earlier question.

 

The appropriate response would have been first to say "We haven't done up a list yet, but now is a good time to assess where you're at with x account",  followed by "Hey, we checked the list and yes---you are on it. What were your plans?"

 

I can only go on your paraphrasing there, though. If the staffer did outright say "yes you're a culprit, stop being a dick" that's not on. 

 

 

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Pro-tip: You might be posting anonymously, but it's not an excuse to post whatever you want. I don't even understand what's happening in these posts. Why is the term "culprit" used for someone who fails an activity check? And why would that warrant the admin using vulgarities? Why wouldn't members know if they've met the activity requirements to begin with? Can you please explain more?

 

And to the second anon, sometimes it's better to just let people babble.

 

Also, don't get into an anonymous argument, guys, and get our anon feature taken away from us.

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Lets be clear first and foremost, I'm obviously paraphrasing and that is not a direct quote but that's how it made me feel.

 

The first PM was, like I said a generalized "we're doing an activity check" and I wasn't sure. Everyone had been so inactive so I went as inactive as the rest. I seriously just wanted to know if I was on the list or not. If I was the answer would have been super easy, I would have apologized and went and posted. The problem here was that AFTER I had asked for the list it was sort of like a "Fine... obviously she didn't get the hint from the response we sent her so lets just tell her". Which to me would have been far easier if they said that in the first place.

 

I really would have been more okay with just being told, "Yes, your accounts are currently considered inactive. Please fix it or give up the characters". Thus why beating around the bush is the topic of this.

 

Why did there have to be a song and dance about this? Why couldn't my first PM inquiring about it have been the end of the conversation? Why is it that I had to wait longer to hear that I was one of these evil fiends that they were talking about that had gone inactive?

Anonymous poster hash: a77f4...15f

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Welp, from the public back and forth I'm going to add my non-requested two cents and tell you guys exactly what it looks like. Assuming that All Parties are telling the truth: 

 

Member and Staff had a miscommunication over crossed intentions (You can THINK you're being direct without realizing that a statement can be taken in 2 vastly different lights), and now everyone involved has a bad taste in their mouth over it. Instead of a clarifying post-conversation, the simple miss-match seems to have turned into a matter of Egos since even though Anon 1 didn't badmouth the site, Anon 2 still felt the need to passive-aggressively rebuttal Anon 1's venting of hurt feelings in defense of said admin the miscommunication was with. 

 

Also, it doesn't take Batman to figure out the Parties in question. Just take a couple of days to chill, and then PM each other in the background here and go over why Member felt singled out and thereby attacked and why Admin, getting the brunt of the defensiveness from said unintentional attack then thought Member was being a jerk for no reason. Then both of you apologize to each other for the fallout of misinterpretation and be Initiative Friends again. 

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I love this thread. But only because of anon drama.

 

Text can be hard to read tone in. It sounds like the admin did what you asked and maybe phrased it poorly and the entire situation got blown out of the water a bit.

 

This is why posting requirements are more trouble than they're worth.

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I think @CovertSphinx said it better than I could, and there isn't a whole lot more to add except for a few pieces of unsolicited advice regarding asking for feedback.  Thanks for clarifying your situation, Anon 1, by the way.  I'm sure the staff of the site appreciates that you're trying to keep things as anonymous as possible, but in the future, do please make sure that you provide an appropriate account of events.  We got a bit sidetracked by the fabricated details and ended up focusing on those rather than addressing what you actually needed addressed.

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Guest Archaic Cyborg

There's different ways to respond depending on a couple simple details, like if the player is harassing others and generally causing trouble. If I'm a staff member, I need to tell the member to stop and why. Because letting things slide will snowball into bigger trouble.

 

If I'm causing problems, as a member I'd want to know the specifics, but... there's a difference between stealing/being slow-paced/etc, and the admin just not liking me. IfI don't 'like' a member, I don't do shit about it.

 

That admin lacks professionalism, just a bit, for resorting to 'well ur being a dick so that's why ur going'. :T RP isn't a job, but still, acting like high schoolers is such a put--off.

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This is an interesting thread considering I just had something very similar happen to me within the last hour. I'm a straight-shot kinda person where I don't want things kinda vague. I had entered a fun event, did the pre-sign ups, and all only to find out that I had an error with my character. I fixed it and had messaged the admin that informed me of my errors to let them know it was fixed. This was back about 2 weeks ago. Fast forward to now and the event is up but my character isn't listed. I asked another admin why this was the case only for them to be a bit of a dick and tell me to go read the journals about this. I was annoyed by the way they said it, but whatever and did what they said. I sent the group admin account a message with the updated character, only for this same admin to message me 30 minutes later that I couldn't participate because I missed the deadline. 

 

Why couldn't they have told me when I first asked? Why did I have to go and try to get it in quickly like the journal had said, only to be told I couldn't participate in the end within half an hour?

 

What people need to understand sometimes is how others respond to other people. Like @CovertSphinx said, it's miscommunication on both fronts. The admin doesn't realize how they can come off to some people while the member reacts differently to said interaction. I get what the OP Anon is feeling because it's a surprisingly similar situation, but I also see how the other side can feel defensive or hurt by the OP Anon. Directness is often key, but what becomes troublesome is that people react differently to that.

 

You'll never win because everyone is different. What works for one person won't be the same for another in some cases and can lead to issues like this. Obviously you both know who y'all are, so take some time to chill, grab a drink, and build that bridge so you can both get over it. There's no point in having ill-blood over miscommunication.  

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I'm so curious how this activity check was phrased to toss around words like fiend and culprit.

 

On topic: I agree. Sounds like there was a miscommunication.

 

On Title Topic: Especially in the US, being blunt is often considered rude. So beating around the bush is the method of saying what you want to say and getting it off your chest/mind without having to resort to rudeness. (Also the vast majority of people I've met say they want the truth without sugar coating, but actually can't handle it...)

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@Thyme Oh man, If I had a dollar for each case somebody asked me for truthful feedback and then got upset with me because it wasn't the truth they wanted to hear, I'd be able to pay off my mortgage in cash. lol  Although it's fascinating you bring up a Culture issue of sugar coating to be polite. I can totally see that in many situations. I've also noticed that we Americans are very prideful in our independance and often take things a little more personally than we sometimes should. In general of course. 

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@Thyme and @CovertSphinx - Very true!  Though it also depends upon the part of the United States.  We are such a huge country that each region might as well be a different country with a different culture.  From what I understand, Southerners will kill you with passive aggressive kindness, and being direct is not in their nature.  But in the northeast, people are very abrasive and upfront.

 

My personal experience (California) has shown me people with such diverse understandings and perceptions of the world that pretty much anything can be misunderstood and screwed up. I've met many people that if you were straightforward with them, they'd become upset and hurt.  Meanwhile, I'm completely opposite.  It's really hard to try to communicate appropriately with everyone, and sometimes you just have to realize that you're never going to be on the same page as every person who wants to join your site.

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@Uaithne that's so true. I was raised in the south. XD and now I live in the North. People are more forward here it seems, but still sugar coat pretty solidly from what I've seen.

 

 

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@Thyme Omg I totally agree so much with this. People often say they can handle feedback and every single freaking time they actually cannot. Even now, my courses in school are meant for you to receive feedback because it's in graphic design. 4 years. 4 freaking years and still people in my class can't handle critiques like, how are you going to get better?

 

Americans I feel especially are very prideful and think they are stronger than a lot of people are. That being said, it does lead to a lot of sugar-coating or "beating around the bush." I'm a Northerner and more specifically I have a New Yorker type of personality so we tend to expect you to just say whatever it is. Thicker skin, get to it because we don't have time to waste. Even how Thyme was saying that they were raised in the south but noticed the north is a lot more forward shows you the cultural difference.

 

I may just be rambling a bit off topic here, but either way it shows how this can lead to communication. Maybe the staffer was trying to be cautious of the member's feelings, maybe they were being a dick and the friend speaking here is encouraging the dick behavior and doesn't see the error, or maybe the member is overreacting. No one knows for sure. It seems from what we were given that this member could actually take a more direct feedback rather than sugar-coating and that is a lesson for the staffer to understand. Again, every person is different and will react differently so as a staffer, you must be willing to adapt to how different personalities respond to a scenario.

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