By Fiona Anderson

Gopher Refreshment Tickets (GRTs), tshirts, stationery

I sent a questionnaire to all DHs/AHs pre-con, about their needs for these, and the response was underwhelming in the extreme. What do you do to torture the info out of people ? Well, in the end I just took a guess at what was needed and everyone had to live with that.

GRTs worked better once they were made more flexible - originally I had asked for one stall where they could be exchanged for food (a baked potato), but the SECC were perfectly willing to accept them as 2 vouchers at any of their catering stalls in Hall 4. Once this became known, there was a rush on the Belgian Choc stall :)

We issued timesheets to everyone, which Areas could sign off for hours worked there, and issued GRTs one for every 3 hours worked. The Gopher Hole was allowed more flexibility than that, as they were allowed to use their discretion in cases of gophers in financial hardship, to whom this might be the only way of (obtaining hot food during the day. This was not advertised at all, but left entirely to Miranda's discretion as to who she thought was a deserving case.

Each GRT was valid for the day of issue only, but the person need not collect their GRTs until they were ready to spend them We didn't issue GRTs on the Monday-Wed before the con, but people were entitled to claim GRTs for those hours after then. Unfortunately we failed to communicate that to our helpers, and many of them didn't claim when they were entitled to. Next time we need to make it much clearer that all hours worked, whenever they're worked, count towards any rewards that are going.

The timesheets were very useful after the con was over in putting together the staff list, both by Area worked. and alphabetically by surname, as not all Areas kept records of the staff that worked in them. They need to be encouraged to do so most strenuously.

The GRTs were designed by John Bark to my outline of what needed to go on them, and set on a difficult-to-photocopy background. Each day had a different coloured GRT and the day clearly printed on it. Each Area was issued GRTs by Finance, who kept track of how many were issued to each separate Area. They were numbered as well, so GRTs collected back after being spent with the SECC could be tracked to which Area had spent them. Each Area also had its own dinosaur rubber stamp to stamp the GRTs with. The GRTs were not valid until they had been stamped, and the SECC were given a list of the designs on the stamps.

All these measures were taken to make forgerv of the GRTs as difficult as possible, and we budgeted 6850 for them in total. As to tshirts, I ordered 500 and we had 800 helpers, so it's easy to see my guess was wildly wrong . The tshirts were all the same design, there was no differentiation by Area, except for Childcare, which had made its own special case to me early on.

All our rewards applied equally to everyone, from the newest gopher to the Co-Chairs. Most people seemed very happy with that, as far as .I could tell, and it was certainly far easier to arrange that way.

I was surprised when I visited my first US Worldcon to discover that they had 3 places for people to pick up munchies - the ConSuite for ordinary attendees, the Volunteers Lounge for gophers, and the Staff Lounge for staff and above. I'm not sure if there was a Committee Den as well or not? Anyway that's a cultural difference, in that Brits would expect everyone to get whatever's going all in the same way.

I had only one person swiftly de-volunteer when they discovered we weren't going to have a Staff Lounge, most people seemed quite happy to adapt to our ways....

As to stationery, my final guess was around 2500 worth, half of which was spent on paper for the Newsletter. I made the mistake of ordering from a company with whom I had always previously had good experiences, but this time only a portion of our order was delivered, and I spent every morning of the con having a telephoned discussion with them about the shortfall.

The stationery when it arrived was taken directly to those 4 Areas who had given me a specific request list pre-con. The rest of the stationery was held in Ops Secure Store, and issued at the discretion of the Ops Managers .