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Things I learned volunteering for #Westercon

Taking a short break from the Starship Penguin posts…

Normally I’ve been on staff in recent years at conventions. Running -something- and usually it being publications and/or Green Room/ Staff Lounge sorts of things.

This past weekend, I was a mere volunteer. By “mere” I mean doing the jobs most people take for granted. Much like my years of being in retail. Lots of running around, having little control over shit that happens around you, etc…

So, we were understaffed in the volunteer department. This, sadly, is fairly normal. I spent many hours sitting at the Weapons Check post (weapons free convention) and being one of the go-to person for many different things. Mostly covering the doors or posts that needed to be covered.

I learned a few things:

  1. Eat. No, drink caffeine first.
  2. Then eat.
  3. Yes, one person can eat half a three gallon tub of strawberry ice cream. Not me, but I witnessed it.
  4. Dick jokes, along with other innuendos and double-entendres, are de rigeur among staff and volunteers.
  5. Avoid any oatmeal you did not fix yourself. Trust me on this one. I’m still recovering.
  6. You can sleep damn near anywhere when tired enough. What other volunteers may do to you while you’re sleeping is one reason to not just fall asleep anywhere.
  7. Plan in advance any panels you want to see (I already knew this from staffing, but as a volunteer you have to request that time away from volunteering).
  8. Do get some sleep.
  9. Don’t forget where you set your drink down.
  10. Don’t forget to eat.
  11. Just avoid the oatmeal in hospitality. Really.
  12. Finally, ask yourself one thing: What would you do TO a Klondike Bar?

I’m sure more will come to me.




Creative Geek Of All Trades. Do you really need me to explain that one?