Around this time last year, I was offered a job as a Game Master on Epic PW. I remember long before I was offered it, folks, including myself, were jokingly saying ____ for GM!
Never did I think that my name would have came up in the pool.
Thus it Began…
I was hired as a “trial GM” with 3 others. They were looking for someone to cover the times that GM’s are usually not on, due to time zones and the like. I covered the US time zone with 3 of the regular GM’s who had other things going on as well. I was able to log on every day due to me not having a job outside the home, and I made sure that I logged on when I could for several hours.
Now let me be blunt: the EPW community can be downright mean. Some have called it “toxic” even. When shit don’t work, GM’s are the first line of reaming. Never mind the fact that sometimes it’s out of our control, it’s always the GM’s fault. They get called every name in the book (and told to “suck dick” in many, many languages), and essentially, they have to let it roll off their back. Of course, yes, punish em, but you really need a thick skin. Sometimes you just gotta laugh it off.
You need patience along with that thick skin. Especially being on a server where all languages are spoken, you will run into folks who try to communicate with broken English (or their native tongue in hopes that the GM is bilingual–I was not blessed with two tongues). I have patience with the ones who do try to speak English, because they are trying to speak what many consider the hardest language to master (even some Americans get it wrong sometimes). I feel horrible when it’s a situation that I can’t help them with because of various reasons.
The best part about this job was the events. I was able to hold events, and while there were some that I was morally unable to run despite the ungodly amount of pressure, there were others that I loved to run with other GM’s and my own. The one event that would’ve been something regular if I were still GM was the Hide and Seek event. I did it a couple of times and people enjoyed that I went all over the map, and not necessarily just the main map. I think I stumped a mess of people with my hints, but it added to the charm of the event.
Fall From Grace
I knew that there was the off chance that I wouldn’t have been a full GM. However, I was confident enough that they would have kept me around. So when I got the news, on one of the US’s largest holidays nonetheless, I was shattered. I cried. A lot. It broke my heart because despite everything, I loved it, and it is by far my best job. I got to stay home with my daughter, I got to provide customer service (because that’s essentially what a GM’s job is–customer service, even if the customers get a free service), and I got paid for it (which I didn’t know about until after I got the trial GM position). I wanted it so bad. And if I was given the option again, I would totally do it. Yeah, I wouldn’t be able to be on as much as I was before, but it would make a nice supplementary income that would allow me to do shit that I love to do.