Nope, I’m Done. Foolish Cricket and Manners

My husband and I run an invite only tournament every year called Foolish Cricket.  This year it ran the best it has ever ran.  Part of that is because we used Dart Connect, a scoring app designed for steel-tip darts.  The other was due to players respecting the rules.

For those that don’t understand darts, it’s hard to imagine, but this tournament is a round robin and in prior years has taken about 15 hours of constant play.  This year, we did it in 12 1/2.  That’s a lot of darts thrown in a single day.

People that come year after year will tell you it’s the tournament they love to hate.  I get it.  Players are on their feet for most of the day.  Breaks are few and short.  Leaving is impossible until you lose.

This year, several newcomers were able to join us.  It was wonderful and difficult for most of them.  After they had lost, the majority told me how much fun they had and how much harder it is than a normal tournament.

However, I’m going to emphasize most.  We had one woman this year that bitched and whined about everything,  She even accused another player of doing something that player wasn’t doing (intentionally delaying matches by leaving the building).  And forfeited her round to her by throwing her score sheet at the young man I beg to run the tournament for me every year.

I can deal with most tantrums.  This one though, she just pushed it too far.  After her tantrum about Dart Player X, she was asked if she wanted to go ahead and play that match… That’s when she changed her story and complained that her foot was hurting her.  I was going to say something to her, but was told not to.  We all know she is a difficult human being, there was no need for me to lose my composure over something as small as this.

I decided Player X, who gave me that advice, was right and I let it go.  If Player X wasn’t going to be mad, then I wouldn’t be either.  And that worked for most of the day.

Until she started telling people that my husband didn’t know how to run a tournament.  I didn’t punch her in the face, which is what I wanted to do.  I didn’t scream at her or set her on fire, despite both crossing my mind.  Instead I talked about it a little bit with some of my friends and told my husband she was never allowed back.  I think I took the high road here and should get a gold star.

I was there for over 14 hours Saturday.  I had to return Sunday to assist with clean-up.  I’ve mentioned the nerve blockers have worn off and I was in so much pain – just from running around, standing, and sitting in those awful chairs all day – that I came home and cried Saturday night.  I came home Sunday, went to take a nap, and cried myself to sleep.  It got so bad Saturday, that I had to take my shoes off so that I could feel the floor under my feet.  Sounds strange, but when my lower legs start to hurt to the point that they feel like the bones have been crushed, I guess the nerves in my legs are so hyperactive, that they do not allow my brain to process the sensations from my feet.

As Sunday wore on, I began to really regret not confronting her.  Yes, I believe in diplomacy and being nice.  I’m not a fighter.  I don’t even like confrontation.  But she didn’t just throw a tantrum… She disrespected my husband, myself, and all the players that love Foolish Cricket.  She needed to be called out on it.

She’s the kind of person that makes everyone around her miserable.  Her negativity and lying grates on everyone’s nerves.  Her constant complaining makes everyone else feel uncomfortable.

Foolish Cricket always makes people miserable the next day, but it’s “I’m so sore” and “I can barely move my arms” kind of miserable.  In other words, the good kind of miserable for a dart player.  Emotionally, it’s fulfilling to play that many games and know you did your best.

But with her around, it was emotionally draining.  I can say that I have never wished a dart player would stop playing darts… but I’ll make an exception for this one.  She gives the sport a bad name and tries to make other dart players feel like they are beneath her. After Saturday, I have decided: I don’t like her.  I don’t respect her.  I don’t think she should be allowed to come to darting events.  And I sure as hell know she will never be invited back to any tournament that I host or run.

Which is sad, because I consider most dart players family.

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The Blog Tour, The Dart Tournament, & My Job Is Less Important Than Everyone Else’s

Monday, I begin a two month long blog tour.  I began getting the interviews and things in today.  Today was also the start of the dart tournament that I’m running.  I have help, but I don’t have patience or a “fuck it all” button, so I find it very stressful to run a tournament.  My Klonopin should work as a “fuck it all” pill, but doesn’t.  I realized why it doesn’t work that way today.

Yesterday morning and afternoon were split between tournament stuff and filling out interviews, guest posts, and character interviews.  These are important for my blog tour, which I would like to be successful.  It’s hard to do that without filling this stuff out.

But it can be summed up with one statement “You knew they were coming, you could have done it before we started the tournament stuff.”

Actually, I couldn’t because I didn’t get any of them until this morning when I booted my laptop and needed to send stuff to be printed for the tournament and found the email with the items in question.  That’s like me telling someone they should have taken off work earlier, it doesn’t matter that they had customers, they knew it was coming, they should have dealt with it before the tournament.

Often, I feel that since I work at home, people think my “work time” is somehow less important than everyone else’s work time and that I can prepare for things that I can’t.  I can’t dictate when blog tour hosts are going to get interviews to me any more than a Walmart cashier can dictate when they are going to get slammed with customers.  This makes me stressed out and resentful.  Not just because they are interrupting my routine, but because I feel like they think I should be able to do everything, at a moment’s notice, because I don’t have a 9-5 job.

Then everyone wonders why I’m upset the days I have to work the tournament.  I do not have a 9-5 job, 5 days a week.  I have a job that requires me to work 7 days a week and it could be at any time between when I wake up and when I go to bed.  Yes there are days when I have down time, but they never seem to fall around the time we run tournaments.  For example, in two weeks, I will be running another tournament.  I will also be preparing Fortified Dreams for the editor.  So, do I put off sending Fortified, ensuring that I’m not worrying about edits during the tournament?  Is putting a tournament in front of my job really a smart career move?  It seems like getting Fortified edited is the more important of the two.  I make money off books and they require an editor’s pen.  I do not make money off of tournaments.  As a matter of fact, I not only donate time, but money to them… money made off selling books.

Ugh, just have to make it through today.  Then do it all over again in 2 weeks.

Giant, Mutant, Hunchbacked Ants with Point of View Guns

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.

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