[Elfsea] Questions for Candidates
XaraXene at comcast.net
Fri Jul 11 10:29:11 PDT 2003
Greetings from another Ex-Baroness,
These are questions that should be considered and I would like to give my
answers and advice, based on my experience. Please understand that it is not
aimed towards anyone in particular, but towards all candidates, both present
Subject: [Elfsea] Questions for Candidates
Okay, Okay, Okay,
I have the REAL questions for the Baronial Candidates. Let's see if
they can answer these. From someone with experience:
1: How long have you had the ability to read minds and how sharp is your
Should you be chosen, you must be able to know what people are
thinking, when they are thinking it, and why. If you do not perceive what
people are angry with you about, and fix it immediately, they will gossip
about you to everyone who will listen. Your name will be poopoo.
You may not be able to tell what everyone is thinking, but you should know
your barony very well. The Barony is like an iceberg. You can only see 10%
of it at any one time. The other 90% is under the surface and is where the
danger lies. You must reach out to that 90% to understand where they are
going and what they want as well. Of course, no one can do the job
perfectly. (I know I didn't, but I tried.) If you are presented with a
problem, though, it is your duty to try to fix it. If it means convincing a
friend to step down from an office in which they are not meeting their
requirements, then that's what you have to do. It hurts sometimes, to do
what is right, and it takes courage to be able to face the
conflicts -sometimes on a day to day basis. You take whatever information
you can find and try to make the right decisions. Sometimes, you make
mistakes. I know I made mistakes, and I rue them.
Yes, they will gossip about you. You are in the fishbowl and are a target
for anything that comes along. That's part of the job. If we didn't have
nobility to gossip about, we would turn on each other, like a pack of
2. How many spies have you employed and how many more do you plan to add?
People will not tell you to your face what is troubling them, they
will only tell everyone who will listen. Therefore, you must have ample
spies to pretend to gossip about you with them and then come tell you why
your name is poopoo .
Being a good Byzantine, I joked about having spies. Actually, I just
tried very hard to listen, watch, and pay attention to everything. People
will tell you what is going wrong, but they have to trust you in order to
tell you. You have to earn their trust.
Timothy's idea about having a way for people to ask questions without
worrying about political retribution supports the concept that the political
atmosphere in the barony is one of general distrust, and that is bad.
Whoever is in the leadership position in the barony should be able to be
trusted. If you don't trust them, then don't support them. Having a place
to ask questions makes it seem like you can't trust anyone, and that
And as for having the name of poopoo, well, someone is always going to
hate whoever is on the baronial throne simply because you are in a position
of authority, and they rebel against authority.
If you haven't heard the story about "That Fat Cow on the Thone", e-mail
me and I'll tell you. There is a reason why Baronesses have a cow as their
3. Have you buried your opinions yet?
There will always be someone who will be offended by your opinion.
You must learn to keep your opinion to yourself. Instead of agreeing
with/disagreeing with anyone, you should use a noncommital "um". Otherwise,
people will say you took so-and-so's side so you must hate what's-it's-face
and your name will be poopoo.
I always had an opinion. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion.
I didn't always get everything my way, either. Sometimes, Llywelyn and I
have differing opinions as husband and wife. Generally, we discuss our
differences and work to come up with a compromise. That only works when
there is trust and open discussion. It works in a barony as well.
Now, there have been times when people came up and blasted me with their
angered opinion. I'd take their opinion under advisement, or say "um..."
while I was trying to think of what to say in response. That is ok.
I also heard that I hated certain people - even people that I didn't know,
except by sight. I didn't hate anyone. I reserve that emotion for someone
who truly deserves it.
4. Have you ordered your cloak of invisibility?
You will need to disapear occasionally to get some rest. You phone
will ring constantly and you will need to talk with those who need to feel
you will listen to them. They will tell you the secrets of the universe and
how to solve the worlds (and Elfsea's) problems in a couple of easy steps.
Every one will have advice for you. If you do not lend an ear to everyone,
your name etc. etc. etc.
One of the things that we didn't do, but I think is a great idea, is to
set aside a weekday that is a "Do not call" day. Sometimes, I wouldn't
answer an e-mail or answer the phone, just so we could have some private,
family time. It's ok to do that. Or, I would answer the phone and ask the
caller if I could call them back after dinner.
As for advisors, if you only listen to those advisors that tell you
what you want to hear, you will never know the things that you don' t.
Everyone can teach you something, even the children. There is an old story
about an emperor and his new clothes......
I liked to walk around the campground at night without the brass hat on
just so I could see and hear what was going on without being noticed. I
loved hearing the laughter and joy that came from the campgrounds, the bards
around the fire, and the dancers and drummers playing together.
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