How to Handle Complaints in the SCA
By Aelflaed of Duckford
First, summon unto yourself all the tact and courtesy you possess. Write to the person with whom you are unhappy. Keep a copy for file. Give the person sufficient time to respond. (Do not attempt to turn the general populace against the person while you're waiting.) If the person doesn't respond satisfactorily, go to Step Two.
Write to the person a second time. Make two copies. Send one to the person's immediate superior officer and keep one for yourself. (If the person is not an officer, you might send the copy to the local seneschal or marshal, perhaps, depending on the nature of the complaint.) Wait a while-at least two weeks. This nearly always will do the trick. If not, proceed to Step Three.
Write a third letter. This time address it to the person's superior officer. Send a copy to the person in question. If you feel the situation is serious enough, send a copy to the Baron or King, depending on the level at which the problem is occurring. (Don't send copies to both unless there's a very good reason to do so.)
What not to do-
Don't write a letter in anger and send out a dozen copies (or even five or six copies). That's mud-slinging, and quite improper for gentles.
Don't go over people's heads. Don't write directly to the King about a local problem which should be handled by local officers or the Baron or Baroness. Don't go directly to the King about a problem which should be handled by one of the kingdom-level officers.
Do not go to the board unless all other channels have been exhausted (see Corpora). This means that if you have at least gone through the steps listed here and your problem still cannot be resolved without outside help, you might send a copy of your next letter to a national officer (which ever is most likely to be able to help). When you deal with a national officer, send copies to those in the kingdom who have received copies of your previous letters.
If a letter (or copy) to the national officer brings no results, then you can feel that you've exhausted all channels and you can write to the board. Copies of that letter to the board should go to all those who have received correspondence so far, including the national officer to whom you appealed.
The summary is-
Don't be sneaky.