Several times yesterday/today(?) I heard this question: Are you alright today? Of course.
No, damn it, I am not alright. I feel like I have been attacked by giant, mutant, hunchbacked ants wielding Point of View Guns. But that just makes me sound crazy, so I say “Yeah, I’m fine.”
It’s one of those necessary lies. The truth is, I am never alright after a tournament that I’ve had to run. I’m mentally exhausted and physical distressed. I have listened to people complain about different things all day long, all of them my fault, whether they really are or not.
I’ve sat in the same damn chair for 14+ hours, with cigarette and pee breaks being my only time away from the computer. It isn’t exactly a comfortable chair either, so my back, legs, and shoulders hurt. I’m even wolfing down bites of cheeseburger while I type and advance people in brackets. There isn’t time for a proper lunch break, so I have heartburn too.
Even those small breaks do not bring relief. I am still stuck with the crowd and for someone with an anxiety disorder, being stuck in a crowd for 14+ hours without relief is its very own special form of Hell. I’m sure there’s a circle for it in that fiery after life, but should I be forced to endure it while living as well?
My eyes hurt from staring at the computer screen. They are extra dry from the air around me. I can’t wear my glasses, I have to look up too often to effectively use reading glasses. This doesn’t help my eyes feel any better. But my options are sore eyes or vertigo from trying to make out blurry features.
And as much as I love these people, I do not want to spend every waking moment of 14+ hours with them. We ran way behind, which didn’t help. Players get cranky about the down time if they go out of a round early and have to wait three hours before they start the next round. I get it, I play, and that much sitting does seem to grind on a player… but I can only do so much.
At the end of the night, there are lots of hugs, kisses, and people telling me how great everything ran. But I still have shit to pack up. The event may be over, but I’ve still got an hour or so of clean up.
The boredom is grinding, wearing, eating at me, especially since I’m not good with boredom as a general rule. There isn’t time to whip out a book or play a game. During any given five minute period, there are at least two things to be done. Not hard, complicated, time-consuming things, just things that require my immediate attention.
The worst part, I have to sit and watch everyone else have a good time. I don’t get to participate. It isn’t like I can take an hour to sit and chat. I just have to watch from my seat behind the table.
And then people ask “why are you so cranky?” You spend your entire day sitting up here, watching everyone have a good time, while you only get to hear the negative shit being said about the tournament… the tournament that you are responsible for… the tournament that when things go right, is a “group effort,” but when it goes wrong, you bare the sole responsibility of the negative… Tell me how you feel? Feels awesome, doesn’t it? Awesome in the sense that the only thing you can think about is going home, taking a long hot shower, and crying yourself to sleep. Which I did last night. No offense, but when you are the sole reason shit goes wrong, but only a small part of the “good” stuff, it wears on you, but most people never know that, because they don’t see what I go through. I can tell them, but they just say “oh that’s part of it, people are always going to complain.” Yes, yes, they are. I still feel like an incompetent moron, but I’m so glad that you care enough to point out that you absolutely don’t care a lick for what I’m going through.
The day after, I’m just drained. I don’t want to do anything. My body hurts from that fucking chair. I still feel like an incompetent moron. And still, no one cares. This one was for charity and it raised a lot of money, mission accomplished, even if I do feel like my part was downplayed to the point of being non-existent. I heard lots of praise passed around, but only seven people told me I had done anything worthwhile. Talk about a blow to a person’s self esteem…
In seven years, I have run or assisted 22 dart tournaments. Every time, I feel awful for about three or four days. Thankfully, there’s only one more to go this year and then I’m down to one tournament a year. One tournament that makes me feel like an incompetent moron and where everyone thinks I’m an evil, cranky bitch.