As many of you have noticed, there are quite a few new faces on the UFoP commanders’ block. Specifically, we have five new COs in our ranks, and now you get to go one-on-one with each of them to learn what makes them tick! First up is Commander Toni Turner, of the USS Resolution. Question: What’s been the most rewarding part of being a CO?
Answer: The most rewarding part about being a CO is being the CO of some very talented writers. I can’t praise the Resolution crew enough. Many of them have proved what I’ve always felt, and that is that you can have quality and quantity at the same time.
Question: The most challenging?
Answer: The most challenging part about being a CO was an easy fix, because I find most everything I do for UFOP: SB118 a pleasure. Although at first that meant budgeting the amount of time I spent in some of the taskforces I belong to, or change the way I participate in the features that are available to us. For instance, I had to forgo the Writing Challenge, but opted to judge them instead, because I don’t take the position of being a CO lightly, and wanted to devote the biggest part of my online time to the Resolution and its crew. It was difficult at first, but now I have it down to a science, and can spend as much time as I need to do the work that needs to be done. The only thing I didn’t ease up on was my work in the Academy and as Cadet Steward, because if I don’t pull my weight there, it would have fell on Captain Riley’s shoulders to take up the slack and that wouldn’t have been fair. When something is that important to a group, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and carry on.
Question: What do you wish you’d known going in that you know now?
Answer: ::laughs:: Don’t we all wish we had known things before we entered them? That’s a part of life we all face at times, but a part of what we call learning, and I’ve been blessed by the experience of not knowing it all.
Question: Any advice for others seeking command spots?
Answer: The best advice I can give others seeking command spots, is to follow your dreams and don’t lose sight of them, no matter what obstacles are put before you.
Question: How has your experience with UFoP changed since joining?
Answer: That’s quite a large spectrum, because with each rise in rank, the experience changes, adding new challenges as we move up to the next level. However, given the fact that I hardly knew anything about Star Trek, and nothing at all about siming, when I joined SB118, in comparison to what I know now one can only imagine what the transition has been like. It would be easier to compare the change of night to day.
I suppose you could say that I wasn’t really committed at first, it was more that I was curious, but by the time I left the Academy I had an unquenchable thirst for all that was Star Trek, and the people here. I attribute that to one player. And that was (then) Lt. Solan, who was my Academy instructor. He taught me more than just how to sim that week. He taught me about the high caliber of the people I would find at SB118.
I’ve shared this with some of the friends I’ve made here, and now, I’ll take this opportunity to share it with the group, if space allows… During my academy class, I lost my Mother. I was grieving and ready to quit. Solan didn’t have to do it, but he reached out to me, helped me by encouraging me to see it through. His kindness and encouragement was just what I needed at the time, and although it took me longer than that week to grieve, I never forgot the extra effort he made. And that is what keeps me working in the Academy and as Cadet Steward. I hope that in some small way when I reach out to our prospective members, that I can make a difference in their lives by welcoming them to our group and encourage them to stay..
Question: Resolution consistently posts nearly twice the monthly sims of other ships. How do you stay at that rate?
Answer: Actually, I don’t know exactly how to answer that other than to say we, as a collective group, enjoy siming.
Question: How do you encourage your high rates as a CO?
Answer: I try to be myself, nothing more – nothing less. and I believe in encouraging the Resolution group with praise. I don’t think I’ve missed a week, praising their efforts on our OOC group or in emails to players who have improved. I’m also right in there siming with them, giving the ones struggling for something to sim a way to get into the mix. I don’t ask anyone to do something that I won’t do myself, and I don’t try to dissuade them from being all they want to be.
Question: How do you work with simmers who can’t or won’t post at an accelerated rate?
Answer: We have several who for RL reasons can’t sim as much as the others, but they are not treated any less than those who can. If they fall behind they are not expected to go back to their last unanswered tag, but most of them do. If they seem to be constantly struggling, I ask if they would like to transfer to a slower ship or a different duty post with less demands. So far, none have taken me up on that, as they seem to like the people they sim with and the pace the story is being unfolded.
Question: One of your trademarks has always been your use of PNPCs and NPCs. How does that factor into your style as a CO?
Answer: PNPCs and NPCs fulfill a specific need on the ship that is not usually filled. They give a different prospective to situations that a PC cannot possibly give. They factor in to my style as a CO, because I now also use them as teaching aids. A well placed PNPC can help a new player learn how to interact better with the other players and show them around the ship, better than a CO can, because they are not intimidated by a lessor ranked crew mate.
I don’t think they factor in as much as they did when I was on the Challenger, because several of my crew members have made quite a few to help fill the ship’s needs. I only have three that I sim on a regular basis now. The most constant one serves as our Counselor since we don’t have a PC Counselor, and the others have ongoing relationships that help to give the “human” factor to our sims.