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Experiences as Enforcers?

auspexauspex Registered User regular
edited September 2012 in PAX General Discussion
I just had yet another amazing weekend at East, and as a result of many conversations and encounters with cool Enforcers (esp. Vapok and his sweet dance parties) I am seriously considering applying for a red shirt at Prime once the call goes out. I think I have relevant skills (working midnight openings for video games, 100+ player Magic tournaments) and my only hesitation comes from the fact that I'd be flying across the country to stay in strange city by myself. Yet I'm sure there are some Enforcers out there who have done just that - does anyone have stories (good or bad) to share? Thanks in advance!

Moe Fwacky on
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Posts

  • sizzlersamsizzlersam [E] Intel LANFest Registered User regular
    I flew from Seattle to Boston to enforce by myself, I did know a hand full of people from other LAN parties but most werent close friends... Still had a ton of fun and got to know a lot of other enforcers a lot better. I'd highly recommend going for it.

  • nawojnawoj Registered User
    auspex wrote:
    I am seriously considering applying for a red shirt at Prime once the call goes out.

    i hope you are not too disappointed that enforcer shirts at prime are blue...

    if you can afford transport to pax, and all the other pax related costs, do it. its worth it.

    "He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it." ~DNA
  • arsonisfunarsonisfun Registered User regular
    Vapok is dreamy

    I am IRCs resident nerdbro and member of the PokeCrawl planning committee.

    Red B/Gold Professor

    [15:53] <+juju-work> ArsonIsFun is one of the best people I know.
  • sillyzombie666sillyzombie666 massRegistered User regular
    nawoj wrote: »
    auspex wrote:
    I am seriously considering applying for a red shirt at Prime once the call goes out.

    i hope you are not too disappointed that enforcer shirts at prime are blue...

    if you can afford transport to pax, and all the other pax related costs, do it. its worth it.

    why are the colors diff?

    I REJECT YOUR REALITY AND SUBSTITUTE MY OWN

    PAX East 2014:
    3 day pass (insert dean scream here) / hotel for thursday night - sunday morning/ ....the wait continues
  • NowHiringHenchmenNowHiringHenchmen Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Hey guys, just got back from PAX East and wow, what a great job. Third time there, and it never ceases to amaze me. Another thing that always keeps me amazed is just how much a great job the enforcers do.

    Now, I've made a topic about this about a year and a half ago, so I already know what to expect if i DO apply and get selected and have to help out and such, but I just have some questions that I forgot to ask, so, here they are:

    How do you find out if you're chosen? Do they call or email?

    Are you put through any sort of interview process?

    If you're selected, are you given a badge to the show? If you've already purchased a badge and are given another one, how's that work?

    Twitter- @_anthonynash

    PAX:

    East 2014: Complete
    Prime 2014: Complete
    Aus 2014: Ehhhh
    South 2014: =(

    My Digital Pin Lanyard
  • ShiosShios Registered User
    A question I'd like to add are how many hours are Enforcers scheduled to work the show floor? And what are the shifts typically like?

    Forgive me if there is an FAQ somewhere...

  • ShiosShios Registered User
    nawoj wrote: »
    auspex wrote:
    I am seriously considering applying for a red shirt at Prime once the call goes out.

    i hope you are not too disappointed that enforcer shirts at prime are blue...

    if you can afford transport to pax, and all the other pax related costs, do it. its worth it.

    why are the colors diff?
    East show colors are Red, Prime is Blue. It's like that in everything PAX related from ads to merch. No real reason I'm sure other than to differentiate the two shows.

  • auspexauspex Registered User regular
    nawoj wrote: »
    i hope you are not too disappointed that enforcer shirts at prime are blue...

    Oh, awesome! That can only increase my odds of survival. ;)

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  • spydeyspydey Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    1) You get an email if I remember correctly. There was no interview process. You do get an enforcer badge and will be reimbursed if you already purchased one.
    2) They are 8 hr shifts.

    spydey on
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  • nevermore13nevermore13 Registered User regular
    1. They do e-mail you if you are selected. No interview process but you do have to fill out an application and submit the application to be considered
    2. It may vary based on where you are placed but after doing it for the first time this year minimum shift time is 6 hours (based on the schedule I saw and followed). You are not required to work more than 6 hours but many choose to

    If anyone reading this thread is considering joining the ranks next year, or for Prime, please do so if the call goes out. We can always use more and it is a great experience.

  • Knight_Knight_ Registered User regular
    auspex wrote:
    I just had yet another amazing weekend at East, and as a result of many conversations and encounters with cool Enforcers (esp. Vapok and his sweet dance parties) I am seriously considering applying for a red shirt at Prime once the call goes out. I think I have relevant skills (working midnight openings for video games, 100+ player Magic tournaments) and my only hesitation comes from the fact that I'd be flying across the country to stay in strange city by myself. Yet I'm sure there are some Enforcers out there who have done just that - does anyone have stories (good or bad) to share? Thanks in advance!

    This East was my 3rd PAX I've Enforced (East 2011, Prime 2011, and this East) and I've always done it by myself. I've had no problems with it at all, it's always been fantastic. At first you may be hesitant to jump right in when you show up by yourself because people know each other and have inside jokes or have been working in departments with each other for years, but [E] are all wonderful people and by the end of the weekend you'll feel like you've known people for ages. And you'll start counting the days until the next PAX so you can see all your awesome new friends again.

    Ki3ZFKP.jpg
  • Tal!nTal!n San Francisco, CARegistered User regular
    Enforcing is a truly different experience from attending (I flew in from San Francisco this year by myself as a first year enforcer, worked Arachnid theatre). It's really incredible (and a high chance of being incredibly tiring, with the potential of 4 12+ hour days) and is something that you should definitely consider if you want to give back.

  • VapokVapok PC Room Manager - PAX East BostonRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    I had an incredible time at /dance (#slashdance) playing music for you all. Hopefully next year I can make it bigger and better.

    I've been an Enforcer since East 2010, but have done every East and Prime show since. I had also never attended a PAX before becoming an Enforcer, so I can't truly speak on how it's like to go from attendee to Enforcer. However, once you're an Enforcer, you're an Enforcer. The only time that "Enforcers" are separated by show is simply the cost of geographically being distanced from each other, however, all Enforcers are given the opportunity to work each show. There is a community behind the Enforcers that not a lot of Attendees get the opportunity to see. We don't just do one or two shows a year. We hang out continually around the year, we do gatherings, game nights, and the fun part is, I now have a friend in almost every area of the US (and beyond) that I can go visit. It's truly a community, not just a thing. I hold all of my fellow E's close to my heart.

    Regarding the color of the T-Shirt: Before PAX came to Boston, PAX Enforcers wore BLACK T-Shirts. The Enforcer contingent was (and still is metaphorically) called "The Black" and the color black is very important in Enforcer history. When PAX decided to add a second show, it gave organizers the ability to change the color of the T-Shirts to something that was more prominent. One of the issues that was seen was that gamers primarily wore Black T-shirts (obfuscating where Enforcers were), so finding an Enforcer usually entailed just yelling "Enforcer" and suddenly people would show up. So they decided to make PAX East Shirts "Red" and PAX Prime Shirts Blue. That's why you'll see Enforcers (like me) who do both PAX'es have Blue and Red on their Enforcer sig pic.

    I have received a lot of positive feedback regarding my #slashdance parties that I like to throw (even from show organizers) so I'm hoping to turn up the awesome a notch or two next year!

    Also: Arson is my hero... He's so salty.

    Vapok on
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    Vapok - PAX East PC Room Manager
  • NowHiringHenchmenNowHiringHenchmen Registered User regular
    Another couple of questions, thanks for the great answers already.

    I'm assuming there are break periods. How long do they usually last?

    This year I've heard there were enforcer after parties or something like that. What are those like?

    Twitter- @_anthonynash

    PAX:

    East 2014: Complete
    Prime 2014: Complete
    Aus 2014: Ehhhh
    South 2014: =(

    My Digital Pin Lanyard
  • VapokVapok PC Room Manager - PAX East BostonRegistered User regular
    Another couple of questions, thanks for the great answers already.

    I'm assuming there are break periods. How long do they usually last?

    This year I've heard there were enforcer after parties or something like that. What are those like?
    Hey there!

    So, I'll answer these questions in a bit more detail.

    1) When you apply, you'll be notified by email from the volunteer coordinator that you've been accepted, and you'll be given access to our super sekrit forums where everything goes down. Won't lie, it's pretty awesome.

    2) The ONLY requirement for being an Enforcer is to work 1 Shift a day, for the 3 days of PAX. A shift is 6-8 hours depending on the day. For example, on Friday's some departments start their shift at 7AM while others start at 9AM on Friday. Morning shift is 9am-3pm, afternoon shift is 3pm-9pm, and third (we call it Wang) shift is 9pm-2am. On Sundays, there is no third shift but many departments have a higher need for help during the afternoon, so some Wang Enforcers get put on the afternoon shift to assist. However, that's it... beyond that, your Enforcer badge acts just like a 3-Day Badge, and when you're not working you can enjoy the convention.

    3) Breaks are typically not needed with how short our shifts can be sometimes. That being said, each department has a manager and in the event that you need a break, simply ask for a quick break and your manager will more than likely swap you out with someone.

    4) Enforcers run PAX. Those of us that are able to (and want to) show up on Wednesday and Thursday to setup PAX. And we're there Sunday night and Monday to tear down PAX. As such, Show Organizers typically throw an After Party just for Enforcers. Gotta show your Enforcer Badge to get in, and it's a time where we can actually sit down and enjoy the friends we've made as being an Enforcer. Mike and Jerry (Gabe and Tycho) are always there and it gives us a chance to interact with them as people, not just the master minds behind the comic. Robert Khoo and everyone from Penny Arcade is typically in attendance as well, and we get to hear behind the scenes stories as to the large events that went on during PAX. So the After Party is very much (for us Enforcers) still part of our PAX experience. After the main after party, there are typically splinter groups that go on for after-after parties. I ended up going to the After Part, an After-After Party, and After-After-After Party.. and then Tasty Burgers. Haha.. =)

    It's a lot of work... every enforcer that I know of works more than their 6 hours a day. Some work the entire show from 9am to 2am. I worked Friday from 7am - 3am Saturday myself (but I'm a Manager and was helping to solve a slight issue). If you see Enforcers and it looks like they are not working hard, they are putting on a great face to ensure that you have the best PAX ever. We have a rule in the Enforcer Community: PAX is for Attendees, not us. Everything you see Enforcers doing is for the betterment of your PAX experience.

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    Vapok - PAX East PC Room Manager
  • TheTerribleManTheTerribleMan Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    arsonisfun wrote: »
    Vapok is dreamy

    Coming from Arson, that's like the greatest compliment you could ever get.

    Earlier in this thread Vapok mentioned he can't speak to what it's like going from attendee to Enforcer, but I can. I went to PAX East '10/'11 as an attendee. This year I Enforced. The experiences are entirely different. One thing I tried to do this year was Enforce (morning shift 9am-3pm), then attend with friends after my shift ended. I also did SAX, as well as the Wednesday/Thursday setup. Trying to do it all was probably a bad idea, as I found I was exhausted, and didn't enjoy PAX as much as I had the past two years as an attendee. I also really love PAX from an attendee perspective, and I'm probably not 100% ready to give that up (something I was unaware of until I Enforced). When I Enforce again, I'll go into PAX knowing that is the focus of the weekend, rather than spreading myself too thin.

    Notice I said "when I Enforce again". Enforcing is tough. It's exhausting. It's giving up focusing on enjoying PAX completely (not the same as completely not enjoying PAX), and focusing on making sure the attendees enjoy PAX completely. It's also really rewarding, something you don't totally get until you're well into the weekend and realize that you are part of the 5% of the people in this giant thing that is making the giant thing work.

    TheTerribleMan on
  • Kiki_louKiki_lou Registered User regular
    Do you get to choose where they put you?

  • dyaballikldyaballikl PAX Main Theatre House & Security Manager • PAX Community Cartographer Gold Coast QLD AustraliaRegistered User regular
    Kiki_lou wrote: »
    Do you get to choose where they put you?
    Enforcers list their top 5 departments. The magical Ms. PRD makes the schedule and most of time gives Enforcers their #1 or 2 pick. Occasionally someone will get something not in their top 5, but a vast majority of those times, that Enforcer winds up loving that department way more than they thought.

    I put Main Theatre at my #4 in my first year, but it turned out to be my favorite!

    a.k.a. dya
    "Riding a mongoose reminds me of having sex with a man, which is something I do frequently because I am gay!" -Gabe
  • VapokVapok PC Room Manager - PAX East BostonRegistered User regular
    Kiki_lou wrote: »
    Do you get to choose where they put you?

    You choose the top 5 departments (ranked) you wanna work. Then when scheduling occurs, you're placed in one of those departments depending on which one needs the help more. Rarely, you are placed in a department that you didn't choose in the event one department is critically short handed.

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    Vapok - PAX East PC Room Manager
  • PayneTraynePayneTrayne Canuck Registered User regular
    Is there any way to completely give up one day (work open to close Friday) instead of giving up bits of everyday?

    PAX East 2013:Get on Pokecrawl Team Yellow Silver [X] Pass [X] Vacation Time [X] Hotel [X] Flights [X] PAX East 2013 Complete [ X ]
  • VapokVapok PC Room Manager - PAX East BostonRegistered User regular
    Is there any way to completely give up one day (work open to close Friday) instead of giving up bits of everyday?

    It is highly discouraged (though some do it) to work what we call a "Black Shift" which is all three shifts in one day. Because of that, the requirement is to ensure that you work at least one shift a day, and that is how the schedule works.

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    Vapok - PAX East PC Room Manager
  • adastraadastra Registered User regular
    Vapok wrote: »
    I had an incredible time at /dance (#slashdance) playing music for you all. Hopefully next year I can make it bigger and better.

    I found out that #slashdance was happening when people started showing up at Tabletop Info and asking, "Did you know that there's this awesome dance party happening just outside the door?" I was waiting for a conga line to burst through the doors... but alas, it never happened. ;)

    On the original point of this thread - this was my first year Enforcing and I can say with certainty that it won't be my last. It made this PAX different than the three others that I've attended (in a good way). The days are generally longer and more exhausting, especially when you're working nights, and you definitely can't do everything that you might've done as an attendee because some of your time is spent doing Enforcery things. But as a trade-off, you get to see PAX from a totally different perspective and make a significant contribution to the event. I think my application said something like, "I've seen the people who make PAX awesome, and I want to help make PAX awesome, too."

    One of the top questions I seemed to get this weekend when people wanted to chat about being an Enforcer was whether I thought that they should be one. My answer is this - it's a decision that only you can make for yourself, and the experience of being an Enforcer is unique for each and every person. I'm sure that there are plenty of people who wouldn't want to take on responsibility, or give up other things that they could be doing. I was happy to fix dozens of broken lanyards, give directions to the shuttles, help people find a place to play a game, and re-connect people with lost property... while the three friends that came to PAX with me happily spent my shifts playing games and going to the concerts. There are also a lot of very different jobs that you can take on during PAX, and some are going to be a better fit for you than others - I was very satisfied at Tabletop, which has always been my "home" at PAX anyway. I probably would have been fine in another department, but Tabletop was perfect.

    I knew that the Enforcers were awesome people when I was an attendee, but I can confirm that they keep being awesome when you work with them, too. It's always a pleasure to be part of a team where everyone wants to be doing what they're doing - this is a rarity in the real world.

  • 3clipse3clipse Registered User regular
    Is there any way to completely give up one day (work open to close Friday) instead of giving up bits of everyday?

    You can always volunteer for more work, either through spareboarding (i.e. going where needed) or volunteering to your manager to stay on and help more. Last year I chose to black shift (as we call it, as Vapok said) and worked from 8 am til after doors closed every day. Was tiring but awesome :D I know very few enforcers who only work their assigned shift. We tend to take on more work because helping make PAX what it is is surprisingly addictive.

    As for doing that all in one day so you don't have to work others...I don't think so. At least, I have not heard of anyone doing this. It would make scheduling difficult, I think, and probably be discouraged.

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  • goldenfalcongoldenfalcon Registered User regular
    I can't afford to go to PAX this year, but I can't ruin my streak, so I need to get signed up as an enforcer. When and where do you usually sign up? This is my first year being curious about how enforcing works, and I am totally willing to make the sacrifice to go this year! I just don't want to miss the opportunity to sign up. (I live in Seattle, does that increase the odds of becoming an enforcer?)

  • auspexauspex Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    I can't afford to go to PAX this year, but I can't ruin my streak, so I need to get signed up as an enforcer. When and where do you usually sign up? This is my first year being curious about how enforcing works, and I am totally willing to make the sacrifice to go this year! I just don't want to miss the opportunity to sign up. (I live in Seattle, does that increase the odds of becoming an enforcer?)

    My understanding is that an announcement will be made in the weeks to come. Keep your eyes on the forums, and consider following @Official_PAX and @Peeardee on Twitter.

    auspex on
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  • spydeyspydey Registered User regular
    Is there any way to completely give up one day (work open to close Friday) instead of giving up bits of everyday?

    Try 3rd shift. 9PM till close and you get Sunday off. ;)

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  • auspexauspex Registered User regular
    dyaballikl wrote: »
    Enforcers list their top 5 departments. The magical Ms. PRD makes the schedule and most of time gives Enforcers their #1 or 2 pick. Occasionally someone will get something not in their top 5, but a vast majority of those times, that Enforcer winds up loving that department way more than they thought.

    I'd love to hear more about what folks think the pros/cons and their favorite bits of different departments are! As a "jack of all trades" gamer, I feel like I am pretty flexible.

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  • Lucid_SeraphLucid_Seraph TealDeer MarylandRegistered User regular
    Hi! This was my first year Enforcing (under the name TealDeer). I was in Morning Line Management, and I'm sorry still for us running out of bags. Friday I was the one informing the Expo Hall line that SPACE IS THE ENEMY, DESTROY ALL SPACE in an effort to compress the line ;) I also handled the Mike and Jerry signing line.
    On the one hand: You won't really get to do "PAX" as you know it. I didn't get to do any Expo hall this year, save for a quick breeze through, and I saw very few panels. Mostly, I got to do concerts and hang out with friends... but that worked out pretty good for me! Also, you will be VERY VERY TIRED at the end. Know how tired you are now? EVEN MORE TIRED THAN THAT.
    On the other hand: PAX can be almost five days long if you're an Enforcer. If you help up with setup, you get to see the show come together, and I got to see some really cool stuff at teardown (main highlights: hanging out with MC Frontalot and watching Commander and Ringo of the Protomen turn a dolly into a bobsled). The afterparty is like PAX-The-Sequel. The Enforcer community are amazing people to be friends with, and I love hanging out with them. And then there's just the wonderful satisfaction you get from helping attendees and making the show that much more awesome!
    Basically: you should do it, it's great.
    Also for those wanting a day off: wang shift gets Sunday off. Also, because morning Line Management is kind of intense, our shifts run 8 AM to 1 PM instead of the usual 9-3. Trust me though, just because you get out earlier does NOT mean it's an easy shift, dang.

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    "I've got this feeling like my veins are filled with nothing but WHITE HOT FEMINIST RAGE"
    deathsquirrel
  • ThatGuyGregThatGuyGreg Registered User regular
    Also for those wanting a day off: wang shift gets Sunday off.

    Maybe, maybe not. Depends on your manager and department.

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  • DruVirusDruVirus Registered User regular
    Fourth year Enforcing! Never had a non-Enforcing PAX so I have nothing to compare it to but .. I've always summed up my opinion on Enforcing thusly: I'd much rather be a part of PAX than simply attend PAX.

    It is an odd point of view, I know. Everyone I talk to is confused why I would want to work at a convention (which is supposed to be more of a vacation) and it can be difficult to explain. Working 6+ hours, helping set up/take down PAX, running around on only a few hours of sleep, .. plus a plethora of other things all sound like non-fun activities. But I'll say this: During the PokeCrawl and during the con itself people will come up to me and shake my hand and thank me for Enforcing. They'll go, "Oh! You're an Enforcer?!" and literally pat me on the back and be genuinely appreciative of the work we all do. Being an Enforcer is much more than just "working at a convention". It's about being a part of the convention, about helping out people just like us, and about trying to make something that people call "home" the best place it can possibly be.

    On that note, my pros/cons!

    Pro: Helping out PAX, meeting awesome people, making an enjoyable time for people, and being a part of the Enforcer family.
    Con: Lack of sleep, might not get to do everything and anything you want, running around all crazy like.
    Departments: I've worked Handheld Lounge, Line Entertainment, and Expo Hall. HL I enjoyed because I could kick back and talk to attendees about my favorite handheld games and try to figure out what they might enjoy to play. LE was great fun if you have high energy and love making a fool of yourself. Sadly, on mornings, my energy is lacking and I'm not really in the right mind-set to go wild and crazy. But I did love Expo Hall this year! Getting to walk around and see everything, as well as talk with exhibitors and developers, and just basically work with exhibitors AND with attendees as a kind of bridge between the two was fantastic.

    But remember: it is tiring work. I was working from 8am to 2pm (meaning I'd wake up around 7am or so) and after the concert and parties I would be heading to bed around 3am+. Now, you don't need to do all that, but do keep it in mind when signing up. PAX is a big party after all, and if you plan to both Enforce AND enjoy the convention to the fullest, you'll be sleeping A LOT less than people normally do during conventions. Well worth it, though! YOU CAN SLEEP WHEN YOU'RE DEAD, AM I RIGHT?!

    Virus ; COLOR="Green"]!Chikorita Gold[/COLOR] -- PAX East PokeCrawl
    COLOR="Blue"]!Ravenclaw[/COLOR] House -- PAX Prime Tri-Wizard Drinking
    PAX Pokemon League Dark Gym Leader
    [Enforcer]
  • PayneTraynePayneTrayne Canuck Registered User regular
    Well, I had heard this before but I do believe I'd fit in well for line entertainment. As someone who can do card tricks and improv entertainment and would love to have a reason to wear a utilikilt I may just don the red next year. (As long as I can wear my Canadian flag as a cape again)

    PAX East 2013:Get on Pokecrawl Team Yellow Silver [X] Pass [X] Vacation Time [X] Hotel [X] Flights [X] PAX East 2013 Complete [ X ]
  • TangoTango Registered User
    edited April 2012
    This thread is relevant to my interests! I don't really have much directly relevant comment in terms of hours; I have to be 'on shift' almost all of PAX. However, I do still think people should attend a PAX before they Enforce a PAX, if possible. Being able to see things from the perspective of those we serve is really important. (Just my opinion; I'm sure others would disagree.)

    Tango on
  • AvianAvian Registered User
    edited April 2012
    Knight_ wrote: »
    inside jokes or have been working in departments with each other for years


    1. JASONNNN!!!
    2. Magikarp


    Edit: That being said I find enforcing to be rewarding in its own. I've traveled to the last two Easts by myself and had a blast of it both times. You meet awesome people and make great friends and its very easy to make friends with just about every [E] out there. I only started going to PAX as an Enforcer and don't think I could ever attend PAX not as an Enforcer.

    Avian on
  • BritalityBritality Registered User regular
    To the OP (and everyone else considering it, really):

    This was my first year Enforcing. I did attend a single day at East 2011, but otherwise went in pretty much blind. I knew zero Enforcers before I applied, and I have moderate to severe anxiety issues, so this was a huge step for me.

    I knew within several days of access to the "super sekrit" forums and communicating with the other Enforcers that this was likely to be one of the best things I've done in my life, and that I was going to need to find a way to get to Prime as well, but that was validated on so many levels (ALL THE LEVELS?!?!) before, during, and immediately after PAX.

    I had the privilege of meeting handfuls of Enforcers in person in the three weeks leading up to PAX East, which helped ease my nervousness substantially, but I can wholeheartedly say that it wouldn't have mattered if I hadn't. I absolutely can not find the words to say how incredible this new-found "family" is. The Enforcer community is incredibly accepting and welcoming and amazing beyond belief. I feel so loved.

    TL;DR

    DO IT.

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  • Tal!nTal!n San Francisco, CARegistered User regular
    [E] has taken over this thread!

    Just to hop in, I started attending first and I definitely agree with Tango that I think attending for a year or two first is really cool in being able to see what it's like from both sides. It should go the other way, but apparently it's rather difficult to stop Enforcing :P

  • Oldmangloom315Oldmangloom315 Registered User
    I went to East 2010 as an attendee and decided in 2011 to apply. Last year I worked wang shift (9-3) for Jamspace though I ended up filling in all over the place. Got to see some of the show.

    This year, I was one of the folks on the expo hall floor with the gold armband. Due to it being a different role, I was on the floor from 8 or 9am until 7 or 8pm each day. It was a lot more work and a lot of being on my feet. I didn't get to see anything really or play any of the games but the work I put in was really gratifying knowing that I had a hand in controlling the chaos (at least in my area).

    Really, you have to know that you're taking a more active role to help the show and attendees. Everything else is secondary to that. The trade off for that is being a part of an amazing team of people.

    So yeah, you work really hard and get super tired, but working with such an awesome group of people both attendees and [E] makes it entirely worth it. I love it.

  • BekerBeker PAX guy SeattleRegistered User regular
    [long post, tl:dr, enforcing is awesome, but may take a bit to find the right fit for you]

    I started with attending Prime 06, joined Enforcers in 07 and have enforced every PAX since. I did not know anyone going in 06 and still had a good time, although attending with others would have made it better. I'm generally slow at getting to know people, so while I started in 07, I didn't start attending Enforcer events (of the non-PAX variety) until 09ish. It is a great community, however the PAX community itself is also a wonderful community, and in many places they overlap, especially with all the PA community regulars being sucked into our [E] ranks.

    It is true that very few enforcers go back to being a regular attendee. However it happens, and likely will happen more and more as time goes on. Some move on to the industry and attend as exhibitors or media, others just decide to move on to focus on other aspects of life. Some just decide after a year that enforcing is not really their bag.

    I very much enjoy PAX, so while I work long hours for setup and take down, I generally do my 6 hour shift during PAX and then play an attendee. I find spending some time attending helps me keep the attendee's perspective in mind as I can see things from their point of view. It helps keep fresh in my mind what long lines feel like (I stood in line for the gearbox panel), how [E] look from the attendee point of view, and what things could be improved that the attendees aren't telling us about. Its sort of undercover work, and it has proved useful in uncovering potential issues in the past. That being said, this East we were so short staffed I ended up doing my regular morning Info Booth shift, spending a few hours on the floor, and then spareboarding in the evenings until close wherever I was needed.

    General enforcing skills do not include PC tech, knowledge of AV equipment, security expertise, etc. Those roles do exist, but they are specialized, and are not generally for freshman enforcers. What you really need is a good attitude, ability to look after yourself, your fellow [E] and the attendees, and common sense. Those are the skills needed for the majority of the enforcer positions, everything else can and will be taught on the job. Most enforcing is about repeating a relatively simple task over and over (checking out games, head counts for theaters), learning the top 6 questions in an area and then repeating them when asked, or doing something important but boring for hours (guarding valuables while a band is away or a curtain to back stage).

    Enforcing is not for everyone, it can't be. We need 500+ enforcers to make a good show, but we need tens of thousands of attendees else the show doesn't happen. But if you have attended several years and think you have seen much of what PAX has to offer. Or get more personal enjoyment from helping people have a good time then from seeing shiny things yourself. Then my fellow Gamer, donning the black (now in blue or red) might be for you. We will show you a side of PAX that you never knew existed, and if you are willing, hone you into the best, most friendly, convention staffer you can possibly be.
    Spoiler:

    -Beker/Erick
  • DrainDrain TableTop Manager SeattleRegistered User regular
    I can echo my esteemed PAX roommate's sentiments. Maybe I could go back to being an Attendee, but I don't think I'll find out any time soon :)

    "I don't know why people ever, ever try to stop nerds from doing things. It's really the most incredible waste of time."
  • lilinoelilinoe LA Registered User new member
    I started attending/Enforcing PAX at East2011 and went in not knowing a soul. Two weeks after East 2011 I flew to Seattlol to hang out with my new [E]-family for a weekend, and 2 weeks after that I flew to Boston to visit [E]-family there. Enforcing has changed my life. <3 the Black.

  • Xenocide GeekXenocide Geek Registered User regular
    I'm hoping there's gonna be a call for more enforcers for Prime 2012, because I'm finally able to apply to be an Enforcer this year. Too many complications with the previous years.

    With that said, if the call does come, can anybody relate more experiences about what working each actual area is like?

    I'd love to really be in the thick of things, completely in the fray and having to scurry frantically. I work best under pressure, and I'm hoping to go all out and hopefully begin to make up for all the years I've only enjoyed PAX, as opposed to help facilitate it. With that said, I have no idea where to get that kind of experience.

    I'm guessing I'm gonna hear a lot of responses of "that's pretty much everywhere", since the convention is so damn hectic in pretty much every spot.

    i wanted love, i needed love
    most of all, most of all
    someone said true love was dead
    but i'm bound to fall
    bound to fall for you
    oh what can i do
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