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Issues from the past... and ideas for the future!

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Hi,

As was remarked in another post someone asked to hear about bad experiences. I know that Bruce, Karl and I want to hear about those too. This is not a slam at the people who have run the Gofer Team in the past.

What it is is a look at things that have happened and need to be improved. I'm also interested in your thoughts for things that might be done.

Caveat - I'm not saying that we'll automatically make changes suggested here. I can give you a clear idea of why we've done some things in the past, and if I can't, I will ask to find out what they were. But having worked with Gofer Ops in the past, I do have an idea of why we set up the rules and procedures that we did.

As well, if you ask about other policies and procedures (outside of Gofer Ops) we can give you a clear idea of why we do things in other departments as well.

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With all the things departments need to do, the last thing that they should need to worry about is: where they have gofers and what they're doing, and when they leave, and when do more come, and ... and ... and ...

I'm sure myself and others have been left on a door to watch it, and then no one comes to relieve you. Basically if there were a way to get departments their gofer schedules (example: 402 arrives at 1 and is here until 5, 592 comes at 3 and is here until 7, 504 starts at 5 and works until 9 ...) then I think we would be able to avoid that, which I experienced in the past.

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With all the things departments need to do, the last thing that they should need to worry about is: where they have gofers and what they're doing, and when they leave, and when do more come, and ... and ... and ...

I'm sure myself and others have been left on a door to watch it, and then no one comes to relieve you. Basically if there were a way to get departments their gofer schedules (example: 402 arrives at 1 and is here until 5, 592 comes at 3 and is here until 7, 504 starts at 5 and works until 9 ...) then I think we would be able to avoid that, which I experienced in the past.

That's a great point, in my experience, too. I only remember once or twice being left at a door without relief, and having the department keep track of which gophers should be there would help a lot, both making sure no one's left behind but also making sure that everyone shows up when--and where--they're supposed to.

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The only bad experience I have had as a Gofer is not knowing where I am going or what I am supposed to do when there. I remember being put at a door once without instructions whether it was an exit or entrance or neither. I also know not being prepped as to what I am going to be helping with was annoying at times cause sometimes I was sent to run videos while others I was the replacement but I never knew until I was either there or there for a while.

Besides that I loved Gofering...aka why I stayed lol.

PS: I am really bad at reading building maps too so just saying to carry around a map was not helpful to me at the time lol.

<3

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I was assigned to SpecOps either directly or via gofer pool. Anyway, part of the assignment from SpecOps had me spending most my time at an entrance. When I was relieved, I returned to GoferOps, and spent an hour or so waiting for another assignment, and went on a meal break. Returned to find SpecOps specifically looking for me because they thought I had been kidnapped or something along those lines. The lesson I learned and wish I had known beforehand: check out with both the department you're helping, and then return to gofer ops.

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well you asked for bad experience well here is mine;

I gofer'd way back the year I forget but while I did a lot of hours I NEVER got my reimbursement that was promised to me that year if I worked the required hour which I did work. Again can't remember the year, it might have been 2002, 2003 or even 2004.

How to fix this issue for the future, no clue..

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Is there a guide with general information that Gofers need to know? There should be a guide if there isn't. I'm willing to chip in writing it anytime before the convention.

Should the gofers also get a walking tour of the BCC as part of orientation? I know that I was a little lost until I learned the BCC. It took until about my third year to really know my way around, but I could read the map, so I'm sure it was less troublesome than trying to get around and not being able to.

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Is there a guide with general information that Gofers need to know? There should be a guide if there isn't. I'm willing to chip in writing it anytime before the convention.

Should the gofers also get a walking tour of the BCC as part of orientation? I know that I was a little lost until I learned the BCC. It took until about my third year to really know my way around, but I could read the map, so I'm sure it was less troublesome than trying to get around and not being able to.

There is a Gofer FAQ. There is also a Basic Info. It's listed under "Volunteer at Otakon" so you may not have seen it?

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well you asked for bad experience well here is mine;

I gofer'd way back the year I forget but while I did a lot of hours I NEVER got my reimbursement that was promised to me that year if I worked the required hour which I did work. Again can't remember the year, it might have been 2002, 2003 or even 2004.

How to fix this issue for the future, no clue..

Please PM me with your full name, email, gofer #, and any other information you can think of that may help.

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Should the gofers also get a walking tour of the BCC as part of orientation? I know that I was a little lost until I learned the BCC. It took until about my third year to really know my way around, but I could read the map, so I'm sure it was less troublesome than trying to get around and not being able to.
Hm...that might actually be a good idea.

I pretty much know the whole layout of the BCC by now but I always feel like they move something every year. So on the fly/if someone asks me real quick it may still take me a moment of "huh?"

I also remembered one year I was sent to some video equipment room or other for some reason....and the room was totally not labeled because regular con-goers shouldn't be anywhere near there (and of course it's not in the program book).....but I still think it should've had some sort of tape+paper sign on the door at least...

Because I recall wandering around the same hallway a few times in confusion...

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Way, way WAY back in the day (2001, 2002, and 2003, basically the years I was a gofer then a TCG, then a member of Gofer Ops staff for one year), they had guided tours of the BCC for gofers so they would have an idea of where to go after Thursday orientation. I had no idea they did away with that, but it was nice way to try to familiarize gofers with the BCC.

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I like the idea of a guided tour. But then I spend a good deal of time walking about the BCC anyway.

Be aware that The Otaklaus, Karl and I will be doing that - walking about the BCC checking on things. You can then give us an idea of problems as they are occuring, and we'll be able to get feedback from department heads At Con.

Not constantly, of course. But enough to be available. That's one reason there are three of us, so that one can be available to move about.

I'm sadly afraid that we can't do much about your reimbursement from 2003 or earlier. We do try to keep corporate memory going, but it's not always easy. If you would please send me a private message with your name (real name), gofer number, and the issue, I will look into it.

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Way, way WAY back in the day (2001, 2002, and 2003, basically the years I was a gofer then a TCG, then a member of Gofer Ops staff for one year), they had guided tours of the BCC for gofers so they would have an idea of where to go after Thursday orientation. I had no idea they did away with that, but it was nice way to try to familiarize gofers with the BCC.

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Is there a guide with general information that Gofers need to know? There should be a guide if there isn't. I'm willing to chip in writing it anytime before the convention.

There is a Gofer FAQ. There is also a Basic Info. It's listed under "Volunteer at Otakon" so you may not have seen it?

Honestly, I was thinking something a bit more thorough. Essentially, a real guide to what needs to be done, and a basic idea of how to do it.

Something along the lines of:

'
Department
X
: Department
X
is responsible for making sure
blah
happens and that all
blah
runs smoothly. In Department
X
Gofers will
do such and such
. Other responsibilities may include
this and that
. For gofers doing
such and such
,
stuff
will be provided to assist in
doing things
.' etc.

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Is there a guide with general information that Gofers need to know? There should be a guide if there isn't. I'm willing to chip in writing it anytime before the convention.

There is a Gofer FAQ. There is also a Basic Info. It's listed under "Volunteer at Otakon" so you may not have seen it?

Honestly, I was thinking something a bit more thorough. Essentially, a real guide to what needs to be done, and a basic idea of how to do it.

Something along the lines of:

'
Department
X
: Department
X
is responsible for making sure
blah
happens and that all
blah
runs smoothly. In Department
X
Gofers will
do such and such
. Other responsibilities may include
this and that
. For gofers doing
such and such
,
stuff
will be provided to assist in
doing things
.' etc.

Well, we'd be able to do that. Between the three of us, we've worked pretty much everywhere.

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If you do, I'm coming by to pilfer one. ;)

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This one time .... I wanted a gofer, and I didn't get any. ;_;

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Did departments around the con steal all your staffers? I believe that if you want Gofers you're supposed to request them ahead of time. :D

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Did departments around the con steal all your staffers? I believe that if you want Gofers you're supposed to request them ahead of time. :ph34r:

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Did departments around the con steal all your staffers? I believe that if you want Gofers you're supposed to request them ahead of time. :ph34r:

I was being more of a smartass really, but MOST of my staff go to reg! Pfft. Bloody registration department and their need to register people....

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Did departments around the con steal all your staffers? I believe that if you want Gofers you're supposed to request them ahead of time. :ph34r:
I was being more of a smartass really, but MOST of my staff go to reg! Pfft. Bloody registration department and their need to register people....

That's us. :ph34r: To be fair, we request and use tons of gofers too. That reminds me that I want to get a breakdown of our requested gofers from as far back as possible sometime before the con.

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Did departments around the con steal all your staffers? I believe that if you want Gofers you're supposed to request them ahead of time. :ph34r:
I was being more of a smartass really, but MOST of my staff go to reg! Pfft. Bloody registration department and their need to register people....

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Did departments around the con steal all your staffers? I believe that if you want Gofers you're supposed to request them ahead of time. :rolleyes:

YES.

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My favorite thing last year was the scavenger hunt so we could work. Then have fun with the hunt.

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The only issue I ever had as a Gofer/TCG was not being fed. The best times were the first couple of years when we had access to the staff suite to eat, chill and get to know some of the staffers in a relaxed environment. As far as I'm concerned, the switch to the ticket system was a fail. This was especially so if you were scheduled to work during the dinner hours. I would end up with tickets in my pocket, but all of the food stalls in the BCC would be closed for the evening. During the last years I worked as a TCG, I brought food so I'd have something if I didn't have a chance to use the tickets.

I hope whatever is done nowdays is better than it was a few years ago.

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I was a gofer for a LONG time. So long, I thought I would never make staff even though I was willing since year one. I was kept being told that I would be recommended for the next year and felt I was being led along by my nose. I think the biggest problem is that while at con, everyone is so busy and while we love the gofers when we work next to them, we forget everything afterwards as we go back to regular life. I think we need a way to point out good gofers that should be made staff at the convention. There were people I would have recommended if I remembered them three months later when I was asked my opinion on the subject.

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I was a gofer for a LONG time. So long, I thought I would never make staff even though I was willing since year one. I was kept being told that I would be recommended for the next year and felt I was being led along by my nose. I think the biggest problem is that while at con, everyone is so busy and while we love the gofers when we work next to them, we forget everything afterwards as we go back to regular life. I think we need a way to point out good gofers that should be made staff at the convention. There were people I would have recommended if I remembered them three months later when I was asked my opinion on the subject.

There is one. I have routinely walked into gofer ops and said "This gofer needs to be staff now! And myself and these people recommend them." I then filled out a little form/notebook thing and it was kept.

I also know that some departments (Spec Ops and Registration specifically) keep track of what gofers they are sent and if they did a good job. If they did, that list is passed on to gofer ops with the recommendations from two spec ops staff for those good gofers to become staff.

The thing is, you have to impress people with your work, work ethic and attitude. Every gofer I have personally nominated never once asked to be staff. I just noticed their work and went, "This person is pretty awesome!" Last year - despite the fact that I typically don't see gofers working - there were two who did such an amazing job that I got their gofer numbers and names and went into gofer ops and recommended them to staff. In the last 5 years, I have nominated probably close to 40 gofers to staff. Including our former head of Registration.

The asking after the con, that is follow up. But all staff can during and after the con nominate a gofer to staff. It's just getting those two recommendations.

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I was a gofer for a LONG time. So long, I thought I would never make staff even though I was willing since year one. I was kept being told that I would be recommended for the next year and felt I was being led along by my nose. I think the biggest problem is that while at con, everyone is so busy and while we love the gofers when we work next to them, we forget everything afterwards as we go back to regular life. I think we need a way to point out good gofers that should be made staff at the convention. There were people I would have recommended if I remembered them three months later when I was asked my opinion on the subject.

There is one. I have routinely walked into gofer ops and said "This gofer needs to be staff now! And myself and these people recommend them." I then filled out a little form/notebook thing and it was kept.

I also know that some departments (Spec Ops and Registration specifically) keep track of what gofers they are sent and if they did a good job. If they did, that list is passed on to gofer ops with the recommendations from two spec ops staff for those good gofers to become staff.

The thing is, you have to impress people with your work, work ethic and attitude. Every gofer I have personally nominated never once asked to be staff. I just noticed their work and went, "This person is pretty awesome!" Last year - despite the fact that I typically don't see gofers working - there were two who did such an amazing job that I got their gofer numbers and names and went into gofer ops and recommended them to staff. In the last 5 years, I have nominated probably close to 40 gofers to staff. Including our former head of Registration.

The asking after the con, that is follow up. But all staff can during and after the con nominate a gofer to staff. It's just getting those two recommendations.

Thanks for telling me and the spelling change.

I actually never asked to be staff, I always just answered that yes, I would like to be staff if someone asked me. (Which happened a lot) That is why I thought there was nothing set up. Now that I know about it, I'll definitely use it.

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The only issue I ever had as a Gofer/TCG was not being fed. The best times were the first couple of years when we had access to the staff suite to eat, chill and get to know some of the staffers in a relaxed environment. As far as I'm concerned, the switch to the ticket system was a fail. This was especially so if you were scheduled to work during the dinner hours. I would end up with tickets in my pocket, but all of the food stalls in the BCC would be closed for the evening. During the last years I worked as a TCG, I brought food so I'd have something if I didn't have a chance to use the tickets.

I hope whatever is done nowdays is better than it was a few years ago.

I'd like to echo similar problem I've had....though it's probably not something that Otakon staff can fix? (Really it's the food vendor's and their "I'll randomly decide to close while the food vendors over the other side of the bridge stay open for another hour" fault).

Fyi (if anyone wonders)....my work-around is spending all them tickets at noon and hauling the loot back to the hotel to stash in the fridge & it's saved for dinner :) It's an amusing noon workout to say the least, hahaha....

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A goal this year is to actively look for responses from the staff. And yes, we plan to let you know if you have them when you check out.

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To those looking for a place to eat, I would point-out that the Alley's galley is usually open until at least 11pm (maybe midnight, but don't recall for sure) on Friday & Saturday. It may not help if you are looking for one of the specialty vendors, but you can always ask around earlier in the day and plan out your attack for later/other days, and at least this way you won't risk going without a meal.

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I'd like to echo similar problem I've had....though it's probably not something that Otakon staff can fix? (Really it's the food vendor's and their "I'll randomly decide to close while the food vendors over the other side of the bridge stay open for another hour" fault).

Fyi (if anyone wonders)....my work-around is spending all them tickets at noon and hauling the loot back to the hotel to stash in the fridge & it's saved for dinner :P It's an amusing noon workout to say the least, hahaha....

That sounds like one of the better methods on so many levels. The vendors get hammered by everyone at the con.

If we had more volunteers, there might be a designated "food getter" -- someone extra to tag along every position -- but since the environment of the con is so chaotic, each person had to get a buddy on shift to get food. They'd have to hope hope they'd get a vendor that was still open AND hope they would come back in time before chaos erupted again.

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I'd like to echo similar problem I've had....though it's probably not something that Otakon staff can fix? (Really it's the food vendor's and their "I'll randomly decide to close while the food vendors over the other side of the bridge stay open for another hour" fault).

Fyi (if anyone wonders)....my work-around is spending all them tickets at noon and hauling the loot back to the hotel to stash in the fridge & it's saved for dinner :) It's an amusing noon workout to say the least, hahaha....

That sounds like one of the better methods on so many levels. The vendors get hammered by everyone at the con.

If we had more volunteers, there might be a designated "food getter" -- someone extra to tag along every position -- but since the environment of the con is so chaotic, each person had to get a buddy on shift to get food. They'd have to hope hope they'd get a vendor that was still open AND hope they would come back in time before chaos erupted again.

That'd be a great idea, but I'd feel bad for those food-getters since gofer is all over the con.

I struggle with the extra meal tickets last year too, i end up using them all on Sunday when I am not working. I wish there is a way we can just exchange meal ticket for something else at the end instead of wasting it at the end :T

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I'd like to echo similar problem I've had....though it's probably not something that Otakon staff can fix? (Really it's the food vendor's and their "I'll randomly decide to close while the food vendors over the other side of the bridge stay open for another hour" fault).

Fyi (if anyone wonders)....my work-around is spending all them tickets at noon and hauling the loot back to the hotel to stash in the fridge & it's saved for dinner :D It's an amusing noon workout to say the least, hahaha....

That sounds like one of the better methods on so many levels. The vendors get hammered by everyone at the con.

If we had more volunteers, there might be a designated "food getter" -- someone extra to tag along every position -- but since the environment of the con is so chaotic, each person had to get a buddy on shift to get food. They'd have to hope hope they'd get a vendor that was still open AND hope they would come back in time before chaos erupted again.

That'd be a great idea, but I'd feel bad for those food-getters since gofer is all over the con.

I struggle with the extra meal tickets last year too, i end up using them all on Sunday when I am not working. I wish there is a way we can just exchange meal ticket for something else at the end instead of wasting it at the end :T

Well, we're open to suggestions for next year's con. This year it's too late, but if people come up with ideas, we'll listen.

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Is there a guide with general information that Gofers need to know? There should be a guide if there isn't. I'm willing to chip in writing it anytime before the convention.

There is a Gofer FAQ. There is also a Basic Info. It's listed under "Volunteer at Otakon" so you may not have seen it?

Honestly, I was thinking something a bit more thorough. Essentially, a real guide to what needs to be done, and a basic idea of how to do it.

Something along the lines of:

'
Department
X
: Department
X
is responsible for making sure
blah
happens and that all
blah
runs smoothly. In Department
X
Gofers will
do such and such
. Other responsibilities may include
this and that
. For gofers doing
such and such
,
stuff
will be provided to assist in
doing things
.' etc.

Well, we'd be able to do that. Between the three of us, we've worked pretty much everywhere.

I think it would also help to tell gofers what they should expect to do on certain days. I was a gofer for Press Release on a Thursday night in 2010, and i had a blast with giving the press the packets and gift. So I was expecting to do similar sort of things in 2011, only to find out there wasnt much for me to do on a Friday afternoon. I feel sorta useless in that 2 hours there, and wish I know ahead that different days means different jobs...I think if we have a certain "gofer guide" ahead of time, it will definitely help them on what they want to sign up for which days or at least they knwo what to expect after they got their schedule (i.e - video ops on fri/sat/sun - bring a jacket).

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