I agree with trythisoutchik and Aygen on this matter, let's calm down everyone!
This will be my 9th year going to Acen! I've been coming to this convention before they moved to the Hyatt, and when the line for the Masquerade could not have been more then like 50 people
! The popularity of this convention has gotten so big over the years, with more and more people attending each time! But I feel that the number of volunteers/staff have stayed the same! Heck, if you think the security and staff working out the mess of the masquerade lines the previous years were bad, think again! They have really improved!
As mentioned before, the staff members are not getting paid for any of this work, and I am pretty sure they are really understaffed as usual, so let's just try to walk in their shoes a bit you know? These are the very people who are making the very convention that we are so excited about! Without the hard work of the staff, we wouldn't have anything to look forward to this May 11th-13th!
GrammatonCleric wrote on the forums that the Acen staff had to stuff the envelopes by hand, and I'm sure that was not a fun task, and we all know that sometimes the work we try to finish just doesn't get done on time. It happens. GrammatonCleric also did mention, as well as DJ Fluffkins that the badges were delayed in being sent out. GrammatonCleric also wrote the staff worked with the post office so that we would all get our badges on time. The staff members are con-goers too, and love all the things about Acen that we love, I'm sure they understand more then anyone the frustration of not being able to have the badges right now.
I feel that GrammatonCleric wrote that we would have to pay an extra $25 for lost badges as a precautionary measure, that if and I am sure no one here on the forums would do this, but *if* someone is thinking in their chair as they read this, "hey, I can just lie and say I never got my badge and get another one for free!", then think again, it's not going to happen. He is in no way saying the badges are never going to arrive, or that we are conspiring anything or that the staff are just waiting to take our money and don't care at all about us.
I've really never had a problem with the post office, and I'm sure everyone is just really stressed out and worried. Of course, it would have been nice to have the badges in our hand already! But I bet that in the next few days, badges are going to be pouring into the hands of everyone waiting, and we'll all be happy. And honestly there will probably be only a few handful of people (or even better, none) who yes, really had their badge lost in the mail, and not all of us as we are probably thinking right now.
And don't forget, while it is also the responsibility of the staff to send out our badges, they never forced us to choose this option. We chose to have our badges mailed to us because like a lot of people are saying, we didn't want to wait! So if we can't wait 2 hours in line, then we probably are having a even worse time waiting a week or more for the mail. We trusted the staff to send out our badges on time, so let's keep the trust for now.
I'm sure that if a huge mass of angry people arrive at the convention without receiving their badges in the mail, the staff would reconsider the $25 dollar fee, because then obviously they did not send it out on time or they should not have used bulk mail.
So please don't get angry just yet. One of us might even get a badge tomorrow! I admit when I first read the post, I was upset about having to pay an extra $25, but I also understand that sometimes you have to be firm and make rules in order to keep things fair. I mean, how would you feel paying $46.50 to have your badge mailed to you, only to overhear someone laughing about how they got their badge for free because they lied?
Then you would angry at the staff about that too! You would be like, why didn't they check or ask for some sort of proof? You would be thinking, "I paid almost 50 dollars, and this guy got it for free!" But the truth is, there is no way to win in this kind of situation, there is really no sure-fire way to prove it. Even if you bring ID, and your bank statement, and your confirmation letter, how can you really prove that your actual badge is not on your friend? It does seem unfair when, though I believe that all of you are honest people, that you have to be punished for the few that are dishonest. But don't be angry with the Acen staff, be angry with the people who do such dishonest things, that rules like this have to be made!
If Acen had a huge staff and lots of donations for help, then I would be extremely angry that my badge wasn't sent out earlier. However, having gone to Acen for so long, I know that there are not enough staff members to do so much work. I know they work so hard to please everyone, but that's impossible. They are really an under appreciated group, and I just feel so bad when I hear the angry remarks on the forum, when I know the staff is working so hard. I can't even imagine how they can keep working so that we have an Acen to go to, when they read remarks about how they are going to get their asses kicked if the badges don't come, or how people will never come to Acen again because of this. My feelings would be hurt if I was a staff member.
Please! Just think of the staff before yourselves, just for a tiny bit. Just try to understand that they are overworked and understaffed, and they are humans too! They are probably not sleeping and living off ramen right now. When the badges start coming in, and I'm positive they will! I'm sure we will be seeing a lot of Thank yous and happy people writing on the forums, and all anger will be forgotten only to be replaced by the excitement of "is my badge going to come today?"
So let's keep the hurtful angry comments and accusations to ourselves unless the badges don't come by May 4-5th! (May 9th for me as that's when I'm leaving)
Sorry for writing such a huge post, but I just felt so bad for the staff, and I felt like someone should try to defend the poor guys.
p.s. I am a student with bills and loans and debts to pay off and I don't have a job right now, but seriously, $25 isn't that much money. I know that it is a lot when you feel like you are being cheated (especially after you paid and yeah, I'm sure it really is hard for some people to spend an extra $25), but I'm sure if worse comes to worse, you can always borrow money from your friend or family or just beg someone walking around with a badge at Acen! If I see someone crying out because they can't pay the $25, I'll try to help out. I'm not rich, but I can help at least one of you.
Paying the $25 is better then not coming at all, right?! This is a once a year event, we shouldn't let this topic ruin everything for us! I don't want anyone to be soured by this whole badge mailing, it's not worth it compared to the fun you'll have at the convention when you come! So here's to praying our badges arrive this week!