This is part one of a two-part interview with Capt. Renos, the newest member of the Executive Council. In Part 2 of the interview, Jansen Orrey will talk with Renos more about the role of Promotions Coordinator. -Wolf
WOLF: Tell us a little about your OOC-self. Where are you from and what kind of work do you do?
RENOS: My name is James and I come from Scotland. I’ve been with UFOP: StarBase 118 over four years now and those who’ve been for a few years may know me as Amy/Aims or Aimsley, which is the name I used up until early last year. Confused? I’m transgender – I was born with a female anatomy but have always felt inherently this was wrong, a terrible mistake had been made and that I should have been born male. For the last few years I have been transitioning, which is a journey that allows me to be seen and accepted fully as a male.
I work in my local supermarket and have done for over 10 years now in various departments. Currently I work on the fresh food counters, so delicatessen, hot deli but primarily the butcher and fish counters. When I first started with the counters some years ago I felt deeply uncomfortable about the idea of serving on the fish counter. I could hardly stand to look at the whole fish with their beady eyes staring back at me, never mind stomach the thought of preparing them. I started by getting used to handling the whole fish and later learned how to prepare them. It was uncomfortable at first but what I really like about it is that I was able to push through barriers I didn’t think I could to learn a new skill.
I really think we are all capable of more than we think we are and I apply this mindset as much as possible, including here in the fleet. I’ve worked with some players who struggle with the English language for varied reasons and I admire the attitude and enthusiasm they bring to the group even though it’s hard for them. As long as someone is willing to learn I will happily be there to support them to the best of my ability.
Now I really enjoy working on the fish counter and love getting the chance to set it up in the morning and put on a nice display. I’m also a health and safety rep and departmental forum rep. I represent my colleagues viewpoint and look for ways to solve problems, particularly where health and safety concerns are involved.
When I’m not working, my seven year old daughter and her multitude of after school activities keep my busy. Simming with UFOP: Starbase 118 is my favourite hobby and I enjoy it more than watching t.v. Other activities I like to indulge in include running, reading and playing computer games (mainly MMORPGs).
WOLF: What brought you to UFOP: SB118, and had you done any roleplaying before?
RENOS: I was bored and remembered an old friend talking about a thing called simming a few years prior as I thought about an old Star Trek guild I’d been a member of. I’d had a look around at various groups previously but hadn’t taken the plunge. So when I looked it up again UFOP: Starbase 118 caught my eye.
I read all the about pages and it really drew me in and made me want to give it a try – so I did! I remember feeling a heady mixture of excitement at trying something new and creative – something different from MMO gaming, and nervousness! I hadn’t done any writing since my school days, so that was getting on close to a decade. I was worried that my writing wouldn’t be good enough and that I’d be laughed out of town but nothing could be further from the truth. Training was so much fun, everyone was so welcoming and since then I’ve grown as a writer and now I’m in a position to welcome new faces into the group in a variety of capacities including my role as cadet steward.
WOLF: Why did you choose Darwin as the vessel you wanted to command?
RENOS: I’ve never been a massive ship buff – I didn’t want anything too large or too powerful. I wanted to add something unique and quirky to the fleet and there isn’t anything more unique than the Horizon Class. It’s a science oriented vessel with a containment sphere – something no other ship has and its roleplaying possibilities fascinated me. spatial anomalies, corrosive gases and other such discoveries can be examined safely. Volatile sections of salvaged debris can be transported without risk of harm. The scientific possibilities are endless and we’re a long way from being done exploring our options with it.
WOLF: In addition to acting as the Promotions Coordinator, you’re also the Publicity Team facilitator – that’s generally been a difficult team to manage. What’s been the hardest part about helping that team be successful?
RENOS: I’m passionate about the publicity team because without the work we do there we would not be able to maintain a stable membership, or expand the fleet and create new opportunities for up and coming players interested in command. There are a lot of different things we can do to get the word out there about our group but it’s impossible for me to be do it all myself. Here it really is a case of many hands make light work and the challenge has been in getting enough volunteers who can help up with the many and various tasks we can complete to get the word out there.
WOLF: How can the general membership help with Publicity?
RENOS: You don’t have to be a member of the publicity team to help with publicity, you don’t need any particular skill set or experience. Every month we highlight a particular project and give step by step guidance as to how the general membership can complete the project. We have the publicity forums where details of all the projects can be found – anyone is welcome to help with any of them at any time. I would be delighted and immensely grateful to see more people participating in the projects then checking in to let everyone know how they got on.
WOLF: As one of two Cadet Stewards, you talk with a lot of our new and prospective members. Are there any questions you get repeatedly?
RENOS: The one that sticks in my mind the most is questions surrounding when training will start, usually on a Monday from cadets who are highly eager and worried that they might have missed something. They email in to ask about when training will start and I reassure them that training will be starting at some point. The thing to remember is that we have an international membership with people all around the world. While it might be getting into the evening for a player waiting on training starting, it may be the morning or early afternoon for the people who will be starting the class. So fear not eager cadets, we always remember you and you’re training will begin on Monday – at some point. 😀
WOLF: Now that you’re a member of the Executive Council, is there anything that you didn’t know that surprised you?
RENOS: Not really. I always thought that EC members deliberated most carefully on policy and important matters relating to the group. Being an EC member now myself I can see more than ever just how true this is. No decision is taken lightly and everyone is really committed to and passionate about doing the right thing for UFOP: StarBase 118.