[Ansteorra] Psychos and other Ogres
ldeerslayer at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 24 20:36:23 PST 2005
Donald Lewing <richard_fitz_hervy at yahoo.com> wrote: Also, what if it's the noble/officer that's the "psycho"? plus their "clic"?
First, remember that the SCA is not a democracy. It is a hierarchical organization that has two different "chains of command" that both lead to the Crown in our Kingdom and has both written and unwritten rules, regulations and procedures.
Second, try to examine yourself. Are you reacting to something because you are
defending a friend, perceiving an "attack" on yourself, cause they remind you of you mother (no joke...it happens all the time), etc. or is it a real issue.
Once you get your emotions identified...then do your best to recalibrate to look at the situation impartially.
Look at it from all sides.
Make sure that you are not getting all your information from one group/clique (ie people who socialize primarily within their own small group often have a skewed perspective)
Investigate the rules and regulations and see if what is perceived as a problem is actually maintanence of the "rules."
Most problems tend to crop up because someone who has either stepped up to the edge of, or violated a rule or regulation has been made aware of it by an officer...the violator gets administrative action taken agianst them (which often is a polite acknowledgement) which is then taken as a personal attack. Often people who have this behaviour tend to demonize the "hierarchy" and end up choosing not to keep up with the "times" thus repeating the cycle. Make sure that the problem you perceive is not one of these.
Remember that every officer is a volunteer and is doing their job with the best interest of the group/SCA in mind. They are only going to interceed if necessary ... mostly because they would rather be enjoying themselves rather than having to deal with problems.
Remember also that if the problem has been ongoing for 6 months or more, then most probably the officer has consulted up his/her chain of command and may now be acting on their superior's suggestions.
After examining all of these things...and you still percieve that the officer is acting beyond their job...
Then follow the guidelines listed in the SCA Corpora:
APPENDIX A: SUGGESTED CHANNELS FOR COMPLAINT AND APPEAL
The Society is devoted to courtesy, trustworthiness and personal responsibility, and it sometimes seems that these ideals should be enough to permit members to work smoothly together. After all, virtually everyone agrees it is desirable to foster the Societys goals of encouraging research and recreation in its chosen period and to promote the welfare and prosperity of the organization and the education and enjoyment of everyone in it. Unfortunately, tensions and disputes develop anyway. The Board is the final court of appeal for disputes that have escalated beyond the ability of the participants or the officers to handle. However, it is reluctant to play that role because its rulings affect the entire Society often by restricting everyones freedom and reducing their enjoyment of the organization. Corpora provides an unlimited right of appeal to the Board, but members should make every effort to work out their disputes at as low a level in the organization as
possible. While it is not possible to prescribe a specific list of things to do or people to consult that will serve in all disputes, the general procedure outlined here should be adaptable to most of them. If you are directly involved in a dispute, please go through a process at least as comprehensive as this one before asking the Board for help.
If you are asked to intervene in someone elses dispute because of the office or title you hold, please dont rush in. First urge the principals to try all measures recommended for attempting to reach a settlement without involving your level of the organization. Then, if you do intervene, make every effort to find a resolution the participants can accept, instead of escalating the dispute to higher levels of the organization.
1. Avoid trouble. There are many valid approaches to Society activity. Members should make room for each other to explore anything that supports the Societys goals, abides by its rules, and does not actively interfere with the environment it attempts to create. In many cases, the best way to deal with a minor problem or disagreement is to act as though it doesnt exist. HOWEVER, the advice about ignoring problems in the hope that theyll fade away does not apply to breaches of the law. If you encounter illegal activities, your obligations as a citizen are the same as in any other aspect of your life. Please keep the officers of your branch and kingdom informed if you decide to invoke the assistance of outside authorities in ways that may require them to answer questions about the matter at hand or about the Society itself, but do not hesitate to exercise your civic duty as you see it.
2. Look for ways around hard choices. It may be possible to break a dilemma by taking up both alternatives, either together or at different times, instead of wasting energy arguing over which to choose. It may also be possible to find a third approach that both sides prefer to their original ideas.
3. Try to keep a sense of perspective. Just because youre unhappy, it doesnt mean youre right! Make an effort to listen to the arguments of the other side with good will and honesty, and look for a solution everyone can live with.
4. Go through channels. If you cant solve the problem yourself, your requests for assistance should follow a line of authority without skipping anyone, and without spreading laterally through the organization any more than absolutely necessary. For example, when you reach a level that has royalty or royal representatives, include them on your copy list, but dont start out by copying all the royalty in your corner of the Known World on your initial complaint. Try to involve as few people as possiblethe less you embarrass your opponent, the likelier you are to get a solution you can live with and not simply bury the dispute until it can resurface on different grounds.
5. Be patient. Allow each level time to try to deal with the situation, and avoid the temptation to attack the people youve asked for help if they dont seem to be moving fast enough to suit you.
1. Try to work things out face to face. When someone does something that interferes with your appreciation of the Society in a way you cant ignore, or that seems to be contrary to the rules, talk it over. Explain the problem as you see it, and listen to the reply. (Likewise, if someone comes to you, listen carefully before you frame your answer.) With luck and good will, the problem will go away. Youll find ways to reduce the level of irritation, youll stop real rules violations, or youll come to understand why things you thought were violations were actually legitimate activities. If you cant communicate, ask someone you and the other party both respect to help, either by relaying messages or by moderating a meeting between you. Try not to go to an officer in charge of the area in question, as such an officer may be tempted or compelled to make a ruling instead of letting you reach an informal agreement.
2. Write to the person youre having difficulty with. Describe the way you feel youre being damaged, without indulging in insults or threats. Ask for the action you feel would set things right, and indicate how long you feel you can wait for a reply before making further distribution of the complaint. Keep a copy of the letter, but do not send it to anyone but the addressee at this time. The written word is often more effective than the spoken word, so theres a good chance that this letter, or a series of direct letters and replies, will eventually lead you to a solution. As long as you feel youre making progress either in understanding or in getting you way, do not go on to step 3.
3. Write a more formal letter to the other party. Outline any new points you may have thought of and refer to your previous correspondence. Send a copy to the officer in charge of the area in question, or to the royalty or royal representative nearest the level where you have a dispute. Depending on the situation, it may be a good idea to send copies of the letters youve already written or received on the matter with the copy of the current letter you send to the superior; if you are doing so, be sure to mention it in your letter. (It is very important to proceed openly as you pursue your complaint; things are tense enough already without adding a newand justifiedcharge of sneakiness to the general dispute!) Again, set a reasonable time for a reply, and consider it carefully when it arrives. As with step 2, continue at this level as long as it looks like theres any progress.
4. Write directly to the officer in charge of the area in question, with copies to the subject of the dispute, the next higher officer, and the appropriate royalty or royal representative, if any. Explain how you feel youre being mistreated, and ask for specific help. Include the entire previous correspondence; if you have not already shared it with the officerand mention the enclosures in the text. Evaluate the reply or replies before you decide to go forward.
5. Repeat step 4, moving up the organization and including everyone youve involved on your copy list. Follow you correspondents advice as to whether or not anyone else at or below their level needs to be consulted. Eventually, you run out of levels.
6. If no one else has managed to find a solution, the Board will do so. However, there is no guarantee that you will like what they come up with, and there is nowhere else to turn. Even if you get something resembling what you originally asked for, the effect on the Society may well be regrettable, as the Board finds it almost impossible to deal with a specific situation without touching anything else.
While it appears cumbersome, this technique should reach some sort of resolution in a matter of months. The greatest number of levels between you and the Board is five, assuming a dispute between members of a canton whose barony is part of a principality. The important thing is getting a solution, NOT getting to the Board, and the approach outlined in this article will probably let you settle the matter without involving the corporate administration at all.
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