January 6th, 2006

Ohayocon

A few weeks ago, thenarus rather unexpectedly asked me if I would be able to/would be interested in filling an open spot in the guest relations staff for Ohayocon. I've been to three such conventions now, but I'm really not a huge anime fan per se. I have enjoyed the little anime I've seen, but in general I have not sought out watching it. But is not a requirement to work at a convention, and it was explained to me may actually be a benefit as I may be less distracted by the omnipresent theme of the environment.

So the request was unexpected, but actual rather flattering in the fact that he would ask me based on a judgement of my ability to perform a task and the friendship we share rather than a fandom for the subject matter. He also advised me of the different social nature of working at a con vs. simply attending one. Frankly, the social aspect of the cons is probably the predominant reason I choose to attend, so a variation on that theme was quite appealing.

I left work last night and went to pickup atomx who would be riding with me to the event. We met Lissa and yourcarsucks at Moe's Southwest Grill to grab a bite to eat before we left. It gave me a good chance to see Lissa before I left without taking a detour home to Noblesville, and I had been wanting to try Moe's anyway (BTW, I enjoyed it).

The drive out to Columbus was quite entertaining as Brad and I talked the entire way about various subjects including a very lengthy discussion about the philosophy behind alcohol consumption. We arrived at the con hotel around 10 pm and met up with Jon and monban who got us squared away with our room. We then made our way down to a staff meeting that had just gotten underway, but were called away to pickup some of guests from the airport. From what I've heard, we likely had more fun and got more accomplished on that mission than we would have sitting in the meeting. I do feel a little bit lost, but I get the impression that guest relations involves a lot of hustle, bustle, and adaptation, so it was probably a good excercise to acclimate me to likely impending organized chaos.

Ohayocon (cont'd)

I thought I was going to have a chance to finish my thoughts in the last entry, but here I am over 12 hours later and that never happened.

I was definitely spot on about the adaptability and the controlled chaos. It has definitely been a whirlwind day. Everything hasn't gone 100% smoothly, but we're all figuring out ways to make things work and do what we can with the cards we're dealt.

I think I can probably make the drive from the convention center to the airport and back again in my sleep now. In addition to a trip over there last night and a non-con-related trip to pickup ilikea, I think I've been to the airport to pickup con guests two or three other times. In fact, the SRT-4 is seeing quite a bit of service between the airport pickups and I just got back from a huge shopping trip. Four of us went and bought enough groceries and supplies to completely fill the trunk, side-to-side and top-to-bottom. The most amazing (and large) part was a huge amount of groceries and sundries from Wal-Mart that completely filled a cart and cost < $200! yuritdo and I must be grocery professionals.

Other than that, I've been on several errands for various things and to deliver various people to various rooms at various times. It has been a varied experience. :P It ahs been great to meet and interact with fellow staffers and guests. It's a whole new level of the types of social experiences that really attract me to a con in the first place. I definitely have to agree with thenarus that the behind-the-scenes of a con is a uniquely different and positive experience. It has certainly changed a lot of my perspective about these events: my thoughts on guests, staff, and attendees. I'm really glad I got the opportunity to take part, and it's nice to feel like I have a purpose and be able to contribute.

But for now, back to work...