aka – things are not always as they appear. This is the follow up article that I mentioned in my Dayton Feis review from last week.
I know I have mentioned many times that I have not run a feis, and have no idea what goes on behind the scenes, but for the Dayton Feis, I had the privilege of working the morning shift in the results tabulation room. This was a great opportunity, one of those paradigm shifting things (if you are a Stephen Covey fan), that made me realize things are not always as they seem.
The room had 5 laptops setup for entries and it seems at least 3 of them were manned at any time. They had all been checked and rechecked, and the people who had done all the setup(fewer people than I assumed by the way) were ready. We were given an overview of the application since many of the volunteers had not worked results before. We were also given the contingency plan in case anything hit the fan, and that was to write out the results on paper, and send them to the results board. There was an ‘in’ basket were envelopes from the dance area came in, and an ‘out’ basket were results that had been entered and printed went, bound for the awards area to be posted for viewing.
As you can imagine, things started slowly. As envelopes started trickling in, ‘it’ hit the fan. As results were being entered, the application would shut down unexpectedly. As we started writing out the results to be posted, one of the Feis people was on the phone with tech support almost immediately, and in a relatively short amount of time, had a work around for the issue. Soon, all the laptops were churning out results pages.
At the laptops, there was a reader and an input person, and considering I am a geek in real life, I got to input results. The application was relatively easy to use, but I did have some usability issues with it, but I digress, as that has nothing to do with the feis or the people who ran it. The tag team concept worked pretty well, and there were often lags where we were waiting for envelopes to come in. There were also times when there were some waiting to be recorded, but I would say in general, from hitting the ‘in’ box to hitting the ‘out’ box, was generally less than 15 minutes.
This is where I had my paradigm shift, and probably the part where you are saying, ’15 minutes!? That is pretty darn good. Why so long to the boards?’
I had the same question. IMHO, I think there was a lag with the runners trying to keep up with things. Also, I cannot speak to the process at awards where the results went, were filed appropriately, and then posted, but can see where that could add to any apparent ‘lag’.
So, I wanted to compliment the Dayton Feis Results organizers on running results, no matter what my comments about the rest of the feis may have been, this part was done extremely well.
I guess my other point is, next time I say to myself or fellow feis goers, ‘I wonder what the hell the problem is in the results room’ I will stop and remember everything that goes into getting a result from the Judge, all the way to the wall.
In the interest of full disclosure – if you read my review, you know the girl child danced at Dayton and although I saw the score sheets from the judges for two of her dances, I did not enter the results for either of them into the system.