Archive for February, 2016

I have finally found out why people who claim they do their larps “like a pro” seem to me quite often to be done very unprofessionally.
I guess in IT business (or some cultural productions) working professionally is that product is ready on time and everybody know what their know-hows and responsibilities are. Also I guess it’s somewhat impostant to concentrate on producing something that is different from everything else there is on a market, and advertising it well. Or something like that (I wouldn’t know).

In customer service if you check from my company’s manual I fail in every shift, usually multiple times. It will either take 1 minute longer than the target time to get the food to customer, or we ran out of coffee and it takes over a minute (!) to get more, or I mishear something while working at drive-in. Everybody makes mistakes. What does make me a professional is how those mistakes are handled. Hardly ever those customers leave the restaurant disappointed, never willing to eat there again.

Of course both ways of seeing professionalism share common elements. Like plan well, make timetable, talk to your supervisor and colleagues when needed, ask for help if needed.

What I count to be professional and what really isn’t obvious to everybody who seem to be doing larps “like a pro” is:

1. How mistakes are handled (as they will happen): Explain, apologize when needed, don’t make excuses, don’t attack the person who made a complaint, even if it’s a silly complaint. (I also believe in tone polishing in both work and volunteer work context.)
2. How people are handled. Probably neither working at a low-wage sector customer service or writing that particular larp is their all time dream job, so motivation must come from other stuff than the work itself. So remembering to say thank you, asking how they’re doing, letting people learn and try new things and show what they’ve learned, not just doing stuff they’ve done previously best. Avoiding micromanagement. If something goes wrong, letting them reflect it first and tell how they’d avoid the same to happen again. Only if needed telling your opinion as supervisor how it should be handled from now on.
3. How “reality” is handled. Something good or bad (usually bad) will happen. It is possible to be flexible, without being too soft.

I’m not really interested in comparing if being main organizing a larp is more comparable to a customer service work or IT production. Just saying out load that I at last understand why some people think their larps are very professionally done, while I seriously disagree. 🙂

(Also I didn’t say IT projects are badly managed.)

TLRD: Expecting people to do the same in a volunteer project than in a well paid, desirable job isn’t professional.


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