Con (mis)behaviors


Seen via Sherwood Smith: Steve Miller wrote up a list of dos and don’ts for convention attendees.

It’s not really my thing, since I don’t attend conventions, but I figured you guys might be interested.

And so… a contest! Since my favorite thing about conventions is the stories of awful misbehavior that flow out of them like water from a leaking dam, I would like to hear YOUR best (worst) story of awful convention misbehavior. It has to be something you personally witnessed, not just something you heard about second-hand or watched on video (like the Ellison boob-grab).

Also, I’d like to avoid stories of actions that could have/did earn the perpetrator prison time, because that can be upsetting to many readers (including me).

The winner will be chosen by me, based on my own personal social hangups and anxieties, will win a complete set of all three Twenty Palaces novels, mailed to the library system (or other institution) of your choice.

Post your horror story in comments.

4 thoughts on “Con (mis)behaviors

  1. bittercupojoe

    I was the head of one of the staffs at a large convention for a bit over a decade. There were several things that happened during that time that I know of that were invalidated by one or the other of your rules (some of these did result in jail time, and one of the best I didn’t see personally, but heard about from my friend that was head of security at the time). However, one is all mine, and… just, honestly, stupid. There is no other way to put it.

    The staff that I ran was called Morale, and that’s mostly what it was. My staff and I made sure that other staff (all volunteers) were getting enough sleep and food, taking their meds, etc. We also helped to negotiate interpersonal problems between staffers and the like. That was the official job. Unofficially, it was the emergency fill-in staff; everyone needed to know at least minimal first aid, for example, because one year I ended up having to fill in for the medical staff that was (oh, irony) injured and sick. And given that I was, at the time, the only staff head that didn’t drink, I often ended up being the “face” of the convention during evening emergencies.

    In one case, it was 12:30 AM Saturday night/Sunday morning. I was hanging out with some friends in security, and we got a call over the radio. “There’s a rave in the fitness room.” “Say again?” “There is a rave in the fitness room on 202.” Since the security desk was lightly staffed at the time, and we figured there was no way there was actually a rave in the fitness room, I decided to head on up. I expected to maybe find a boombox and a few kids with glow sticks.

    I enter the room, and see, in this order:

    1) About 60 PLUR candy ravers dancing around with glow sticks
    2) All of the fitness equipment except the treadmills have been moved to the edge of the room
    3) The candy ravers are doing the Running Man on the treadmills
    4) There are Christmas lights strung up on the equipment at the edge of the room
    5) There is a professional double turntable setup at the far end of the room
    6) There are speakers my size on either side of it

    The DJ insisted that his friend “with the con” told him this was all cool. I had to inform him that, in fact, it was not, and that they needed to clear out. And then, of course, hotel security showed up. Luckily, nothing like a brawl or anything happened, but the treadmills were damaged, a few electrical outlets got trashed where people yanked cords out instead of unplugging them, and so on.

    So that’s my best, personally witnessed, non-felony con story. Well, except for the tornado, but that’s not really about con-goer misbehavior.

  2. RKB

    OK, I don’t have a con misbehavior story thus don’t put me in the contest, but I like telling this story anyway.

    I was at Darkover in Maryland for a job interview (my future manager was an SFF geek too.) After the interview he said to me,”Why not hang out and have a good time?”

    So I’m milling around and sit down I think where they were singing filk. I don’t remember if it was any good, but I did fall asleep (I also had a sinus infection.) I partially wake up to hear people talking, and Rosemary Edghill’s name pops up. I groggily get up from the chairs I was sleeping on, turn around and go,”Oh, hey, you are Rosemary Edghill? I really like your books!” and then I turn back around and go right back to sleep. As I fell back to sleep I heard her and her friend laughing in a good way. :-)

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