SL6B is here! Finally!
Okay forgive my enthusiasm. I really am excited as I have many friends and acquaintances who spent countless hours building, organizing, babysitting, and managing the coming of the gig. It is nice to watch them finally be able to breath. Unfortunately many of them are so tired they cannot even enjoy their handy work. We will just have to enjoy it for them.
The rollout of SL6B was a wee bit rocky. I was so far out of the loop I could not even be helpful to managing a solution. (How often does THAT happen?) My Greeter perms did not roll in until two days before open. And by the way? Not to be a complaining pain, but it would be REALLY helpful for Greeters to have access at least the day of an event so that they might be able to explore a little bit and know where things are located. I am not trying to be rude or demanding. But I spent three hours at a post having no idea that a stage for which I was welcoming people was above my head. It took Dusty Linden to come and say, "Did we make that too difficult for you?" before I had to bite my tongue. "Me point to teleporters right under noses." Never mind that they did not work for 60% of us. Where it took us, who cared so long as it worked, which, again, for many of us, it did not.
I understand a rumour (mind you, it is just a rumour) that the value of Greeters was not recognized this year. Allow me to explain just how helpful we can be.
This is a typical day in the trenches. It may seem drama ridden but this is what mentors and greeters face every day. This is our job.
We are standing at a landing point in a sim. Most gathered for Philip Linden's opening remarks as the main stage apparently filled quickly leaving SL6B main staff, exhibitors, volunteers, moderators etc all clambering for a position. Most also missed his remarks despite efforts to share with them the external url. And most were none to happy about it.
Imagine for me, what it is like to have six exhibitors and two moderators IMing you as a brand new Greeter to whom no one gives any information, asking why they cannot get into the main stage. Had someone simply said, "the main stage is limited to 40 people however..." we as greeter/mentors could have managed the crowds with grace leaving a much happier bunch.
It did not help that we had a reporter from CNN standing around asking for comments about how people felt being locked out of the speech. I put on my happy face. We are all cool about it, of course! We are there to be with one another and darnit, if we cannot be where we want to be, at least we are together. And that is what SL is all about. Oh, and here is the SL6B media contact who can help you with your article. (For this she seemed delighted.)
This calmed the natives, or at least put them in a position where they had to be grateful rather than cranky.
Course, I said that just before we all got dumped from SL6B and sent to various telehubs and help islands.
Which put me into another situation with REALLY cranky people. Do you know what it is like to stand among extremely cranky exhibitors who have invested so much time into their builds that their virtual eyes have turned red, who are unable to be WITH their builds at the grand opening? Granted everyone seemingly was locked out but no one told them that.
So I lied. I told them that. It leveled the playing field and put them at ease. "Just hang in there for a bit. Here! Have some cake!" No, I am not kidding. Yesterday, I handed out more cake than you can imagine. It helps to be a walking party provider. Cake chills people out. Trust me on this.
Eventually, because I have several friends on staff, one of them sent me a TP. God bless this woman. I was locked out of course, but she recognized instantly how important we had become and made an effort to get me where I needed to be. Which brought me, after nine tries, to the stage in the air with the TP mushroom that did not TP half of us.
Now comes the part where Greeters AND Mentors are helpful. For SL6B, I am a Greeter. This means I take off my Mentor hat and become focused purely on helping people have a great time at their Birthday Party. This means that I cannot dedicate two hours to helping a noob learn to put on a shirt. There simply is not time.
Paul landed at the main stage just after I did. We both arrived having found a noob standing there. Poor noob was friendless, skilless, and girlfriendless (which seemed to be his largest complaint). How a noob landed there before the staff, Greeters, Lindens and all the rest who came through did is beyond me. But he was not the last. There were several newcomers to SL who slipped through that spot. Paul stepped up and we tag teamed.
God bless this man. He instantly realized that I could not greet and mentor too. So he mentored while I shuffled people to where they needed to be, answering questions (okay, guessing at answers since I had not seen the place before and to date have not left that landing point), fielding reporters/bloggers, and directing traffic. The dance with Paul lasted most of the afternoon. From this point forward, I will invite any mentor brother or sister to stand by my side (or in front of me!) during major events to help manage the influx of people.
My SL6B boss shot over a SURL to a goodie bag which I took as my reward for a very long shift. Oooo! More cake!
But here is the best part.
CT stood by my side. He encouraged me. He jumped in when he could. And he smothered me with IM smooches to keep me good humoured. Thus the value of a SL partner over any SL mentor in world.