Heart Palpitations

In honor of Steve Port, the dark side of yesterday’s post.

Some friendly missives to some commonly observed, WTF are you doing, on what planet do you think you’re helping make things go faster, brutal violations of understanding the round and how you can actually make things go better. If you’re anti-rant, I suggest you go back to yesterday.

Dear designated end of round guy who stands there in front of the stage staring at me entering the stack of 200 slips wondering why there’s no printout yet,

You do understand that the printout would have 200 numbers on it, right? Actually, probably a lot more than that because of all the players that are still bringing their slips up. You know, the ones that keep reaching around you and that you keep dodging because you’re standing right in front of the result slip box? The box with all the slips in it that are all piled messy and not facing the same way and are going to take forever to enter? I wonder if there’s someone around who isn’t doing anything that might be able to help with that. Probably not because they’re too busy trying to help out all the players who are asking about dropping because they can’t get to the drop list that you’re standing in front of. You do seem to be good at standing in front of things, though – if I can offer an unsolicited idea, might I suggest you apply your skills to a match?

I’m not paying attention to you anyway on account of the aforementioned 200 slips.

Dear the paper team, or ostensibly the paper team but seems more like sit over at that table and talk about rulings team,

I don’t want to downplay all the work that you have to do at a tournament, because I know you work hard. But really, as far as important, designated officially for your team, seriously impacts the tournament things go, you really kind of have one job. The pairings got printed a minute ago. They’re sitting right here – well actually, they were, except that they’re in my hand, being waved at you. Perhaps you didn’t notice because it’s pretty crowded. With all those players. Who are waiting for the next round to start. Bet it’d be easier to see if those pesky players would just go look at their pairings and go sit down like they’re supposed … oh wait. Yeah. Awkward.

You understand that I don’t want to eat at McDonalds tonight, right?

Dear well intentioned judge who likes to hang around the stage in the middle of the round just in case we need anything even though nothing’s going on.

It’s not really that nothing’s going on. It’s just that nothing’s going on at the stage right now. Lots of stuff is going on – look behind you. All of those players, playing Magic, trying to get to a point where there are results to report. It’s kind of thin out there on judges right now since there are mid-round deck checks going on, but that’s OK. That player that I’ve been staring at who’s yelling and has his hand raised, he’s only been doing that for a minute. No big deal. But you’ll need to excuse me, I’m going to run out there and see if there are any judges in the area that I can send over to help them.

I scorekeep because I like to sit, it’s not so much that you’re making me stand up as it is that you all are collectively making me stand up.

Dear judge who wants a copy of the pairings so you can find where this guy is to return his binder,

Admirable, really. I actually, sincerely appreciate the effort of actually figuring out whose it was and delivering it back to them instead of dropping that binder in the lost and found. So don’t get me wrong. But you do know, the pairings are 26 pages, right? If you wanted to check for yourself, they’re still posted over there. On those boards that say “Pairings”. That’s OK, I dislike walking, too. You could also just ask me where that guy is, since this magical computer thing will tell me. But that’s OK, it’s just paper.

I already killed three trees today running this tournament, what’s another branch or two?

In all seriousness – judges as a lot are a generally smart and clever bunch. I have rarely sat down and chatted with one about tournament logistics and about any of these situations that hasn’t gotten it, or understood why these things make no sense. Spend some time thinking critically about the things you do. Spend more time observing what other judges do. You’ll be amazed what you can figure out to do more efficiently.

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