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Capt_Talon69

The Wrong Member for your Clan (and how to avoid them)

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I'm sure we have all had "that member". The one you sit back and wonder how they got here??? We (Clan Leadership) defined in our recruitment what we are looking for... Competitive, Semi-competitive, Casual, Training, etc. We establish by our membership body what times we are typically active to best include all members in our activities. We look for recruits that may have areas of common ground... Age range, Military service, similar interest (military history, history in general, war ships, Military aviation, etc). We define rules and/or SOP's on how we feel it will be fair for everyone to enjoy the game together.   We have Clan activities to further the fellowship we are creating... Clan training night, Inter-Company Battles, An Award system to recognize superior skills our Clan participation.

We do all those things in the effort of making an environment where members can enjoy their game time with others that are there for the same purpose... Yet we still come upon the occasional "Odd Duck" who try and supplant what has been created before them and bend it to what they feel suits them best without regard for the rest of the membership.

This brings us to the first part: How do you guard against Supplants like this from even getting into your Clan. Refer back to where I mentioned rules and/or SOP's. Having a well defined set of recruiting standards to be used for all applicants is where you can start. Define recruit expectations, a term of recruit status where the membership may evaluate each applicant and give their input on who meets the requirements to join the membership body. Defining those requirements would be the job of the Clan creator in how She/He wants their Clan to function. Having this evaluation period will allow applicants the time to find by playing with the current membership, "hmm no this is not quite what I'm looking for" or for the members to also find maybe, "nah this player does not really work here" or for both parties to exclaim, "Great player, fun to battle with!!! Come on in!!!"

Let us be honest... that all works with well and you do find great Clan Mates that way... BUT there is always that applicant/recruit who will work that system during the "honeymoon period" and be that shining example of a member that could be a great addition to your Clan.... and then the Honeymoon is over.

1. They rarely participate in:

Divisions

Clan Training

Clan Battles

and blames it on the times chosen for these activities and the members that have chosen times that don't fit their schedule...

This is something that an applicant needs to figure for themselves. Ask the question of yourself while you're applying, "Am I going to be on while the bulk of the membership is active?" Seems very easy to ask and answer... that problem solved.

2. They love to write complaint Letters:

"While in Clan Battles we should do "X" more" (Everyone has their own play style in battles if you have an idea..... volunteer to lead)

"I don't understand why you can't just move Training event "Y" back two hours so I can attend" (The schedule is set to serve the bulk of the membership not any one member)

"How come older members don't division with newer members more?" (We use discord where we have multiple division room for crating and playing in divisions with members of varying skill levels)

"How come Clan Leadership does not address all of MY concerns now??? ( Most clans have expanded up to 50 players and also have multiple Clans under one "parent" clan membership sizes can get large and all concerns/issues need to be addressed on how they effect the entire membership body.)

Note: Like any successful organization, we are always open to suggestions from our members on how to improve. However, everyone must benefit from the suggestion to make it policy.

3. They rarely take any personal responsibility:

For their poor gameplay

For their Declining Stats

For their inability to join in Clan activities that have "caused" the two mentioned above because the Clan refuses to work around their schedule. 

In closing, when does all of the suggestions from one unhappy member become a distraction and affect the the membership as a whole? When do these suggestions stop being suggestions and start becoming toxic? How much of this behavior is Clan Leadership to endure before showing the toxic member the door? 

These are some of the questions we can answer with a well written SOP and decide on a corrective action for the member or suggest they find whatever they are looking for elsewhere and in the worst case expel them from the membership the are now becoming a detriment to.

How do other Clans address these issues?

 
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I have an easy answer for you. Put your requirements in your clan rulebook and ensure new members agree to them when they join. Then you would have a fair argument for your own complaints. 

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24 minutes ago, nuttybiscuit said:

I have an easy answer for you. Put your requirements in your clan rulebook and ensure new members agree to them when they join. Then you would have a fair argument for your own complaints. 

Can't complain about being tossed out when the rules are in black and white and you had to read them before joining.

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I've been a member of 2 clans and in the leadership of both clans. One clan had rules and attendance requirements like crazy and my current clan does not. The member base of the clan with excessive rules and attendance requirements was extremely volatile. Volatility is bad: its bad for the members, its bad for the leaders, its bad for team play, its bad for division play, it's just plain bad for the clan. So yes, we have rules and some participation requirements, but they are not to the point as to chase members away. I've seen both sides of it.

Have your rules set and when a member crosses them, address it with them. Address it nicely, make them aware of the issues and (depending on the issue) give them an opportunity to correct it. We have a vague several week AWOL policy. It usually does not get enforced until a member has been AWOL for 3-4 weeks. We then message them, and if we get no response, they get removed after another week or 2. So our rule of a couple weeks gets stretched to around 5 weeks.

If I start getting complaints from multiple members, then it becomes an issue where the clan may suffer if you don't deal with the issue. Deal with issues like that ASAP. Nothing worse than losing good members because you don't want to deal with a poor member.

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I don't know of any toxic members in the clans I've been in....   That means it's ME.

lol

We're about at the 50 member mark, and composed of 'more mature' aged players..

That doesn't mean the chat during battles doesn't sound like a High School locker room at times.

Every now and then, there is that guy who really get to you.  Invites you to div..  says it's co-op (so I bring an unflagged fun-bote), and it's a Random.  He dies inside 2 minutes, and I'm kiting for my life.  I'm being asked why I'm running away....    I bite my tongue and count to 10.  Had to carry my team with one hand tied behind my back, and bad advise in my ears.   ...   Another battle?  Nope..  Gotta go...  Bye (never again with this guy)

Would I recommend kicking this guy if enough folks get annoyed?  No.  I don't make recommendations like that.  These aren't my clans.  Everybody grows up after a while.

There are a lot of random folks out there who I div up with for a few battles.  Saying goodbye to them can be painful too, since they don't have anything else going on.  Life calls.  Sorry.  Then they ask, "How about tomorrow?"...   Um..  Don't know.  We'll see.

-----------------------------------------------------

To the Author..  From the sound of your problems, this member doesn't sound like they want to be in the clan.  Try to make the guidelines as broad as possible.  But if you've got a terrible player who wants to keep climbing all over you to get into clan battles....  disruptive...  degrading...  sociopathic...  then maybe this person should look for a similar clan. 

What you describe sounds like my ex-wife..

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46 minutes ago, nuttybiscuit said:

I have an easy answer for you. Put your requirements in your clan rulebook and ensure new members agree to them when they join. Then you would have a fair argument for your own complaints. 

Funny you say that.... we do and we still have this problem???

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1 minute ago, Capt_Talon69 said:

Funny you say that.... we do and we still have this problem???

Well we don't know your clan "rules" so we can't comment, but as Ducky Shot mentions, too many rules are also bad for clan health. We only have a few, which boil down to "be reasonable" and "be active,"

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Yes to the jist of it that is it. The founder of the Clan has a very organized mind set being an ex-military officer and did create a good set of rules that say basically "Have fun, Don't ruin others fun, be involved, and don't be an [edited]" 

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While I know that rules and codification can be a very good thing, and that formal rules can and do work well for many, I decided long ago (ICOP has been around nearly 20 years now) that I am not going to spend much time policing a rule set (even one that I created) or dealing with "rules lawyers" capable of poisoning morale while standing on technicalities. Someone in the clan crosses me sufficiently after a friendly conversation about expectations, that's enough. They walk the plank to a new clan. Otherwise it's a free-for-all and every player is free to enjoy the game in the way they like. But we are a pretty laid-back bunch of privateers. That is not for everyone, to be sure.

Respects,

Am

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1 minute ago, mohawkdriver said:

We kick them out.  Problem solved.

This.  It's not like you're getting rid of a professor with tenure or something. 

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We look at how well people hijack things and then we have tryouts . . . and see who survives.

 

PeFcEto.jpg

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2 hours ago, AspiringCodger said:

This.  It's not like you're getting rid of a professor with tenure or something. 

Well HE quit.

Edited by Bathite_1
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This ..... thread is a classic example with what is wrong with some clans. They found out on the EU server... I've noticed ONE clan here doing it and got abused by the guy for it in PM's, even though I told him that I had edited my public post because I didn't want to be told off... but he asked via PM... so I told him, right.... and he then proceeded to abuse me.....

Why should clans be super competitive at all? The clan I'm in places friendship and fun above all else... we have our own forums... we get to know each other even though most of the clan is in North America and I'm down here between Aussie and the South Pole, in New Zealand. Makes it hard for me to play Co-Op or Random battles with them BUT as I'm the odd one out, I make the effort... despite the cancer I have.... but some of these clans are super competitive, the rules so strict, the conditions of entry so difficult.... that people stop having fun... stop playing.... start arguing... then they get chucked out of the clan, then these people bad mouth the clan and claim the owner only ever wanted his oil.... maybe there is something to that....

But that causes problems in game when "the ousted" meets one of their old clan.... TKing was common.... chat fights even more so....

This is why I frown on the seemingly "super strict" clans.... and the super large clans.... I get it, they want to be number one in everything... "join us, we are the largest clan" but that only means your team plays as strangers....

Maybe WoWs needs to explain that its only a game, clans are, first and foremost, for fun.... give rewards for the friendliest clans.....

Edited by kiwi1960
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Part of it is to have clear guidelines and an identity of what your clan is, what you want in members and what to expect. Some like clans with clear guidelines and structure, others do not. There is a different type of clan for each type of player.

Also clans that accept people that state, looking for a clan show me what you have, etc usually tend to make many mistakes. It sounds like the person doesnt know what they are looking for or what they like. Clans that accept just anyone without a good vetting process, can often get more that don't fit in.

Having someone play in division or listen in to comms is also helpful as you can get a better feel for a person over time and in the heat of battle.

Also too many leaders will talk to someone like a kid, or let the position or title go to their heads and have the attitude of do as I say period vs talking to them as adults.

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^^^^  Correct, Ksetuni.  That is EXACTLY the reason why we have a "Recruiting Process".... to "weed out" the undesirables!

Also, we have a well organized command structure as well as very clearly defined SOP's, Core Values and Ethos!  In fact, everyone who submits an application and subsequently enters our Recruiting Process is required to sign-off  to indicate that they have actually read through and familiarized themselves with our SOP's.  We actually go a step further by "quizzing" the recruits on the content of the SOP's..... just to make sure that they have, indeed, read them and are not just trying to skirt their responsibility by merely signing-off (pretending that they read the SOP's and then telling a lie by signing-off).  Our entire recruiting process is, in fact, designed as a "test".... from accessing our OpServ (website), getting and successfully completing the application (yes there are trick questions)... all the way to successfully navigating their time in the process to completion and actually "earning" full membership.  It gives us a much higher chance of acquiring better (personality) players and deters those who are unable to fit-in.... or those who do not have the "strength of character" and are unwilling to put-n the effort required to join a quality, low-drama organization.

However, as the OP stated, there are (occasionally) those players who are able to maintain a guise of deceit long enough to make it through the recruiting process... so it is not 100% perfect. But over time, those masquerading troublemakers eventually reveal themselves and are swiftly dealt with (kicked out). The screening system (Recruiting Process) just helps to GREATLY REDUCE the numbers of those occurrences. 

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you should all just hug it out. there is already enough pain in this world..   :cap_like:

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1) Have officers that are on the same page and communicate well.  Instead of one person dictating everything and micromanaging, make it a collaborative effort between several reasonable people.

2) Make sure that the clan policy is as transparent as possible to all the members, and that all major decisions are well explained.

3) Use voice coms both in game and to discuss clan business.

4) When recruiting, have the potential member hang out on your Discord/TeamSpeak for several days or a week first.  Try to get them to div up with several members, including non-officers.  If possible, let them listen in on a Clan Wars session.  This lets them see how your clan works, and you can see their play style and communication style.

 

 

 

 

 

We've had people who were very good players and met all of our play requirements hang out on our Discord with good success.  Most who have done so were impressed and excited to come play with us, sometimes even recommending friends.  But we've also had a person or two who, even though they checked all the boxes of what we were looking for, decided to move on and look elsewhere.  At least one specific person was a decent enough guy, and still divs up with some of us occasionally, our group just didn't have the personality/feel he was looking for.  Honestly, it is then better for both him and for us if he chooses another clan.  That way he isn't frustrated or annoyed, and we aren't either.  It doesn't make him a bad guy or mean we are doing anything wrong, it just means it wasn't a good fit.  That "feel" is often just as important in Clan Wars and in ensuring everyone is having a good time as game skill is.

Edited by Borla78

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1 hour ago, Borla78 said:

1) Have officers that are on the same page and communicate well.  Instead of one person dictating everything and micromanaging, make it a collaborative effort between several reasonable people.

2) Make sure that the clan policy is as transparent as possible to all the members, and that all major decisions are well explained.

3) Use voice coms both in game and to discuss clan business.

4) When recruiting, have the potential member hang out on your Discord/TeamSpeak for several days or a week first.  Try to get them to div up with several members, including non-officers.  If possible, let them listen in on a Clan Wars session.  This lets them see how your clan works, and you can see their play style and communication style.

 

 

 

 

 

We've had people who were very good players and met all of our play requirements hang out on our Discord with good success.  Most who have done so were impressed and excited to come play with us, sometimes even recommending friends.  But we've also had a person or two who, even though they checked all the boxes of what we were looking for, decided to move on and look elsewhere.  At least one specific person was a decent enough guy, and still divs up with some of us occasionally, our group just didn't have the personality/feel he was looking for.  Honestly, it is then better for both him and for us if he chooses another clan.  That way he isn't frustrated or annoyed, and we aren't either.  It doesn't make him a bad guy or mean we are doing anything wrong, it just means it wasn't a good fit.  That "feel" is often just as important in Clan Wars and in ensuring everyone is having a good time as game skill is.

Borla, All good points and we do do all those things.... there is just every now and then we get "that Guy" that feels the need to try and change something already established and working very well for a great number of members to suit their vision instead of either excepting it as it is or going elsewhere and finding what they are looking for.... I will stress this is a rare occurrence in our Clan but it has happened a couple of times. I was just looking for insight on how other well established Clans deal with newcomers "bucking the system". I feel we have a pretty good system in place to deal with it but I will never say that I could not learn from others experiences and ideas.

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Hey Capt Talon,        

This is gonna be long, because good leadership is difficult.

The fact that you ask the question is the good news. You want a clan that serves its members really well. You're not afraid to take some lumps to get there.

Your problem is an old one in MMOs. Any large, successful clan has odd ducks, and some create problems. It often ends badly. Each side thinks the other is sociopathic scum with an evil agenda. The truth is usually a lot stranger. Learning how to reach truth, and how use it, will make you an awesome leader of an awesome clan.

I'm new to WoWS, but I've been in plenty of other MMO clans/guilds /etc. I was even co-leader for a few years in a couple games. I've seen both individuals and groups depart my clan. The reasons they gave rarely matched what I saw. Bad vibes all around. They seemed like sneaky nasties with a hostile agenda. Years later I got more management training. I had to hire and fire people, because the company needed good, happy workers to make money (or we were ALL out of jobs).

With hindsight, I realized simple "if they can't follow rules, ignore/kick/fire them" didn't work. I spent too much time recruiting or hiring. When I handled problems better, I had happier members/employees who became great recruiters. Better, by learning from problems, I rarely made the same mistake more than twice (tee hee).

Like some other posters have mentioned, written rules only go so far. The more there are, the more people can interpret them differently. Two people can read the same thing, and have WAY different interpretations. The bible is a good example of this!  Put more trust in person-to-person contact. A good interviewer have standard questions that steer the conversation into topics that reveal inner needs and biases. Now you can intelligently decide if the recruit is a good fit.

Sometimes it's like hiring a new employee. They interview well, their resume is good, references check out, but you only invested 30 minutes in the interview. At first things are great. But after a month or two, things start going wrong. They slowly get worse. Eventually people are actively hating each other. If they don't quit, you have to fire them. If your second conversation with them was the one where you fire them, that's a failure on you as the leader.

Clans are the same. Clans lose people all the time, because they move, have family or job issues, or just find a game they like better (new games come out all the time). If you ignore or kick everyone who doesn't toe your line, you'll be serving a mighty small group soon. It pays to look into problems - you'll have a happier clan, who recruit their friends, and who will respect you -- rather than stomping away thinking dark thoughts about you, and you about them.

How do you detect the "real" problems?

In my experience, problem-children can usually be traced back to a bad start. Sometimes there were unspoken, impossible goals. Sometimes they expect freedoms you can't provide. Sometimes they expected one thing, but the clan actually runs differently. This clash happens because nobody figured out the new guy's real motives at the start.

Maybe your recruiting procedures aren't so great after all. Do people go through the motions investing real time, effort and communication? Are you so busy writing rules that you don't actually spend enough time in interviews? Maybe you need fewer rules and more interviewing? Maybe you need a quartermaster to write better boilerplate and push the paper (some clans actually staff such positions). That gives you more time for personal contact. At the very least, doing an "After Action Review" like this is a great start.

But your question is about what happens after the initial misstep? For whatever reason, now you have an odd duck who gradually becomes more and more unhappy. You need to immediately get personally involved at the FIRST warning sign. Discord supports webcams now for up to nine (9) people. Use it if you can - webcams are insanely cheap and built into almost all laptops. Body language communicates at least as much as voice, and both is almost as good as being in the same room. Voice alone is next best. Text just leads to dueling manifestos, which is never good. When managers complain about employees in emails to me, I immediately get everyone into a conference room, because I know that emailing back is a sure fail.

How you conduct the sit-down is important. Don't lay down the law, like you already know the problem. You only THINK you do. Ask questions and listen - don't give any answers for at least 15 minutes. I prefer to wait 20-30 minutes. You MUST find the REAL causes, the things that were missed during the original recruitment. They're still there, growing like a cancer. Ask them how they'd change the clan, and how they'd meet all those other needs you're juggling. Keep them talking until they can be in your shoes, and you can be in their shoes. Mutual understanding is necessary for any solution. Whether the problem was initially handled by someone else, or you personally, YOU need to personally check up on the solution within a week. That's another 15-30 minute chat, again preferably by webcam. It's surprising how many initial "solutions" miss the underlying problem. This is a chance for you to detect your own missteps and fix them. Don't expect every solution to be perfect.

Failing to personally involve yourself ASAP leads to exactly what you describe. Unhappy members participate less and less, but complain more and more. Eventually something gets so ugly that they leave in a huff, or are kicked. Now everyone has experienced extra unhappiness. This is never good for the clan or the people involved

So much for theory. How about some solutions?

In this case, I'm guessing your problem started with a de-sync between the clan schedule and this members schedule. When most of the clan was active, he wasn't, and vice versa. Sure, a person shouldn't join a clan with a schedule problem. But just as surely, smart clans with meaningful recruitment hoops should pay attention to this. It sounds like you have lots of systems, but nobody took responsibility for the hard call: "No, this guy is great, but his schedule is impossible. Gotta reject him."

Personally, I've started  looking for clans. Clan ads almost never talk about regular gaming times and the clan's scheduled activity window. You might want to double-check yours, to make sure gaming time information is there.

There are other disconnects possible. What about bad players who never seem to get better? If it bothers them, you'll know about it. They'll joke about their failings, then complain about them, then start blaming others for them. Obviously better skill matters to them. Perhaps they thought your clan would magically make them good.  Maybe the ad even advertised training sessions, and they took it too seriously.

Clan wars is always a potential problem. Some people always think the clan wars team is too "serious" with too many rules,  while others complain it is too "casual" and not ":competitive."

There are even some people who want to be useful. If they aren't given jobs, they'll manufacture ones for themselves, and be upset when nobody cares. They could be happy paper-pushers for you.

Maybe your problem child had multiple issues. It doesn't matter. As leader, you need to own every problem. Dig until the root cause is found. In the time sync problem, maybe somebody said, "We have people on all the time, playing at a strange time is no problem." Fixing that misstep is on you as leader. Maybe the clan advert isn't clear - that's easy to fix. But if you already have multiple members playing at odd times, you need to fix that before the cancer kills you. If you're Eastern time, create a Pacific sub-clan. Share your clan procedures and teamspeak/discord. Once the sub-clan exists, your job is to organize as many "family reunions" as possible for your two family branches. As many as possible need to get value from your combined uber-clan.

Another equally obvious example is clan-wars. The "serious" membership faction insists the clan must have a regular team that trains and fights together. They want, no, they need a maximum effort to achieve the best possible record.

Meanwhile, the "casual" faction just wants to play together in a larger group than a division. They expect people to rotate in and out, so everyone has a chance to play. If they win, great. But they're okay with losing, because they're having fun playing with friends.

This casual-vs-serious debate will tear a clan apart if the leader just picks side. The other will leave in a huff. The survivors who stayed will have not be truly happy because they lost good friends (who were in the other faction). Worse, each faction will be constantly trying to recruit "old friends" from the other faction.

The solution is obvious: have a different sub-clan for each preference. The "serious" guys can make extra rules to recruit and run their "A-team" sub-clan. The "casual" crowd will probably do clan wars very differently. The "serious" sub-clan could need extra recruiting steps, but don't let go of the commonality with the whole clan.  Make sure everyone knows you're one big clan on teamspeak or discord. Outside of the clan war battle events, anyone can sail with anybody. Again, your job as leader is to keep the "family reunions" happening as often as possible.

Bad players can be the hardest problem. You don't have a magic wand to make him a better player. For a million reasons, clan training classes, official trainers, and even mentors don't always work. Your resources aren't infinite. Heck, how many of your trainers have a professional background in education, plus some years with classroom experience? Maybe one member, if you're super lucky.

The hard truth is that most clan training programs, despite all the effort in organizing them, will be weak.  For example, unsophisticated trainers deep down feel that everyone learns like them. This is not true. Learn about VAK - Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic learning styles. Education pros carefully organize class lesson plans in advance to involve all three aspects of learning, or for individual instruction, create a lesson plan that concentrates on one specific learning style. Creating a good lesson plan always takes more time than teaching it. How many of your trainers are this professional?

Accept that your training program, hard as you try, can't fully cut the mustard. People need to learn on their own. They must  train themselves. Help members recognize this sad truth and act on it. Listening through hours of youtuber blather can be hard for some, even if someone else is constantly updating the clan's "master vid index" of the best. Similarly, a "master archive" of great articles could be hard for many to read through, despite your loyal paper-pusher who combs the forums for new gems. The more you provide for self-learners, the better their chances. But success rests in their hands, not yours. Teach them that each battle is a learning opportunity. Never allow members to blame "the bone-headed idiots on the team." That's the excuse of someone who isn't trying to learn.

 

TL; DR

 

You get good solutions by talking. Don't descend to dueling manifestos, and don't give in to blind hatred. The more "talk time" you invest with ALL your people, especially problem children, the better your results. If you don't enjoy working with people, and just want to blow up ships, why the hell are you leading a clan?

Clan leadership that strives to serve its membership is for the true leaders among us. Like WoWS, leadership takes constant practice and constant learning. Each problem is a chance for new or better solution-crafting. Good luck and fair seas !

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Very good reply, ComfySeaBed!!   

Excellent job... and thanks for the tips!  That was a very well thought-out and mature response!  Greatly appreciated!

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Force them to swab the desk? Apply a fresh coat of grey paint.

 

(Now is that Military Grey, Or Ocean Grey?)

 

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On ‎4‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 12:22 PM, Capt_Talon69 said:

How do you guard against Supplants like this from even getting into your Clan.

Just a thought BUT you might be able to "weed out" a few by finding out a few basic things during your intake process...start slow and, go after the obvious.

Examples ?

 

Funny Recruit Poster.png

"Then You Might Be Happier In Some Other Clan"  OR "Welcome Aboard" (depending on what YOU are looking for in a Recruit) are just 2 possible answers to the applicant.

 

                                                          https://navygamingamerica.enjin.com

Edited by CIT_Happens
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