donderdag 8 maart 2012

Gophers? Aren't those rodents?

All conventions have staff and crew. The staff are the people who worked all year round to make this event happen. The crew are volunteers, people that are hired to do catering, security or technical staff. Volunteers can be divided between two groups: Gophers and Stewards.

Gophers are volunteers that help out setting everything up. They lug around equipment, set up tables and chairs and help out with cleaning up messes. That you guys made... They do it because they enjoy doing it. But sometimes people are giving them a hard time. Clogging up corridors, getting in their way or keeping them from going about their business. In these situations, be considerate and let them do what they need to be doing. You wouldn't like it if someone kept you from doing the things you need to do, right?

Stewards help out with security. They keep people out of rooms they're not supposed to be, wrangle the queues and provide general support for gophers and staff. If they ask you not to do something, just don't. They are here for your safety and protection, not just for keeping you out of the staff's and gopher's hair. Listen to them if they ask you something, they have your well being in mind.

Why am I bringing that up? Simple. Each and everyone in these groups are human beings. They can get stressed, tired or cranky. This is, however, no excuse to vent this towards visitors. You now know what they are allowed to do, but you now also know what they aren't. If you see a steward or a staff-member power-tripping, walk up to another steward and report this. A staff-member will be alerted and will put this person in his or her place. In my entire career I only pulled rank twice, but in most cases I treat others as equals. You're here to have fun and it's the staff and crew's job to make sure you have.

In short: if you see anything that does not comply with the rules, or if you see anyone of the staff or the crew treat others the way they shouldn't, report this. It can then be dealt with. Reporting it well after the event is a bit useless, so do it right away!

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