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[MISC] Enforcing Pro/Con?

NowHiringHenchmenNowHiringHenchmen Registered User regular
edited October 2011 in PAX Archive
Hey guys, pretty much first time posting around here, but I figured what better place to ask? I've only had the opportunity to go to the past two PAX Easts, and for the upcoming one, I'm considering sending in an application to be an enforcer. So basically, my questions are:

1.) Have any of you guys ever been an enforcer?
2.) If so, how was it? Worth signing up? What are some pros/cons?

Moe Fwacky on
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Posts

  • NaileNaile Registered User regular
    So you want to be an Enforcer. Let me ask you a few questions (before answering yours) that you should consider prior to applying: Are you the kind of person who prefers to give than to receive? Do you often work yourself to the edge of capacity? How many pairs of fresh socks do you own? Would you treat an upset attendee with utter politeness or rebuff them? Are you willing to do things you'd never have guessed you ever would without a second thought? How many jokes do you actually know? Have you ever shouted at the top of your lungs for three days straight? Can you lift heavy objects frequently for long periods of time? How do you like standing around and walking? Do you know the not-so-secret handshake? Are you willing to work?

    So basically this was my first year at PAX, and my first Enforcing. Who knows if I'll get another opportunity to do so after this but I hope to Zog I do. It was an unbelievable experience and quite easily the best convention I've been to in my life for that. All of the benefits are the incredible community of Enforcers. When they say PAX is like coming home it's true and the Enforcers are like your cool older brother/s. The "cons" are pretty obvious. You're not here for you it's all about the convention and making this thing run like a well oiled sphere of guinea pigs. There will be things you want to do, go to, claim as swag but you can't because you're in the middle of your shift, shifts, when was the last time I slept, is it Sunday already? Sometimes it's hard when you know your shift is up and if you just left right then you could totally get that cool crate of cool shirts you wanted but then you look around and know your fellow Enforcers are trying to hold the line and you say "Frag that" you step up and show them what you can do well into the next shift.

    That is merely the tiniest fragment of what Enforcering is like.

  • ruforufo Registered User regular
    Attending means you get to experience as much PAX as you can handle. Enforcing means you give up some of that in exchange to help make PAX what is is for everyone else. You'll still have off-shift time, but if something is happening during your shift…

    In exchange, you'll be part of the Enforcers, a brother/sisterhood of awesome dedicated to help make the best gaming convention on the planet as amazing as possible. You'll have other experiences, some of which will be as or more fantastic as those you'd have as an attendee, and you'll make some pretty awesome friends. You'll still have a good time, but it will be centered around working, not playing.

    So I can't really tell you whether or not you should sign up. I went to four PAXes before I made up my mind, but wouldn't even think of going back. I love PAX and love making it as amazing as possible, and Enforcing is the best way I can figure out to make that happen.

  • NowHiringHenchmenNowHiringHenchmen Registered User regular
    "Are you the kind of person who prefers to give than to receive?"

    I like to help others, if that's what you mean.

    "Do you often work yourself to the edge of capacity?"

    Yes!

    "How many pairs of fresh socks do you own?"

    Many!

    "Would you treat an upset attendee with utter politeness or rebuff them?"

    Politeness, obviously.

    "Are you willing to do things you'd never have guessed you ever would without a second thought?"

    Hm...what's life without risk?

    "How many jokes do you actually know?"

    A LOT.

    "Have you ever shouted at the top of your lungs for three days straight?"

    No...should I start training?

    "Can you lift heavy objects frequently for long periods of time?"

    Yes.

    "How do you like standing around and walking?"

    No problem with it.

    "Do you know the not-so-secret handshake?"

    No...=(.

    "Are you willing to work?"

    Of course!



    So....from what I gather, it IS worth it. How long do ones shifts usually run? I've seen on the application it says be ready to go 8 hours a day, but is it a consistent schedule between days? Also, how does one get to enforce certain areas? Meaning, how would one get the chance to help set up the concerts vs. being a line holder.

  • NowHiringHenchmenNowHiringHenchmen Registered User regular
    rufo wrote:
    Attending means you get to experience as much PAX as you can handle. Enforcing means you give up some of that in exchange to help make PAX what is is for everyone else. You'll still have off-shift time, but if something is happening during your shift…

    In exchange, you'll be part of the Enforcers, a brother/sisterhood of awesome dedicated to help make the best gaming convention on the planet as amazing as possible. You'll have other experiences, some of which will be as or more fantastic as those you'd have as an attendee, and you'll make some pretty awesome friends. You'll still have a good time, but it will be centered around working, not playing.

    So I can't really tell you whether or not you should sign up. I went to four PAXes before I made up my mind, but wouldn't even think of going back. I love PAX and love making it as amazing as possible, and Enforcing is the best way I can figure out to make that happen.

    Yeah, I might go this year as an attendee and think it over for next year, but I would really like to at least try it once, ya know? As I said already to the other poster, what's the schedule like?

  • reboot111areboot111a Registered User regular
    Schedules depend on the department you are in, most [E] jobs have between a 6-8 hour shift, and that stays pretty constant depending on the information you give when you apply to be an enforcer, i.e. those that are not morning people vs those who are still running on east coast time zones. Assignments are partially based on your "wish list" and what jobs need bodies to fill them, along with any special skills you may bring that the managers can make use of.
    Enforcing is an amazing experience, and while you may not see the entire show (as that is becoming even more impossible every year) you will walk away Sunday/Monday with memories you will get nowhere else.

    PAX Prime 2011 [E] 6th Floor Expo XA
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    I would like to be assigned to Felicia Day security, full time.

    I have specialized training.


    Kidding! I was thinking about doing this next year too. I have three PAXs under my belt, and I think I'm in a place where I could give a little back.

    Also, not kidding. I will be her Kevin Costner.

  • TOGSolidTOGSolid Drunk sailor Seattle, WashingtonRegistered User regular
    mcdermott wrote:
    I was thinking about doing this next year too. I have three PAXs under my belt, and I think I'm in a place where I could give a little back.

    That's where I'm at right now. I also now have three PAXes and I've done them in basically every capacity.
    Year 1: Exhibitor
    Year 2: Omeganaut
    Year 3: Regular ole attendee

    I actually had a lot of fun helping Arco last night with the PPP which is what got me thinking about doing it and hell, I've got actual training in this sort of thing (advanced first aid, firefighting, crowd control, and two years of port security guard experience). Not to mention my production tech background from my high school days (which oddly has never seemed to fade). It almost seems like a dumb idea NOT to be an Enforcer next year.

    So yea, I think Prime 2012 will see me rocking the blue.

    wWuzwvJ.png
  • ruforufo Registered User regular
    Yep. For me, it was a realization during Prime 2010 that I was having as much or more fun talking to other attendees and helping them out as I was doing things at PAX myself. That pretty much sealed it, and I jumped on my next chance to become an Enforcer at East.

    I refer to it as the moment I "leveled up".

  • SampsenSampsen Aggressive Berserker Registered User regular
    This was my second PAX, first time enforcing, and I can tell you I got far more enjoyment out of this PAX than my last one. Putting all the successes of dealing with people aside, there was a LOT to gain from enforcing.

    I was part of a giant community of Enforcers. No matter where I was or what I was doing, I had hundreds of friends all around me. I didn't even need a reason to talk to another Enforcer, I could just walk up and ask how they were doing and it was the most natural thing in the world, no awkwardness at all. I went to PAX with a group of friends last time and I was far more comfortable walking around by myself this year than I was with my friends the time before. I cannot stress enough the feeling of family that was present. We love everyone in the convention center, but a fellow E was something else altogether.

    I was never alone, and could, in a heartbeat, find people to do something with, and it was just so natural that I do so. I made many, many friends, and I think I fell in love with Warp, but I think that all the Enforcers that meet her do. With the Blue or Black shirt, you are part of a giant family.

    It was a lot of work, but I'm addicted and will be going back every year they invite me back. You don't get a lot of time off shift, so you really value the time you do. I didn't get to wait in lines in expo or console free play, but what I did do, I rocked the %&#% out of. Putting as much as I did into the things I did made it all that much better. I was never bored and was always tired, but I had so much fun.

    After reading what I just wrote, I don't think I came close to expressing how I truly feel. It may have changed my life, and I mean that. I'll be here every year in my new blue shirt and will be smiling from ear to ear, 6 hours, 12 hours, 18 hours, 3 days, 5 days, it doesn't matter. Join us.

    Sampsen

    Sampsen_na_104_5_logo.png
  • mspencermspencer PAX [ENFORCER] Council Bluffs, IARegistered User regular
    I had to skip both PAXes this year, but I Enforced the five before that. (07-09, and both East and Prime 2010) I've got a couple of opinions about Enforcing.

    A cynic might say that PAX in its current form shouldn't have worked but amazingly, awesomely, it does. A cynic might say that the inevitable economic forces of corporate America should have seen PAX bought out, taken over, competed against, and changed into a marketing machine and profit center, and robbed of everything that makes it special. But that doesn't happen. An important part of Enforcing, in my opinion, is believing in the cause of PAX, desperately hoping PAX continues to exist for the right reasons and continues to be a force for good and awesome in the gaming community. And being willing to work hard, sacrifice, and serve your fellow gamer, to help keep PAX's balance tipped toward the side of AWESOME.

    Second opinion: being a successful Enforcer requires many skills. There are some personality traits we can list, or some bits of job experience we can quote, where if you have these things you will probably make an awesome Enforcer. Not having these things -- or not yet knowing if you have these things or why they are needed -- doesn't necessarily mean you won't develop or strengthen these things through effort and experience.

    OK, I lied, I have three opinions. Yes Warp is indeed awesome. :-)

    Also, this is still good to read.

    Also if I may peel back the curtain a little bit, there's a bit of the culture that I think some might find informative. We used to have (still have?) a term, "black shifting," which refers to the hopefully-unnecessary and highly-discouraged practice of working PAX from open to close every day. Do not do this. You need sleep and food, and the convention will survive without you long enough to keep yourself nourished, hydrated, and showered. We've recently tried to rename the practice to "puke-shifting," to try to remove some of the "rawr hardcore Enforcing" meaning of the term. The people who do this, or catch themselves coming close to doing this, aren't working for any prize, or improved social standing, or for a shot at a deputy management position, or anything like that. We are rational people, not addicted to pain, not work-a-holics in our daily lives. We just enjoy seeing this unstoppable force come together and create this pocket of alternate universe where everyone is a gamer.

    MEMBER OF THE PARANOIA GM GUILD
    XBL Michael Spencer || Wii 6007 6812 1605 7315 || PSN MichaelSpencerJr || Steam Michael_Spencer || Ham NOØK
    QRZ || My last known GPS coordinates: FindU or APRS.fi (Car antenna feed line busted -- no ham radio for me X__X )
  • LigerLiger Registered User regular
    I'd like to point out that the heavy-lifting and long periods of standing are highly voluntary. We have Enforcers in wheelchairs who, for various reasons, cannot stand at all. They are equally valuable on our team. There are many ways to help out, regardless of personal mobility. If you have a kind and giving personality, love gaming or nerd culture in some aspect, and would love to be part of the machine that makes PAX an amazing show, keep your eyes peeled for the application.

    Also: I don't know the handshake either, but I know a hell of a lot of gestures.

    5932306549_6b4d957b56.jpg CUSTOM LANYARDS FOR PAX
  • dyaballikldyaballikl PAX Main Theatre House & Security Manager • PAX Community Cartographer Gold Coast QLD AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2011
    My opinion over the past few years has become that the enjoyment of PAX comes largely from the people you're around, not so much the content of PAX (that's the icing). After some time of attending, you're not focusing so much on the people and the content of PAX can become somewhat repetitive. Joining the Enforcers has helped me to rediscover my love of PAX through others.

    [edit] to answer the op: I've served 5 tours now

    dyaballikl on
    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
  • tr0tskytr0tsky Registered User regular
    dyaballikl wrote:
    My opinion over the past few years has become that the enjoyment of PAX comes largely from the people you're around, not so much the content of PAX (that's the icing). After some time of attending, you're not focusing so much on the people and the content of PAX can become somewhat repetitive. Joining the Enforcers has helped me to rediscover my love of PAX through others.

    That is almost word for word how I feel :D

  • Gene ParmesanGene Parmesan Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    I'm planning on Enforcing next year assuming they open it up again. I would love to get into Tabletop HQ but I'd be happy with anything really.
    dyaballikl wrote:
    My opinion over the past few years has become that the enjoyment of PAX comes largely from the people you're around, not so much the content of PAX (that's the icing). After some time of attending, you're not focusing so much on the people and the content of PAX can become somewhat repetitive. Joining the Enforcers has helped me to rediscover my love of PAX through others.

    This years PAX Prime was my third PAX and a little bit of the magic was gone just because I was already familar with the convention center/streets and things of interest. I'm hoping what happened to you will happen to me as well :)

    Gene Parmesan on
  • NullzoneNullzone Registered User regular
    This was my third PAX, second Prime, and first Enforcing. It was easily the best choice I've made, the community of Enforcers is an incredibly solid group of people who are a ton of fun and it's hard to find even one that you can't just sit down and have a good time with. Even despite there being some things conflicting with my shift that I might have otherwise maneuvered to see as an attendee, I have absolutely zero regrets about my time spent at this PAX (which is more than I can say about my first year, which I spent at least half of standing in one line or another).

    Watching attendees have a great time makes it all worth it and is fun in its own right. I'm proud to be among the Enforcer ranks now and will carry that banner with me as long as I live.

  • ArcoArco Registered User regular
    I purposefully skipped all the responses to the OP, because I want to give my own opinion and not attempt to add/contradict/detract from others.

    1) Yes, for the last 4 PAXes. 6 PAXes total.

    2) Enforcing is a different experience, very unlike going to PAX as an attendee. As an attendee, PAX is about you. You get to see so many amazing things, do amazing things, grab all the swag you can, and just generally immerse yourself in all your gamery/nerdy indulgences for 3 straight days. It's like being a kid Christmas morning.

    Enforcing is like being a parent on Christmas morning. It's a lot of work, a lot of personal expense (both in terms of time, sweat, and money), and a lot of preparation, all so that someone else can enjoy themselves.

    If you're the type of person who derives enjoyment and fulfillment from helping others have fun, and from building something that isn't really intended for you to enjoy but rather for others, then Enforcing might be right for you.

    If you are the type of person who wants to spend the whole weekend playing, partying, seeing, and grabbing, and running things in your time, on your own schedule, then I don't recommend it. Enforcing isn't for everyone, and it isn't meant for everyone. There are people who just don't want to contribute to PAX in that way, and that's fine. They do it in other ways, or they're simply content to buy their ticket and go, like most people. There is nothing wrong with this, and the vast majority of people are expected to do this, and nothing more.

    I'll also say this: the two things I value most in enforcers is friendliness and the ability to remain calm. I've seen a few enforcers take the stress the wrong way, and take it out on attendees. I've seen a few enforcers who embodied that "rent-a-cop" kind of spirit, and treated the attendees the wrong way. It makes me cringe when I see enforcers acting this way, although it certainly doesn't happen often.

    Most of the time enforcers treat attendees like guests in their home, and they do anything and everything they can to make the attendees happy, comfortable, and answer all their questions. Furthermore, they do it without breaking a sweat and with a smile. If you can do that, and if that sounds like a great way to spend 5 long days, then by all means, send in your application when they open up.

    Like this, not like the gas station.
    Organizer of the Post-PAX Party. You should come!
    Satellite Theater for life!
  • SammySammy Registered User regular
    So I've been toying with the idea of Enforcing since the last PAX East. Because it looks like such a fun job, and I'm that crazy person who loves people. [I'm a customer service lead at my job, and I seriously am way too cheerful sometimes. lol]

    This entire thread has thus far cemented my desire to be an Enforcer.

    *waits patiently for the apps to open up*

    Go Team !Squirtle!!!! Nurse Joy Pokecrawl '11

    PAX EAST 2012: HOTEL [X] FLIGHT [] PASSES [X] TIME OFF []
  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Right Here, Right Now Drives a BuickModerator mod
    Whether enforcing or not, I believe a big part of keeping the magic of PAX is in variety. I make an effort every year to do something different. As has been mentioned elsewhere, PAX isn't just once convention, it's many, from panels, to expo hall, to community stuff, there's a huge amount of stuff to take in. Instead of trying to take in all of PAX in one year, I pick one or two things each year and change it up the following year.

    So, whether or not you decide to enforce, I believe it's good practice to experience the parts of PAX you missed out on in the years previous.

    E6LkoFK.png

  • alegriaalegria Registered User regular
    Also remember, everyone can be an enforcer even if they're not an [Enforcer]. The spirit of PAX can be shared by every attendee, by helping out someone with directions, getting a tired [E] a bottle of water, or helping someone who just dropped their bag of stuff all over the escalator. Don't wait to be asked to Enforce before you do it, just start doing it!

    Enforcing is not for everyone - it is definitely not for me, for example. I've been to six PAX events (2006-2011 in Seattle), four of them as a BYOC attendee (2008-2011), and three of them as the wife of an [E] (2009-2011). I'm at the level of involvement that is right for me - I can help my [E] husband and his group out throughout the day (and prior to PAX), but I can still arrange my own schedule for the weekend. And there's nothing wrong with that. :)

    Rw4xnu6.png
    PAX Prime Attendee since 2006, BYOC Attendee 2008-2012, Buttoneer 2010-2014
    https://www.pinnypals.com/pals/alegria
  • FatherFletchFatherFletch Registered User regular
    +1 Arco
    Well stated.

    Tabletop Manager
    Rolling Old School Dice since '04
  • CaldvanCaldvan Registered User regular
    Pro? The people, the stuff, the place, the attitude

    Con? Making a girl cry when I told her her badge was fake.

    [E]
  • JediFreemanJediFreeman Registered User regular
    This is my ninth PAX as an Enforcer. I have felt for a long time that Enforcers are people who are so energized by seeing something accomplished that they will do what needs to be done to make sure that PAX is a success and that as many attendees as possible have such an enjoyable experience that they will continue to come back and enjoy themselves at every show. Not because of ticket sales, but because of the spirit of "home" that PAX brings out in everyone there, Enforcers, Attendees, Exhibitors and PA staff alike.

    The Enforcers to me are like a great big extended family... I do not know them all as well as I would like, but it is a group of people with the same interests and attitudes towards making PAX awesome that bring us together, both at the show and throughout the year.

    When I step on-site at PAX every show, it is like coming home after being away and everything just clicks together. Enforcers roll out and transform whatever location we are at into something that is bigger than Expo Hall, or Tabletop, or PC or Console Freeplay... it is the spirit of togetherness in gaming embodied throughout all of us.

    PAX Enforcer - Lieutenant
  • parabolaparabola Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    First PAX enforcing....

    PRO: Enforcers are the nicest people i've ever met, and you get to work with them and hang out with them a lot.

    CON: If you absolutely feel you need to spend a lot of time in the expo hall, or see every panel, it's not ideal. That said there are tons of places to work and you're bound to see cool stuff no matter where you work.

    For me after 3 years of attendee status PAX is no longer about the games, it's about the people. Thus, I will be enforcing for ever and ever. And it seems a lot of enforcers have gone by this 3 year attendee -> 4th year enforce pattern.

    parabola on
  • B for BusinessB for Business Registered User regular
    To me, there is no con about Enforcing. My first PAX was Prime 2010. It was an eye opener. I had no idea something like this existed. I mean, I knew about comic-con, gencon, all those other cons, but PAX is different. You see the signs around downtown Seattle advertising PAX. One in particular says, "Welcome Home". That is such a true statement. The first time i stepped foot through the doors of the WSCC and saw everyone, I was instantly hooked. The feeling I got from the people around me, that they were just like me and that I could talk to anyone about anything, and they would "get" it. It's a feeling I don't get very often in my life. So when I received it almost constantly at PAX, it was like a drug to me. I needed more. Even before Prime 2010 had ended, I decided that it was my goal to become an Enforcer and give back to this community and try to make others feel the same way I did. If this is how you feel, then do it. You will not be disappointed.

    Xbox Live - Jaxon121906 10k
    PSN - B_for_Business
  • tsrblketsrblke Registered User regular
    I heard it said best by a friend of mine's wife (who enforces) "If it sounds like work, it's not for you." I don't plan on enforcing, because after she said that I thought "Damn, it sounds like work."
    Demo-ing shit I love (if that were ever a possibility) doesn't sound like work to me (just so you don't think that everything sounds like work to me)

  • mspencermspencer PAX [ENFORCER] Council Bluffs, IARegistered User regular
    I think I should caution people about that advice: different people have various different day jobs, and some people enjoy their work more than others. Don't underestimate the awesomeness of the community at PAX. You'll be surprised to find how many things that might otherwise be boring are made awesome by the people you're working with and the grateful people you're helping.

    MEMBER OF THE PARANOIA GM GUILD
    XBL Michael Spencer || Wii 6007 6812 1605 7315 || PSN MichaelSpencerJr || Steam Michael_Spencer || Ham NOØK
    QRZ || My last known GPS coordinates: FindU or APRS.fi (Car antenna feed line busted -- no ham radio for me X__X )
  • the1ogerthe1oger Registered User new member
    edited September 2011
    I definitely want in, this year was my 2nd PAX. I love doing volunteer work like this, Im an emt and can lift many a heavy object. I just want to know when and how I sign up

    the1oger on
  • CybitCybit Merch Underling RedmondRegistered User regular
    +1 to those saying that anyone can enforce by just being a nice person. I helped the Brigade out a bit (my plans got blown up, but I was able to do a little), and helped a couple of the enforcers at the Friday night concerts. But to me, since some of the enforcers are RL friends (one works with me, another one goes to the same LGS, etc), I just see it as helping friends.

    In the end, isn't that what enforcing ultimately is? Helping friends?

    (Also, my two enforcer friends may have finally cajoled me into enforcing with the logic of "You already do it anyway, just get the shirt"). Hopefully they will accept applicants this year. Also, hopefully I will have a large place of residence in Seattle by next year, so I can make it a PAX hostel. ;)

  • whypick1whypick1 PAX [E] Info Booth Manager ~2' from an LCDRegistered User regular
    If more Enforcers are needed, there will be a post here and on the PA site with the application.

    Is it PAX <insert nearest future PAX here> yet?
  • dyaballikldyaballikl PAX Main Theatre House & Security Manager • PAX Community Cartographer Gold Coast QLD AustraliaRegistered User regular
    Also, don't forget the @official_pax twitter. If you're like me and don't read the news page often, that's where you're most likely to see the app posted.

    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
  • DreyDrey Registered User new member
    This was my first year at WSCC but i had been to the Mayenbauer center both '04 & '06. and i got to say, the more time i spent at PAX the more lazy i felt and wished that there was a place i could sign up to help out. I found that line waiting isnt for me, but the more Enforcers i talked to about possibly signing up next year the more amped i got for wanting to apply. And after reading this thread im even more excited. I hope they open up applications next year so that i can join in this awesome community but also help out in any way i can.

    okay i'll admit it i'm related to nephirij....
  • CosmosGoddessCosmosGoddess Registered User regular
    As being an 5th year Enforcer, It's more to coming home to an extended family where everyone knows your handle. I love it, and can't ever go back as an attendee.

    enforceruserbarprime.png
  • ChronoHawkChronoHawk Registered User regular
    So Prime 11 was my 3rd PAX, and my 2nd as an Enforcer. I originally planned on signing up for East 2010, I even had the application filled out. However, I had never been to a convention before, and none of my friends had interest (at least that year), so I decided to go as an attendee. (I had a blast, but that's beside the point). East '11 came by, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of PAX, once again my friends flaked out and I decided that despite being the only person in my group with interest, I wanted to be an Enforcer. I filled out my application and thus began what has been a life altering experience for me (And I really do mean that).

    Being a part of the Enforcer community and helping make PAX what it is has been one of the proudest achievements of my life. I am honored to work side by side with some of the coolest, friendliest, most amazing people that I've ever met. Obviously we come and work together at PAX, but many of us stay in touch between shows. There are over a thousand of us, and many of us keep in touch online. We play a variety of games together, and those of us that live close enough to each other (and some who don't), take the time to come together and celebrate the bonds that we've forged through PAX. Some will even fly across the country to take time to visit each other! There are always things going on, and of course there is always a PAX around the corner = D

    As far as my own experience goes as an Enforcer, I joined up not knowing ANYONE. I took a very large leap of faith, and upon joining, I took some time to head down to Boston and meet some of the people I would potentially be working with. Now, I'm not exactly a shy person, but going to an event with god knows how many people, ALL of which I do not know, nor have ever met, is a little intimidating... not even five minutes later, I felt right at home. Everyone was friendly, and I'm not sure that I've met a more welcoming group of people than the Enforcers, and it's been a an amazing year of memories as a result. I live 200 miles from Boston, and I constantly finding myself making the trip down to see my fellow Enforcers. They are just THAT awesome!

    As cool as [E]vents can be, it's PAX itself that is what's really important. And like many others have said, PAX is very different as an Enforcer than as an attendee. I think Arco said it best as far as describing who PAX is for, and that's very true. And while it is possible to get some of that attendee experience, that happens when you are off shift. There is definitely a time commitment, and you will definitely have to sacrifice time from seeing the show, but out of that, The PAX experience drastically changes, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

    As you all know, PAX in itself is incredible, it's an experience like no other. As an enforcer, you gain the unique experience of being a part of what makes PAX so incredible. You will be tired, you will be sore, and you will have stress (whether or not you are stressed really depends on you). I can say that at East this year in my position I walked at least 50 miles over the weekend, and I had a smile from ear to ear the entire time. I met some really cool people just by doing my job, and people really do see just how special PAX is, and it's because of the work that the enforcers put into it.

    I took the chance, and it's paid out in spades.

    I am NOT Rider Miller!!!!

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  • MoonVydeoMoonVydeo Lord Moon Enforcer at Large Istanbul (Not Constantinople)Registered User regular
    I have been Enforcer since PAX 2005 and have worked both PAX Easts, I have never been an attendee.

    I will echo most every other Enforcer's assessment.

    It is hard work. Depending on what area you volunteer for you may see very little of PAX. You only rewards are really a badge, at t-shirt, and a nice "thank you" party at the end. A big note about the badge, it does not give you "all access" privileges. There are some places we have no business being.

    BUT there are other rewards. The family that is the Enforcers. The knowledge that you are helping put on one of the best conventions. Making new friends. Khoo story time.

    There are cons. Your feet will hate you. Having an attendee/exhibitor/media person be a complete dick to you as you politely point out rules or reasons they can not do something or go somewhere. A new one this year, watching a child nearly burst into tears when you tell them that their pass is a fake. Rolling a 1 on the D20.

    If you are considering volunteering for PAX East I say dive in if you like what you've heard so far from other Enforcers. One of the things PAX East really needs is more east coast volunteers to sort of make it theirs. Being from Seattle I have no way of helping people when they ask about local things in Boston. I don't know a good place to eat, I don't know what other touristy things are near by, and I certainly don't know what the quickest way to get to highway/town/bar.

    Basically, can you be a happy customer service person for 3 long days? Can you give up seeing many parts of PAX? Can you put the Bomp in the Bomp-Bomp-Bomp while shaking a tail feather? Then a long sleeved red t-shirt may be in your future.

  • beta_angelbeta_angel ColoradoRegistered User regular
    edited September 2011
    I have, for the past few years, thought about doing it and I believe next year I will make my attempt.

    I just wanna work with Lord Moon...cause he's rockin' some sweet chops and the bitchin' hat. :D


    Plus, it seems like everybody I know is an Enforcer...I'm being peer pressured, dudes.

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  • DannicusDannicus [E] Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    This Prime was my 3rd PAX and my first joining the ranks of the Enforcers. I can honestly say I had a better time this year, than I have at any other PAX. Dya is right when he said PAX is really about the people you are with, not about the flashy new game, or the swag. Don't get me wrong, those are great things too. A "shift" if you want to call it that is generally 8 hours long. If you're like me, you tend to forget that as it's infectious. My first day I worked just a normal shift. After Saturday and Sunday I think I took a total of 4 hours off and 2 of those for hours actually off my feet. Did my feet hurt? Yes. Did i miss the panels I wanted to see? Yes. Did I mind? Hell no! As long as I am accepted, I will never go to PAX as an attendee again. Enforcing isn't a job...it's a way of life. :)

  • NullzoneNullzone Registered User regular
    Point of order: Enforcer shifts are 6 hours, typically. Some departments go a little long just by nature, but for someone coming into the force they should be prepared for at least 6.

  • TangoTango Registered User regular
    I'm an Enforcer. I'm the security manager for PAX East, a deputy for PAX Prime and, if this counts, I was the security 'manager' for PAX Dev too.

    As for the downsides...

    I work 18 hour shifts, get almost no sleep, have to deal with criminals, put up with various clashing priorities, have to be the guy who tells Attendees that They Can't Do Stuff, spend thousands of dollars a year on Enforcing (travel, hotels and etc), walk about 90 miles in three days (PAX East 2011), never really see anything at PAX for more than a few minutes at a time, feel bad because I can't contribute more time to Cookie Brigade, have to see Attendees crying because their badge was lost or stolen, miss out on almost all the parties, and don't really get to see any panels, demos or concerts.

    All this for a badge, a shirt and an element of keeping the physical security side of my resume up to date. Is it really worth it?

    For me, it is. It's the intangibles that really make the experience of being an Enforcer what it is, for me and for most others. The more of a 'volunteer mindset' you have, the more likely you are to get something out of the experience.

    One thing's for sure: if you want to be an Enforcer because you think you'll get special privileges, extra swag or special-snowflake secret access, you are seriously barking up the wrong tree, and should keep enjoying PAX as an Attendee. Because it's Attendees who are privileged at this con, not the volunteers.

    If you are the sort of person that wants to roll up their sleeves and work, putting Attendees before yourself, and accepting that Enforcers are less important than Attendees at this show? See you at setup for East 2011. :)

  • CloudwalkerCloudwalker Registered User regular
    Are there many Enforcers from outside the US? I'm in Scotland, but after going to East and Prime as an attendee this year I'm definitely considering applying to be an Enforcer for East 2012, assuming they recruit again.

    Token Scottish guy.

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  • BigRedBigRed Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Are there many Enforcers from outside the US? I'm in Scotland, but after going to East and Prime as an attendee this year I'm definitely considering applying to be an Enforcer for East 2012, assuming they recruit again.

    Most of them outside the US are canadians but there are a few that travel from abroad.

    <MoeFwacky> besides, BigRed-Worky is right
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