111: Setting Up Office

Portuguese: 111: Se estabelecendo numa Função

Introduction

The whole of the MES thanks you for stepping up and taking on a principal office in our Club.  Whether your job is the tippy Top or at the Domain/Chapter level, you are now one of the people that make this Club work and allow the players to enjoy their LARPing experience.

Now, with the niceties out of the way, time to get to work – but where to begin?  If you have never been whatever office you have just been granted, it can be hard to get started.  This document should help you in that regard, from basic checklists of the stuff you need to knowing who to contact with questions regarding your new job.

The First Week

During the first week or so, or preferably in the lead-up to your actual start date, you should make contact with the outgoing officer.  Part of their term of office is making sure that there is a smooth transfer of assets and accesses.  As this is a general course, with addenda aside with specifics, here are the general things you should talk to the outgoing officer about:

  • Email account access – make sure that you know the information for these accounts, including passwords.  It is a good idea to change the password and any password access the account may have. Ensure you are on all lists you need to be on.
  • Office Paperwork – make sure all records, both historical and ongoing are transferred.  This could require a thumb drive, Google doc or other real medium, a electronic transfer of data or simply a pile of notebooks. This includes doodles and all.
  • Real properties – to use the stage term, a property is anything needed to execute the role of the office.  See the addenda for specific things that might fit into this category.
  • CRD/Approvals – make sure you have proper access to the CRD and Approvals. You can find out how to do that here.

This is also the time to get on any lists or other online resources we use in the MES.  Database accesses, email lists and any other online elements of your new job – check with the outgoing officer as well as those above you in the chain of command to see what will be useful or needed.

The easiest way to ensure future transfers of assets when a position changes hand is to have a separate Gmail account for the office itself. This maintains separation from a member’s personal Gmail account, and thereby makes it easier to keep all office materials organized and “attached” to the office Gmail account. Doing so will make future changeover in the position much easier and smoother; most of what needs to be handed over will be taken care of when the Email address changes hands.

Keep Email organization as simple as possible; remember, eventually someone else will be taking over the office and a highly complex organizational system that makes sense to you may be impossibly convoluted to them.

All records (character sheets, prestige documents, DA records) can be saved in google docs which is attached to the office email and transferred with it. This means you don’t need to hunt down records to make sure they are all transferred and they are easy to find by the new officer. To access google docs, make sure you are signed into the officer email as your primary gmail account and go to https://drive.google.com/. Create folders to keep everything organized. Make sure to keep only the most recent copy of files in the google docs folder.

This also makes sharing documents with your players easy, especially if you are using google docs to edit them.

The First Month

Throughout the month, it is highly suggested that you keep a running log of questions, observances and other notes regarding what you are doing in your office.  Even a simple [DATE – ACTION] note on a sticky note on your laptop is a good step in this direction.  A file on a computer or an envelope on your desk are both good ways to organize these notes.  The benefits of these notes will be quite apparent at the end of the month when it comes time to report.

At the Domain/Chapter level, each officer has certain events which require their attendance beyond what they do during the downtime between them.  Both sides of the administration of the MES benefit from officers having the following items on hand:

  • pencil/pen
  • blank paper
  • notebook of officer activity

See the addenda for specifics about your office.

If you have not already, the first month is a great time to get into contact with others in the area your office takes care of.  Specialists and primary officers who exist above you in the chain as well as those who report to you are all part of the administration of the MES.  Try to contact these folks, if for nothing else than to tell them that there’s a new sheriff in town.

If the officer is still around, and not totally burnt from their time in office, take some time to check in with them.  They might have some insights, or they might have forgotten something they were supposed to give you.  Former officers might be quite happy to be general members once again, so if they show resistance, you should try to find another way, or give them some time to find their feet again.

Once you’ve got a hang of things and have gone over the Membership Handbook for your duties and powers, heck, while you’re at it, make sure you have taken your office-required Standard Tests.  The extra prestige never broke any hearts, and well golly, they are required if you want to stay in that job.

As the month comes to a close, you should start preparing the report for your office.  Notes you’ve been keeping will come in very handy.  It is an excellent idea, during your first month if not for others, to start the report early so you have time to send drafts to those who you report to if you have any doubts.  Better a 4th draft that is correct than a 1st and only draft that is not.  After you’ve written your first correct report, the rest should be easy.

Conclusion

The first month of a new office can be a harrowing experience, especially for a first-time officer.  Hopefully you’ve got some insight into how to hit the ground running after reading this document.