8:00 p.m.
During the raid, I get approached by another guild master. His guild is much smaller than mine and wishes to experience endgame content. He offers to do some joint runs of one of the easier instances. This looks simple enough from an outside point of view; however, it will require a lot of work. We'd need a way to keep track of another guild's DKP (dragon kill points, or points given to people who participate in raids, which they exchange for dropped items). Will they adopt our method of looting, or must we adopt theirs?

12:00 a.m.
It's over. It was a mediocre night, and three or four people really slowed us down. How does one deal with this? Punishment? Removal? Will it have an effect? All things to ponder for the next day; but for now, I owe people items and money. Once I get everything situated, I'll think about ways we can improve ourselves before bed.

I escape the stress of the real world by playing games. I escape by being the guild master of a successful raiding guild in World of Warcraft. Lately, my escape is not an escape. It's a second job where I'm CEO. The currency is DKP and the employees are guild members. My subordinates are officers, class leaders and raid leaders. Logistics are raid strategies, personnel issues are drama bombs and company politics are guild politics.

I do it because I love to help; I love to see so many people happy when a new goal is achieved; I love that feeling of success, but it's really not that much fun. I sacrifice my escapism so others can enjoy theirs. I do my job as guild master, I make sure as many people as possible are happy and I keep things moving, but it's not fun - it's work.

The stress of the job doesn't come from keeping track of things, it comes from people who fail to realize the work that goes into making sure they can make their Wednesday night raid and get a new item.

Time and time again, it's one excuse after another. "I don't want to help, I want to PvP." Thirty-nine other people are relying on you to help because they helped you get the gear you need to PvP. "I've done that enough already." Sure, but if you help your guild mates do it, we can unlock more content. No one gets it, but when you join a guild, you join a group to play together; not use and abuse your friends and guild mates to get what you want and then leave them high and dry when it's their time to shine.

Someday, it will be fun again. I can only dream that someday it will click, and everyone will realize how much a few leaders sacrifice so the rest of the guild can enjoy the content we all enjoy. Someday, a boss kill will result in a smile from me instead of the dread of "oh God, what kind of loot am I going to have to deal with now?"

For now, I'll do it because I love to see us succeed. I'll do it because I take pride in knowing that I helped build my guild. Although I find myself afraid to log in and face so much work, it's just like when you wake up on Monday morning, staring down a work week in a job you love; but there's still that dread. But I always know one thing: There are good people and good friends there to help make everything go smoothly. If it weren't for them, this job would be nothing more than a pain in the neck.

This is my success, this is my job.

Whitney Butts is the "woman behind the curtain" at The Escapist. Her existence revolves around the fact that Mathematics is the key to the universe, and that she alone is the square root of all evil.

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