I outta start off with the fact that I’ve had a Top Secret clearance. Required for my job in the military. So I know how to keep a secret. Secondly there’s just something about refs that make skaters feel comfortable sharing stuff.
It usually starts at an after party about a rules question or thanks for coming out to ref or something derby. Then life comes in, and then makes its way back to derby. But actually it comes to drama, or stuff that’s going on behind closed doors.
I’ll stop the person by asking if they saw or heard for themselves what they’re about to tell me. Most of the time they didn’t . So I politely ask them to not say anymore about it or I change the subject.
Sometimes they’re directly involved and just need to vent. So I listen and ask if they just needed to vent or if they want advice. Most of the time my advice is “hear the other person out” they might not have a clue that they offended you. I’m guilty of this quite often.
I have over 700 Facebook friends and I only seriously keep up with less than a dozen. Most of the time if its not in the first page of scrolling my timeline, I don’t know about. Recently I asked a skater about an event. I had no clue that she went or that it didn’t go as planned. Just that she’s affiliated with the event organizers. She gave me a weird look and answered my question. This happened in front of a handful of other skaters. After skater A left, skaters B through Z jumped on my case for being a jerk and asking her about the event “knowing” it didn’t go as expected.
And here I thought I was making polite conversation.
So the point is, don’t gossip. If you have an issue with someone, speak to that person. I didn’t say confront, attack or intervene. I said speak, chat, clear the air.
“Hey so-n-so, listen you got a minute? This happened and it hurt my feelings/made me mad/don’t think it’s right. Could you help me understand where you’re coming from?”
You might find out that what happened got twisted in how the gossip was spread or that the perception is different than what went down.
So treat others how you’d like to be treated.