Chibi reminder: I don't work for RT or FS.
Several of you have asked me what to do in regards to the recent controversy that stirred up the community yesterday. In short, there is no real right answer. I can, however, offer some friendly advice as far as how to process something like this and I can also tell you what NOT to do as those actions will only exacerbate the situation. I'm not for one side over the other. I'm just lending a helping hand for those who feel lost.
How do I process this? Whenever a less than unicorns and rainbows situation happens and it affects many people, chances are there will be various ways in how people process it. When you are passionate about something whether it is a community, a hobby, a loved one, etc... and something happens that damage your perception of it, you generally have an immediate reaction (and what that is varies from person to person). Some people act on it and others do not.
There are a couple things you have to learn, especially if you don't have a fair amount of life experience under your belt.
- Nothing is perfect. No one is perfect.
- There is a fundamental difference between absolute truth and perception truth. And even then, absolute truth can rarely be seen with 20/20
If you hold something to a certain standard, that is good. You SHOULD have standards and you should always expect them. However, placing something on a pedestal and believing that this one thing has no imperfections is not wise. Take, for example, a loved one. If you believe someone you love can do no wrong, you are setting yourself up for such a rude awakening. If there were no such things as mistakes and failures, then there wouldn't be a GD thing wrong in this world. But stuff happens. And life isn't fair or perfect at times. You have to accept that. There is also nothing wrong with stepping back, taking a breather and collecting your thoughts. In fact, I encourage that. Too often people act on emotion and in the case of professionalism, that is a less than ideal reaction. Let your emotions guide you, but do not let them control you.
Now in this case with our community, we were presented with something and it is very obvious that this jolted a lot of realities for some people. I encourage you to step back, and try to understand that while those words are scary to you, that doesn't mean you should be fearful. Allow me to remind you of the following:
- You are presented with one perspective
- The situations presented in this document aren't actually anything new when it comes to life and work scenarios.
- RT has been around for 10+ years
The first point is very important. Regardless of the truth of the perspective, it is the only one you have. You cannot base your entire opinion on it because it is incomplete. When it comes to personal relationships, there's usually two, but in the business realm, there could be well over four.
Stuff like this happens all the time. Just because it's not made public doesn't mean it doesn't happen. "Well I haven't heard of ANYTHING like this happening at this company" is not a valid point to have. The only time controversy comes out to public is if someone makes it public. I guarantee you every company in the world has issues and situations that need to be sorted. And the majority of the time, it's handled internally, as it should be. If you've worked for a company with say... 20+ employees, you know how complex and complicated working relationships, work processes/policies, and the work environment becomes. Imagine if you had an issue at home like your computer wasn't working and you invited everyone on the internet to give their two cents to help you, what do you think would happen? You would go crazy. Companies handle things internally because it is 1) their business to handle and not yours and 2) their responsibility, not yours. Just because RT, on camera, are smiles and laughs, there is a lot of stuff happening behind the scenes and it should stay that, behind the scenes.
Think about when you take a selfie. Look in your phone to look at the last selfie you took. Can you say wholeheartedly that your ENTIRE existence is based on the one selfie you posted? That's all that the internet and the public can see, right? That's the only reference they have to go on. So therefore, that's what your life is like ALL the time. RIGHT? Of course not. There's so much more to your life than that one picture. Such is the same for a company that creates and produces funny content.
RT is a company. And believe it or not, they are a very serious one at that. If you've been in this community for a while, you've seen how much it has grown. Any company like this has to provide for its employees. These people all depend on their employer to live. So companies will make the best decisions for the company as a whole. And when this happens, people get caught in the crossfire. That happens all the time and every day. Again, just because it either hasn't happened to you or you haven't seen this publicly, it doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
And admittedly, it hurts when it happens to people you admire, you love, and care for. This is another lesson; you have to separate your personal, emotional, and professional sides. They are rarely rolled up into one. If you've held a job for X amount of time, how long did it take you to realize that you like a coworker personally, but not professionally? Vice versa? Think about that and what it would take, the sacrifices that need to be made both on a personal and emotional level in order to keep that professional relationship going. It's not easy. It never is. And it is complicated AF. It's not math. There is no one right formula or equation. There is no simple fix and there is no magic button to make things easier.
That said, how things are handled in the aftermath is quite important. Are you familiar with a popular excerpt of what is deemed the Serenity Prayer?
Grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference
Things happened. You cannot change it. Hell, it's not even yours to change. You may be passionate about this thing (and that's great!), but it is not yours no matter how much it affected your life for the better. Something happened that affected someone else and they brought it out to light. Dwelling on the past helps no one. What you CAN do is support the people who are affected. And friendly reminder, it's not just the person who wrote everything that is affected by this.
Along those lines, because of backlash, people who were not even involved with said situation are now involved by no fault of their own. I am now going into what you shouldn't do.
Witchhunts. You weren't there. You don't know what exactly happened, you don't know exactly what was said and you don't know exactly how things were handled. How can you possibl place blame, point a finger and place targets on people that you deem worthy of your misplaced rage? Remember when I said you were offered one perspective? Again, I am not choosing sides, but I am encouraging you to think beyond the information that was given to you. It's very easy to become angered, but that should never be the emotion you immediately act upon.
Demands. It is incredibly bad form to hunt people down and demand answers from them, ESPECIALLY IF THEY AREN'T INVOLVED with said situation. And even if they are, you have no right asking that of them. If you went out and demanded answers from someone, imagine that being done times 10, times 25, times 100. It adds up. And it tears people down. The internet allows for accessibility to people, but that doesn't mean you should abuse it. The long and short of it is, a simple answer cannot be given to you and more than likely, if an answer IS given, it will cause another storm of rage and anger because that's how the internet works. There's always going to be people who will have a problem with any explanation given to them. I could go out right now and say I adopted a 5 month old puppy and I bet you someone will give me shit for it because I did not adopt a senior dog or something. Demanding answers or an explanation for such a complicated situation places a company in a lose-lose situation. These situations are never black and white. It is unfair of you to demand an answer that is.
I really debated writing this because it is very rare that I ever get this serious about RT as a company. I have friends on both sides of the situation, and I will not choose sides. How can I? I wasn't there.
Ultimately, you will think whatever you want. It's your prerogative. I just want a community that means so much to me to remember to be these things.
What I will do is support the people I love on both sides. There is nothing wrong with having a difference of opinion, but there is everything wrong with forcing a divide and turning on one another. I don't want to see that happen. I love you guys with all my heart. This community IS my heart, so when things like these happen, it pains me. But. This isn't the first instance where we've had to deal with controversy or bad drama. We've pulled through that stuff multiple times. So it makes me feel better that we will no doubt remain still united in the most difficult of times.