Herald's Call

I am an historical archaeologist and a linguist by training and am currently employed in retail. Gaming keeps me sane. This blog (my first) will be a place to chronicle my escapades (in gaming, in writing, and in life). Welcome! Pull up a chair , grab a cup of coffee, and feel free to stay awhile. Cheers, Rachel/Herald Selenay
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2021 in Review

Rachel
United States
Shickshinny
Pennsylvania
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and historical archaeologist
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Microbadge: Toilet PaperMicrobadge: I participated in the Friday on Friday challengeMicrobadge: Jack Vasel Memorial Fund auction participant - 2022Microbadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: Toilet Paper
ninja So that was a year... ninja

Workwise:
devil Content Warning: Retail Soapbox! You have been warned.devil

Still stuck in retail, but the vendor support role really gave me room to learn and grow.

I've figured out that I can analyze sales figures for products/vendors that I am responsible for, figure out what works and what doesn't, and even in the absence of any real power over what lines we continue to carry; I can ensure that I spend more time/effort on products/vendors that our customers actually like and purchase. We are now leading the fleet in sales on some specific items. It's kind of impressive for one of the mid-size stores. Of course, not having the power to discontinue products that do not sell is frustrating; as is dealing with the ever-changing tasks, metrics, and systems imposed by the corporate lackeys who do not have to implement their "solutions" in actual real-world stores shake. And there's nothing extra in it for me, regardless of whether sales are through the roof or down the drain. However, to some extent (and to my continuing chagrin, especially given how abusive my store can be at times whistle), I do still take pride in my work. Yeah, seriously... I can't believe it either.

Additionally, I have picked up some valuable insights into dos/don'ts if I would ever open my own independent store (not necessarily ever happening or even something that I really want...but you never know whistle).

1) Packaway- nope.
2) Multiple redundant task management systems/digital micromanagement -nope.
3) Keep selling products that are no longer even used by customers due to new government regulations -nope. (In NY, good luck selling bag caddies!!!)
4) Give workers holiday bonuses- actual holiday bonuses.
5) Provide stock options/shareholder options/something so that all employees (regardless of if there are 2 or 1500) actually feel like what they do matters/that they have a say in the company.
6) Paid lunch breaks.
7) Hire and keep actual employees. To clarify: if a person isn't doing their actual job... don't keep them. In retail, several holiday hires seem to get free passes (and even get offered to stay on year-round) because... they exist. This is unfair to your employees that actually work and can really amplify a bad work environment...just no.
8) If something is broke: fix it!!! Aka leaky dock seals, broken rollers, heaters, and even supply cabinets. Fix it or replace it- your employees will thank you. I

End of Content Warning. This Soapbox has been brought to you by a disgruntled retail employee. zombie

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Lifewise:

whistle Not much to report for most of 2021- just more of the same. But events of late 2021 likely mean some employment/living changes in 2022, due to my health. I had a nasty/ongoing reaction to a certain 2nd dose. I am alive (); I have kept working throughout this entire thing; however, I have basically hit the limit for what I am willing to tolerate. As such, I will likely be leaving my store (and NY) and heading back to PA with my wonderful parents who have been incredibly supportive throughout this time. If the move happens... I will be unemployed... but luckily I don't need much to get by and my Mom has already said she's looking forward to a freepass on housework . That and it'll give me time to figure out Plan C. (Yes, C).

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Gamingwise (aka the FUN part of 2021):

So, so much goodness and happiness to report.

I am incredibly grateful for both the Feel the Love and 1 Player Guild communities here on the Geek. You are all amazing and wonderful people and don't let anyone tell you otherwise . The BGG Challenge Community is also a particularly friendly corner of the Geek. I would be lost without [Insert Year] Challenge Champion to organize my life. Thank you ZenithSplendor and RomyCat!

1) Even though I have fallen off the wagon with regards to logging my plays for this game, the Stoneblade Entertainment monthly online league for Ascension: Deckbuilding Game continues to be a regular source of joy.

2) Microbadge: Challenge Completed! 2021 Challenge Champion

3) I finally got to play The Reckoners and made a whole event of it: SGOYT September Play Report

4) ~952 plays of ~ 52 different games (underestimates due to the fact that I didn't always log plays on BGA (even when used to fulfill challenges) and the fact that I gave up on logging Ascension...

5) 133 plays of FUSE, making it my most played (physical) game.

6) Hitting gold: 2021 Extreme Numerology

7) Finally beating The Grizzled in The 2021 Solo and Co-op Unpossible Challenge

8) Completing the 21 unplayed in 2021 Challenge

9) Having fun in all of the other challenges (win or lose).

10) Hosting the 2021 Friday on Friday: Play Friday EVERY Friday of 2021

and

11) Running the 2nd Annual 1 Player Guild Holiday Card Exchange

All in all, 2021 was a great year for me on the Geek and for my gaming more generally.

The one lowpoint was when work burned me out robot in early 2021, prompting a disappearing act, and scuttling my attempt to GM a Blue Rose campaign for RPGG's Annual New Player Play-by-Forum Initiative... the best of intentions and shakezombieshake. I hope to give it another go in 2023 (skipping 2022). I don't want to disappoint a 2nd table of gamers, so this time I'll make sure everything is ready to go on my end prior to launch.

Letting my series of solo challenges for Fire in the Library peter out is also a regret. But luckily, this one is easily rectified. Expect a revival in Spring 2022. Fire is catching...

And on that note, goodbye 2021; hello 2022!
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