Staff meeting #3

Total spams received in absence: 163.

Two hours into the drive home. Silence. After so few hours in the car, have we managed to say everything there is to say?

Three dragon*con staff meetings down, none to go. Last night, everyone marveled that dragon*con was already upon us, a sentiment made even more absurd by the frequent follow-up: "It's been so long since I've seen you!"

The battle lines at 'con are always so simple at the third and penultimate meeting. Us against them. 'They' are the attendees, other staffers, and guests - anyone who doesn't know who we are, what we do, or manages to keep us from doing what needs doing at that particular moment.

I've come to realize that I will probably always have a feeling of inferiority about my job at 'con. I am part of tech staff, but I am not a stage rat, an a/v girl, a connector of wires, Centennial muscle, or even a gofer.

I am domesticat, feeder of straggling souls bereft of blood sugar.

In tech staff culture, technical competency is king. Even the worst of personality quirks are tolerated in someone who knows how to do a certain job better than anyone else. All too often, it's easy to allow that mentality to wash over me, to think that someone like me, whose job grows no geekier than nutrition, hydration, and the general care & feeding of geeks, is just as necessary.

Miles to Paint Rock, Alabama: 16.
Miles to Huntsville, Alabama: 37.

I am scrawling in my little green notebook, where my lists and plans go, and only just now have I realized that I'm not obsessing over my lists of names and notes anymore. Perhaps it's because I'm not churning out food for a vast group of faceless strangers. It's Grant, at the main soundboard, who needs the sunflower seeds; Sarah, runner and daytime soundboarder, needing plain bagels, Prego, and goldfish crackers. Or the daily hunt for Thomas, to push regular non-sugary feedings on him to keep his blood sugar from crashing.

This year will be more of a challenge. This year's roster includes three diabetics, several hypoglycemics, one chemo patient, and about forty other people who just continually forget to eat. My weapons will be one tiny microwave, one tiny fridge (total size: three cubic feet), someone's Sam's Club card, several hundred paper and plastic bags, and not-quite-daily food runs.

Maybe I realized I was on to something when I was introduced to an unknown staffer as "Amy, our guardian angel." Oh, did my ego ever preen itself mightily at that. True necessity may be the mother of most inventions—as well as a few raging cases of egoism.

Yesterday, at the meeting, I remembered why I like the job I've been given. I don't get the raw geeky glory of stage-ratting Centennial, but my job at 'con is to wander from person to person, straightening here, fixing there. Lunch. Gatorade. Back and scalp massages in between.

On the radio: John Mayer's "83."
Stephen: "What year of school would he have been in then? He would've been six."
Jeff: "Depends on how six you are."

We've heard rumors that GWAR may be one of the headliner bands this year. Everyone else talks about GWAR goo. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to feed all the stagehands that night.

Stephen is driving again. I am luxuriating in the economical simplicity of nonprescription sunglasses from the back seat. My legs are two days off from a shave and my knitting is untouched. The sunlight streaming down on the back of my neck (recently manipulated as part of a lovely in-meeting massage by Andrew-the-blond) is insiduously whispering to me that I should consider executing a back flip into a catnap.

As you cross the Paint Rock River, one of the last remaining hills before Huntsville appears before you. You slip around on its right, past the Paint Rock locals having a Sunday brunch under the shade of their patio furniture. I find myself wondering if my eyes can be seen behind my sunglasses.

Not that it matters. Behind the lenses, my eyes have closed, and my pen, for now, is still.

(cue sunshine.)
(cue backflip.)


Tsk, tsk, Amy. Yar, close your acronym tags! :D

163 spams? - what I wouldn't give to receive only that many during an absence of even one day (I typically get 250-300 just while I'm asleep - I had several thousand to go through the last time I was away from my computer a whole week).

Tag closed. I'm a dork. We all know it. Pretend not to notice. Noah - yeah, I'm kinda lucky in that regard, but mostly because my domesticat [at] address served as my spamaddress for a few years. It gets flooded almost to that level now. Ow.

Amy, I don't think you quite have a grasp on excatly how much of a miracle worker you are on staff. Prior to your arrival we not only went days without sleep but also days without eating. Back then if any of us ate ANYTHING daily, we were doing good. You're the one who keeps the more technically-adept CAPABLE OF BEING technically-adept. And we all love you for it! Suzan still groggy Monday a.m.

I know I would have died at least twice without there feeding me and making sure that I was hydrated. We all know that I like to push the limits and you keep me just inside the protective line of sanity. Youze da bestest.

Heck, my first year at con I survived on the balance bars (ICK), scatterings of water and not much else. Of course I think I only got about 10 hours of sleep the entire weekend. Amy IS the best :) If not the the folks who organize everything, it'd be the chaos it was my first year (98 for anyone keeping count) and let me say - THAT sucked! Harris is organized, Centennial is organized, we have shifts, we have charts & supplies, pie, food and a place to sleep. Every year is better (and of course this is the Year of James so all will be good )

hell-o, at least you have an important job! i just lay about and look fashionable (or, by the end of Con, utterly forgettable, when i'm down to my really J.V. outfits). my first year at Con, i didn't really know about any food to be had, and as a result i had about 6 Surges from the lobby shop each day, and nothing else! (well, there was the hotel minibar, but that's another story heheheh). on the "tech" side of things, my 82-year old Nana probably has more technical proficiency than i do. last year, my sole contribution to Con was handing Grant CDs during the Masquerade. so believe you me, i know how you feel!! :)