I'm not a vastly experienced raider - a fair chunk of Kara, some ZA and one trip to Gruuls is my BC experience - and I'm not fond of leading raids; I'll organize them and serve as loot master, but generally I don't serve as the leader. Last night I did on a ZA run (though as usual the tanks did the marking and organized the pulls) and for a while it went swimmingly. We beat the eagle and bear bosses to a bloody pulp and moved onto the dragonhawk.
Mid-way through that encounter our druid healer suffered a PC failure and we wiped (twice as it happened, as we made another valiant but doomed attempt to 9-man it and kill him within the timer). Ressing and rebuffing, we regrouped at the Eagle boss platform to see what the situation was with out erstwhile colleague, hoping to get him back so we could sort the loot (we'd completed two timed encounters) before progressing. My efforts on the phone failed (I suspect I have an old mobile number) and after 20-odd minutes (and news via another member of the raid regarding the computer failure) I decided we had to swap people around (one of the DPS swapping for one of their healer characters, and a new person into the empty slot) which meant sorting the loot. We promptly did that and set about rejigging the people.
Then our original disconnectee managed to get back in using his laptop, which I should've anticipated.
He was understandably peeved, particularly as one of the loot items had been a leather item he could've used and which'd been assigned to a pally healer as a last resort. To my mind the Loot issue is secondary - it may be resolvable via a GM appeal - but what is at stake is the ability to make good judgement calls and to maintain the trust of the players. I can fully understand why my friend was agrieved, but to my mind it was a choice between siting still for a long period on the off chance he was able to recover, or trying to move on. I opted for the latter, but can't help wondering if I could've been more patient, waiting another 10-15 minutes and resolving the matter without upsetting anyone.
In short, I made a really bad call and upset a friend (as well as messing others about as we had to keep swapping people around) which is going to haunt me for a while.