Changes Coming at Dragon*Con

If you didn’t know, there is a community page set up on LiveJournal for Dragon*Con.  One of the threads on the page centers around the lines for pre-registration, which we all know are the nemesis of Dragon*Con.  For those not in the know, D*C has people who registered months before the event standing in line at (and around) the Sheraton for hours waiting to pick up their badges.  Once you get to the head of the line, the queue splits into individual lines for each letter of the alphabet.  The end goal is a volunteer with a binder of names on stickers, which eventually end up on your badge after they verify that you are indeed you.

After significant griping, there is hope.  On the page, Troy Bradley has made the following statement:

First off, let me put the big bullseye right in the center of my forehead now.
I am the Director of On Site Preregistration for Dragon Con.
Let me first apologize for the waits in the line this year. We were trying a new system and it obviously did not work as intended. We were also limited on how many people we were allowed to have in the building at once by the fire marshal and hotel security. This only served to add to the delay as they would not allow more people to enter until so many lanes of the cue were emptied.
We are developing a bar code system for 2011’s show. This of course means you MUST remember your post cards and if they are emailed to you, the print out with this individual bar code. If not, you will be in the main line only to be moved to the solutions line to be looked up and printed out. As it stands the plan is to have printers and scanners at each kiosk and NO MORE ALPHABET LINES. You will be in the main line and when you get to the front, you will move to the next available open kiosk to be scanned and handed your badge. This should greatly speed things up for everyone.

[…]
I hope this clears up any misconceptions about the Preregistration process as well as shows we are working to streamline and change this so it is a faster process.
Troy Bradley
Director
Dragon Con On Site Preregistration

Well, that is good news.  I’m not too peeved in particular about waiting in line in Atlanta heat, but there are some folks who understandably get very upset about it.  It looks like Dragon*Con is listening, and I appreciate it.

One other thing:  Troy Bradley also said one thing that royally pissed me off.

Please remember that the staff of Dragon Con are volunteers. They are fans like you who give their time to the convention. They are cursed at, abused, called names, and have had things thrown at them. While many waited 2 or more hours, remember also that Thursday this year alone, we were there at 9am or earlier and we did not leave until 1:30am on Friday morning and were still back again at 7:30am on Friday to work until 10:30pm on Friday evening.

In my opinion, this is unacceptable.  I’ve never volunteered at Dragon*Con for anything more than guesting on panels, but no one should ever be abused for doing their job.  I personally believe that anyone who abuses a volunteer should have their badge pulled and be asked to leave the event.  Repeat offenders should be banned.  Such people give the rest of us a bad name and do not belong at the con.

In the same vein, there are volunteers who sign up to work, get the free badge, and then never contribute an hour to the con.  They should be banned from volunteering for a year.  If they repeat the onerous performance after that, they should be banned from the con.

These may be the thoughts that keep me out of the really good schools, but good manners should be universal, as should the concept of promises and volunteering one’s time.

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