mrbigsteve: (Default)
[personal profile] mrbigsteve
My eyes are bleary, I'm 4.5 hours away from my latest hotel school deadline and nowhere near where he wants me to be. And yet, there's something entirely unrelated that's bothering me.

After Lisa got back from the event this weekend, we had a bit of a discussion regarding SCA awards. Apparently, folks had been trying to get her an AoA that weekend, but it fell through because they wanted very little court and they wanted it to focus on the local group who had many deserving people. Fine and dandy, she's now apparently been told that things are likely to happen at 12th night (January 3, Niagara Falls area). She also mentioned (with a knowing kind of smirk) that a number of people have been putting me up for an award... a Keystone (for the non-SCA among you, it's a cookie for doing service to the society in general).

Trouble is, I don't want it. At all. And I don't know how to get in and abort the process so as to save the scribes the effort of making a scroll that someone *else* would appreciate, and to save myself from having to explain *why* I don't want that or any other "reward".

I have friends who've worked very hard for what they have. I have other friends who are working intently with their eyes on a prize. I can respect them, but I am also not any of them.

Getting an award does absolutely *dick* for my attitude. Getting it or not getting it won't make me try harder. Getting it or not getting it won't make me try any *less*, either. (Actually, if I'm having a particularly pissy time with it, getting one would likely make me try to do even less so as to drop below anyone's radar) I believe that everyone is entitled to be in the SCA for their own reasons, and my own reasons involve most explicitly *not* being called up into court to get a rock. I *HATE* the concept. *LOATHE* it. Don't want to do it. And yet, when I tried explaining this to Lisa, all she did was snicker.

It's not fun for me. At all.

So how do I get people to actually *listen* to me about this?

Date: 2003-11-26 02:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*sigh*....sometimes people want to reward you when you don't want it :) it really worth the time and energy to make them not give you it?? Can you work out a compromise that doesn't cause to much head ache...(say a short one line annoucement saying you got x...but convivce them the scroll iswasted on you?)..
I know you don't want it and i respect that, but once a idea is started...maybe i'm just trying to find the easy way out....:)if it was me(who *hates* getting public thanks for stuff) accept it, and get it over with for the more you fight the more peolpe will rememeber and make a big deal..(or at least find something else to do during court :))
(written with about as much sleep)
ps...get some sleep!

Date: 2003-11-26 02:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The easiest way for me to deal with it is simply to not go to any RP events. A harder way to do it is to go to those events, but hang out just out of sight until I know who's been called. If it ain't me, I can watch (something I'd only be doing if it were the person I was there for in the first place), and if it is me, I can duck and run claiming bodily discomfort or somesuch, and even then, there's only so long I can hang out in the bathroom before it gets old.

I had one friend who was pulled into court despite all of his protests about how he didn't "do court". Everyone seemed to know and understand this except the person sent to fetch him. He wound up agreeing to go, and the end result of the interchange between himself and the queen was a level 2 banishment for him. Now granted, I don't *anticipate* doing any of the things he did, and I don't have his history, but given my current sentiments and situation... I can't guarantee that I *would* be safe.

Date: 2003-11-26 05:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Convince someone to get the word to those who need to know, that you're flattered by the thought, but you don't particularly believe in receiving such honours, and you'd really prefer they respect your wishes and not give you any.

Then, if they ignore your wishes, you could say "I wish you had respected my wishes" instead of starting off only then with "This is meaningless to me."

Send a letter to their Royal Magisties....

Date: 2003-11-26 05:53 am (UTC)
blaisepascal: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blaisepascal
Explain to them, in respectful terms, that you perform service for the Society for the sake of the work and the sake of the Society. You neither seek nor desire awards, honors, or recognition. Tell them you have heard rumors that an award has been recommended, and that while you appreciate the intent, you feel that, for personal reasons, you should decline this award and any others that may be offered by the Crown, current or future. You are sending them this letter to decline privately rather than publically, and in such a way as to save unnecessary work for the Kingdom scribes, heralds, etc. and to avoid being forced to choose between accepting an unwanted award or publically declining it, unintentionally dishonoring the Crown in the process. Tell them that another, less diplomatic, statement of your feelings can be found in this Live Journal post if they so choose to read it.

If, after all that, they still choose to give you an award, then accept it, gracefully, and perhaps have private words with the Crown afterwards. I would guess that if they do so, it's because they feel that public awards are not just beneficial for the recipient, but for the Society as a whole. And that viewpoint has merit. Recognition of work done encourages others to strive to do work as well, not just because they are award whores.

Contrariwise, if I saw someone who had been busting their (potentially metaphorical) balls for the Society for years, and hadn't received any awards, not even an AoA, and saw someone else who had done less work, put in less time, and was less skilled get award after award and was engrossed in the Order of the Pelican, I would guess that the difference was politics -- the Pelican was liked, or the awardless-one was not liked, or was blackballed, etc -- rather than assuming that the awardless-one had chosen to not receive any awards because that wasn't their thing. I would assume that the system was corrupt, that the Pelican played the system, etc, even if everyone was above reproach.

Re: Send a letter to their Royal Magisties....

Date: 2003-11-26 08:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Here's my .02 - and I'm responding to Buddha's msg because I liked his suggestion about what to do, and I've had a bunch of the feelings that he expressed.

As someone who got service awards completely by surprise - I sat up in court, and thought about *why* I was getting them, because I certainly didn't think I deserved them. (In certain cases, I still don't). I thought long about it, and (although it was only a couple of minutes up in court, it seemed like forever) What I decided, finally, was that my friends thought I should receive this award, and because of that, I should accept it - yes, though I felt a certain way; their wishes overrode that.

Now - that does not excuse manners, whether you want something or not. Politeness and kindness goes a long way. If you still feel that strongly, by all means - write a letter, or talk to the Royals privately. Even if you refuse, you're doing it properly and with respect. (If the person in question is who I think it is, (re: lvl 2), he's a good dude, but sometimes, his mouth goes...)

Anyways - just my .02.

Date: 2003-11-26 05:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
So how do I get people to actually *listen* to me about this?

Ummm... what were you saying? Sorry, I wasn't listening... ;)

Date: 2003-11-26 08:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I find this whole thing fascinating for two reasons.

Reason number one is that in the Midrealm and Northshield...court lists and impending awards are state secrets. Sure, there are often orchestrated letter-writing campaigns, but the idea of actually telling someone that they're being campaigned for is taboo. The recipient is supposed to be surprised.

Reason number two is that, while I certainly don't do what I do in order to get awards for it, I literally can't wrap my head around a mindset that wants to refuse them! I'm sorry, Steve, but your attitude is as foreign to me as if we were two different species!

Avoiding awards

Date: 2003-11-26 09:09 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
We grew up with an environment where we do things because they _need to be done_, and we've seen too many times where someone got an award of some sort, because they were bucking for it. i can name names of people who have been sucking up to someone because they were trying to "climb the social ladder" of the SCA. they do things _not because they need to be done, but because they think they can get something out of someone else BECAUSE they did something_.

i know that i, for one, find that sort of behaviour offensive. i'd be willing to wager that Stein does as well.


Re: Avoiding awards

Date: 2003-11-27 08:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Um...OK. So you're blaming the Crown, and their desire to reward you, for other people's grasping bullshit?

Re: Avoiding awards

Date: 2003-11-29 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
From your reactions to the whole thing, I suspect that you have been fortunate enough to have received awards, and had nothing negative happen to you because of it. I don't think that this is, in fact, something unusual.

In my case, I have received awards for things I've done outside the SCA (college theater), and had to deal with flak about it. More than my fair share. I also had a bit of unpleasantness involving peers when I got my AoA. Yes, these were *their* actions and words, and theirs alone, and most times I'd have just remembered what ninnies the people in question were and continued on. I have no idea as to whether any sane person would have thought the same thing I did. In this case though, I just got soured to the whole experience. The point is that my overall award-related experiences have brought me to conclude that I just don't want to have to deal with them.

I have no problem with the crown conferring awards. I have no problem with my friends wanting to thank me for what I do. The point that they don't seem to understand is that they already *have* thanked me quite sufficiently, and I just really don't want anything else.

Re: Avoiding awards

Date: 2003-12-01 05:14 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I'm not. However, in the SCA, as well as in "Real Life"[TM], "the squeeky wheel gets the grease." I've found myself in situations where Someone Important decides they need to do something nice for me, and so far to date, it's running about 50/50 in the "did this leave a bad taste in my mouth" poll. (you can ask me about meeting the govenor of NY state, and senator bruno sometime, in person) and i've watched too many people do stuff _specifically_ to earn an award. but then, i don't have rose-colored safety glasses on. Katrei has those, she wears them for the battles at pennsic, and they help her keep things in perspective.

if their majesties really wanted to do something nice for someone, they'd involve that person in the process, rather than arbitrarily decide what was best. the way the system currently is, it is a personal affront to do something as odd as "not want an award." of course, this tells me that the person who wants to give the award really hasn't spent much time with the recipient, or they'd know their feelings better.


Re: Avoiding awards

Date: 2003-12-01 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm not sure if this difference in perspective is a Midrealm Rite/Eastern Rite distinction, or a Myrkfaelinn distinction :-)

In the Midrealm (and hence, Northshield), nobody really questions the fact that you get the rewards the Hats decide to give you, and the Hats make those decisions based on the recommendation letters they receive, without any consultation with the recipient. The idea of involving the recipient in the process, or even anyone attached to the recipient, literally never occurs to most people in most cases.

Of course, the Midrealm is also a vast monstrousity of an empire. If the Crown only gave dinguses to people they'd spent time with, they'd be painfully sparse.

Re: Avoiding awards

Date: 2003-12-02 11:36 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
It's probably a post-Wulfstan The Unshod attitude, which means that there was a lot of influence from Bob, Hojo, and Johnny. I'm not saying that Wulfie was someone who was bucking for an award. The opposite is true, he spent a lot of time in the waterfall, avoiding awards at barton, for example. Mind you, he spent a lot of time in the waterfall just because he could, never mind the rest...

The truth is, there's lots of folks in the East kingdom and Aethelmeark who are cheerfully doing what they think they need to do to get an award. Heck, I've heard stories of folks paying cash for theirs (a very period way to do it, too, as long as you're honest about it). I know of one guy in the east who bought a lifetime membership, and got a court barony for his donation. he was honest about it when he told me the story, too.


Date: 2003-11-26 09:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The only thing I can think of that somewhat relates to this is that I like to face my birthday on my terms, and I've made it clear to people that if I ever wind up at a surprise party, I will turn around and simply leave. I suppose that's an option, but its hardly polite. Making yourself scarce - whether before they call anyone or when they call you - works but people will wonder why the heck your so rude (just as they would if I left a party for me).

Bu's option makes the most sense, to me, diplomatically speaking at least. Worse comes to worse, smile and nod like an idiot and move on, I guess.

Awards and Royalty

Date: 2003-11-26 09:03 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
The problem with stating that you don't want an award to the royalty is that they _remember_, and 5 years from now, you won't be the guy who's doing the work, you'll be the guy who "turned down the award".

however, there are some things you can do to make your life easier. the first is, that you, and your friends develop a "policy" about awards, so that when the royals ask how they can do this, it can be done in a less offensive (to you) manner. it's not a big deal. when i got back from the WTC, i determined that i didn't want to go up in court. when i had to make my oath of office, for being chirurgeon, i did so privately, and managed to keep it that way until i screwed up. (long story) i have discussed with svan how i would prefer to have to do these sort of things, so that my opinions will be heard, if not directly by me, then through someone i trust to express my opinions.

now, the next part is to figure out what those opinions are. it may be that you do not want to receive any awards, ever. if so, then fine. have that be what you have as a policy. however, if you take that approach, you're closing doors, and they won't get opened for a very, very long time. the awards are there for a bunch of reasons, and the IMPORTANT ones are as a "thank you," and to tell people that "this person is a good role model".

first off, you need to let people say "thank you" in a manner of _their_ choosing, not yours. it's their thank you. secondly, they want to show what a good role-model is, rather than let people figure it out on their own, simply because it will get screwed up. honest. how many times have you seen someone sucking up to someone else because they want to get an award, or advancement.

fortunately, the keystone isn't a big award. it's a gift of the crown, with no polling order, or anything else behind it. you wear the medallion, and go back to work. or you leave the medallion off, and go back to work. it's not a big step for the grand parade of people who are substituting advancement in the SCA for advancement in real life. it really is a thank you from the organization, rather than something that people chase. and if you don't want to, you don't have to wear the darned thing, it won't hurt anyone's feelings.

Finally, if you go and accept the award, you are being gracious, kind and polite. if the award offends you, then don't accept it. it's kind of like a cloven-object. if the award offends you, don't accept it. but once you've accepted it, it is up to you, to an extent, how you deal with it.

in my case, i'm kinda partial to my keystone. i'm the only person who was not a resident of AE to receive it. i'll wear that one more often than i wear any other medallions (not that i have a lot of them, mind you).

i'll be glad to talk more about this, but i need to go to bed, as i have to be awake at 0400 to go to work tomorrow. life in EMS fellates goats, but it's the only job i've had in 2 years where i don't have as many nightmares.

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