Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

WSFS Time is Out of Joint

The WSFS Business Meeting is looking for a debate timekeeper. See the details if you are interested.

This opening has come up because the Secretary, Pat McMurray, has had to withdraw because he's not going to be able to attend Anticipation, and the existing Timekeeper, Jared Dashoff, has agreed to take his place.

Timekeeper was the first WSFS job I had, back in 1991. Ross Pavlac, who was chairing Chicon V's Business Meeting, had put a note in a progress report (no web sites in those days) advertising for a WSFS timekeeper. I braced him up at BayCon and asked if he'd be interested in having me on board. Keep in mind that in 1991, I was perhaps viewed by some as mostly a loudmouth and at worst as a menace. (Well, some things never change.)

Ross asked, "What's the number one thing a Timekeeper should have?"

I looked for a trick question and found none. "A stopwatch," I suggested.

He beamed at me. "You're hired." Apparently the last time he'd chaired the BM, his Timekeeper had showed up with no way of keeping time.

I bought a stopwatch for use at Chicon V. I still have it in my Business Meeting kit, although I noticed a few weeks ago that the battery needs replacing again. I also still have the call-bell I bought for the purpose of announcing "time has expired." It's a bit beat-up, but still works if you understand how to ring it properly.

Timekeeper is not a tremendously difficult job, but it is one that requires you to concentrate and pay attention to what people are saying, and to also show a bit of judgment. For example, if I saw that one side of the debate was out of time, but the person speaking appeared to be winding up, I would usually give him/her a few extra seconds. If s/he fooled me and kept going, I would have to interrupt him/her with the bell. In addition, I tried to give a 30-seconds-left warning when appropriate, preferably without actually interrupting a speaker.

Anyway, if you're interested, contact me.
Tags: business meeting, worldcon, wsfs

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