My guild is . . . different. We're a functioning family raid guild with an abnormal way of looking at ourselves. We see ourselves as a family, a place you do not, cannot, quit. When someone leaves, it's like they break up with us. Emotions run high and it's painful all around, though most of the time we send them off with grace -- wishing them the best of luck in their new digs.
Considering the pain gquits cause us, we try to be very careful about who we let in. We believe that people who don't care about us, who don't invest in us, will leave. Our goal is to keep the guild together -- a solid, breathing entity. I sincerely believe that if we put the solidity of the guild first, if we all believe in the guild and refuse to give up during the hard times, then we can accomplish anything. The only thing that can break us is if people give up.
In the year and a half we've existed, we've had two "mass" exoduses. Exodus One was during the end-of-Burning-Crusade dry times, when 4 people cheated on us with the server ho -- a hardcore raiding guild popular for its Tier 6, vanity, and surliness. Three came crawling back after realizing that the server ho only wanted the warlock -- and therefore couldn't give them either the raid experience they'd left for or the companionship they'd left.* The warlock came back after he got his T6 set.
Exodus Two is both more painful and less.
There's a guy in our guild, we'll call him Chad after my husband's "favorite" commercial guy. He's not a core guild member -- he keeps to himself and doesn't talk much, he raids 10's with other people, 25's with us, and he brought in about eight other members. He's a phenomenal hunter, and got Hunter Lead for it. Yet all but one of the people he brought in have left us in the course of a month to go to a small raid guild (we'll call it The Other Woman) their friend was starting. Like with two times before when we were concerned, an officer talked to Chad to see if he was going to follow. Chad has told us each time, "No. I'm here until you don't want me anymore." He's started to get a little annoyed by it, actually. ^_^; Poor thing.
Every time I see The Other Woman, I feel like I'm seeing a guy I dated with his new girlfriend. But this time, it isn't a guy who left for the server ho. It's a guy who dated us because we were comfortable and convenient and then found the love of his life. This group . . . isn't coming back. And I have to see them together, making server firsts in 10's, wearing their special little titles, all happy and in love and willing to /wave at me, and the rejection is phenomenal. Every single time, I just wish they'd never been part of my guild in the first place, so that they couldn't stomp on my heart like this. It was never true love, of course. I knew that that group would be leaving from the very beginning, since they never did 10's with us and never talked much, but . . . we still went out, you know? We went on long jaunts through Serpentshrine Cavern and discussed raid strats and even if it wasn't true love, even if we were just going through the motions, we did have enough moments to make the rejection really hurt.
Well, the only girl who left and came back in Exodus One, we'll call her Elf, left again unexpectedly in Exodus Two and without even a goodbye note. She didn't join The Other Woman, because The Other Woman didn't like her that much, but she did leave for a raid guild. I found out afterward, though it wasn't why she left, that she'd taken affront to my calling "Girls Night" Girls Night. I promptly got infuriated (she might have mentioned it to me, for God's sake, if she counted me a friend at all) and decided I was glad she left. Elf had always been upset about something and never seemed happy, which, added to a passive aggressive nature (which means she never TELLS anyone she's unhappy)*, meant I chalked her up for a drama llama and felt glad we got free of her with no muss or fuss.
Recently Elf told our guild leader that Chad was going to leave. His friend in the guild told her that "they" were leaving when Chad hits 80. On inquiry, Chad refuted it* and is starting to get frustrated with the constant expectation that he's going to turn tail and run. I understand that frustration, though I also wonder what's keeping him here if all of his friends have joined The Other Woman. But I'm incredibly glad he's not leaving, at least until we annoy him so much doubting him that he gives up and does go. Because, really, a guy can only take so much of that crap.
So, in the end, the whole thing is painful and uncomfortable and I can't help hating The Other Woman a little bit every time I see her name, hating those stupid titles she got for her men, titles we might have been a part of if they had loved us enough to bring the people starting The Other Woman over to us instead of leaving us for them.
And the analogy fits. I feel like I got dumped and have the singular priviledge of watching my ex and his new girl be blissfully happy and successful together. And every time I see them, the knowledge burns into me that He Just Didn't Love Me. He didn't mean to use me -- he was a nice guy and we were comfortable, if not blissful, together -- but he ended up breaking my heart anyway.
And that's why, folks, if a guild says "We want people who are loyal and dedicated," they MEAN IT! We do not not not want just raiders, or social folks to wear the guild tag, we want friends. Because I never want to go through something like that again.
* In all fairness, one came back immediately, even though he'd joined us in the first place to play with the aforementioned T6 warlock. He chose to return instead of follow his friend, and that was just cool of him.
* I am passive aggressive and know all the tricks, so I have no patience for passive aggressiveness. You don't want to talk about what's wrong, then you have no right to expect anyone to care. Either talk to someone who can help or get over yourself.
* I don't think Elf was lying about the conversation, but I think Chad's friend spoke without checking with him first, or at the very least spoke about the scenario as a possibility and she misunderstood.