Topic How would you handle this one?
Been in a not too disimilar situation which I will share to see if it offers any help...
As GL, I had to speak to a person and try and explain that they weren't acting in a way befitting a guild member. It was a tough one to do as I knew this person's circumstances.
After the conversation, we agreed on a second chance and kept the conversations going. I kind of became an agony aunt from a guild perspective and actually made more allowances than I should. It could have ended very badly as this person was working in whispers a lot and causing more issues. In the end, I had to give them an option - leave with some respect or be kicked.
It was a horrible time and I worried - a lot. As it was, this person left wow and came back some time later. Since returning they have /w me to thank me for giving them a 'wake up' call and asked to come back. I politely declined.
As harsh as it is - you're playing a game. You want to leave your 'rl' behind your computer screen and when it overlaps, the guild will suffer. If you are worried about their behaviour to the extent that you feel they are likely to attempt to take their own life, you must speak with a GM who can monitor the situation and take the responsibilty off your shoulders.
I wish you and your guild the very best of luck with this and hope that it works out and makes you guys stronger.
I get the immediate concern of "mental illness" however:
To counter this, you have no proof (people do lie/act in a certain way for attention) that what he has said is true.
Your guild is falling apart because of this weird behaviour.
Have you looked at his guild history? People are clever and will present a situation to enable them to act in stupid/weird ways including fake illnesses.
Simply, just remove him, its not your responsibility, nor blizzards. This is a digital enviroment. If it makes you feel better, remove him and send him a mail explaining why. Dont get hung up on this.
First of all, you need to take charge of your guild if you are leading it. A laissez-faire approach doesn't work, as you can clearly see from your guilds reactions to this "bully".
You chose not to take action when he started acting out of character, in a way that disrupted the harmony of the guild.
As a guild leader if people start disrupting the "status quo" of the guild and make ripples in the pond in a negative way, you need to act immediately. You contact that player(-s) that create the problems and confront them (ingame mail, forum post or directly on voice comm.) and get it sorted. This should also be seen as a warning for them to improve their behaviour and this should be the one and only warning they get for this type of offence. The people in the guild play to enjoy and have fun in their spare time.
As previous posters have mentioned, there is no proof of this player being mentally unstable (more then the average player), and even if there was proof of this it's not really your problem.
The only time this could cause you any extra concern would have been if he had approached you with this before joining the guild (either himself or his legal guardian), as that would have given you the choice of taking in "special needs" players in your guild.
As much as you might have sympathy for the person, you did not take up the mantle of legal guardian, social worker or any other type of special care employee when you decided to play the game or lead a guild nor should you.
I would reccomend that you remove the player in question from the guild immediately and write an ingame mail, where you briefly explain why you have removed him from the guild. Do not get drawn into going into details, you are not debating your choice of action, but only being polite and informing him on your decision.
... and in the future, you really need to be more pro-active and assertive, as the role of guild masters should not take away the fun of playing the game.
Many years ago, I went on a counselling course which was necessary for the job I was doing at the time. The very first thing our instructor said to us was this: 'You are not responsible for anyone else's happiness'. Too often we take upon ourselves the burden of being responsible for the actions and happiness of other people, when all we can realistically do is be responsible for our own actions!!
What above said!
Get a chat logging addon. Report serious matters (suicidal comments etc) to blizzard.
I love your compassion towards other players but it's important that you remember you're not liable for any of his actions. If you don't feel he can correctly conduct himself in the guild then he probably shouldn't be there. If you feel he can't conduct himself with the power he's given maybe you should talk about restricting his power a bit like calender events etc.
It's a tough position, and please treat it as you are. If you have any doubt about his personal health and well being over the game contact Blizzard via ticket. They will do everything they can to help.
About a year back a person in my guild (no names) did commit suicide and leave his last note on our forums. Our officer that found it informed Blizzard thusly and the police were sent around with in minutes and reported back to the Office and the persons few family members.
It's hard, it's not great but you also need to ensure you're not taking on any responsibility for his actions. The best thing to do I say, is to talk to him. Lay out the situation very calmly over ventrilo or something if possible and see what he says.
Worst comes to worst you may have to dry your hands of him with a guild kick, we can't have anyone feeling responsible for his actions or messing around with your guild creating drama.
Sounds horrific. Must have been a terrible time. I'm glad that you got through it.
I agree with those who suggest to kick him.
It may feel not right, but think about the other members of the guild who need to choose between going through all of it or leaving. From what you have posted I can tell that this person will eventually kill your guild.
I find it abhorrent that people would openly kick a player from a guild because they are behaving badly possibly due to a mental illness.
We are all human beings trying to play the same game, with the general same goals of having fun and interacting with each other.
Whereas you are not able to medically help this guildy out, you should at least consider the consequences of simply kicking him from the guild, he may be or not be ill, but do you want to run the risk of making it worse, making him feel bad, or even depressed and lonely ??
You need to invest some time and effort in this guy, make a new rank 'Unstable', make sure it has no access right to any thing, including talking in guild chat, and put him in it. Sorted.
OP, posting from an alt does not hide you. The id of the poster is the same across all characters in the source of the forum. There are addons that can do it quickly or one could simply manually look up ids in cases.
My usual suggestion with our guild is to ask for the people's views. If they want to be a valued member of a guild they will need to act like one.
I have a psychological disorder and yet I manage to raid lead, guild lead and do not need to rely on blaming my disorder on anything.
If I am rude, I am just rude.
The guild should be the ones to decide as well as the GM, it is important that the one not spoil the many.
Commend you on asking in an honest open forum though :)
Edited by Kíah on 11/04/12 11:53 (BST)
Whilst I understand you are worried that what he is saying is true, there is no proof about it as others have said. If you're not online all the time, assign people who are online at different parts of the day to monitor him, like what he says in the guild chat or what he may be saying in whispers to them. Then decide what action to take.
As others have said he is not your responsibility and letting him act the way he does is not an excuse for anything in my mind.
Being in and out hospital on a regular bases sometimes myself, I can understand that it can be stressing for the person, but it is not an excuse! (Seeing a the couple of symptoms you have posted I can only assume he may go in and out of hospital regularly for tests.)
If you don't want to wait any longer then kick him and tell him why you have kicked him, at the same time put him on your ignore list if you're afraid he may start messaging you in whispers and start harassing you, and tell your other guild members to do the same.
After reading through some comments again, I do like the idea of the rank "unstable" as someone above mentioned. This will allow members of your guild to see this person may not be all there, or he may have explosive behavior. If he questions you can explain.
I wish you the best of luck to you and your guild.
Pretty much this (and what all the other said). It´s a game, not a mental institution. You can´t take the world upon your shoulders. This person isn´t in the condition to play a game with others... that´s not your ´mistake´.
If he needs help, he shouldn´t ask someone in a game (!) for it. I´ve had a borderliner friend... and it´s something you need to deal with irl, not over the internet. Ofcourse you don´t feel superawesome for kicking such a person, but keeping him in the guild isn´t helping anyone.
You are worried enough about it to post on the forums. It means he got into your real life, while you expected to just play a game. Always remember that it´s nothing but a game... if you can´t sleep at night because of a game, something is seriously wrong.
Good luck with this, I hope you get through it!
Edited by Halaberiel on 13/04/12 13:56 (BST)
I don't see this as a difficult situation... just kick him. As others have pointed out he isn't your responsibility... I'm surprised you even let it get this far, why didn't you kick him when the other players left? Mental illness or no mental illness people shouldn't have to put up with that crap.
Tell the chap, he cannot RL anymore, because his illness is making him unfriendly and people are becoming upset.
Then if you can ask him to just take a back seat for a week or two, and not handle anything to do with raiding for a spell.
I also had to deal with someone with a severe mental condition, he seemed normal at first, but after talking with him, it was clear he was not officer material, or indeed raider material.
I didn't have the heart to kick him, because when he wasn't having an episode he was a really great funny guy. I kept the officers posted on his status in a confidential forum (officers Forum) and he was eventually kicked by one of my officers because his condition was too much to handle, after all, none of us were qualified to help him, and his actions, though not his fault, were leaving the guild in chaos.
So short story is, if he is causing disruptions, follow the same protocols you have in place for every other member, warning, 2nd warning, kick without warning.
If he can't handle his condition, sad and unfair as it may be, the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the one.
Edited by Pepples on 19/04/12 17:04 (BST)
I worked in a mental care hospital for years.
And one of the rules was: do not let a patient put you in a position of keeping secrets.
He indeed sounds like a guy in trouble, and i feel for him.
But by informing you and asking you to keep it to yourself he is holding you hostage.
Or better said is illness is keeping you hostage.
My advise is, to tell him private that his behavior is so that you are worried.
And him asking you to keep quiet he,s in trouble, prevents you helping him, and is also making your time in the guild less fun.
I would give him the option to either share the info with other officers himself, and if he will not do that, you will.
Make sure he does not drag you into a conversation, that will give you even more personal information about himself.
It sounds like if nothing changes he will get a foot print on his rear soon.
Remind him that is a real option, if others are not informed.