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I am currently applying for staff in a Minecraft server. I have been doing well and some current staff members are vouching for me. But today, while I was helping a confused player about the ownership of plots, I accidentally told him to do a command which I thought would only remove him from a plot, but the result was that the whole plot was cleared, i.e. all his possessions are lost. Gone forever. The command was never supposed to act in such a strange way.

It is impossible for him to get back his items, since the rules are very clear that there will be no refunds or rollbacks for someone to reclaim his possessions. At that point, I realised that I made a huge mistake, and I felt that I have failed to show that I am capable of being a staff.

The application is there, and more staffs will continue to review it until a decision is made -- whether I can become a staff or not. Players still have trust in me, and they believe that everyone make mistakes and I should not blame myself for this accidence, since the command was never supposed to act in such as strange way. But I cannot forgive myself since I made the player lose literally everything. I feel ashamed, and especially so if my staff application is accepted.

This may be a very small matter for you all, but I am feeling guilty for what I have done. And I do not feel comfortable if I get staff.

Should I ask a leadership team staff to remove the application for me, or should I continue to apply for staff?

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    I do not have anything to add regarding the question itself, but I don't think that issuing a single command with no confirmation should allow players to perform such potentially devastating actions - it's a severe UX failure, imho. A clear warning with clickable confirmation in the chat would seem reasonable. – Sebi Sep 22 '15 at 18:53
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    What was the root cause? Was it your failure to understand the command? Or was it something with that user that caused it to interact differently? Also, is knowledge of those commands something you need to be an adequate staff member? What are the responsibilities of such a staff member? – corsiKa Sep 22 '15 at 20:34
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    Basically, the command behavior changed, even though the command name is literally the same. And I am not aware of these changes so I told him to do that command which I thought would've done the job. – 54D Sep 22 '15 at 22:37
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    Yes, I did make a bug report about it. And I am not aware of the change because it was never supposed to do so. The last time I did the command it didn't clear the whole plot, that's why I told him to do it. – 54D Sep 23 '15 at 2:40
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    @ArceusMaster0493 edit your comment answers into the question because since the command was never supposed to act in such as strange way is unclear there. – user732 Sep 28 '15 at 6:55
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I'd let others be the judge of whether your mistake is "too big" or not. So I'd recommend continuing with your application. It's up to the people hiring to take everything into consideration and make the decision to hire you (or not) based on that.

One aspect of being a moderator/admin for an online community is knowing when to hold up your hands and say:

I dun goofed.

People will have more respect for you if you do that as soon as the problem has occurred rather than trying to sweep it under the metaphorical carpet and in the process making the problem worse. By airing problems immediately it's much easier to sort things out and move on. No one expects you to be perfect all of the time.

The fact that you are big enough to admit it was your fault that the user lost all their possessions (even if it was due to a bug) could actually make you more suitable to be on the staff rather than not.

As for the specific issue - the fact that it was an apparent bug that caused the player to lose all their possessions would, to me, indicate that there is a loophole (if you will) in the "no refunds or rollbacks" rule that could be exploited to return at least some of their possessions.

  • So it is best for me to continue to apply for staff? Some people have already challenges me due to this accident. – 54D Sep 22 '15 at 12:58
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    @ArceusMaster0493 yes, continue with your application. It's up to the people hiring to take everything into consideration, – ChrisF Sep 22 '15 at 13:00
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    This goes well beyond being a moderator/admin for an online community. Pretty much any job in the world, you will be better at it. Also, "I screwed up" is good, but "I screwed up. This is what I did wrong, and this is how I'll do it in the future" is even better. – Kevin Sep 23 '15 at 12:09
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What have you done about the mistake? Have you talked to anyone about the command? If it was a problem with the command itself, you need to report the bug. If it was an issue with your understanding of the command, does the documentation need to be changed? Would it help if the command had a big confirmation "Doing this will delete all your possessions. Are you sure?" Even if you don't have the power to make changes, can you submit a report and request some improvement?

We all make mistakes, owning up to it is good, trying to prevent it happening to someone else in future is better. Whether you have the power to change anything or not at the moment, making an attempt (even if it is just sending an email that you think will be ignored) will both help you feel less guilty and show if you should be staff who will care about the players and make an effort on their behalf to improve things.

  • +1 As a community member, I recognize that even moderators can make a mistake. What's important to me is that they recognize it was their mistake and do something to try to mitigate it, even if it's "I'll write this up so no-one makes the same mistake in the future". That's a good moderator. A bad moderator makes excuses as to why it's not their fault, then basically says "sucks to be you" and signs off. – ColleenV parted ways Sep 24 '15 at 17:56
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I have learned through other forms of management and high level positions that mistakes are what managers are for. Mitigating and managing them and enabling people to work around them. Use this as an opportunity to show you can navigate those murky waters.

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I think this is a very simple issue. You have stated that you will not feel comfortable if your application is successful. If that is the case, you should simply retract your application.

Maybe at some point in the future, when you feel ready, you can reapply. There is no shame in saying you've changed your mind about applying for right now.

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