Pulling your weight

| Thursday, December 17, 2009
While I'm sure all of my readers are hard-working players in WoW who show up to raids on time with enchants and potions and don't go afk during pulls, perhaps you know someone. This post is for the lazy people. No not the M&S lazy. This isn't for people who hate grinding or who won't farm. This is instead for the leeches who drift along and aren't actively harmful and who might do just enough to not get removed, but they're leeches anyway.

I used to be one of them. Let's rewind to a few semesters ago (think a year and a half if you've forgotten what school was). I was part of a smallish project on campus required for graduation. Okay the project itself was not small. In fact it was way beyond our scope and horribly chosen. But the group was small.

The project was to design a city in China. A sustainable one, or as best we can do considering people seem to actively seek ways to ruin the environment whatever they do. Like I said, way beyond the scope of a dozen undergrads, a couple grad students, and a couple professors who were under specific direction not to lead or interfere too much with the students figuring it all out on their own.

There are a dozen dozen situational factors that hurt my performance. My subgroup was terrible. I wasn't in a relevant major. There didn't seem to be anyone really leading us. And so on.

But the fact was, I was useless. I showed up maybe 50% of the time and didn't catch up on what I missed. I barely did any work. Terrible feedback meant that I was never 'caught' and got by with a B. Objectively speaking, I should have failed.

Last semester I was in a similar project situation. It was a new group and a new project, but it was part of the same program; we require two of these to graduate. I remembered how I'd been useless. I'd felt a bit bad at the time, but when you're on a path of shittiness, it's surprisingly hard to get off it. This time around I decided to do better. I'd do my share and get others to do theirs and be active and show up and get shit done.

The situation was not in my favor. Our professor was a fast-talking moron; the type who go far in management by 'leading teams' and 'innovation' and 'dynamic' and whatever other buzzwords you can think of which mostly turn into him taking credit for others somehow accomplishing something while he's actively harming their progress. Also the group had a non-zero number of lazy idiots. And a few foreign students who didn't quite fit into the process.

Well screw all that, I wasn't going to be one of those worthless people again. I drew in the useless people and got them to be of some help. I actively fought the harm of the professor, with varying success. I won't say I did the most work, but I did my part and I did enough to be proud of it.

Our results weren't all that much better. Once again the project was beyond our scope, especially for a single semester. But I knew that whatever successes we had achieved, I'd been part of them. I knew that I was useful. I had something to be proud of.

What does this have to do with WoW? What could a player possibly learn from the idea that it feels good to be more than deadweight leeching off the work of others?

Working isn't even all that much work. A few hours here and there, regular attendance, small things; these make a huge difference in individual usefulness and self-worth.


Turiel said...

I completely agree, with your story and with it relating to wow.

I remember my junior year of undergrad I went into a project with a few mutual friends in a management class. Our job was to give an entire breakdown of a company. Well I happened to be in a group of like minded individuals, we all wanted good grades for doing zero work. This forced me to step up in the situation I failed to in my previous group (also got a B on the one I did nothing in previously) and I ended up managing the group, divying out all the work, and keeping everyone accountable.

I even had a failure on the morning we were to turn it in, where I had to call someone before class, wake them up, and explain to them that they had 3 hours to re-write and submit their section to me.

Long story short, I received a B+ on that project, but I learned a ridiculous amount about myself those few weeks that I will take with me forever.

(Also, I have a new blog! check it out at http://sparklewars.blogspot.com/)

Stabs said...

Ha ha, that has to be one of the most uunconvincing things I've read recently!

Don't be lazy and scrape by with an undeserved B! If you really apply yourself and work hard and inspire other you can get a deserved B!

Sorry for trolling, I'll crawl back under my rock again.

Klepsacovic said...

@Turiel: I'm glad to hear you learned a lot. That is the point of schooling, right?

@Stabs: Learning, dammit. Learning!

G-Rebel said...

A lazy leech probably wouldn't make it past the first sentence. "Wow, this post is really long, I need a nap."

I'm afraid your message may not reach your target audience.

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