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Otakon 2008 destroyed my job!


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With just a little over 5 weeks until my favorite time of the year hits, i'm struck with a problem.

I put in my vacation time for Otakon in May, it's now almost July and no word from my Supervisor. It's being speculated that i'm not going to get it because she does this to everyone else. Now, I dont really have the greatest job in the world, but it pays the bills. I might just call out for Thursday and Friday, or just find a new job (I don't like this one anyway)

Any other stories of your job keeping you or making it hard for you to go to Otakon?

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Your supervisor has someone above them, yes? I suggest that you remind your boss that you put in the request and that you haven't heard anything, and if you still don't get a response, escalate it.

I know Otakon is important, but... better you find out now how your employer's support system works, rather than down the road when it comes down to something REALLY important.

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I usually think having a job is more important then any con, but I can honestly understand where you're coming from. I usually put in my request off for (almost every con I go too) up to a year in advance if they have the dates ready. The only place I've ever had a problem in was Estee Lauder, but I was also having other problems with them as well (my counter manager didn't want me to have off on certain religious hollidays.) If you think you can find another job with ease, then I would say it's time to find another job. But before you do that, I would go above your supervisor and find out what's up.

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I usually think having a job is more important then any con, but I can honestly understand where you're coming from. I usually put in my request off for (almost every con I go too) up to a year in advance if they have the dates ready. The only place I've ever had a problem in was Estee Lauder, but I was also having other problems with them as well (my counter manager didn't want me to have off on certain religious hollidays.) If you think you can find another job with ease, then I would say it's time to find another job. But before you do that, I would go above your supervisor and find out what's up.
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I interviewed for a job at the Baltimore Aquarium and the interviewer said that there was only limited availability for time off in the summer months, "and you almost certainly won't be allowed time off for that what-do-you-call-it, Otakon? That convention for the cartoons." ...At the time, there were two or three employees already on the payroll who also requested con weekend off, heh.

Otherwise, I've never had any issues with getting time off for the con. This year I'm taking the whole week prior, and the Monday afterwards, off - but it's okay, because my supervisor is super chill about everything and has her dog to keep her company anyway. ^_^

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I interviewed for a job at the Baltimore Aquarium and the interviewer said that there was only limited availability for time off in the summer months, "and you almost certainly won't be allowed time off for that what-do-you-call-it, Otakon? That convention for the cartoons." ...At the time, there were two or three employees already on the payroll who also requested con weekend off, heh.

Otherwise, I've never had any issues with getting time off for the con. This year I'm taking the whole week prior, and the Monday afterwards, off - but it's okay, because my supervisor is super chill about everything and has her dog to keep her company anyway. ^_^

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I put in for vacation for the week of 8/2, because the weekend before is a family reunion. So I figure I'll request off a couple days on each end and I'm cool.

Though imagine my surprise when I see two paychecks hit my bank account a couple weeks back. They messed up. So I called in and made sure I was on the schedule for the following week. I then put the vacation pay in savings to save me from myself.

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With just a little over 5 weeks until my favorite time of the year hits, i'm struck with a problem.

I put in my vacation time for Otakon in May, it's now almost July and no word from my Supervisor. It's being speculated that i'm not going to get it because she does this to everyone else. Now, I dont really have the greatest job in the world, but it pays the bills. I might just call out for Thursday and Friday, or just find a new job (I don't like this one anyway)

Any other stories of your job keeping you or making it hard for you to go to Otakon?

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Things to do before quitting work to come to Otakon:

1. Locate and pocket red stapler.

2. Check supervisor's office just in case there's any checks on the floor.

3. Speak to yourself and remind yourself that you warned them if they didn't give you some of the cake you could burn the building down.

4. ....

5. Arrive in Mexico.

6. Threaten to contact dept of tourism after putting strychnine into the gucamole.

(This will be funny to people who know the movie. Really it will be)

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I may be needing to make this decision myself...I don't know if my work will give me the 2 weeks I need off in august to cover me for Connecticon & Otakon. I mean, for me...it's no question, I need all the time off in order to have my stuff for artists alley tables ready. I've already paid for three tables, plane tickets, two badges....for me there's no question that I need the time off. Otakon is serious business.

They've screwed me before on giving me the correct days off...but I guess I keep hanging on to the job because of the benefits(almost 8 years now). This year might just be a clincher, though...if they can't help me on this, I might just quit/let myself be fired.

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sometimes the easiest way out is to lie and call out sick. But you have to becareful that your job isn't one to ask for dr notes.

If asking for leave, Some employers do not want to hear that you are leaving for a convention of any kind, so you might want to think of something your boss would consider important like family issues or something.

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I interviewed for a job at the Baltimore Aquarium and the interviewer said that there was only limited availability for time off in the summer months, "and you almost certainly won't be allowed time off for that what-do-you-call-it, Otakon? That convention for the cartoons." ...At the time, there were two or three employees already on the payroll who also requested con weekend off, heh.
Edited by Duelistbluerose
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My answer to this is problem is always threefold--announce your plans/ask off early, but not too early (I generally shoot for a month to two months in advance); be almost obnoxiously persistent when it comes to reminding your boss (I remind my boss every two weeks or so, just to make sure, and I double-check that I've written it down on the schedule calendar); lastly, and most importantly, make yourself invaluable to your workplace! If you're an outstanding, stellar employee who's known for coming in on days off without complaint when needed, always doing your very best both on the clock and before/after hours, always showing up early and working hard at making sure things go smoothly, your boss will be much more willing to let you have a couple of days off than if you're sullen and mean and playing the Dante Hicks card (note, he wasn't even supposed to be there that day!).

Other than that, common sense: if you've taken the whole weekend off every week for the past two months, your chances of getting the Otakon weekend off might be lower than if you save up your days off for when you really want them. If you don't ask for Wed.--Wed. off, instead sticking with a more frugal request of maybe Thurs.--Mon. or even a bare-bones Fri.--Sun., your chances will be better, as your boss will have to rearrange less schedules less dramatically.

Basically, just be the best employee possible and if that doesn't work, then focus on how to deal with a boss that's being a tool :D

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I interviewed for a job at the Baltimore Aquarium and the interviewer said that there was only limited availability for time off in the summer months, "and you almost certainly won't be allowed time off for that what-do-you-call-it, Otakon? That convention for the cartoons." ...At the time, there were two or three employees already on the payroll who also requested con weekend off, heh.

That is really hilarious. I wonder if other baltimore city companies/businesses experience the same thing.

Was it worth it? Heck yah to me it was No job where some loser boss thinks he owns me & can crush my dreams is worth my time.

I rather be happy then miserable.

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The two jobs I've held while going to Otakon have been really cool about letting me go (I usually take the entire week/weekend off and the Monday after). My boss at my current job forgot at the last minute in 2006 and 2007. In 2007 I even got a call from one of the assistant managers asking me where I was. He could tell from the tone of my voice I got pretty mad at him as I was explaining where I was. I covered all of my bases, but apparently the entirety of the management team just completely forgot. He just laughed it off and told me to enjoy myself. This year will probably be no different. I've already taken the time off, but I can't wait to see the schedule for that week and see that I'm STILL scheduled to work the usual days.

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At my job, we have to fill out a form. We put down what days we want off, and hand it in to our supervisor (which has to be 2 weeks in advance at the very least), which in turn, he will approve (or not if someone else before you has already put those days in), and sign it.

We also mark our days on the wall calender as a reminder to all on when our days are coming.

Just recently, I had a planned day off on a Friday so I can attend AnimeNEXT. Then I get a phone call at 4AM that Friday, that someone was going to be late, so I had to go to work, until at least the person shows up (which he eventually did at around 1:30PM).

This may come off wrong to some of you, but my personal opinion is that No con is worth losing your job for. :D

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I'm lucky, I have a great job with cool bosses. Last year, I put in my time for Otakon three months in advance, but my co-worker had already scheduled the time out, and he and I are the entire audio department at my workplace. He offered to cancel his plans, but I said no, that wasn't fair to him.

So I wrote up a proposal and handed it to my bosses. I pretty much said that this was going to be a slow time (it was, fortunately for me) and the work was going to be sparse at best. Any emergencies could be handled by another coworker in the video department (who kindly agreed to lend a hand, if needed), and my colleague in audio would return Friday, so there would really only be one full day where the audio department would be empty.

They very kindly agreed to let me go, and even though I did not have enough personal days (needed one more), they let me take the last day of my requested break off (unpaid, but I was very happy).

Ironically, I got this job in part because of some AMVs I made - I showed them to the production manager at my interview when he asked if I had any experience in video (the job is in audio, but he likes to have some cross coverage)!

Edited by SecondChild
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It pays to be friends with the supervisor, I must say. He's a cool guy! :D

*is so glad her supervisor likes her and her brother*

I'll just ask him to check it. I put it in a few months ago and he still hasn't checked.

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One thing nice about working for the government is the benefit package. As long as you've proven yourself to be a good worker, your supervisor does not have a problem with leave. Fortunately for me, August 8 is an alternate work schedule day (I get every fourth Friday off. Having this benefit depends on the agency that you work for, though), so I don't have to request leave. I just requested my leave for Thursday the 3rd of July (two days from now), Thursday the 10th and Monday the 14th (a week from now?). July 11 is a fourth Friday, so I am off on that day (needed the 10th to the 14th for my trip to St. Louis, MO). Civil service has allowed me to be a mother, it has allowed my ex-husband to be an observant Jew, and it enables both parents to be there for their son when he has a special event. I suggest civil service. Although it does not pay as well as private enterprise, it has a better benefits package and it allows you to be a spouse, a parent, and whatever else you want to be.

I agree that no con is worth losing your job for. Termination is not a good thing on one's employment record. It's easy to say that you'll look for another job; however, your future employers do reference checks. If they find out the reason for the termination, they just might not hire you. If you were laid off or furloughed for economic reasons (current economy necessitated the layoff, no budget led to temporary furloughs), that's not bad. If you were terminated, however, the future employer will find the cause and it won't make you look good. There's a reason for having a day job and if you mess it up, you mess up your income and your reputation as a worker. If you need to find another job, be proactive instead of reactive.

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I've always put in for my vacation three months before Otakon so there's no last minute issues. My week off begins on Thursday, August 7 & ends on Thursday, August 14 so I have a couple days to relax after Otakon's over.

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I interviewed for a job at the Baltimore Aquarium and the interviewer said that there was only limited availability for time off in the summer months, "and you almost certainly won't be allowed time off for that what-do-you-call-it, Otakon? That convention for the cartoons." ...At the time, there were two or three employees already on the payroll who also requested con weekend off, heh.

That is really hilarious. I wonder if other baltimore city companies/businesses experience the same thing.

Was it worth it? Heck yah to me it was No job where some loser boss thinks he owns me & can crush my dreams is worth my time.

I rather be happy then miserable.

I agree......

Well, I say bump your job. no torturous retail/wage job is worth your happiness, especially if you're not doing anything else during the summer. I had a retail job last summer and my ex-manager gave me hell about taking off 3 days for otakon. I basically told her that this is something I've been planning since the beginning of the year and I am going......... I said this nicely of course. Manager wasn't happy but oh well. I quite after otakon cause that job was lame - and wasnt paying enough for me to stress over.

If you have a strict manager who's making it clear that if you go you'll be fired [and you hate that job anyway], my opinion is to go to otakon anyway but before so, apply for a staffing firm. they pay between $10-$15/hr and treat you like a human being. it's temp. work but mostly administrative and you dont have to have a college degree.

but 5 weeks should be plenty of time to tell your boss I need this time off. your boss is going to forget if you told them about this several months in advance. send them a memo or sit down and explain things. it should be cool.

Good point about the temp agency. They're very nice and you are their employee, not their client's, so you have to negotiate your leave with them, not with the client. Once you tell them, they tell the client. That, way, if the client needs the manpower, they can still send an on-call temp to do your duties while you're away.

Eh, I wouldn't encourage this -- the best thing to do is to ask the client you're working for and proceed from there. They can dismiss you from your assignment, all the temp company has to do is bring in someone new to fulfill the term contract. You're also reviewed for your professionalism, attendance, etc once your assignment is over and calling out sick a lot is one sure-fire way not to have your assignments upgraded so you can start making $18-25+ an hour. You may also miss out on getting stellar letters of recommendation from people you'd normally never be able to get on the phone. Then again, I'm in downtown DC, so maybe things work a little differently here.

(BTW, I <3 <3 <3 Harrisburg. I DJ at the Spy Club and the Gingerbread Man a couple times a year, usually. :) )

Edited by Muramasa
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With just a little over 5 weeks until my favorite time of the year hits, i'm struck with a problem.

I put in my vacation time for Otakon in May, it's now almost July and no word from my Supervisor. It's being speculated that i'm not going to get it because she does this to everyone else. Now, I dont really have the greatest job in the world, but it pays the bills. I might just call out for Thursday and Friday, or just find a new job (I don't like this one anyway)

Any other stories of your job keeping you or making it hard for you to go to Otakon?

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I have off Friday through Sunday. I wounder if my boss would get mad if i took off that Thursday to. Well most of my mangers take off weeks at a time. One is off on vacation now. I'm guessing your boss is going to look at your work record before giving someone days off. I work holidays and weekends if i took off for 1 week end out of the year that shouldn't hurt to much.

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Eh, I wouldn't encourage this -- the best thing to do is to ask the client you're working for and proceed from there. They can dismiss you from your assignment, all the temp company has to do is bring in someone new to fulfill the term contract. You're also reviewed for your professionalism, attendance, etc once your assignment is over and calling out sick a lot is one sure-fire way not to have your assignments upgraded so you can start making $18-25+ an hour. You may also miss out on getting stellar letters of recommendation from people you'd normally never be able to get on the phone. Then again, I'm in downtown DC, so maybe things work a little differently here.
Edited by Duelistbluerose
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Eh, I wouldn't encourage this -- the best thing to do is to ask the client you're working for and proceed from there. They can dismiss you from your assignment, all the temp company has to do is bring in someone new to fulfill the term contract. You're also reviewed for your professionalism, attendance, etc once your assignment is over and calling out sick a lot is one sure-fire way not to have your assignments upgraded so you can start making $18-25+ an hour. You may also miss out on getting stellar letters of recommendation from people you'd normally never be able to get on the phone. Then again, I'm in downtown DC, so maybe things work a little differently here.

Not all staffing firms are that inflexible. these firms work with people who are in some form of transition so they're understanding. you can basically look at there policies and determine which ones are flexible or not. I too work and live in DC - there are numerous firms in the city. I worked with one a while back and enjoyed it very much....... and I also enjoyed the money :)

I only suggested a staffing firm in the worst case senario. you should of course try and hold onto your job - even if management is giving you hell about taking off. but remember that enjoying yourself is important too. I'm assuming that the people in this fourm who post consistantly throughout the year must place otakon as a high priority - if thats the case then make sure you do everything you can to go to this con!

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Eh, I wouldn't encourage this -- the best thing to do is to ask the client you're working for and proceed from there. They can dismiss you from your assignment, all the temp company has to do is bring in someone new to fulfill the term contract. You're also reviewed for your professionalism, attendance, etc once your assignment is over and calling out sick a lot is one sure-fire way not to have your assignments upgraded so you can start making $18-25+ an hour. You may also miss out on getting stellar letters of recommendation from people you'd normally never be able to get on the phone. Then again, I'm in downtown DC, so maybe things work a little differently here.

Not all staffing firms are that inflexible. these firms work with people who are in some form of transition so they're understanding. you can basically look at there policies and determine which ones are flexible or not. I too work and live in DC - there are numerous firms in the city. I worked with one a while back and enjoyed it very much....... and I also enjoyed the money :D

I only suggested a staffing firm in the worst case senario. you should of course try and hold onto your job - even if management is giving you hell about taking off. but remember that enjoying yourself is important too. I'm assuming that the people in this fourm who post consistantly throughout the year must place otakon as a high priority - if thats the case then make sure you do everything you can to go to this con!

True, but employers typically look at their policies as well. The more a corporation can rely on your agency, the more they'll pay you (good temps are pretty hard to find). I'm also temping to get a full-time position, so I've been making sure to get the greatest feedback and references possible while building my portfolio. Better to err on the side of caution and be as professional as possible IMO. In my case it's paying off. :-)

Edited by Muramasa
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At our business, we are fairly flexible. The employees get a week off each year plus holidays and 5 days sick leave. They don't have to give us alot of notice, it is just on a first come first serve basis. We don't want everyone taking the same week off. Sometimes things happen that someone has to have the same week that someone else already has scheduled. We will usually find a way for them both to take off.

My situation is a little different, I pretty much take off whenever I want to. One of the perks of being the owner's daugther :D

Edited by dragonclaw21974
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I just put my time in, it was approved by my supervisor and manager.

I work at the Circuit City in Hanover MD, and am one of their top salespeople.

He simply told me just to knock out some good business from Sunday before until Wednesday. :D

I wonder whos gonna cover our department. 4 people I know of so far are going.

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I just graduated from college in may and haven't found an awesome job yet so there's no way I am missing the con. My fiance and I need to budget this year, but we don't buy all the crap we used to. I'm limiting myself to only the manga I am collecting atm, something from my favorite series that I just have to have, and ofc artist alley stuff! ^_^

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My jobs usually never minded since I had either accrued the time off, or that I was only actually missing Thurs, Fri, Mon of their work weeks helped.

Though I'll be switching jobs any day now so I do have to let them know upfront I'll be out of town. Shouldn't be a problem I anticipate since it was a pre-existing engagement prior to hiring. It seems like a nice company, who will hopefully hire me so I can actually HAVE money this year to spend on things other than fast/quick food.

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I work at a day camp, Monday through Friday... and we don't get to leave until 4 PM... so I am missing the entire first day of Otakon :'(

And I could take off, but Mama Bear won't let me... because I won't get my $30 "bonus" for attending all 39 days if I skip out on a day. xD

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I couldn't go Gofer at Otakon last year because I went to San Diego Comic Con. If there is ever a con I hope Otakon never becomes, it is San Diego Comic Con. It needs to do the thing Otakon did and make it a four day pass holder only event.

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Don't think mine killed my job yet, but I know my boss is ticked with me taking off from wed one week to tues the next. He says noone can take off either of those two weeks cuz of it. haha but when your the first to ask for time off when new years calender goes up you get first pick.

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This seems like the most relevent place for me to ask a question without making a new thread.

I get paid on Thursdays at midnight, direct deposit. I plan on using that money from the 7th into the 8th for Otakon. I know ideally to have brought all of our cash with us, but this situation isn't ideal ^_^ So my question(s) are...

1) What seems to be the most efficient method of dealing with this? Getting the money sooner is obviously not possible, are hotel ATMs depleted 24/7? Is it possible to get a run through at a desk or something to charge your card and give you cash back?

2) Can I just use my ATM card in the convention center? I'd imagine every table can't have the machine, but I suppose I could ask and use it at the ones that do.

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Many vendors in the dealers' room will accept credit cards and debit cards. If you are worried, there are several banks (and Wachovia has one of its major locations just three blocks from the BCC) that will have ATMs as well as walk-in branches open Thursday and Friday. Just do a google map of the BCC and search for banks. There is also a bank and a few ATMs in the building that formerly housed the Burger King, right across the street from the BCC.

Personally, if you are taking out a large amount of cash, you may want to do a walk-in transaction rather than an ATM simply to get larger bills that are less bulky. Either way, there are a whole lot of options, and I would strongly suggest you take care of as much as possible on the Thursday and Friday anyway, simply because it is business hours. Things get a lot more iffy on Saturday and Sunday.

Edit: And getting back on topic, I've always been completely honest when starting a new job, telling them that I have obligations during the Otakon week. They have for the most part been supportive, and I've never had problems myself. But if I did, with the way the economy is going, I would probably have to say "bye Otakon". Sad as that may be.

Edited by mailechan
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Since 2004 until 2007, I had a job at my local Giant Food supermarket, in 2005 (started in 2004 after Otakon occurred), 2006, and 2007 I just put in a request off slip for the days of Otakon and they always got approved and I was able to go, no one called to say that I needed to come in. This year, I am in a job training program, however I sent an email on May 23rd to the appropriate people to say that I needed Thursday August 7 and Friday August 8th (since this program is Monday-Friday) off and I told them "I will be volunteering for a non-profit organization organized event in downtown Baltimore" and they approved my time off so I will be off from my training program for Otakon this year!!! Also, thanks to this program, I'll be able to get to Otakon via MTA for free because I am getting monthly passes so that's one expense I don't need to worry about this year. I hope that I'll be able to have a great job in 2009 and hope that the job will allow me time off for Otakon 2009.

Edited by KSweeley
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  • 2 weeks later...
With just a little over 5 weeks until my favorite time of the year hits, i'm struck with a problem.

I put in my vacation time for Otakon in May, it's now almost July and no word from my Supervisor. It's being speculated that i'm not going to get it because she does this to everyone else. Now, I dont really have the greatest job in the world, but it pays the bills. I might just call out for Thursday and Friday, or just find a new job (I don't like this one anyway)

Any other stories of your job keeping you or making it hard for you to go to Otakon?

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Since 2004 until 2007, I had a job at my local Giant Food supermarket, in 2005 (started in 2004 after Otakon occurred), 2006, and 2007 I just put in a request off slip for the days of Otakon and they always got approved and I was able to go, no one called to say that I needed to come in. This year, I am in a job training program, however I sent an email on May 23rd to the appropriate people to say that I needed Thursday August 7 and Friday August 8th (since this program is Monday-Friday) off and I told them "I will be volunteering for a non-profit organization organized event in downtown Baltimore" and they approved my time off so I will be off from my training program for Otakon this year!!! Also, thanks to this program, I'll be able to get to Otakon via MTA for free because I am getting monthly passes so that's one expense I don't need to worry about this year. I hope that I'll be able to have a great job in 2009 and hope that the job will allow me time off for Otakon 2009.

UPDATE: I'm still able to go to Otakon 2008, my instructor in the training program that I'm in told me earlier this week that she still remembers and still approves my time off on August 7th and 8th and I'm going to get my August monthly MTA pass sometime next week.

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This seems like the most relevent place for me to ask a question without making a new thread.

I get paid on Thursdays at midnight, direct deposit. I plan on using that money from the 7th into the 8th for Otakon. I know ideally to have brought all of our cash with us, but this situation isn't ideal :D So my question(s) are...

1) What seems to be the most efficient method of dealing with this? Getting the money sooner is obviously not possible, are hotel ATMs depleted 24/7? Is it possible to get a run through at a desk or something to charge your card and give you cash back?

2) Can I just use my ATM card in the convention center? I'd imagine every table can't have the machine, but I suppose I could ask and use it at the ones that do.

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