Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Chasing a Ghost Through Icecrown Citadel
I'm toying with the idea of starting up a 10-man ICC group in my guild because all of the current 10-mans are full. The raid leaders of those 10-mans might be a bit pissed at me if I do, because a couple of my RL friends would drop their 10-mans (maybe) and join mine so we could all raid and chill together.
Shocked? I am. I almost NEVER step up and try to lead. Why? Because leading is a pain in the ass. There are so many things to manage and know, from fight mechanics and ideal raid comps, to delegation of roles and handling internal disputes.
I like people, but I hate people. I like the person, but I hate people in general; that's probably a better way of putting it. "Why?", you may ask, "People are all nice and kind and bunches of fun!"
Let me enlighten you.
My first job was working at McDonald's. However, I tend not to tell people that because:
a) I only worked there for a month, and
b) It was terribly embarrassing to work at McDonald's. Oh hey, girl x from my English class, how's... oh, you want a double cheeseburger meal, eh?
I wasn't actually a cashier there, that would've been glorious. I worked the grill and, on days I considered "blessed," the dress table / toppings line. But none of that is important.
My second job was working for one of our local grocery stores, on maintenance. Pushing carts, moping floors, cleaning bathrooms... I did it all for $6.50 an hour. If I had a paycheck over $120 for the week, I was happy. Although it wasn't the most distinguished job, I stuck with it; I mean, it was NO McDonald's, and for that I was happy. There was a fair amount of freedom bestowed upon me; as long as my duties for the hour were completed, I was free to go and do as I wished; my manager had nothing approaching the hawk-like watching powers of the managers at Mickey D's.
About six months after I started, I was promoted to cashiering. Nice pay raise from my meager wage on maintenance, but it had its difficulties too.
Quick summary of cashiering for you bastards that have never cashiered:
1) Loooooooong hours,
2) Extremely low task variability (as a result, I almost never left my register; my poor legs),
3) Seldom, if ever, have positive interactions with customers.
As a cashier, I was in the tight grip of the head cashier, who we called the customer service manager (CSM). I had to bargain with the CSM to even use the restroom, which mocked me from a mere 20 feet away. My breaks were assigned to me. My movement was restricted. My efficiency and courtesy was nearly never rewarded. The oppression of the CSM seemed never-ending; cashiering, a dead-end oasis of simultaneous solitude and congestion.
After three arduous months, I was moved to the frozen/dairy department (technically not a promotion, but I considered it a benediction). Suddenly, the cold corner of the store became my domain. Except in the mornings, I worked alone. I decided what to do, when to do it, when to go on break, when to go to the bathroom... Everything! Oh man, I was free!
But time passed and the novelty soon wore off as I realized that, even discounting the store managers, I was not truly free, for it is the customers that rule the aisles. When someone asked me to get something for them, it was not so much a request as a demand. When the customer complained, something needed to be done immediately to remedy the situation.
Don't get me wrong, I know how business works (sorta) and I know that, in order to stay in business, you can't treat your customers like crap. That aside, taking charge of the entire frozen/dairy department in the afternoon hours of Thanksgiving / Christmas Eve / Independence Day, all alone, taught me some valuable lessons.
First, the individual customer is less of a monster than a Baby Blizzard Bear. People, on the other hand, an amorphous collection of individuals, are more akin to the Scourge.
NOT VERY GOOD AT ALL
Second, leadership isn't all it's cracked up to be. Sure, you may enjoy it for brief periods, but those zombies will get you eventually. Then it's going to be a brain buffet, if you have any left that is.
But hey, I could be wrong.