Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Good God. I apparently had upwards of thirty heatstroke casualties on my prereg line at the Con on Thursday, which was a hundred-years record day for heat in Baltimore. The line control folks asked me for permission to open the doors early in order to get at least part of the line indoors - I can't fit the whole of a Thursdays' prereg line inside of the lobby we use, because said line might contain as much as four thousand competitive line-squatters, but we can probably get nearly a thousand in there - and I said "yes" as quickly as they would let me. For some reason, that decision didn't make its way back up the line of command particularly quickly, and since I had my own department to get organized and moved forward, I didn't personally move the line inside, as I might have if I'd had time.

But I did know there was some sort of a problem out there - everybody and their brother was talking about the heat wave, and every station on the dial was chattering about the heat advisories on the way down from central PA the previous morning. It couldn't have been any sort of surprise to anyone paying attention. Furthermore, my reg line is not a slow-moving one, nor does the Con have a reputation for slow Thursday preregistration - we have cleared our line by the end of the night every year for the previous three years on Thursday. There was no earthly reason for anybody to be waiting all day out there in the record heat and sun. Thirty-some sunstroke and heatstroke victims, and three who had to be hospitalized. Worse than I thought, but no great surprise. My people processed somewhere just south of nine thousand that night, and cleared the line before 9 PM. No reason whatsoever for people to be waiting on line all day. Good God Almighty.


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