In 10 days, I’ll be on a plane from Dublin to Indianapolis to attend the 50th Gen Con! If you’re going to the show as well, or if we meet at another convention at some point, here are some tips to help you understand me a bit better.
0. I’ll be mildly insane (Gen Con-specific)
Between jet lag, selling Pugmire for the first time outside of the Kickstarter, celebrating 50 years of Gen Con magic with friends and peers, meeting fans for Pugmire and my other work, and getting a chance to catch up with various current and former clients, it’s going to be an exciting and busy time. As such, I may come across as frazzled or distracted. Give me a minute, and I’ll come around.
1. I have hearing loss
I do have hearing loss in both ears, and hearing aids only help so much (particularly in loud environments like… well, just about everyone in and around Gen Con). I will miss what you said, and I will sometimes misunderstand you. Odds are you’ll call our my name in a bar and it’ll seem like I’m ignoring you. If you want to talk, standing in front of me and saying my name to get my attention is a huge help. There are more helpful tips for communicating with people who have hearing loss, if you’re interested.
2. I suck at names
It’s entirely possible we’ve met before, but if it seems like I’m struggling to recall your name, don’t take it personally. I meet hundreds of people at Gen Con every year, and it’s difficult to remember them all. If you could remind me of your name and how we’ve previously met, I’d really appreciate it.
3. I want to meet fans, but I’m here on business
I absolutely want to meet and chat with fans! But please understand that my main goal at the convention is business. It’ll be hard for me to carve out time to let you buy me a drink or to talk about your amazing Pugmire chronicle at length, because I’ve got to spend my time carefully at the show between business partners, contractors I hire, and other fans who also want to chat. Further, some folks I used to see more often I may only see at Gen Con now that I live in Ireland. Please don’t be offended if I cut our conversation short.
4. I don’t mind physical affection, but please ask first
I like giving hugs and other forms of physical affection to my friends, but please don’t assume that it’s okay unless we’ve talked about it first. A simple “I’d like to give you a hug, is that okay?” is perfect.
5. I’m not going to be drinking alcohol a lot at the show
Over the years I’ve discovered that I function better at conventions if I’m not drunk. On some occasions a beer or a mixed drink helps me unwind after a busy day on the floor, but far more often I’ll be having iced tea or water. So if I turn down your shot, please don’t take it personally!
6. It’s not a big deal
In the end, don’t worry that you’ve upset or offended me, or that you did something “wrong.” We’re all here to have a good time (even if it’s professional), so if you stumble, just take a second and try again. I promise I won’t be upset.