Let me apologize in advance for the long-winded tirade that follows. I did try to cut it down but after re-reading several times, I didn't find anything I was willing to leave out.
I will tell you the first thing Terry taught me when I became a GM. She said, "Daisy - the best phrase/response to a question you will ever learn here is ...."I don't know, but I will be happy to find out and get back to you." It's something all staff learn to say and we use it often. And we follow thru. This is important - but we will get back to it later.
One of the first concepts I became aware of within the LGH community as staff is how really diverse it is. Not just with Nationality and what section of the real world each calls home, but with financial positions, familial situations, life experiences, job/career occupations, health status/issues, and even goals and reasons for being in the LGH community. Diversity in education, and the ability to convey meanings when speaking are just as diverse - as is the ability to understand what is being said. I say this because we have many many community members who don't speak English as their first language. And then,also, there is diversity in how quickly some grasp concepts and descriptions and explanations.
OK, so we all are aware that the LGH community consists of a very diverse gathering of folks. There is one thing, though, that i think all share. A commonality that is inherent to being human. That shared thing is the ability to be hurt by what others say. Humans are the only form of life on earth that own that sensitivity, and the only diversity in that shared trait is the level of sensitivity to hurtful words/comments from others that each person has.
There are seasoned. experienced players, there are long-term players who only know certain aspects of the LGH games, and there are the new players. People who may even have been here awhile but are still learning LGH rules and social etiquettes etc. All of these types are human beings who deserve kindness and respect from others. (shoot me - I don't include trolls and griefers in this)
Having said that...imagine you are new to the community...or semi - new.. or hell, easily influenced by how others treat you are thin-skinned..Imagine youre human. =) and you ask a question in LGH chat room and a seasoned, well-known and respected player responds to your question with insults and derision. How does that affect your feelings within the community? Are you less likely to contribute to the general discussions and teasing and fun that happens in the LGH room? And what about the affect on other players who hear the exchange, do they get a non-spoken signal that such disrespect and rude responses are acceptable with LGH ..and so unknowingly begin to give similar responses?
It isn't a matter of the experienced player showing kindness to another player.. it is a matter of a human giving another human respect and kindness. Thats what a community is and does. They bond and form a base for future incoming members to build on and offer the same to others and so on. If you prefer to walk alone well hell...thats a right - even within a community.And is acceptable too. What is NOT acceptable is those who respond to questions with nothing but sarcasm, insults, and rudeness. I am not talking about playful banter and teasing.. I am talking about a response whose sole purpose for being given is to be rude, unkind, and sarcastic. If you are a person who likes to help out in the LGH room, and do not know what to respond with to some questions - take a lesson from Terry.
"I don't know that answer, but if I see a staff I will try to send them your way" or " I don't know that answer but maybe somebody else will if you're in no hurry for an answer or you could file a ticket...yadayadayada..
If all you have to offer is a dish of nasty...serve yourself. And keep in mind, others may not say so, but their opinions of you are being formed each time you post in LGH.There are other games ..heh...now... where ugly and sarcastic and plain ol meanness are allowed and even encouraged by their staff. LGH isnt one of them. We hold the community members to a higher standard of conduct towards each other. If you've been here 5 years or 5 days, all are important and all deserve to be shown respect and kindness.
If you feel this blog isn't about you.. ignore it and continue being the fantastic community member you are every day. If there is a doubt that it may be about you.. assess your attitude and adjust yourself. Then hop back in the room and shine like the stars that you are. =)