What sucked about it? In a nutshell, when I, as an attendee, feel the politics of a con, it sucks. This has only happened to me once before, and that was at the 1984 Westercon in Portland.
Here's an example of the kind of thing I shouldn't notice: At the hotel coffee shop Friday, a bunch of us tried to get dinner. There were only four entrees on the menu. There was only one vegetarian item, unless you include the "garden salad."
Our party included a vegetarian who didn't want a fatty cream sauce. The waitress lectured the vegetarian as to what vegetarians do and don't eat, insisting the member of our party wasn't a real vegetarians because "vegetarians eat fish." What part of "fish is not an animal" did this lady not understand?
Everyone at the tables around us was watching to see what Fred Capp was going to eat. Fred is a vegetarian with a dairy allergy. When Fred, Robin Baylor, and I used to play together we'd go to dinner after rehearsal. Fred was so hard to feed we wound up coining the term "Fredible" to describe what he could and would eat. There was nothing "Fredible" on the menu other than the "garden salad."
Eventually the waitress found a box of Gardenburgers in the back, but she made the vegetarian in our party promise not to tell anyone about it. Great. Two of us had the "spaghetti bolognese," which was more like "chili on spaghetti." Uck. The "mixed vegetables" in the "lunch buffet" (being held over till 8pm) was corn (well, I guess somebody mixed them!).
There were problems with the Internet Lounge's net connection. They seemed to relate to the hotel.
Sunday night the music programming was asked to turn down the volume because the hotel had booked non attendees above it. Someone else who had requested a "quiet party room" got put next to a rave.
I later learned, without asking, that there had been something like three or four hotel liaisons, and that the last one had the job dumped in his lap less than a month before the con (read: scapegoat).
People who should have been programming participants weren't. I heard of a couple of cases where people were snuck onto the panel at the last minute because the panelists were so outraged at the omission.
The party line as to why I wasn't a panelist or given a concert was I'd fallen through the cracks. Given some of what I saw I can believe it, but I'll never know for sure.
Given that people on the concom feel they can "control" (this is the word I've heard used from multiple staffers) people in their departments and in their programming areas, there's some serious dysfunctionality going on. I spent years in therapy learning you don't "control" people unless you can physically restrain them; you "motivate" them to behave the way you want. Better yet, you "trust" your staffers to "do the right thing" and give them lots of feedback so they know whether they're doing the right thing.
I missed the LJ BoF Saturday because Mom got out of the hospital and called to let me know this. Mom had been suddenly admitted Thursday morning and had been diagnosed as having "a virtual hernia" after a CT scan and the doctor wanted to operate endoscopically. His partner poked at her abdomen Saturday, didn't look at the CT scan, and said she didn't need surgery. She now needs to get a 3rd opinion. The scary part: The 2nd doctor was the same one who thought my Dad's metastatic colon cancer was "diverticulitis."
The parties at the con were fewer in number, and the people made them. I was glad to run into friends on that floor. In various conversations I wound up introducing people to filk. In one party a guy who looked to be half my age hit on me! It's amazing what lots of alcohol (he was seriously drunk and slurring his speech) and dim lighting does to make one more attractive.
This past day I slept. It was as if someone sucked out my energy. In the filk room I was projecting energy as I would if I were doing a concert, and the responses I got showed it. I even did a new filk I wrote Saturday night three times over the weekend. I was going to write something about puns, but a conversation Ray "Buzz" Nelson, Gerry Pearce, and I had totally changed the course. Ray said "soak up the sun" sounds like something that should be about suns and solar systems, and somehow we diverted to black holes.
Anyhow, this is disjointed, and I'm pooped and in bed. Warren is next to me cracking sick jokes in response to CNN Headline News, and Lady is busy "attacking" Warren.