Anonymous Admin Advice Accumulation
I'm pretty sure most of you know what #fumbbladmin is, the place were we admins slack around and think of new and exciting ways to annoy you. Many of you have already been there, some for getting help, others because they got blocked for some reason. Most of the issues get dealt with rather smoothly, but sometimes it gets complicated due to missunderstandings, stubbornness or incorrect info on either side (contrary to folk myth, the admins are not perfect, only nearly so). Maybe I can give some hints in this article on how such situations can be avoided, or at least explain how the administrative system works.
First of all, if you find your account suddenly blocked that means that we need to talk to you. Since we can't monitor all channels and the website at all times and wait until you show up, we block people to make sure they contact us instead. Usually there is no reason to be upset about this and come in addressing the admins in an angry tone. We realise that our ways of contacting you may seem harsh and the equivalent of swatting a fly with an anvil, but they save us a lot of time, and joining the admin channel is a very small effort on your part. If the issue is trivial or just "we need to talk", you'll be unblocked before two minutes are out. Entering the channel and demanding to know which idiot blocked you usually delays that process by a long while (nobody likes being called an idiot).
If you join the channel (this applies to any IRC channel, not just #fumbbladmin) you should read the topic - that's usually the place the code of conduct of the relevant channel is stated. In #fumbbladmin it reads as follows: "Just state your problem and an admin will help you as soon as one is available. Please do not ask for team approvals. DON'T IDLE"
So what does that mean? It means what it says, obviously. The admins are not on-line 24/7 and they do not monitor the channel as vigilantly as hawks. If you state your problem after you enter, it means that when an admin comes back from being AFK, he (or she) can read the problem and immediately go to work sorting it out. If a new admin joins the channel, they will not have the log so you'll want to repeat your problem. This saves time. Additionally, while reasons for entry such as "I'm going stay here for a while just to see who comes in" show a healthy curiosity at work, we prefer to handle people's cases in an admin-only environment. So please, if you have no problem that needs solving, do not idle in the admin channel.
On to the actual problem-solving part. A rather detailed explanation of your problem would be useful, rather than things like "I've got a problem" or "Can you help me?" - the answers to which are invariably "Yes, that's why you're here" and "That depends on what your problem is" respectively. After you have stated the problem, the most frustrating part arrives. We
know that when someone comes to the channel he would like to get helped immediately (who can blame you for wanting to go back to playing Blood Bowl as soon as possible? Not me), but you must be aware that we don't sit there all day waiting for people to come in. We have jobs, or duties, in real life as well. Much as we'd like to employ an Indian help-desk for you, admin work is still done on a volunatry basis. We are usually busy doing other stuff (like playing a game, for instance) and check back into the channel from time to time.The bottom line is that you may have to exercise patience - especially if you happen to be as unlucky as to arrive in a time-zone that is sparsely populated by admins, all of whom are currently on holiday. If you run out of time, simply leave and return at a later date - perhaps you might look at submitting a support ticket instead. This is another reason why a detailed problem description is invaluable - that way we can check our chat backlogs when we return to the channel and see if we can just fix the problem without you being there.
If you are still there when an admin addresses you, the best way to get everthing solved is to answer our questions, truthfully and correctly. So what do I mean by correct lyas opposed to truthfully? I'll give a simple example: two match reports which differ at the amount of serious injuries:
Admin: "How many SI did you cause?"
User: "1 niggle (apothed) 2 MNG."
User: "Score was 3 - 2."
User: "I think i did some BH."
User: "Ehr.. can't remember"
This may seem silly to you, but these are things that actually happen. They are funny in retrospect, but not when you're handling the situation. Something which isn't funny, but is relevant and also needs to be addressed, is the response "My report says 4". We know what your respective reports say - after all, they uploaded and we can see them using our Admin Powers(tm). What we would like you to tell us is what you remember rather than what your reports say. It can happen that you forget - we've had instances where people couldn't remember how many Touchdowns they had actually scored. It's annoying, but it happens. When you end up in a fight about whether the score was 4 - 3 or 4 - 2, please remember that it is only a game and act reasonable.
If you get directed to the admin channel for a rules violation the situation is usually a bit more tense, from both sides. From our side, we don't like people breaking the rules. From your side, you might feel falsely accused. Nevertheless we usually try to be objective on the case. Of course if someone has dropped five games in the last two weeks and he comes into the channel because he's done it a sixth time (this is an unrealistic event as it is unlikely we'd just let you off with a record like that), we get a bit annoyed which might show in our behaviour towards him. Not everyone breaks the rules on purpose, but ignorance is no excuse - the rules were there all along and you should have read them. Even language is no longer a big issue with the multiple translations available.. As long as people understand what they did wrong or what the problem is and stick to the rules from there on out, everything is fine. We get upset when people tell us that we don't know what we are doing, or that we should go away, or that they simply don't care about the rules. Above all, please be reasonable and you'll find that we are too.
Sometimes there are long discussions in the admin channel with obstinate rules breakers and of course this wears on us, so if some poor guy stumbles in the room shortly after that because of some silly mistake, it might happen that we're a bit snappy. If you have experienced this, we'd like to apologize for that, and to everyone who has suffered from it. However, we'd also ask you to bear with us, since we too are onyt human and though we strive for complete objectivity, it doesn't always work out that way.
In general, we just want people to act reasonable and to stick to the rules of the site. If we can help we are glad to do so, but please keep in mind that the admin channel is neither the primary tech support source for the site nor for the client. The main channel and the forum are usually much more appropriate and the chance to find a tech guru there who can solve your obscure java error is probably much higher.
As a closing not, I'd like to add that there is no need to suck up to us or tell us how great we are. In the cases of Grumbledook and Mezir, they already have a rock-solid belief that they are the best this world has to offer. For the others, a simple "thank you" usually suffices when you feel that you have been helped. After that, please do not idle - feel free to leave the channel and have fun playing Blood Bowl.
I hope this article will have helped make your next visit to #fumbbladmin a more pleasant and swifter experience.
Regards - the Anonymous Admin