Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I should be fired. We should all be fired.

The downside of what I do is that someone will always be ready and willing to tell you exactly where they think you've gone wrong.

Sometimes they're correct. Maybe you've made a typo, or missed a fact, or God forbid, presented old news as new. In which case, you fix it, learn your lesson, and just accept that much of the wailing and gnashing of teeth over your mistake is going to be wildly out of proportion to the actual error.

I saw an excellent example of this the other day. Some sort of weird glitch -- possibly on Facebook's end, who knows -- caused information about the Guild Wars Wintersday in July event to be posted on the official Guild Wars Facebook page. The event itself was back in mid-July, so it was well over and done with. The text of the announcement contained the correct date (July 16th), but the Facebook posting had the current date, August second or something.

The commenters went insane. There were numerous all-caps comments stating simply "EPIC FAIL." One person said "The person who posted this should be fired." (Really? You think a person should lose his livelihood, his health benefits, the way he supports his family and keeps food in his fridge, over a Facebook error? Really?) People went on and on about what a travesty this was.

It's weird. It was the internet equivalent to... I don't even know. The cashier at Macy's forgetting to add one of the items you purchased to your bag. You see it still sitting there, you remind her, she fixes the error, and everyone moves on. Nobody is rallying his friends, standing outside Macy's, screaming EPIC FAIL at the top of his lungs and calling for the cashier to be fired.

Things online are amplified so much. You will be tarred and feathered for every typo. You can write 1,500 words, and if one of those words is out of place it will become the focus of the entire piece for the majority of the readers.

So why even bother? Why not turn off your computer, walk away from these lunatics, and go work at Macy's instead?

Because there's an upside too. For every person who is demanding that you be fired and put in stocks, there are two who love what you do and want to tell you that. Unfortunately, just like those people I was talking about earlier, we have a tendency to focus on the negative. It's just human nature. Ten great comments should be more than adequate to bolster your ego after three or four negative ones, but it never seems to work that way.

Growing a thick skin and learning to deal with jerks is probably the hardest part of this job. I guess any job where you deal with the internet masses. These days I'm shutting down and walking away more often, to go hang out with the RL people, the ones who really matter. They're the ones keeping me sane. But I still work hard and often, and at the end of the day, I still have the best job in the world.

(Note to self. Read that last paragraph 2-3 times a day as needed.)


  1. /hug we still love you...typos and all

  2. Rubi, you are one of the most talented writers, bloggers, and guildmates I have ever had. Ever. As I posted on your status yesterday, people as a collective group are stupid, and as you mentioned in your article today, things on the internet will always be blown out of proportion.

    Keep doing what you do. Don't ever second guess yourself. Look at the bright side of things, you don't want the trolls to win! As my new favorite Norn hero, Gullik, would say "By Raven's Wisdom! That was a well written Epic!"

    Know that I wish you, Kevin and your family nothing but happiness and success...and have tons of fun at PAX Prime for me, I want to hear all about the playable demo in Vent!!