Tabatha’s Salon… no… Guild Takeover
Watch the video below. You don’t need to watch all of it, but stick it out for at least a minute or two. As you watch, imagine that instead of talking about and referring to hair salon matters etc, that she is instead speaking to members of a WoW guild. Nikki (in the purple shirt), in the video, is the GM so-to-speak of the salon. Tabatha (the British sounding one in black) is a successful and experienced GM of her own salon, and currently has this show where she renovates every aspect of failing salons.
I think that it would not only be entertaining to watch a show like this about a person that takes over your guild to fix it, but it would be immensely educational for guilds that are trying to work out their problems.
The show runs with a clear episode format. Tabatha watches the contestants on hidden cameras to see them in their normal working routine. This works out well because no one can be putting on a fake front, they will act as they normally do and this gets them caught in really outrageous behaviors. For a WoW based version this could be done via video recordings of a raid accompanied by a Ventrilo (in game audio chat) recording. Obviously the raid leader submitting the vid would not want to tell people that they are being recorded so that they can be seen in their typical habits.
After Tabatha watches the vid, she goes over the vid with the salon owner. During this part she has queued up select segments that show off some of the real problems. This part would correlate directly in our WoW version. When the video review is done, Tabatha asks for the owner’s key, and then they go to meet the staff.
For our WoW version the staff would be the actual raiding team members. This could also be a PVP guild, or a leveling guild, or whatever kind, but for the purposes of this example I will continue to refer to raiding aspects of guild life. Tabatha talks to the staff about some of the nonsense that she witnessed. Puts a few of the staff members on the spot. At some point she informs them that there will be a staff meeting and advises them not to be late.
There is always an inspection part of the show where Tabatha uncovers some of the non-cleanliness of the salon and checks all the areas of the salon both for functionality and aesthetics. Here is where we might have to deviate from the format of the TV show a bit. Instead of checking out the working space, maybe the guild bank could use a looking over. What do the raiders have access to and why? Maybe take a look at what is provided for raiders as far as flasks, crafting materials, raiding food, and guild repairs. The looting system would also be an excellent thing to review, as this will almost certainly be something of a concern in a struggling guild.
Once the inspection is complete, the show dismisses the staff and Tabatha shares some thoughts about what will happen the following day with the owner. The next day is usually a review of the abilities of the staff as hair dressers. For our purposes the guild could go on a raid while the host reviews the team’s personal abilities and habits, as well as the synergy, or lack thereof, within the group. Communication skills/habits would also be something to look at. One thing that would be difficult to fit in would be where Tabatha is able to critique and speak with the staff during their work. In a raid, so much communication is taking place that it would be hard to speak with individuals through any method other than whisper. While whispers would certainly be disruptive, they might be the only way to speak one-on-one with raid members while allowing for raid-wide communication to continue undisrupted. It might be prudent for the host to select the specific raid to go on, likely something short (Obsidian Sanctum, Onyxia) and maybe something that the guild is admittedly having trouble with. Maybe the show ends with the guild successfully completing the raid after getting help etc.
On the next “day” of the show Tabatha usually has some self help or business promotion part of the show. This is where each episode really differs depending on the needs of the salon. If all the hair dressers are lousy, they go to a beauty academy, and the owner gets managerial advice. If the business needs to attract more customers, then they will do some kind of store promotion activity. Maybe for the guild they could all visit a target dummy and refine their DPS issues. Perhaps if the guild needs more members they can spice up the website or refine their recruitment strategies. Usually by the end of this segment the staff is feeling energized, motivated, and ready to do great work.
On the last “day” of the show, Tabatha has remodeled the interior of the store, which is always some obvious improvement. For the guild, perhaps they Gank (guild bank) changes have occurred, flasks and feasts are ready, maybe they have revised their amount of healers, or raid make-up. Either way, they have customers come in and they do their work some more. Tabatha almost always still has an issue with at least one staff member (their attitude, their skill, their strange customer service) and continues to attempt to advise them. The guild could go back to the failed raid, or do another short one, and the host could compliment the improvement and nit-pick the continued shortcomings.
In the conclusion, Tabatha makes her “final recommendations” where she says who should be watched closely or fired sometimes. She often chooses a lead hair dresser (class leaders?) and a store manager if the owner can’t manage for themselves. Maybe some raid members need to improve their skills/gear to continue, maybe there needs to be a new raid leader, and the GM can handle other aspects. In the end she gives back the key to the store and says “you never know when I might come back.”
It’s always 6 weeks later and surprise surprise, Tabatha comes back. She checks if the store is still following her advice and usually comments with regard to whether they are or not. Then she exits the store and makes one last remark about if they are doing well or what will still need to change. Credits roll. This part could definitely correspond to the TV show directly.
In the end it always seems to come down to the owner. If the owner doesn’t know how to be a hair dresser, the salon is usually in really bad shape. If the owner is a jerk, the salon is usually in bad shape. If there is no clear leadership, the salon is usually in bad shape. Even if a show like this for guilds never surfaces (I’m willing to host, do you hear me IGN/Gamespot/Gamer Limit !) I think that with all the parallels that exist between salon success and guild success it is quite clear that a failing guild likely has failing leadership. I think that it’s also clear that a guild with bad leadership that still pulls off some kind of success has really excellent members that should find work elsewhere.