Stern but fair

I know these posts are going all over the place, but I’m really just experimenting with this blog right now. As time goes by- and perhaps as I gain loyal readers to pester bless me with requests- things will become more predictable, and I’ll have a reason to actually organize my Tags and Categories.

Until then, I’ll do as I please. And since I’m in a bad mood today, I figured I’d talk about the one time I needed to actively expel someone from my group.

This was fairly recent, only a few months ago, as we were still in the store. Oh yes, the store… I’ll talk about that sometime. At any rate, this young man’s name was Jeff, and he was fifteen years old. I know this might sound ageist, but the truth is that his age had nothing to do with why I threw him out.

See, back in the summer of 2008, I had a few people around his age, and they weren’t bad to have: Fairly attentive, willing to follow rules, ready to play, all that. But Jeff… Wasn’t. Frequently unprepared, and often disruptive, his age didn’t really influence my decision.

After about two weeks of his shenanigans early on, I took action. Prior to beginning, I pulled him over to the side to inform him of his actions, and that all I was asking is that he reins it in a little. Pay attention, play along, and don’t be so disruptive. He seemed to understand, and I began the evening’s session. I entered a round of exposition, as I was want to do between story arcs, and Jeff responds by tilting his head back and mock snoring.

Yes, he mock snored during my exposition. And now you have some inkling of what I was really dealing with…

I told him that the whole reason I pulled him over to the side for a one on one chat was so I could avoid embarrassing him in front of the rest of the group. I was quite angry, and I told him that I expected better. I expected a lot better.

Things continued and they didn’t really improve. He continued to make jokes at inappropriate moments, and distract the other players. I made numerous attempts to warn him of his actions, and what was expected of him.

He saw fit to try to counter me by saying he had ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder. To which I immediately shot back, “So do I, and so does everyone else you play with. They can control it, and you will too. Try again.” Yeah, I wasn’t happy by this point.

Things came to a head a few months ago, early December, I believe. It was after a session, and while nothing bad happened during it, the session does not really end until we all go home. As such, Jeff was horsing around, and, for some bizarre reason, leapt up behind Burns and wound up grabbing him around the neck with his arms, which began to choke him. Jeff let go and Burns… Well, I will say this: Burns is the last man you want to piss off. Seriously. He was going to send the kid through a wall. I decided to intervene, because while the kid deserved it, I couldn’t let that be how it ended.

I can’t say it ended much better for him, though. I pulled him to the side, and while I didn’t intend to yell, I was angry enough that yelling indeed did start to come out, along with quite a bit of profanity. I told him he was going to play along, but by this point, Jeff was terrified, because I was apparently that angry. I’m told that the moment I finished my rant and turned my back, Jeff ran out the door like the Devil was chasing him. We didn’t see him again.

And truth be told, nobody really missed him. He never made an effort to really be a part of the group. And when you have someone like that, it’s best to be rid of them, be they fifteen or thirty.

As I often say, this game is supposed to be fun, for everyone. Not just a few people.

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