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Confessions of a Guild Leader: A Week in the Life of a Guild Leader

Ever wonder what life is like for a guild leader? I kept track of it last week. Since I have nothing else particularly motivating or, ahem, motivational (except for Bill Murray’s awesomeness), to write about this week, I thought I’d share. This is more or less an average week for me, barring the SW:TOR test which kept most of the guild occupied elsewhere for all of Friday and Saturday.

Monday

5:40am: Check the guild website and post the weekly updates to the raiding thread. Nothing new on the website since midnight, so I’m free to log on to WoW and do the guild’s morning banking – checking auctions, reposting, perusing for needed recipes or armor.

12:20: One of my main tanks texts me while I’m at work. He got a job, yay! He’s working M-F 4:30pm-1am and starts today!  …. ZOMG, WAT?! I struggle through the rest of the workday racking my brain to determine how I’m going to replace a main tank for heroic modes by tomorrow’s raid.

5:20pm: Home at last. I get online and do the guild’s afternoon banking (repeat of the morning) and then start rifling through all of my alts and the gbank to see whether we can gear out one of our feral dps quickly for tanking. Not enough Pristine Hides on the AH – I head out to Deepholm to start grinding leather.

6pm:  One of our melee dps logs on – a lucky break, since he’s not usually around at this time on a Monday. I preface the forthcoming conversation by declaring that I’m all prepared for his QQ tantrum, then take a deep breath and start typing about the tank’s new job. Before I can spit the entire story out, he replies, “Yes I can tank. I’m bored with dps.” Whew! Crisis averted. Privately I wonder how in the hell I got that lucky and whether my heart (or my stomach?) will recover from the roller coaster it’s been on for the past 6 hours. And what am I gonna do with all this leather now? Screw it, I’ll gear out the feral anyway.

6:15pm: Chat with an officer about our supplies of gems, enchants and fish for feasts.

6:42pm: Escape for food and a bath.

8pm: Rateds? No Rateds? After 5 weeks of unsuccessful attempts at even filling the Rated BG team, there are actually 12 guildies online at Rateds time. Two of them are pitifully geared, but no matter! We shall sweep them along with our awesomeness! The team rejoices at finally getting to do Rateds again.

10pm: Three losses in three tries, but they were *very* close matches. The team feels positive and had fun. Score!!

10:20pm: I debate whether I’m too tired to run a heroic, something I never got around to doing today even though I really needed to in order to Valor-cap my shaman for the week. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow, right?

Tuesday

5:30am: Check the guild website and reply to a message from another guild leader. Log on to do the guild’s morning banking.

5:40pm: Ditto the morning’s events. So quiet today! Of course that means nothing sold… debate dropping prices on the epic recipe and scheduling a Firelands trash run.

5:47pm: Log on to my main toon. Check the roster for “Last Online” activity and demote players (and their alts) that have been inactive for 30 days. Update the Message of the Day. I try to make them either hilarious or motivational and pull them directly from quotes archives online. Sometimes I quote directly from our guildies, who are funny as hell themselves.

5:54: I have free time!!! Time to do my own thing (like write the article for this column that was due yesterday…)

7:20: Article is done, can I fit in a heroic before the raid since I missed it yesterday? Mmmm, nope, one of my raiders suddenly needs to let me know he’s going to be out of country for two weeks, another raider asks for a BOE epic for an alt, someone new requests info about getting into our guild, and that guild leader I answered this morning would like to further discuss joint raiding possibilities (A big “no” for any current content, since their guild has virtually no raiding discipline and we’d be carrying them). A new member needs some glyphs and I tell him how to make that happen (send me in-game mail with the names of the glyphs because I will *never* remember what he needs), and the officers are cracking me up with O Chat. Thirty minutes passes in a flash and suddenly it’s raid time. Sigh. Another day of missed heroics for my alt.

7:50pm: Time to raid! Invites go out. Rather than explain seven times why we have a new tank, I hurry everyone into Ventrilo and explain it there.

11pm: Done raiding! I’m pooped but the raid was a bit stressful and I spend some time debriefing a bit with some of the raiders, discussing strat changes and goals for Sunday.

11:40pm: A quick check of the website and I’m finally off my computer for the night.

Wednesday

5:20am: Is it Saturday yet? No? Damn. Check the website, do the guild banking. Post some silliness in the screenshot thread. Change the Message of the Day.

8am-4:30pm: Work is monotonous and routine today, giving me far too much time to consider my raid teams, potential events, extended absences, the guild quest, and, most importantly, the state of our guild RP. I start a chat conversation via gmail with one of my high officers about this last item. Eventually there’s enough important points brought up that it’s time to get the other officers in on it. I compose an email highlighting the key points so far and send it off.

5:01: Check the website, check the email responses, reply again, sort through some old posts, log in to do the guild banking. One of my officers finished a new pile of enchants, so I deposit those and withdraw the gold to reimburse him the cost of the materials.

5:40: Dinner!

6:20: Log in for dailies, but soon get a whisper from a stranger requesting my help with some gankers. He says that I am “the only 85 around that he knows that PvPs really well” which is enough to make me preen and certainly gets me out to Winterspring to fight some Horde. Of course, when I show up with my partner and my daughter, who is a phenomenal PvPer, the Horde got scared and left. We hung around for awhile hoping they’d try to pick off the lowbies again, but all this really did was waste 30 minutes. Time to fit in those dailies?

6:59pm: Dangit, it’s almost time for the 2nd raid and I didn’t get in my heroic! I can do this!!! Before anyone else can distract me, I pull a group together and we run off to “a fast heroic”. We zone into Deadmines, of course.  /facepalm

7:48pm: We’re on the last boss but the raiders are getting ancy and want invites to begin. I have 2 minutes left, sheesh! (and another 10 minutes before the actual raid is supposed to begin, but my raiders are disciplined about their routine. Which is good!) Four minutes later I zone out of there before the final loot is even rolled on. Oy, trying to fit a heroic into my schedule is brutal. Time to raid!

8:00pm: I give a bit of a lecture about donating to the fish feasts and my expectations for food buffs and enchants/gems. There’s been a slightly casual attitude about these things lately and I want to nip it in the bud. My speech is friendly but firm. They take advantage of the chance to talk and ask some questions. We are waiting in front of Ragnaros, who they have yet to defeat, though they’ve been working on him for weeks. We extended the lockout tonight to give us two nights to work on him. After all questions are answered we buff up and start the pull.

8:30pm: Ragnaros is dead. HOORAY!

8:31pm: Crap, what do we do now?

8:35pm: Half the team switches out to alts and we go do tier 11 content for funsies. Check the email again for any replies (there are none).

11pm: Raid time is over and since nothing stressful happened, I actually sneak out quickly for an early night to bed!

Thursday

5:45am: Check website, do guild’s morning banking. Is it Saturday yet???

1:30pm: Brainstorm about the next phase of the guild quest while pretending to do real work. Actually get some real work done, and also great ideas for the quest.

5:20pm: Home, woot! Check website, afternoon guild banking.

5:40-7:20pm: Log on to my main and start working on the guild quest ideas, putting them into the TRP2 addon. Gchat is a little nutty today and before long one of the raiders asks if he’s allowed to lead some pug raids of tier 11 content. Um…. I have to chew on that one for a bit. Only officers are allowed to post events, and this person is not an officer. Furthermore, he’s also fairly new to the guild. We pride ourselves on our server reputation, and a bad pug experience (due to poor leadership decisions in the face of bad playing or rude players or loot drama) can potentially impact that reputation. Do I feel good about letting this person try this? In the end, I approve the raid after discussing (in gchat) my concerns and our policies and listening to his responses.

7:20pm: Hmmm….  can I fit in a heroic or is food more important? Blast, priorities.

8pm: Raid time again for the 2nd raid group, but we don’t have 10 people since we killed Ragnaros last night. Two of the raiders are agitating strongly to do tier 11 content but the other 6 are tired and looking forward to a night off. They’ve had four long weeks of working on one boss! One of the agitators is slightly brusque and a high officer smacks him for it, which he then reacts to… and then I cancel the raid. I’m tired too and if there’s attitude on top of it, I’m just going to pass. Plus I chose to eat instead of doing my heroic and now I have *plenty* of time for that. (Yes, tier 11 is actually more beneficial, points-wise, than heroics. But on a bunch of under-geared alts it’s not exactly faceroll. It’s actually work.)

9pm:  We finish the heroic and then work on the guild quest for the rest of the evening, popping over to the website to post more silliness there. One of my officers says something hilarious in O Chat that I make the new Message of the Day.

11pm: SLEEP! This is almost unheard of, two early nights in a row! I feel utterly spoiled.

Friday

5:24am: It’s Friday! Tomorrow is Saturday! Check website, do the morning banking.

5:20pm: Check website, do the afternoon banking.

ZOMG… most of the guild got into the SW:TOR test and NO ONE is here. I spend the afternoon and evening doing whatever my heart desires and leave early with my guy to watch a movie.

Saturday

5:40am: WOOHOO! It’s Saturday! Of course, I’m still up before dawn. Sigh. Check website, do the morning banking.

6am-noon: Due to our rampant acquisition of top-tier enchants and cut gems in preparation for patch 4.3, our gbank is full to the brim. Seriously. I spend the entire morning reorganizing the gbank, and then go through rank permissions to ensure that everyone has correct access to the right tabs without also being able to plunder thousands of gold worth of premium item enhancements.

Noon-11pm: Since I’ve got the gbank on the brain, the fact that we’re still short an 8th tab is bothering me and I push my guy to level his mage for awhile. We only need a Night Elf mage and a Dwarf mage and then we’ll have that 8th tab and he’s got his elf almost there. We spend a couple of hours questing, while people pop in and out during the day. We do a couple of heroics with the few guildies that are around. The guild is almost entirely quiet because of TOR testing. This is a bizarre yet welcome break. I love my guildies, but a quiet Saturday is a rarity. My guy and I wandered in and out too, watching a movie, taking a nap, putzing on alts. We finish the evening with a quick run of Black Temple for some transmogrification gear.

Sunday

6am: I slept in. ZOMG

6:10am: Check the website, do the morning banking.

6:30am: Since this is typically the best time I’ve found to fish Highland Guppies, I head out to Twilight Highlands.

8:30am: My guy is awake and if I ever see another fish pool again I might pull every hair out of my head. Time for heroics!

Noon-3pm: Quick perusal of raiders for gems and enchants, along with some research on an alternative strat for heroic Baleroc – posting my finds on the website. Update the calendar with events, using two different toons to post them since Blizzard limits us to 30 posts on the calendar (which is a huge pain, in my opinion). Start working on the prizes for the guild quest, since I have about 300 Fortune Cards to make and the same number of gems to acquire. Review the glyphs in the gbank to see what we’re missing and make a few more.

3-6pm: Out-of-WoW (OoW) activities. Woot!

6pm: Firelands trash run for rep and BOE epics. This one is for alts or anyone who couldn’t raid for the week. It’s always on Sundays and last until half an hour before the actual raid at 8pm (the 2nd night of the Tues/Sun team’s raid). It’s just a casual, fun time.

7:30pm: Quick dinner before raid? But suddenly there are half a dozen people needing my attention – can I get something from the locked tab for them? Can I invite an alt? Can I do some quick enchants? What’s the story with Rated BGs? Can we plan some achievement runs soon? (We’ve been doing them on Saturday nights but this week was the TOR thing) What’s going on with the guild quest? Thirty minutes passes in a flash and suddenly I’m late at starting raid invites and I failed to eat dinner.

8:02pm: Raid invites go out! We discuss the new strats that I posted (because, of the 12 people in this group, three read the website).

10:33pm: We’ve just pulled Ragnaros and I hear the tell-tale ding of a whisper amongst the battle noise. Another potential recruit asks how to get into our guild while my DeadlyBossMods add-on reports to him that I am, indeed, busy (something he had to have noticed when he was looking for me, by the way). I reply to him that I’ll be a sec. A few minutes later Ragnaros is dead and loot is dispensed and my raiders are meandering out for the night, so I reply to the whisper again. The person repeats his question. His toon’s name is in violation of the server policy for naming, so along with telling him to review our charter and policies and find out if we’re the right fit, I point out the section about naming. He asks what that means and what’s wrong with his name. I highlight the rule and mention that we adhere to it. I don’t hear from him again. I spend half an hour reviewing logs, looking at progression status, and posting things on the website before finally wandering off to bed.

It’s been a pretty good week. Not very demanding of my time, all things told. And I got a lot more sleep than usual!

~ Alora

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