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Pro’s And Con’s To Working At Con’s!

25 Apr

A few weeks ago I worked at two back to back conventions with the first being Emerald City ComiCon (comic convention) and the following weekend SakuraCon (anime convention). Aside from me going crazy from lack of sleep and popping aspirin left and right from being sore from running my butt off, it was the best 2 weeks yet this year!

Emerald City ComiCon and Sakura Con

During my crazy geek filled weekends I was asked by a lot of people, con goers and fellow volunteers, why I wanted to work at cons instead of attend them. Having answered that question more times then I wanted to I thought it would be a good idea for my blog to have a pros and cons to working cons post. This way I can maybe help some of you that are on the fence about volunteering for the next con in your area.

Now these pro’s and con’s and are not just from Emerald City ComiCon and SakuraCon but from all the cons/festivals that I have worked at over the years and you can check out my Cons and Festivals Page to see some of them.

PRO:

Generally all conventions and festivals need volunteers so if you look hard enough for what happening in your town there is always something going on or going to be happening soon. This means that there is always something that you can be planning for and can attend. This is also a good way chance to get out in the community and try something new which is what drew me into working con/festivals in the first place!

CON:

Even though there are A LOT of events that look for volunteers some make it freakin impossible to find out HOW to volunteer. PAX is one of them. To volunteer for this event you either have to been there at the beginning, be asked to volunteer by someone that works for PAX or know someone that is a volunteer and can get you in. Some smaller con/festivals will not put volunteer forms out or post a link for who to contact so you have to go through the events info email and hope that someone gets back to you. I tried to volunteer last winter for a snowboard and ski expo and I am still waiting for someone to get back to me on it.

PRO:

Most con/festivals are spread out over 2-3 days with only a few being 1 day events. This offers a wide range of shift that you can choose from that fit into your schedule and allow you to also see the  con/festivals before or after shift. There are even a few that run 24hrs like SakuraCon where I was able to work the graveyard shift. This ment that when I got off work at 0030 Friday night/Saturday morning I went straight to the con and worked until 0800. I had the rest of the morning and afternoon to work in another department AND see the con before my shift sat night at 2400.

CON:

Some events schedules or schedule demands (meaning hours required to work to be considered staff like SkauraCon is 16hrs) are ridiculous to deal with. Also the simple fact that if you don’t sign up months in advance for some events you are left with crap shifts. A good example is the Seattle International Beer Festival. This event is in July but you have to sign up in jan/feb to get a decent shift. The event runs from late morning to late at night Friday to Sunday. Depending on the shift or shifts that you work it dictates how many beer tokens you get to drink after your shift. Well the only way to get the tokens is to get them once your shift is over. This means EVERYONE signs up for the morning and afternoon shifts so that they can spend the night drinking. If you don’t sign up soon enough all that is left is the night shift. This means no drinking after your shift because the event is over. Granted you could come back the next day but when you live over an hour away who wants to do that. Worse though is when the only shift left is the last shift on the last day of the event. No option to come back the next day. Consolation though is that if you get stuck with the crap shifts you get a gift certificate to a restaurant.

PRO:

A lot, but not all, con/festivals will offer you free admission into the event in exchange for hours worked!

CON:

There are the few that don’t offer free admission or admission at a discounted rate so you end up paying to work. Which will leave you kind of bitter if you spend all your time working instead of enjoying the con/festival that you ‘paid’ to be at.

PRO:

A lot of con/festivals will provide you with food, water, food vouchers if you are going to be working all day.

CON:

You have to work all day, some of the food provided sucks (Costco sandwiches that have sat out all day, non veggie options etc.), some of the food vouchers are more of a hassle then they are worth, staff rooms that provide the food are under lock and key so you have to hunt down someone with key each time you want to go in or the staff room is so far away that its not worth it to go. Another con is that some wont provide squat to you. So you have to hope that there is food close by and its not going to break the bank or that you even have the time to go. I usually ALWAYS pack snacks and a lunch on the off chance that this happens.

PRO:

All con/festivals that I have worked at give me an awesome staff or volunteer shirt. As dorky as it sounds like is a HUGE plus for me! Being the broke person that I am I hate spending $30+ dollars on a shirt for con/festivals that I have gone to and getting one for free that I know not everyone has (the ones marked as staff or volunteer usually are a special edition shirt) will draw me in to volunteer more than the swags bags sometime lol!

CON:

Some don’t have a shirt which is fine if its not in the budget. There are a few that should provide some sort of shirt though since it helps to emphasize who you are and what you are doing. Nothing better than being in charge of lets say  lines and telling people to get in line then having them mouth off to you until they realize that you work there. Would have been solved with a simple staff shirt… Some provide a shirt but its a one size fits all shirt which only fits about 2 people that are there. You work a later shift and all that’s left is xs or xxxxl.

PRO:

Speaking of swag bags, the bigger the con/festivals the better the volunteer swag bags are. Not a general rule but it just so happens to be that way with the con/festivals that I have worked it.

CON:

Not really a con here. Either they have them or they don’t. Its nice when they do though cause it a great little ‘thank you for working your butt off with no pay’ gift.

PRO:

Another proof of my dorkyness is the staff badges which I have taken to collecting. These last two con/festivals that I was at I had large staff badges that said my name (some volunteer levels you only are referred to as a number so having your name on a badge is big time lol), staff and had my department on it (media and publicity). These badges are like your backstage pass! You can go almost anywhere within reason and within your department’s realm without the bat of an eye from someone. Example, Emerald City Comicon I worked the green room under the media department. That meant I could be IN the green room with the media guest and only a VERY VERY small handful of volunteers were able to do that. Granted I was working 100% of the time but it was still cool to know that I was one of the select few lol. This also meant that I could take all the back halls to move around instead of pushing my way through people which cut down on time when I was trying to sprint to the hot water to make Wil Wheaton’s tea!

CON:

Some events don’t get that badges help and they don’t have any. Or my favorite is that it has no name, number or anything on it and it looks like the rest of the event badges. Even better yet is I worked at one were it was a ‘hello my name is’ sticker for the badge. Smh. This just leads to issues like the shirt thing that people don’t know you are working for the event and brush you off when you say something.

PRO:

On the topic of backstage… When you are volunteering you get to see everything that is going on! This means no pushing and shoving to get to the front of the line because you are the front of the line. You can help with making things happen and in some cases help save things from going wrong. Knowing that you are a part of something like that and your presence is helping to create the event and make it better makes the lack of sleep worth it!

CON:

You see EVERYTHING that happens backstage lol! This means the good, the bad and the ugly. It will sometimes change your view on people and groups when you see what REALLY happens behind the curtain. I had a band that I really liked but my opinion changed on them when I saw how they treated their staff and the volunteers. Not to mention the demands that they had. Good lord! They threw a fit because they didn’t have the right bottled water. BOTTLED FREAKIN WATER!!! Smh.

Ok so we have covered a few of my pro’s and con’s to working cons. There is a lot more to then just these but I don’t really feel like writing a 10 page essay on the topic. :c) Overall though I love working at cons and festivals and will continue with it. Hell I even have 3 events spread out over the next 2 months!

My Time Spent Watching Anime

via my personal anime list on MyAnimeList.net

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Nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award!!!

10 Apr

A little over a week ago something AWESOME happened! I was nominated by simpleek for the Versatile Blogger Award!!!

With me being clueless to this ‘other’ side of blogging I of course was like freakin awesome, but what is it? Mind you this is the same time people on My Anime List are talking about the Aniblog Tourney so my head is swimming with all this new info.

So yeah, here is a brief statement plus the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award from lambskinny.

The VBA is a way to tell a fellow blogger you appreciate their hard work and dedication to blogging. And to recognize quality writing! -Carley

The Rules:

  1. Thank the award giver and link back to their blog in your post. (Done and done!)
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Pass this award along to 15 blogs.
  4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

With number 1 done we are on to number 2! Seven things about myself…

  1. I hate talking about myself lol! Don’t get me wrong! I have PLENTY to say but can never say anything about me. :c)
  2. I LOVE working at con’s! I don’t mind just attending them but I way prefer to work at them. Crazy I know. I like working/volunteering though. Not to mention it looks good on resumes. ;c) I will actually be doing a couple of post about the last 2 back to back con’s that I worked these last 2 weekends.
  3. Very few people that I know/are friends with know I actually have a blog. When I say very few I mean 3. Not even my husband knows :c)
  4. I swear I have OCD when it comes to organizing things, my office, my kitchen… I have a fit if things are out of place and I own 2 label makers just to ensure that I can easily label everything. My house on the other hand is the complete opposite. Its basically organized chaos!
  5. I have been a geek my whole life but really only became an Otaku 5 years ago-ish.
  6. My family thinks I am half vampire since I really cannot function during daylight hours. I have been known to even get sick if I am up too early. I have been a night person since pre-teen (which drove my parents nutz of course) and have worked graveyard and swing shift since I was 17 so for about 11+ years!
  7. I hate to wear dresses, skirts, anything frilly, pink, girly… Give me a good pair of jeans, chucks (heels if going out) and an awesome top and I’m good to go! Even though I don’t wear the girly stuff I live for makeup and hair! I will not walk out of the house unless both is done! Even to go to the store lol.

Now I know we are supposed to do 15 nominations but I don’t exactly have 15 blogs that I follow… Here are the ones that I am nominating though.

    1. TWWK-Beneath the Tangles
    2. The Blacksheep Project
    3. That Anime Blog
    4. Tofugu
    5. J-List Side Blog
    6. Shojo Corner
    7. Organization Anti-Social Geniuses
    8. hellohelloanime
    9. Anime Yume
    10. Anime Raku
Again thanks to simpleek for the nomination! :c)

Count Down To New Years W Anime (#1)!!!

31 Dec

Happy New Year! I figured that I would pick my favorite episode for the final Count Down To New Years W Anime! I hope that everyone is having a fun, safe and happy new year tonight!!! Also I want to thank everyone to getting me at my goal for the end of the year with over 1000 hits! THANK YOU!

 

Happy New Year

Anime New Years

Remember, do not drink and drive please!… If you need a ride home call a taxi, tow truck or anyone. :c)

Make it home safe!

#1:

Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket New Years

Eps 9  “A Solitary New Year”

Air Date: August 30, 2001

Episode: 24min

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance

My Rating: ***** (5:5 stars)

Its the last day of the year and everyone is doing the annual new years cleaning at the house. Kyo and Yuki are fighting like usual and the girls are also over to the house to help. Once again Shigure is under the gun from his editor to comeplte his latest book that is due by new years. While he is trying to avoid his editor, he ends up breaking the screen door. Again! Meanwhile during the craziness and fixing the screen, Tohru is planning the new years dinner of traditional soba noodles and new years cake. Arisa reminds her that she might want to get to the store to buy what she needs before its too late. Yuki ends up going with her and breaking the news that they wont be home for new years. :c( Instead they will be at the head house since its a family tradition that all family members gather at new years to celebrate.

Tohru hides her disappointment that the boys not being home on the way back from the store. Once they arrive home Shigure is doing everything he can to avoid writing while at the same time pissing his agent off to no ends! Also Saki, who has some strange obsession with cleaning the bathrooms, has left them ummmm… girli-fied shall we say. This of course makes the boys choose to hold it instead of going to the bathroom with all the roses and black lace that she left behind.

Saki finds out that the boys wont be  home for new years leaving Tohru home alone. Later, when Shigure trys to get the boys ready to leave for the main house, neither want to go for some reason or another. He ends up trying to get Tohru’s help by explaining the meaning of new years at the main house including the zodiac banquet. Yuki ends up explaining despite his personal reservation against his family, he doesnt want to leave Tohru alone and it only dawns on Kyo then that they would be leaving her alone for the new year. Tohru realizes the importance of the night to the Soma family and encourages them to go. On the way to the head house Saki runs into the boys and trys to guilt them into going back and staying with Tohru. She was able to succeed and the boys race off to make sure that Tohru was ok. When they arrive home they see that Tohru had been crying and realize that they had made the right decision in returning. Shigure ends up having to explain to Akito that the boys will not be present for new years. This does not please Akito at all. Back at the house Tohru, Kyo and Yuki are on top the house ready to make their new years wish with the first rays of light from the rising sun of the new year.

I swear this episode always brings a tear to my eye!

My Time Spent Watching Anime

via my personal anime list on MyAnimeList.net

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