Staff meeting #3
Total spams received in absence: 163.
Two hours into the drive home. Silence. After so few hours in the car, have we managed to say everything there is to say?
Three dragon*con staff meetings down, none to go. Last night, everyone marveled that dragon*con was already upon us, a sentiment made even more absurd by the frequent follow-up: "It's been so long since I've seen you!"
The battle lines at 'con are always so simple at the third and penultimate meeting. Us against them. 'They' are the attendees, other staffers, and guests - anyone who doesn't know who we are, what we do, or manages to keep us from doing what needs doing at that particular moment.
I've come to realize that I will probably always have a feeling of inferiority about my job at 'con. I am part of tech staff, but I am not a stage rat, an a/v girl, a connector of wires, Centennial muscle, or even a gofer.
I am domesticat, feeder of straggling souls bereft of blood sugar.
In tech staff culture, technical competency is king. Even the worst of personality quirks are tolerated in someone who knows how to do a certain job better than anyone else. All too often, it's easy to allow that mentality to wash over me, to think that someone like me, whose job grows no geekier than nutrition, hydration, and the general care & feeding of geeks, is just as necessary.
Miles to Paint Rock, Alabama: 16.
Miles to Huntsville, Alabama: 37.
I am scrawling in my little green notebook, where my lists and plans go, and only just now have I realized that I'm not obsessing over my lists of names and notes anymore. Perhaps it's because I'm not churning out food for a vast group of faceless strangers. It's Grant, at the main soundboard, who needs the sunflower seeds; Sarah, runner and daytime soundboarder, needing plain bagels, Prego, and goldfish crackers. Or the daily hunt for Thomas, to push regular non-sugary feedings on him to keep his blood sugar from crashing.
This year will be more of a challenge. This year's roster includes three diabetics, several hypoglycemics, one chemo patient, and about forty other people who just continually forget to eat. My weapons will be one tiny microwave, one tiny fridge (total size: three cubic feet), someone's Sam's Club card, several hundred paper and plastic bags, and not-quite-daily food runs.
Maybe I realized I was on to something when I was introduced to an unknown staffer as "Amy, our guardian angel." Oh, did my ego ever preen itself mightily at that. True necessity may be the mother of most inventions—as well as a few raging cases of egoism.
Yesterday, at the meeting, I remembered why I like the job I've been given. I don't get the raw geeky glory of stage-ratting Centennial, but my job at 'con is to wander from person to person, straightening here, fixing there. Lunch. Gatorade. Back and scalp massages in between.
On the radio: John Mayer's "83."
Stephen: "What year of school would he have been in then? He would've been six."
Jeff: "Depends on how six you are."
We've heard rumors that GWAR may be one of the headliner bands this year. Everyone else talks about GWAR goo. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to feed all the stagehands that night.
Stephen is driving again. I am luxuriating in the economical simplicity of nonprescription sunglasses from the back seat. My legs are two days off from a shave and my knitting is untouched. The sunlight streaming down on the back of my neck (recently manipulated as part of a lovely in-meeting massage by Andrew-the-blond) is insiduously whispering to me that I should consider executing a back flip into a catnap.
As you cross the Paint Rock River, one of the last remaining hills before Huntsville appears before you. You slip around on its right, past the Paint Rock locals having a Sunday brunch under the shade of their patio furniture. I find myself wondering if my eyes can be seen behind my sunglasses.
Not that it matters. Behind the lenses, my eyes have closed, and my pen, for now, is still.