Get It In Writing
My mother used to say this all the time: “Get it in writing.”
Whether it was agreeing on chore schedules, or future rewards for good grades, I was told to always get it in writing. Since it was my mother, it was not because of mistrust, it was to stave off misunderstanding.
But the lesson has stuck ever since.
In business (I own a screen printing business) you have to get all transactions in writing, so that you know who-done-f***ed-up if something goes wrong. In legal issues (to include marriage) everything is hammered out at the beginning of an arrangement, to avoid lawsuits and arguments in the future. Getting things in writing insures that, when the tables turn, or things just mess up, everyone knows what is going to happen and no one is surprised.
I feel that we, as LARPers, need to take this lesson to heart. We build these games with our friends, trusting that our friends will always be there for us, that we will never argue, and that no one will ever mess up.
We have to understand that we are all human, and as much as you love your friends, as much as you trust them, as much as you SCREAM “BUT RED! MY FRIENDS ARE DIFFERENT AND IT WILL BE ALL ROSES, DAMNIT!” I am sad to say that we are all going to make mistakes and piss someone off.
So, when doing things with your game, be sure everything is in writing and everything has a paper trail. Did you promise someone a bonus for service? Write it down and e-mail it to them, so they cannot claim you offered something more, and so that you do not forget. When you take on staff members, make them sign some sort of guidelines, so that if something goes wrong you can point to where they messed up and institute a proper punishment. When someone pays or donates, give them a receipt and mark it in your books, so everyone is clear.
This works for players, too. Make sure there is some textual evidence of anything that you receive, so that if something goes wrong, even if it is as innocent as a server crash, everything is written someplace else and you can clear up the problem quickly and with the fewest arguments possible.
I feel like so many of us have falling outs over things that could have been avoided if the initial arrangement was clear and documented. Take the time in the LARPing world, and in your day to day life, to be CERTAIN of the arrangements into which you enter.
That way we can all find new and exciting ways to argue. It is the human condition, afterall!
All my love!