Happy People

Plus one.

So I was coming off a bad weekend where everything conspired to keep me from undocking.

That busy?

That busy. Anyway, Monday rolls around and I decide to check my Eve Mail while I am out of the capsule. Evemail is hard to use on my mobile. Hate it.

No one loves me, at least, no one I know has messaged me, but there’s one note in my inbox, from a stranger:

Are you still ridiculing people in team speak to make yourself look schmarter?

I’m at a loss: I have no idea who this guy is or why he is writing me. A quick look at his employment history shows he was in OUCH for a short time some 15 months ago. I search through our archive of Student folders and see that he was indeed in OUCH and completed the first few modules. Try as I might, I can’t remember him. I try to shrug it off and continue on my merry way, blissfully unaware of why I got this random mail.

To be honest, it started to bug me.

See, I try very hard not to do things to upset people I fly with. I don’t share with my opponents, I only share with my teammates. Knowledge and killmails. The fact that this guy is writing me over a year after leaving OUCH seems kind of unhealthy to me.

I usually avoid providing negative feedback to new students. I don’t pick on on new students for kicks, I have to know you before I tell you that you’re being stupid, so that you know that I’m telling you that you’re stupid, with love.

You’re a hugger, Bren.

There is a long post on the OUCH forum explaining the difference between being friendly with students and maintaining a professional detachment with students. We’re not friends, I tell them, because making friends takes time. Corp chat is a terrible place to make friends, so get in team speak and let us get to know you.

Lately, very little bit of my free time in Eve is spent making things explode. Most of it is spent coaching a new player or a OPS pilot, or making diplomatic exchanges in the interest of our security. I’ve got a couple of side projects in the development stage to fill up what other time I have. So really, I don’t know why I am letting this guy get in my head.

Wait. I know why. It’s because I AM working hard and I’m not getting the instant gratification that we all crave, and now some clown from a year and a half ago is making me question if I’m the good guy that I claim to be.

/sigh

I log in game, I’m talking to my homies, trying to get my Eve on and I remark to the gang that I got this stupid mail that ruined my day today. Miss Teri speaks up.

From this guy, he asks, linking a name in chat.

Yeah, how’d you know?

He sent me a note too.

Well, who is he?

My notes say he was kicked for being an ass.

So long story short, over a year ago on Day One of a Marmite War Dec, Miss Teri noticed a student in high sec flying around in a Venture. On the first few days of a wardec, we don’t let students do any PvE, they are only allowed to fly in student fit tacklers and scout war targets.

He’s not in TS. I try to talk to the student in chat, and he did not respond. We jump in interceptors and fly to the system he is mining in. We find him mining AFK in a ice or gas pocket. We bump him, lock him up, strip away his shields and he finally wakes up and warps away. Comes back in a combat ship. Locks us up.

Really?

Well, despite being blood thirsty pirates, we didn’t take his ship from him. In corp chat, we tell him to dock up and get into Teamspeak. He complied.

And?

I pointed out that if we were war targets, we would have taken his ship. He explained that he was mining because didn’t expect anyone would notice or catch him. I explained that mining during a wardec was against the rules. He defended his position that the rules were stupid because they prevent him from making ISK. I explained to him that his position was irrelevant.

I guess I wasn’t nice. I may have hurt his inner child.

Eve is a game of grudges. So many people hold so many other people in contempt because of past slights, fights over nothing important. One of my pilots doesn’t like Eve Uni because they held him in a queue for three weeks and then told him that he was too old to join them. After a blue-on-blue incident, where we reset Eve Uni to neutral, it took over a year to get OUCH pilots to talk anything but negatively about them.

You’re from Eve Univiersity? Heretic! Burn him!

I’ve tried very hard not to hate the other guy in the spaceship that is shooting at me, or I am shooting at. Adversaries and opponents, not enemies. I’ve taken a page from the book of my life and applied it in Eve. My fellow pilots in Open Unversity of Celestial Hardship seem to agree.

This attitude has allowed OUCH to become best friends with Appetite 4 Destruction, despite a 2 year enemity where we shot each other every single day. It’s allowed A4D to make peace with Dirt Nap Squad, despite bad blood between them going back before Art of War Alliance was founded, almost six years ago.

Yesterday’s enemy is today’s friend.

So the incident with the AFK Venture pilot? I learned from it. We don’t talk to people when they aren’t responsive and they break the rules. We just expel them. Nothing personal. I don’t hold him in contempt: I don’t even know him. He’s so far back in my rear view mirror that I didn’t know he was there.

But I have a piece of advice for my former student:

Keep looking forward buddy, you’ll be a happier person.

Minus one.