You know, I am perfectly capable of at least trying to work with other people, even those who diametrically disagree with me on a lot of things. Am I always successful? Hardly. As a mater of fact, I'm willing to bet that I probably annoy or offend more people that I probably should, especially in the role of a herald.
I don't mean to sound crass about it, but there is a healthy measure of "oh well" involved with that type of conflict. When I can, I try and reach some middle ground, and probably just as often as not, no middle ground is reached and I just wind up grinding my teeth for as long as I am working with them.
But then... sigh
Then there are people who herald with me who have absolutely no respect for the art, and their attitude just chafes me the wrong way, six-ways-till-Sunday.
As a voice herald, a lot of people depend on you to get them the information you are saying. In list heraldry, that includes, but is no way limited to giving the fighters their pairings.
But what a lot of people don't realize is that there are a lot of other people, who aren't in armor, who want to hear, or need to heat that information as well.People like sitting nobility or royalty, spouses, friends and children. A List herald has to make sure they try and be loud enough that all of those people can hear too. Sometimes they can't but the effort is usually appreciated.
I have tried for as long as I can remember to accommodate those demands on the list field. Like giving fighters time to come up so they can hear me clearly. Or making sure to pronounce the names clearly and properly, or at least trying to, anyway.
When I do the salutes, I take special care to give each salute as much dignity as I can. If the fighter opts to make a joke out of it, that is their right, and often times the salutes can be very dignified and humerus at the same time. But I have never let myself give a half-ass, half-mumbled charge of "yeah, salute whoever" or anything of that ilk. I have seen men take a knee and pray to a deity that is very real to them. I have seen fighters salute the sky, and explain a moment later that a loved one is over seas in a combat zone, and that the fight is dedicated to them. Salutes are so very personal, as a herald, I make sure to never undercut the dignity or honor of what someone might do after I charge them "Salute the one who's favor you bare."
Trust me, I expect best effort from the people I work with, but I have by no means forgotten what it was like when I first started playing. I don't chastise for human error, and I don't reprimand for mispronouncing a name. If you give it your honest best, I'll back you up all the way.
So, you can probably just imagine my internal reaction when I wind up heralding next to someone who just don't give a flying flip about some, or all, of the above. They go through the motions, fill the roll, and then sit down, looking for all the world like an unwilling high school freshman who got drafted into a bit part in the summer play.
Yeah, it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that I've run into one or two of those in the past little bit.
Ive already had some people ask me why I am so worked up over it.
Well, I am and I'm not.
I'm not walking around steaming over it. Its a headache, and an embarrassment when its happening, but I get to walk away, take a deep breath, and then move on.
But still... Every time I see it, I just have trouble shaking the feeling that we (heralds in general) just blew another opportunity to help make the dream that much more real for someone. I don't expect everyone to share my passion for heraldry, even voice heraldry. But Heraldry is about a lot more than just being loud, and when people forget that, I feel like they are disrespecting a lot of other things too, and a lot of other people.
The good news if that my next event is protectorate, and half the Barony are solid, hard working voice heralds. Say what you will about Namron, but I can't recall the last time I was disapointed by one of theirs. And Protectorate will be an awesome event, evn at its 'worst" it has never failed to make the trip worth it for me.
Okay... I got that out of my system.
Thanks for listening.
Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"
"Non unus step tergum"