Public Shaming... of Myself.
If you're reading this, you may be under the misconception that I am a nice person.

As of last night, know that you are officially wrong. I am a horrible, mean, cruel individual.

I wasn't always like this. I have always strived to be kind and courteous, generally warm and helpful. But something happened last night that opened my eyes to the fact that I'm not nearly as nice as I thought I was.

Up until the Naxx raid Ful threw together last night, my worst epic mistell story was the time I was talking back and forth with a friend of mine about song lyrics. I was singing Meatloaf to him... in caps. Because, you know, that's what I do. Somewhere in between "I'D RUN RIGHT INTO HELL AND BACK" and "OH YEAH I WOULD DO ANYTHING", my GM whispered me to ask me a question. I was not paying attention. He got the last few lines of the chorus. "..."

See, now, that's a slightly embarassing, but generally fairly hilarious mistell. You can't tell me you wouldn't find that funny, because I absolutely won't believe you.

Now, let's move to last night. After a humiliating, horrendous, and exhausting class at the YMCA in which we were required to work out in the middle of the main hall with all the kids from all the classes gawking at our jiggly selves, I came home, and Fulguralis was putting together a group of his guildies for the weekly raid quest, which was Anub in Naxx. Easy sauce. He asked if I wanted to join, so I said sure, he said invite your guildies, so I did, and suddenly we had 11 people. So he figured, what the hey, and decided to do it on 25 man with as many random friends we could throw together, even if it wasnt a full 25. It's just Naxx. None of us really cared about raid comp.

One of the girls who joined us is someone who may not be a very good player, but she is one of the sweetest, friendliest girls I've ever met, and she is in a friendly guild run by some very dear friends of mine. When I've run 5 mans with her in the past, we've had to be very careful to explain things clearly to her, and she seemed to really struggle on a lot of fights. A guild member had told me in a whisper once that he thinks she might be slower due to some medical issues, but I don't really know much about it. I don't think she'd ever been in Naxx, but none of us had any problem with carrying folks through, so I invited her to join us anyway while Ful got everyone settled and buffed and ready to go - she could probably get some loot upgrades, and it would be fun for her. I know she doesn't ever get to see any raiding content, and this was a good chance for her to do so in a low stress environment, where no one is giving her a hard time if her DPS is low.

I was the one who invited her in, but Fulguralis was leading the raid. I knew that most people would know the Anub fight, but she probably would not, and I wasnt sure if Ful planned on giving a boss explanation. It's not a hard fight, but it can be tricky and confusing if you dont know the fight at all, and I wanted to make sure she was at least told the basics. I was also in a ridiculously shitty mood.

So I sent Ful a tell that essentially said "Player x is borderline retarded, so make sure you explain the fight clearly to her".

Except it didn't go to Ful. I'll just let you guess who the whisper went to.

This is the part where some people might say "you know, there are add-ons that can help you avoid that." Or maybe you might suggest ways I could have played off what I said like a joke, to make it seem like I meant something else. Perhaps you may even be someone who will tell me exactly how shitty a thing that was to say, no matter who I said it to - and you are right, and I know it.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, will change the fact that it actually doesn't matter who I said it to. It doesn't matter if it's even slightly true either (which I don't even know) - because I meant it in a mean way, and I said it like it was perfectly natural for me to do so. There are no excuses for it. Would I have considered what a horrible thing it was to say if I hadn't sent it to the very person I was trashing? Probably not.

What kills me is that I never say things like that. I may be snarky at times, or make cracks at other people's expense, but it's usually because they are being rude to others, or someone who will dish it right back to me. But the thing is, neither of those aspects apply to this girl. She has never been anything but friendly, goofy, kind and warm to me and everyone else. I genuinely do like her, and if I didn't, I would not have invited her to join Ful on the raid he was running. She has never done anything to deserve that. I would even prefer to try and pretend that I was whispering Ful to give him a heads up out of sympathy for her or something... except even THAT (which is still patronizing) is untrue. Plain and simple, I was being a bitch. Trying to pretty it up and make it sound less awful than it is is just further insult to her.

I wish she would have ripped me a new one. I wish she would have told me off, and put me on /ignore, and told the whole guild what an awful person I am. She would have been well within her rights. But what makes me especially ashamed... is that I think she hears that kind of crap all the time. Her response was "Hey now, it's not like I'm drooling all over my keyboard!" and she laughed it off. When I told her how unbelievably sorry I was, and that it was an awful thing for me to say, she tried to make ME feel better. Which of course means that I just feel worse. Good.

I listen to people all the time complain about some idiot in their heroic pug... someone who makes a stupid choice in talents, or cant hold threat, or any other myriad of poor player choices. I hear people insult them and call them names. And I think of her, in an heroic PuG, and the kind of crap people might say to her because she struggles sometimes to play this game that she still loves.

And then I think about the fact that I just became one of those people I hate.

I doubt she will ever see this post, or know just how dreadfully sorry I am for being that person. I doubt she will ever warmly greet me again, though I know she will never be rude. And no matter how many times she may struggle through a fight, I will be the one who lost most - because as a human being, she proved tonight to be much more superior to me than I thought I was to her.
27 Responses
  1. Sheqeri Says:

    I'm not the best at consoling, so I'll quote what my wife said after reading the post, "I bet you a million bucks that girl will greet her warmly again."
    Also, my wife graduated in English, and enjoys your writing style :)

  2. Fulguralis Says:

    *Looks down at hastily tied noose*

    Aww shucks you beat me to it. Nothing like a self-hanging now is there? How very warlockery of you.

    Everyone borks up now and then. You live and you learn... (and then you get adult diapers?)


  3. Nymarie Says:

    What a sweet, tender hearted girl! I know you feel terrible. We all make mistakes. But I bet she's forgiven you. You want to know why? Because those people you hate? They don't lose sleep over hurting other people. You obviously feel terrible and you came on here publicly to tell us about this mistake. You've learned from it and you have my respect.

  4. Rhii Says:

    All of us do awful things we wish we hadn't. It's certainly not an excuse, and it's never okay, but we all do it anyway.

    I still remember and feel ashamed of a waspish gossipy remark I made in elementary school about a random woman walking by. She turned out to be the mother of the girl I made the comment to. I'm still remorseful about it, and can't think of the incident without getting kind of a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

    One thing I can say is that it made me more careful about what I say, so hopefully you'll see the same benefit from your experience.

    :) I like your honesty, you never mince words with your readers, even when it's scathing self-criticism coming out. Thanks.

  5. Nazaniel Says:

    Ouch. We've all said bitchy things in /whisper in the heat of the moment or when we were in a bad mood, and later wanted to take them back. It doesn't make it ok and I imagine it probably doesn't make you feel much better, but at least you're not alone.

    It's a small solace, but as long as we learn from these things, they're not in vain.

  6. Nim (Ankh) Says:

    Goodness. That is quite the mistell faux pas.

    Don't beat yourself up about it too much, though. You didn't mean what you said, and you feel bad about saying it. That right there means that you're still a good person. This sort of thing happens to everybody at some point. Just take what happened and remember how bad you felt about it the next time you're not in a good mood.

    If this person accepted your apology, chances are she doesn't hate you. Mistakes can be repaired.

  7. Will Says:

    We all at some point in life have to do things that aren't who we are, to find out who we are. Its by doing these things, and deciding that they aren't who we want to be that we clearly etch in stone who we want to be. And thats why our mistakes, should often be considered the best things to ever happen to us.

  8. Dristanel Says:

    Have to agree with Will on this.

    There are some people who, when in that situation, would have been simply mortified that they got caught. And while it is one of those things, you're clearly not as mortified at the mistell as you are at having said it - and said it as though it were the most natural thing - in the first place.

    Everyone says things they wish they could take back. At least you got the chance to do so, and to learn more about yourself in the process.

  9. Tam Says:

    Ouch, I cringed. BUT, my dear Miss Medicina, you are NOT a terrible awful dreadful unspeakable person so please but the hair shirt down. You're a HUMAN person who, in a momentary of very natural weakness and stress, did a very human thing.

    Also I think it is moments like these that teach us less about ourselves than about others - essentially, it is through our inevitable moments of foolishness and cruelty that we allow people to be heroes. It is never a pleasant role to play but, err, I think Player X just showed her quality :)


  10. Roguewind Says:

    I'm gonna go with the comment wasn't as bad as you think. Based upon her response, the girl didn't think it was that bad either. I'm sure she realizes that she's not that great of a player. Besides "borderline retarded" is much easier than saying "she really tries but doesn't seem to get it all the time and she needs her hand held". So, don't beat yourself up. By telling the raid leader that this girl needs an explanation before the fight, you saved her from hearing (if/when she screws up) "ZOMG FTW? IT'S JUST ANUB YOU MORON!" from other people in the raid who are just d-bags and take the game way too seriously.
    And yes, I'm sure there was a part of you that was sick of the hand holding, but I'm also sure that this girl would rather be "borderline retarded" in a pst and get taken along on a raid than be left sitting on the sidelines.

  11. Klepsacovic Says:

    The only difference between that person who swears constantly at people on vent and normal people is that normal people don't press their push to talk key.

    Also true horrible people don't care, or even enjoy it. Good people feel bad and see it as unusual and inappropriate behavior to not repeat.

  12. crankyhealer Says:

    First the obligatory: get wow instant messenger. Life... changing. I stealth-installed it on husband's machine because he was being stubborn, and he likes it.

    We ALL say shit that we wish we hadn't. It came out wrong, or we regret it right after hitting "send".

    How many officers out there have to "scrub" the officer forum for rude references to a player before inviting that player to be an officer? Plenty, I'm sure.

    So feel bad for a little bit, I'd worry if you didn't. But then let it go. Buy your mistell recipient a cute minipet (the in-game kind, not real dollars kind) and move on.

  13. Kensai Says:

    Well, i'm not going to say "aww, it's okay" because it's not. Don't get me wrong, i think you're ok and we all have our douche moments. I myself have quick temper and a foul mood and sometimes it gets out of my control. So i can relate.

    What works for me in controlling my douchebaggery is to remember that beyond pixels are real human beings, and i ask myself, would i say that thing if that person would be in the same room with me ?

    There's also a corollary, if you'd beat someone over the intarwebz, would you beat him IRL too ? :)

  14. I am with Tam on this one, it's things like this that help us understand others better, and sometimes, even ourselves.

    And, honestly, we all learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes. So as long as you've learned something, just consider it a learning experience.

    And...if you are still feeling really terrible about it, you can always do something nice in return. Offer to do a couple of heroics with her, or get some gear crafted for her, as your own mea culpa. Perhaps even just find out *why* she struggles with the game, and if there is some advice that you can offer that might make her gaming experience better :)

  15. G Says:

    "I'm gonna go with the comment wasn't as bad as you think."

    As the father of a child with severe developmental delays, I have to disagree. It is worse than you think. It is something that people have to live with every day. You cannot have any idea what it is like until it affects someone you love.

    Think about how many people you interact with every day and all of the inappropriate comments you overhear. It doesn't matter if it's "retarded", "gay", "fat", or racial slurs. There is still someone out there who is hurt. I can see humor in just about anything, but is when it becomes common that it is spiteful.

    That being said, you are still a good person. You realized that what you had done had hurt someone and you have learned from your mistake. That is all we can hope for from people. These are the things that make us grow as people.

    By the way, I am still a huge fan of you blog and this will not change that.

  16. Kensai Says:

    I don't think Missus has any doubts about the gravity of the uh, offense itself. I'm not saying let's all sugarcoat it, but well, there's something a "zen master" told me long time ago: "evil people don't ask themselves if they're evil or not". She knows what she did, but she's not a douche. Well, most of the time, hurr hurr :D

  17. Jayle Says:

    I have to disagree with some of the comments about this post. See, I am that type of girl you sent the tell to. Although I try to be a better gamer, I've had very little raid experiance, my DPS is lousy and I make simple mistakes. I try, I really do, but I need extra help to pick the right gear, do the correct moves and not wipe on the "easy" stuff.

    I know I am no good, so when I receive /t or /p about how bad I am, I protect myself with a joke or a "at least I didn't die in the fire this time :)". I try to play it off that I am not hurt, but I really am.

    I want to play, I want to contribute, but I will never be as good as others. That being said, I still want to be treated decently. I'm not her, so I cannot tell you how she feels, but if it was me I would be very hurt.

  18. Eversor Says: two cents. Very, very unfortunate MT. /cringe. Now, as far as the word itself. Do you or did you actually believe that this girl was ED or LD? If so, yes your use of the word was highly inappropriate. If you actually just think she's a bonehead, then the word carries little more power than the one I just used. And lets face it, it is as acceptable as idiot, moron, bonehead. If she is not ED or LD then I highly doubt she was offended by the word itself. The sentiment, probably. But the word, no. Don't beat yourself up. All of us have said something unpleasant within earshot of the party to whom we are referring! Yes, embarrasing. Let the self flogging end and I agree that she will probably greet you as warmly as she ever has.

  19. Nymarie Says:

    I am a bisexual and I am friends with several gays. I'm sorry but I completely disagree with you. The slurs we here all the time (especially living where we live) we just laugh off, like this girl did. In order to survive and not become so depressed that we shut off the world, we kinda develop a sense of humor or bit of callousness that protects us from these things. So really, next time you hear a slur of some sort or something really mean, just ignore it. Who cares? They either don't really mean it (like Miss Medicina) or they're someone you don't need to be around.

  20. ressme Says:

    Ouch! Can't say similar things never happen to me. Each time I say to myself that I will never ever say a bad thing about a friend ever again, because it will always reflect on me anyway. But sometimes those small annoyances just come out. They're never meant as bad as they sound.

    That put asside, she should have given you a piece of her mind though. If she doesn't make you pay back in some way or another you could remain stuck with that feeling of guilt, which imbalances a friendship and could drive a wedge between it over time.

  21. Zan Says:

    I have a few raiders that are mildly autistic (Asperger's) and some who have extreme cases of ADD / ADHD. They've been known to call themselves 'retards' from time to time. If she actually has a medical disability of the cognitive nature, she's probably used to such language.

    She probably also looked at the intent of your tell. You were saying, "She needs some extra help." She probably realizes that while it was tactless, that your intentions were good.

    You should consider talking to her again. Just be like, "Yo. I'm sorry about what I said the other night. Real life crit me for over 9000 and I blew my daily supply of tact neurons. I honestly like you as a person and think very highly of you and I'm sorry my meatspace stress leaked into my in game behavior. I hope you can forgive me."

    And for your own sanity's sake, get WIM. :p

  22. Brian Inman Says:

    The girl did a great job with her reply, to sort of blow it off. I imagine you really did damage your relationship with her even though she will still talk to you.

    I overheard my boss the other day talking about me. It pissed me off big time, but I pretended I didn't hear it.

    I lost all respect for my boss, but I will still do anything I am told because it's my job. Will I ever go the extra mile for this boss again? Hell no. Will I bust my hump? Hell no. Will I do just enough to keep my job? Yes.

  23. Ryine Says:

    Oh dear, nevermind I whisper the wrong person all the time, I just end up telling the people to pass my message on in the end. :P

  24. Jere Says:

    I can only guess that you're a nice person (judging from your blog), however I felt bad reading this post. As others have pointed out, we all make mistakes but whispering it to the "wrong" person was not a problem here - it was thinking about her in that way. We all make such mistakes, though and it seems you're one of those few who realize how unfortunate it is. Try to make it up and take care.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    "And I think of her, in an heroic PuG, and the kind of crap people might say to her because she struggles sometimes to play this game that she still loves."

    This made me feel sorry for myself. As I am in a top 50 guild and play with good players most of the time, in pugs I joined recently, I have been that guy, just like you. And now that I read your sentences over and over again: who am I to mock, instult, attack, or pity somebody, who is doing something I love to do: playing this wonderful game.

  26. Vorne Says:

    As Anonymous said above
    Reading this post i felt ashamed of some of the things i have said about others in officer chat not taking their feelings into account.
    One person in particular who i used to bag out constantly and this person actually defended me to another guildie when i was not online.
    How bad do you think i felt :(
    Since that i am very careful what i say about people in game.
    Sounds like you got your wake up call as well :)
    We live and learn.

  27. Hinenuitepo Says:

    Healthy guilt is an emotion that lets us know when we've done wrong.
    When we do something wrong, we should feel badly about it.
    But then, having accepted our wrongdoing, as long as we have the sincere desire to make it right, and to not repeat the mistake, we need to let it go.
    Unhealthy guilt is not letting go of our own bad feelings toward ourselves after a mistake.

    I believe you have the sincere regret and desire to change. Forgive yourself, and move on!

    And the good news about your 'public' apology is you've reminded the rest of us to hopefully not repeat the same mistake
    (which for those not reading carefully was being unkind and judgemental regarding the person, not the mistell).

    <3 Missy

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