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Dear_Gnome: An open letter community for WoW

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[Nov. 13th, 2012|06:32 pm]
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Dear Gnome:

I'm a parent, so if I have to go AFK for my kids, I will do so. Most of the time, I'll try to at least give a brief explanation before I leave the computer, but occasionally, I just can't. One of these micro-AFKs came due to having two sick kids in the house. My daughter dropped her juice, and needed it back as she was a little feverish and I was trying to keep her hydrated. I was closest, so I picked it up. I turned away for 10 seconds. I thought you had already engaged the mobs, which is why I ran close to them. No, I didn't pull deliberately. I thought you were already down there. Mea culpa, dude. My bad. No need to get huffy.

The second time I went AFK, my eldest threw up. One minute, he's fine. The next, he's burning up and puking. He tried to make it to the bathroom, but just couldn't in time. So yeah. I went AFK to deal with it and calm him down. I actually managed a very brief explanation. I was gone five minutes or so, to help clean up while the spouse got the kid into a shower. So imagine my irritation when I come back to find that an attempt to kick me from the group happened. Did you not see the guild tag of the other people in the group? Yeah, same as mine. So that wasn't happening.

And you, jackass, who went off on what "disgusting monsters" kids are because they're "always puking": look, you want to live child-free, fine. Maybe you don't want kids. Maybe you don't like kids. And that's fine. Your life, your choice. I can respect that, even though I chose a different path.

But that doesn't give you the right to flap your gums about my sprog, because he's fucking sick. There's a nasty bug going around that hits everyone, not just kids. I imagine you have trouble holding in your dinner when you've got the stomach flu. 

I get that I wasn't exactly the ideal party mate, but life happens. Roll with it, or run with people you know won't have any possible distractions. You step into LFD, you're taking your chances on people with kids, on-call jobs, and other responsibilities.

Still irritated even though it was a few days ago,

[User Picture]From: justdbear
2012-11-13 10:13 pm (UTC)


You were gone 5 minutes to clean up puke? I would have kicked you, too. Forget the reason, 5 minutes is a long time to wait for someone in LFD. I'd rather move along because my time and everyone else's time is also valuable.

Hope your kids feel better.

edit to add: " You step into LFD, you're taking your chances on people with kids, on-call jobs, and other responsibilities."
imo? People with these things need to be ready to leave groups when they have to as well.

Edited at 2012-11-13 10:14 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: warsock
2012-11-13 10:23 pm (UTC)


If it had been just me in the house, I would have left, as I have done in past groups. But I had my spouse as well. I couldn't reasonably leave him to deal with everything just so I could continue my dungeon. He did the heavy lifting (with the distraught kid and getting him cleaned up). I just cleaned up the mess.

And yes, I do understand the impatience and/or time constraints of some people. But apparently, the vote came about fifteen seconds after I typed AFK (one of the guildmates told me), not at the tail end of my AFK. I wasn't a healer or a tank, they could have moved on (as said guildie advised them to do) and I could then catch up when I got back to my keyboard. We weren't at a boss, there were still several trash packs to clear.

I dunno, I can see your point, but I've personally waited longer than five minutes for people who've had emergencies crop up.

And thanks, it was just a 24-hour thing. Hits hard, hits fast, is slept off.
[User Picture]From: justdbear
2012-11-13 10:27 pm (UTC)


Kids tend to pass 24 hour things around and it turns into mutant 'sick'. :( hope you don't get sick either.
[User Picture]From: warsock
2012-11-13 10:35 pm (UTC)


It's run through the house already. Thankfully, I just got nausea and a mild fever. The spouse had it very briefly last week. One kid of the three hasn't had it, and the other two seem to have gotten over it easily.
[User Picture]From: ladycyndra
2012-11-13 10:28 pm (UTC)


I'm glad to hear your kid is doing better. ^_^
[User Picture]From: warsock
2012-11-13 10:35 pm (UTC)


Thanks. :)
[User Picture]From: teenagewitch
2012-11-13 10:37 pm (UTC)


I am going to point out that if you have sick kids who need your attention, you might not want to do LFR where there are jerks who will not understand.
I agree that I would have kicked you for being gone for 5 minutes regardless of the reason.
[User Picture]From: warsock
2012-11-13 10:57 pm (UTC)


LFD, not LFR. I don't have the gear for raiding yet.
[User Picture]From: butterbuns
2012-11-13 11:23 pm (UTC)


...same theory.
[User Picture]From: daamian
2012-11-14 04:41 am (UTC)


That doesn't change the fact in my opinion. I feel for your situation and your kid, believe me, I really do. But I feel it's also not very thoughtful to expect random people to put up with AFK's, especially in a situation where you know you might have to often enough (i.e. sick kids).
[User Picture]From: cloverwhite
2012-11-13 11:09 pm (UTC)


Gonna third I would have tried to kick you too. It's YOUR responsibility to make sure you have an understanding group (all friends/guildies) when you know you're going to afk a lot. You're the one with sick kids that might puke. I really really hate it when people come into pug groups thinking it's cool to be so distracted. It's very disrespectful.

That said I hope your kids feel better soon. I just got over a really nasty stomach bug and I know it's so much suckier for the kids. :(

[User Picture]From: warsock
2012-11-13 11:21 pm (UTC)


Thing is, I didn't have prior warning I'd need to AFK. He wasn't sick until he threw up. The only mildly sick one, up to then, was my daughter, who had a bit of a fever and just required a 10-second juice pick-up.

I also wasn't the only one home. The spouse handled the kid's clean up. I handled the mess on the floor. I just didn't see the rationality in leaving it for him to do entirely, just because I was in a dungeon.
[User Picture]From: cloverwhite
2012-11-13 11:27 pm (UTC)


Well if you want to help out and afk, you had the choice, you can't blame someone for trying to kick you. Especially as you explained you had a sick kid. Yeah it's reasonable to try to kick someone that might have to pick up more puke in ten minutes! You had prior warning, you had a sick child.

You're the problem, you're the afker, sorry but you have no right to get mad when someone tries to kick you when you a) are promising to afk often/more than once and b) might be afking for more than a few minutes at time.
[User Picture]From: belare
2012-11-14 09:52 am (UTC)


I disagree. She didn't have a warning that the boy was sick. The girl was on the mend (it seems), so it was okay for her to LFD. She wouldn't have played if both kids would have been sick. For me it looks like warsock was taking a small break from caring for the girl because she thought everything was fine. The problem here was, that they didn't know that the boy was about to throw up cause elsewise there would have been a bucket or something and the spouse would have taken care of him.
[User Picture]From: cloverwhite
2012-11-14 01:16 pm (UTC)


Yeah, there's no warning at all when a stomach bug is going around and you have two sick kids... (The boy was sick in the post, just not vomiting at the time.) No warning at all. After that point it could happen again as well, there's the second warning. They've shown they'll repeatedly afk, have a sick kid that adds time to the afk, and think it's the pug's fault for not liking that... yeah kick worthy.

[User Picture]From: belare
2012-11-14 01:40 pm (UTC)


"One minute, he's fine. The next, he's burning up and puking."

He wasn't sick. And only because one kid is sick, doesn't have to mean the other one gets sick, too. My sister never got stomach flu when I had it, and we shared a bedroom.

Of course it can happen again but after the first time they were prepared, she didn't have to go AFK again. Nobody lets his kid puke on the floor A SECOND TIME. That would be stupid.

Not at all kick worthy. Ninjas are kickworthy, chainpullers, spammers, foulmouths, dualboxers, but not people who AFK for 5 minutes. That's ridiculous.
[User Picture]From: cloverwhite
2012-11-14 02:11 pm (UTC)


I'm sure he was showing NO signs of being sick at all, yep. The little kid was sick too, still have her to think about and be ready to leave a dungeon instead of afking five minutes. Five minutes is generally the point where I consider they're maybe not coming back and should be kicked. That's the general timer on random DCs and emergency afks in most groups I've been in.

Pug didn't know that another accident wasn't gonna happen. She'd already afked for a juice spill, afking for giving medicine, getting blankets, all the things parents do for a sick child could have been coming up and has she's said she didn't have to afk to clean up. Her priority was her sick kids, she can't blame a pug for their priority being finishing the damn dungeon without someone that has already shown they'll afk more than one.

Yes kick worthy. It's not the pug's fault she'll afk a lot and for more than a few minutes.
[User Picture]From: justdbear
2012-11-14 03:16 pm (UTC)


I think it's sad the kid was sick. It's really unfortunate when the shit hits the fan when you are in the middle of a run. However, the whole point is, expecting other people (strangers, guildies are different) to be 'ok' with a 5 minute AFK is kinda silly. Most of the group probably already had to wait 15+ minutes just to even get in a run.

So I think it's not about having the foresight about if a kid was going to cause an AFK (or pet, or cooking, or work, etc) but rather that it's silly to get upset for people to want to kick you for a 5 minute break.

It sucks to have to go AFK in runs-unless you are one of those auto-follow twerps, but I don't think the argument lies with the 'why' but rather the 'what'.
[User Picture]From: myrren
2012-11-13 11:42 pm (UTC)


Tbh yeah, I'd have tried to kick you as not everyone has time to wait around. However I wouldn't have gone off on one about kids like the person in your group did, that's just nasty. And I appreciate it was mainly a guild group which does give some leeway as well.
[User Picture]From: warsock
2012-11-13 11:58 pm (UTC)


Yeah. It was an irritation, but I could deal. There's plenty of reps for me to grind out while waiting for another queue to pop. My guildmates saved me though, by refusing to kick me for being a parent. As I said above, I wasn't the only one home. If my husband had been out, I would have said, "Kid's throwing up, I gotta go", and let them replace me. Since the husband was already cleaning him up and getting him upstairs to a shower, I figured I could do floor clean-up and get back to the keyboard with minimal fuss.

It was more of the "kids are always throwing up, they're digusting monsters" that torqued me. He got sick, he's not doing it for fun.
[User Picture]From: tasha_mac
2012-11-13 11:53 pm (UTC)


On one hand, you didn't know he was about to erupt like Vesuvius so I can understand why you hopped in LFD. Handling a puked kid in five minutes sounds like a feat to me. Even so, if I was in your shoes, I would have probably understood if I was kicked. I might have left the dungeon with a quick apology myself.

However, on the other hand, if I was a party member and you said that, I...don't think I would have voted to kick you. I don't know, maybe it's sympathy, or maybe the fact that you're actually a parent that's tending to your children rather than "kid puked again, I guess husband will handle it, pull already". I would have waited you out, probably longer than five minutes. At ten minutes...yeah, I might have been okay with a kick. Maybe I'm just a softie.
[User Picture]From: warsock
2012-11-14 12:01 am (UTC)


You and me both. If the shoe had been on the other foot, I'd just have said, "Let's keep pulling, and give him/her a few minutes". Then again, I've waited for people to take smoke breaks, to pay the pizza guy, to help their roommates/partners bring in groceries, to let their dogs out, to get their kids off the school bus, to deal with guild drama, to run to the store, etc, etc, etc.

I -do- understand that not everyone has time to wait, but if I can wait for your smoke break, you can wait for my sick kid.
[User Picture]From: regen
2012-11-14 01:48 am (UTC)


I'm usually fine with people who go afk as long as they provide some kind of explanation, and aren't gone an unreasonable amount of time. It sounds like your group could have carried on fine without you during your absence which helps too.

But yeah, that "disgusting monsters" comment is just awful. Ugh, who says stuff like that?
[User Picture]From: drunken_rocko
2012-11-14 01:53 am (UTC)


This. Just a short note is good for me. Even if they are not being honest. I think most players are understanding as long as the PUG isn't away for an unreasonable amount of time.
[User Picture]From: enveri
2012-11-14 01:13 pm (UTC)


Thirding. Especially if it's a dps. I'll usually say 'toss me on follow' so they don't even have to play the catchup game. If they're gone abnormally long, then sure, I'll kick, but shit happens.

I had my elderly dog poop on my foot in a raid before. I am so not throwing stones for emergency afks.
[User Picture]From: udoon
2012-11-14 08:18 am (UTC)


"kick me for being a parent"

so wanting to kick you for repeatedly going afk means that now? I'd have kicked you too. Their comments were out of line, sure, but making it about you having kids when it was about you going afk is a bit weird :/
[User Picture]From: commabut
2012-11-14 01:45 pm (UTC)


Clearly you should be more like Clara from The Guild!

Just a joke :P

But yeah, honestly, I'd probably have kicked you too if your afks were 5 minutes long, but I have to say it comes down to what the content was. A 90 heroic? Yeah, your participation matters there and it's not fair for everyone else to either wait for you or struggle to 4 man content. A lowbie dungeon though? I would probably let it slide. I have tolerated people dual boxing in lowbie dungeons before and I don't really see the difference between the two, except that you may actually come back from AFK at some point and participate.

Anyway, sorry you had to deal with the rude comments about kids.
[User Picture]From: justdbear
2012-11-14 03:18 pm (UTC)


oh god...Clara....HAHAHAHA this is so win.