Sunday, January 11, 2009

Triumphant Return (maybe)

The writing bug has bitten me again... well, at least for today. We'll see what 2009 holds for Carlisle's Chaotic Commentary, but for today I'll bring everyone up to speed.

WoW, This is Addictive
As my regular readers (assuming I still have any) know, I began playing World of Warcraft® back in August. I'll admit to a certain level of gaming addiction and that WoW has contributed to my not writing my blog every Sunday as I had been doing. I started playing the game at the long behest of a buddy of mine and even joined the guild he was a member of (“Sons of Gotrek”). No WoW guild is immune to drama and upheaval, and ours was no different. Back in November, Blizzard released Wrath of the Lich King, the 2nd expansion pack to World of Warcraft. It seemed most of us were on board to level to 80 (the previous cap being 70) and creating the new and long awaited Death Knight (WoW's first hero class).

Well, the unexpected happened. Our Guild Master quit. I don't mean he quit the guild, I mean he completely quit the game a mere week or two after the expansion pack was released. One of my buddy's characters (also known as a “toon” as in cartoon) was promoted to Guild Master by the previous GM before he quit, so we thought everything would work itself out. Well, it didn't. Within the last two weeks we had a couple of other members move their main toons to a different guild saying they wanted a “more active guild.” I can respect that, but how about helping recruit people and make the one you're in more active? Oh, and I'm sorry that I have a life outside of WoW and don't play 24/7 like you guys are able to.

The icing on the cake was when my buddy, unannounced and without any fanfare or explanation, also dropped his main toon from the guild, leaving the alternate (Alt) toon that had been made guild master in place. At that point, I was done as was my other buddy who I regularly quested with. In fact, we had been pretty much a subset within the guild for months as we always seemed to be questing together separate from the rest of the guild. So, I am now a Guild Master. There was no coup or anything. Jere and I simply left “Sons of Gotrek” and collectively have spent almost 400 Gold of our toons' hard earned loot to create “Myth Inc” (the name is inspired by the Myth Adventures series of novels by Robert Asprin). I have to tell you, being a Guild Master is some work. First I had to buy a guild charter, then get nine other toons to sign it (that cost me about 40 gold in bribes at 5G a pop, with Jere's main being the first to sign leaving eight more to get). Then we had to establish a Guild Vault, which cost another 100 gold. Last night we spent another 250 gold to add more storage to the Guild Vault. And all this while trying to save enough gold to pay for training and new skills as we get closer to the goal of Level 80. Naturally, about half of the toons we bribed to sign our charter left the newly formed guild within about 24 hours (which was expected) and there's a couple that we may have to quietly remove since they don't really seem interested in actually participating. We did manage to luck up and get one guy who's pretty excited about being in a guild and has even already started helping to recruit others. He and his friends are still pretty new to the game, but I kind of dig the idea of helping to teach the “newbs.” I wouldn't have made it to Level 76 (the level my main is at at the time of this posting) with help from others (both friends and strangers), so I'm happy to pay back – plus, it's just good karma.

I wish I could Retire Early
So, everyone out there is aware of the current “economic crisis” here in the U.S. I assume. If not, pick up a fucking newspaper, turn on a TV to a news channel or generally take your head out of you ass and pay attention to what people are saying.

That being said, my work place is certainly not immune, especially being a retail chain in a town who's work force is probably 90% retail clerks or food service workers. You'd think, with the Christmas and Holiday gift giving season having just ended that we'd have been ok right? NOT! The week before Christmas I was cut down to about 28 hours. I got my normal 37ish hours in the week of Christmas, but then the two weeks after, I only worked around 24 each, and this coming week, I'm only scheduled for 20! WTF?! I am, as far as I know, still listed as full time status. The other thing is, our schedule is supposedly based on sales performance. Well, even with sales down across the board, I still had more sales than most of my co-workers. Oh, but that's right, RadioShack only cares about cellphone sales. Forget all the other shit I sold, I didn't sell as many phones as everyone else. So, I get fucked up the ass with a chainsaw without the courtesy of any lube. Loyalty (I've been there 3 years come March) means nothing anymore, not does the other work I do such as price tags, freight, planograms, etc. to help keep the store operational. Just sales.... sales, sales, sales. Oh, great you sold $1million of stuff.. sell some more, you can do better than that... blah blah blah.

I'm 37 years old. The prospect of trying to re-enter the job market isn't a very happy thought, and since the job market basically sucks right now, it's an even less happy thought than usual. Truth be told, I'm so sick of stupid people and assholes that I'd rather just retire. Of course, for that to happen I'd have to win the lottery or have some excruciatingly rich relative I don't know about suddenly die and leave me their estate. Not bloody likely I'd say.

That's My Girl!
While my hours at work dwindle, Roxanne, my fiancée, continues her work as the Operations Manager for the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra. It's not a high paying job, but at least it builds her resume toward working in marketing and public relations. In fact, she just began the MBA program at Methodist University, which will make her future job prospects even greater. I'm very proud of her and will be supporting her anyway I can over the next year and a half (I even did the laundry today while she was at school).

Future Chaos
Sorry for this being such a long winded blog. I guess that's what happens when you take three months off from blogging – you end up with a lot to say at one time. I'm not promising that I'm going to go back to the weekly format. Perhaps I'll try monthly posts starting out to get back into a rhythm. Thanks for reading.

Until next time,
~ Carlisle

PS. Yes, I know my last post back in September said I wasn't going to continue posting the blog on both Blogger and MySPace, but since it's been three months since I've posted anything at all, I've kind of changed my mind about that.