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A little less than a happy high
Cast down the weak
There's this kid who comes to the store periodically, and even though I know that he's a Rings player, I honestly find it difficult to have him around. It's not a good feeling, but honestly, he's made it extremely difficult to like him.

When he first surfaced, I did my standard meet and greet thing. I talked to him. I told him about the group and our favored format, about our mailing list and upcoming tournaments. I invited him back to play at his leisure and told him about the box of free cards that the 'older' players have left at the store to help people get started. So what happened?

He came to a couple of sessions and criticized our favored format. When we accommodated him, he criticized our decks as being "cheesey" and "not the true way to play X clan."

He's never bothered to follow up on the mailing list, and most of the time when he shows up at the store for another game, he doens't even bother to say hello.

While these wouldn't normally be that much of an issue, a couple of people feel like they got rooked in trades with him. I feel like I'm one of them, and it was made worse because I had just given him some cards outright.

He showed up tonight, looking for a game. I knew I didn't have the patience to play him, but one of the other guys took up the mantle. One game. A brief stint of playing, a quick loss, and an even quicker exit for all of us. I felt like a heel, but I get the feeling like the other players like him less than I do. I just don't trust him. At this point, I think I can say that he's managed to do something to alienate most everyone in the group, and though I feel like an arse for being this hateful, I don't know that we're not just 'grokking wrongness' in him.

So what do I do? I continue being diplomatic and engaging in the "fuck you with a smile" behavior I like so little in my folks. I feel bad for not being accommodating, and I feel bad because I don't feel like being accommodating and can't bring myself to say it outright. I've got nothing to work with, and I certainly can't make other folks like him. For now, I will wrestle with whether we've started to become elitist and exclusive.

Damn, I wish I had a better handle on this.
6 comments or Leave a comment
khourytamarisk From: khourytamarisk Date: February 21st, 2002 06:01 am (UTC) (Link)

I think I know who you mean....

...and you're right, he is an ass & an annoying one at that. He comes in knowing next to nothing, and then starts telling people who have been playing since the game's inception (or close to it) that they're "not doing it right."

*sigh* There are people like this everywhere. Just inform everyone that they should not trade with him, and that if they choose to play against him, what sort of attitude and treatment they can expect from him.

If it truly becomes an annoyance, then you may have to confront him. Not pleasant, to be sure, but possibly necessary. *sigh (again* I dislike that idea as much as you do, I think. But at least you have people to back you up, which is nice.... :)
komos From: komos Date: February 21st, 2002 06:49 am (UTC) (Link)

The worst part.

Ultimately, I don't think he intends to be an ass.

I don't know... I've been on the other end of the "We just don't like you so much" flog, and I don't like it any better being in the position I'm in.
khourytamarisk From: khourytamarisk Date: February 21st, 2002 07:20 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: The worst part.

Then, maybe, the best course is not respond to him when he's a jerk, and only respond when he acts civilly. Something like Pavlov's Dogs and positive reinforcement or something like that....

And I agree with you on the "We just don't like you so much" thing. I've been there myself, on both ends of it, more than once. And I dislike it immensely. But, sometimes, honesty is the best policy. If you don't want to play with him, tell him so. You can't keep him from showing up, unless he does something to screw with the store or offends someone so greatly the store has to step in, but you can make it clear that his attiudes are not appreciated.
From: uruz Date: February 21st, 2002 07:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Hark! What child is this?
alex_victory From: alex_victory Date: February 21st, 2002 10:18 am (UTC) (Link)
How old is the player? If he's younger than, say, late-teens/early-20's then there may be hope for him. It may be possible to turn him away from snarkiness.

If he's older than that, he should have learned by now how to deal with other human beings.
komos From: komos Date: February 21st, 2002 11:11 am (UTC) (Link)
You know, I think he might be older than he looks. I know that he's out of college and working...

At any rate, I'm not in the right space to be a surrogate parent or big brother. Got enough of my own developmental issues to deal with. :P
6 comments or Leave a comment