Posted on 2012-04-01
You are in a big room. An Olympic arena, to be precise. The sheer scale of the building makes it seem virtually empty, even though you know there are probably over a hundred people scurrying about. In several hours over 5000 people will be bursting through the doors to party for for five days straight. You are one the 350 volunteers who make it all happen. The stage is still not ready, but it will be. The network is still not fully in place, but it will be. Much of the crew is still not present, but they will be. You are not ready, but you will be.
On Wednesday at 09:00, The Gathering (TG) 2012 (http://www.gathering.org) kicks off. I'm heading to Hamar Olympic Arena (Known as the Viking ship or just the ship) tomorrow (Monday) morning to help make it a great event. As a volunteer, I get the best reward I could ask for: An exhilarating week with my fellow 350 amazing crew members.
Even though this is a computer party, I anticipate that the only time I'll spend on an actual computer is when I'm emptying the flash card on my camera. My job at TG is not technical, despite what most people who are unfamiliar with computer parties seem to think when I tell them what I'm doing this easter.
My job is to grease the wheels. I'm part of the crew simply called Core (as opposed to Tech, Security, Event, etc) and we do everything and anything, if it has to be done. Before I get to the ship I truly have no idea what I'll end up doing. Except walking. I know I'll be walking a lot. When your job is to be the guy who short circuits the chain of command and works across all parts of the organization if it needs be, you need good shoes.
Hopefully, I get even more things to do this year. Even seemingly simple tasks can be fun when you multiply the complexity by 350 or 5000. And it turns out I'm pretty good at this whole "making it happen"-thing. I have it easy, though, because the people I work with are awesome. It's hard to find a group of people who are more enthusiastic, energetic (even in our sleep-deprived and exhausted moments) and diverse than what you find at behind the scenes at a computer party.
If you happen to be at The Gathering this easter, track me down and say hello!
I'm unable to truly find the words that express my strong passion for what I do at computer parties, but for some reason, running around like an energizer bunny at these events is something that truly makes me happy.