Temping at PAX

Temping at PAX

A gamer newbie checks out PAX

“Do you want to work at a convention?”

I had to check and see if it was in line with my political beliefs because I wouldn’t be comfortable working at a National Rifle Association Convention. Fortunately, it wasn’t. 


PAX was in town and I ended up temping at the Penny Arcade Convention for Labor Day weekend for Liquid Advertising. I don’t know how exactly I ended up with the gig, but it was a dream job for the eight of us working it. 

We were on a floor with other media people only instead of pretending to look important, we were making hats for a Middle Earth game inspired by the Lord of the Rings. My job was definitely prestigious. The important people walked by us and we generated a buzz for the Middle Earth video game with our hat making skills and techniques. 


The convention itself was sort of like a Star Trek convention; there weren’t any Trekkies around, but there were plenty of people dressed up like their favorite video game characters. My favorite was of a man with a crayon on his head. I’m not sure what game he was representing, but he looked fantastic, especially if you are into guys with crayons through their heads. 


When I finally got to go upstairs, I was overwhelmed by the video game consoles, the costumes and the crowds of people waiting in line for swag bags. My job was to put the hats on the stage. At that point in time, everyone was so enraptured with the games playing on the large screens in front of us that they actually forgot about the warlock hats on the stage. I’m sorry to say it, but many of the attendees looked like Zombies watching the screen.


We made our way back to the little room where we had our Gandalf-style hat-making factory. Some of us were timed, some of us raced and most of us followed our slave-driver’s orders. It should at this point in time be noted that the slave driver did in fact get us coffee when needed, donuts whether we needed it or not and sandwiches for lunch. It should also be noted that we were paid well for our work relative to the stress level, etc. and that Gandalf, himself might have been proud of the whole operation. 


The only snafu that I could see came with a mistake from the printers; a few of the hat parts had misprints that suspiciously looked like condoms. Fortunately, there were only three of the condom-wizard misprints, so I don’t think that it affected the day all that much.