Barfleet can be very subtle in its nuances. For that reason, a lot of people walk away from our parties focused on how fun the party was, and it ends up being their sole takeaway.
And that’s ok. It’s not only understandable, it means we did it right. You had a fun time. But… it does mean a lot of people miss the levels of responsibility and professionalism our members accept and perform (and perform well).
At Arisia this past January, I awarded a commemorative coin to one Shira Lipkin and gave her the honorary title of “Shameless Friend”. I mentioned lightly that it was because of her unabashed support of the ship, but in the interest of time I didn’t go too far into it. Here’s why:
Shira gets it.
She showed that, without being a part of the inner workings, she really and truly understood why and how we do this. She saw beneath the hood to the inner workings of the engine that is barfleet and recognized the amount of work and effort that we put in to making everone’s visit not just an amazingly fun experience, but that we are ever working hard to make it as safe as can be. There is no perfect level of safety that we can provide, but we will continue to work to improve that level of safety, and do our damndest to make it happen without you having to walk away focused on anything other than having a good time.
Without further ado, and with permission from the author, I present “Why I like Barfleet” by Shira Lipkin, Shameless Friend.
– Captain Rhandom Bhagczech
“Why I Like Barfleet
1. You can buy a cheap souvenir cup or take the plain cup and you get free drinks all night.
2. They actually card and are rigorous about not giving alcohol to minors. (Yes, I greeted the Commander with a hug and we traded stories about our kids. Yes, he still carded me. I have no quarrel with this.)
3. Great music. Okay, sometimes not good music, but fun music.
4. They actually do sexual assault prevention stuff.
Read #4 again.
The first time I personally noticed this was when I was sitting on the windowsill talking to friends and an adorably-slightly-inebriated [friend] plopped down by my feet, rested his head in my lap like he was a unicorn and I a maiden, and curled a hand around my thigh. Pretty much instantly, Barfleet staff surfaced and asked, “He okay?” In response to my “Yep! He always gets snuggly like this,” the staffer nodded and ninja-vanished, and it only occurred to me a moment later that that was a check-in; it wasn’t “Does he need a barf bag?” it was “Do you need him off of you?”
This wasn’t an isolated incident. Okay, a bunch of us got very snuggly that night, and some of us got a bit more-than, prompting my “we’re putting the whore back in Horta” tweet. And I saw multiple staff members performing multiple checks on multiple groups of people, as general policy. If it looked like there was a little drunk-sexiness going on, Barfleet staff made sure everything was cool. Unobtrusively, but decisively. Pretty much everything we’ve been saying party hosts ought to do for years.
So yeah. Props.”