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Kilo Tango Yankee

June 17, 2013

Dear Reader,

As you may have read, I was in Tampa this past weekend for my grandmother’s 90th birthday party.  This conveniently coincided with Father’s Day.  My father and I have a very complicated relationship that I won’t go into detail about here, but I will point out that he has a penchant for intentionally pressing the buttons of those around him.  In fact, I characterized him as a “real-world Internet troll,” as his behaviors are quite similar to a 13 or 14 year old who’s just realizing how easy it is to get attention by upsetting those around him.

In dealing with his habit over this past weekend, I devised a simple comeback to deliver to make my feelings regarding his many vicious attacks clear without actually engaging him to encourage him to go on.  I began by exhaustedly (for I’d been travelling all day) saying to him, “Keep it to yourself.”  When we got around other family, though, I didn’t want to be rude or disrespectful to him in front of others, so I shortened it to “KTY.”  Because I grew tired of saying “KTY” after the 100th or so time (in the first half hour, probably) and because he’s a military man, I dredged up the Amercian Military Phonetic Alphabet from my memory and began saying to him “Kilo Tango Yankee.”  

He found this amusing (one of his positive characteristics is how easily he’s amused; just mention certain scenes from Ren & Stimpy to him and he’ll be rolling on the floor in laughter), and it worked as I’d intended as a stop to whatever tangent he was about to go on, so the phrase did its job.

As it’s in my nature to reminisce and generalize things, I began to think about how Kilo Tango Yankee might have worked for – or on – me as a raid leader or raider in WoW.  It’s hard sometimes to keep your mouth closed, especially when you hear someone else complaining about the very things you are keeping your mouth closed about.  You don’t necessarily want to shut them down entirely, as they may have valid points, but pouring bucketfuls of negativity into any environment often does more harm than good, which is one of the many factors my father doesn’t understand that unnecessarily complicates our relationship.  I suspect that Kilo Tango Yankee would be a handy phrase to have prepared for raid leaders; it doesn’t invalidate people’s opinions, but it does emphasize the importance of staying positive during the raid.  Afterwards, you can always speak to them privately to let them voice their issues.

Often people who spout bilious frustration at each small setback simply have a problem with self-editing.  God knows if I didn’t have a push-to-talk key I’d have been asked to leave all of my guilds much sooner (well, maybe not the first one; it was mostly downhill from there).  I learned early on due to my career choice how important choosing what to broadcast was; you may want to slam a kid with a KILLER comeback, but you just smile and act professional (okay, sometimes you slam them; I’ve got a story about that, too, but for another time.  It involves boots).  Some people can’t seem to translate that behavior into a game.  I suspect it’s because the good times can feel very informal, so it makes sense to them that the bad times be handled informally, as well.

So consider Kilo Tango Yankee at your disposal when someone’s being Mr. Buzz Killington; I know I will!

It Works Miracles!

Sincerely,

Stubborn (and a terrible picture editor)

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