View Full Version : From a BAAF Volunteer

09-01-2003, 09:11 PM
My name is Jane, and I was the seventh floor volunteer manager for a good part of the festival. It has come to my attention that a lot of you guys are complaining big time about the staff. I cannot speak for the rest of the staff, but I can tell you guys what was going on with my floor to give you a better perspective of OUR point of view.

You guys have a lot to say about how rude the staff was.. but you don't take into consideration that you guys love breaking rules sometimes. A good part of you, didn't bother looking into your bags for the information you would have found if you did. The schedules were in there along with your free stuff. The other thing was a lot of you were eating and drinking, and getting that junk on the carpets.. drawing, playing cards on the floor.. and people couldn't move around. A lot of attendees were REALLY rude to us, just for speaking to them. For example, one of my volunteers was told to tell everyone that the videogame room was closed. Not only did we put a sign, we put barriers.. only to find five minutes later, a small crowd running under the barriers like we're some sort of idiot and wouldn't see this or do something about it. People also wandered into the volunteer lounge to try to take stuff from the lounge, and people were caught STEALING form the dealer rooms on the fifth floor.

My staff and I were as nice as possible to people because I made sure of it, and I know some of the other managers did the same with their floors. The Mariott hotel DID NOT, and this was repeated on the walkie talkies MANY times.. we were not allowed to let you guys lounge around. The reason for this is because the hotel is not big, and it's easy to block the flow of attendees if you just stand somewhere. The volunteer managers had a limited orientation, and most of the volunteers didn't have any preparation for what was going on besides a manual which is brief and doesn't explain everything.

For example.. I was just given a map, and a walkie talkie and had to wing it. I gave some people a chance, but my boss got upset with me and I had to reinforce rules. Some of the rooms were closed at times, because there were too many people. Too many people presents a fire hazard. It was hard to keep cool at times with some of the smartass replies that were given.

Not only that, but with the cosplay that you guys complain you were harassed for.. there is a reason for all the alerts. Apparently, some people weren't notified last year and missed the cosplay competition. Now mind you, it is our job to try to make your experience a pleasant one.. therefore, we had to notify you. We are not psychic. If you appear on my floor.. I am not aware that you were asked by other people about the competition, therefore.. it is my job to ask you.

I think you guys are being a bit unfair about the staff. I suppose some of us may have been rude, from the pressure and stress of being overworked with few to no breaks, working more shifts than we were supposed to because this year's festival was understaffed. You complain so much, but would it be worse to have the staff maintain order, or to not have a festival at all? I think you want to have your festival.

I'm not trying to be a "meanie," I didn't push or be rude to people.. simply told them to keep the flow going, there were other things to enjoy. If someone was waiting for someone, or taking pictures.. I either said nothing, or let them be. When I saw people give me stupid attitude stares for answers, that's when I got mad and politely made SURE they'd get the heck out of their LOUNGING area.

I'm sure that something can be done about this. I'm going to make sure that I try to bring this to light and get better preparation for volunteers next year, but that isn't our job.. it's the job of Central Park Media. Sorry this is long-winded.. I just can't stand to see you all badmouth all of us.. when some of us stood around doing our job for more than 6 hours at a time, for YOUR pleasure, not ours.. because with such long shifts, I for example, didn't even get to enjoy the festival, and others didn't get to eat or rest.. I saw people lose their voices, keeping YOU under control, because YOU attendees can get so excited that your brains turn to mush and you see us as badguys, and crowd and push.. instead of being orderly. I understand everyone wants to have fun, and that's why we're there busting our butts. Thanks for reading.