Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What is it like to be a Director?

I've found that people don't really understand what directors in the Uni actually do, so I decided I'd try to help shed some light on our job.  I can't speak for other departments, as they have drastically different areas of responsibility, but I can sort of help people understand what my normal day is like as a logistics director.

First, I tend to set my alarm to wake me up 15-20 minutes early each day so I have time to log into the forums and read whatever has been posted while I'm asleep.  I will admit I don't read every thread (Hi&Bye forum, I'm looking at you), but I read all the ones posted to common E-uni areas.  In addition to the normal areas that students see, there are several forums that are only available to directors/managers.  There are actually 3 levels of leadership forums, one for directors only (And Korr), one for directors and managers, and one for all staff.  This is in addition to the forum section specifically for my department (other departments have their own forum section as well). Also, there is a forum section for student records, where it is posted when people have broken a rule (get popped in an orca during wartime), the consequences, communication logs with the person, etc...  I comment in any of these forums if I feel its necessary. I usually only post in areas that are directly logistics related, are industry related, have something to do with Uni policy or changes to it, or seem like humor threads.  I rarely post in the student records forum, as there are directors much more suited to this role than me. 

Next, I'll check forum PMs and evemails to respond as needed.  These could includes status reports or requests from my managers, questions from students, logistics requests from the ILN, or requests directed at a uni program I directly administer (Byom, copying, refining,etc...). I'll log in to process any refining jobs or BYOM jobs that have queued up overnight. I'll check the Uni wallets for any changes overnight, and occasionally review hangar stuff through our automated reporting program (turhan is a genius). Logging in by itself is an interesting process, as I have 2 main characters devoted to Uni duties (Azmodeus and Irjuna Valar), along with 4 supporting characters who are tasked to helping the uni (2 x OOC hauler, OOC producer, and ooc scout/prober).

Throughout the day I may check on my eve blog, or look at the google docs we use to administer several uni programs (work blocks the e-uni forums and eve gate, but not these).  When I get home from work, I usually repeat the entire process listed above, and do it again before I go to bed (my wife is a very forgiving person).  During this time I'll also spend some time logged in chatting with management/directors about anything that is going on, hanging out in the ILN channel, logistics channel, or chat.e-uni making the occasional really bad joke, or just answering questions that pop up.  I also spend a lot of time in the logistics channel plotting world domination with my staff.

Now, these are just the normal daily activities related to my job in the Uni.  As a director, I have additional duties that pop up.  Once a month I prepare a financial statement for the other directors, summarizing income, expenses, finacial projections, etc... I also will have to look at the director's forum section and comment on any policy or rule changes being proposed.  We also have the occasional fires to put out between students, or between directors. We have official meetings where we discuss what is going on, any changes that need to be made, recap the time since the last meeting, and prepare for the future.  Contrary to poplar belief, the directorate is not a unified front on many issues.  We debate some things back and forth each meeting (or in our forums), before deciding what direction the Uni should take on an issue. Even if we lose an argument (and I've lost several in the past), we accept it and move forward, supporting whatever the official uni stance will be. Part of being a director is being able to put aside some of your own personal wants in order to support the Uni.

The most interesting part of this, is that I actually enjoy it.  Yes, its a lot of work, but for some reason I have a psychological need to help people (i blame my mother), I enjoy the challenge of running some of these programs, and truly enjoy leading my department.  When i was first named logistics director, we'd have something like 4-5 people in that post within the previous year, with no established procedures, and no real hangar organization. In fact, the sorting hangar deeply scared me when i first took over.  Organizing the chaos was not easy, but it was somewhat fun. My staff is quite honestly one of the best groups of people I've ever had the opportunity to work with.  In fact, I really wish the people I worked with in my real life job were as dedicated and competent as my managers and staff in the Uni. If they were, my real life would be a lot easier.

Being a director isn't easy, and it is very time consuming (at least my department is), but it is rewarding for me. There are some aspects of my job I wish I didn't have to deal with (freghter runs of minerals...), but its been great helping the Uni for the last few years, and I don't regret my decision to take the job. Its been an honor working for the Uni, and I look forward to more great years to come.


  1. Thanks for letting us peek behind the curtain, it was very informative. You should do a post on your employment history with the Uni to give us an idea of how your role evolved into this monstrosity :D

  2. I may look into doing that for tomorrow. Its actually a rather bizarre story.

  3. As a former officer in a 1200 person guild in another game I can only imagine how much harder this must be in Eve and with the E-UNI's mission. I still think the UNI doesn't punish or boot soon enough. I still miss the UNI though. o7 Have fun!

  4. New post is written and scheduled for later tonight. I need to slow down and write less. Thats several massive walls of text in just 2 days.

  5. This was a VERY cool post. I had wondered exactly how much work and commitment our Directors and staff put into their jobs. As it turns out, a LOT.
    Here's to you. Thank you for your dedication and sacrifice.

  6. Wow! I knew your job entailed a great deal of work but I had no idea that it was this much. I have to agree with Ardent, "Thank you for your dedication and sacrifice."

    I wish more unistas would read this post, with the recent wave of drama it may get lost to individuals how much work you do just to help them get a good start in EVE.

  7. Having been a hangar officer and graduate of the uni for about 6 months, I can only agree that helping people is one of the best feelings I could imagine.

    The great thing about eve is that things like these (an organization like the uni in particular) is possible.

    And those who don't see the point in "having a job" in this game don't understand the full spectre of EVE. While it might be tedious at times, seeing someone become happy because of your work is a lot more rewarding than blowing some dude's spaceship up.

    Just my thoughts.


  8. Wow! So.. do you play EvE? ;)