Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: How hard is it to be a tour guide?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: How hard is it to be a tour guide?
Date Posted: 7/23/2009 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

I ask becuase I keep having people PM about what to do about PBS problems and rules and such.  I'm not complaining.  I just figure if I'm going to be getting the PMs anyway I might as well do it in an official capacity.  But I'm not sure that I want 50 pms a day with questions. 

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 3:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/31/2006
Posts: 1,402
Back To Top

It isn't hard  :  )   Though recently it's been a bit uncomfortable.  FWIW, I think you'd be a great TG.  You've been here for quite some time, you know a lot about the site and I often see you answering questions in the forums.  Come join the circus  :  D

BTW - you can "hold" your TG duties and it will keep you off of the Live Help list.  So you don't have to be available for questions all the time.



Last Edited on: 7/23/09 3:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/23/2009 3:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,045
Back To Top

It isn't hard to become a tour guide Mary, but some days it is hard to BE a tour guide ;).  I sent in feedback to the team about becoming one.  There  was some paperwork to be signed (electronically) and a tour guide quiz (has several of the most popular questions we get asked).  I am on almost all day long.  There are some days when I get 50 questions, there are other when I get 1 or 2.  It just depends.  PM me if you want more information.

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 3:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

I've been PM'd by a couplde of TGS asking me to sign up for it. I thought I'd throw the question out there and see how demading it is first.  Right now I don't work but I just applied to hopefully go back to school this fall.  So I don't want to commit to something that I won't have time for afterall.  I'll only be in school part time to start.

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 3:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/31/2006
Posts: 1,402
Back To Top

It isn't really demanding, you can do as much or little as you like.  Some TGs send follow up PMs to new mems, some just wait for questions.  Some answer in the forums, some don't.   I'm pretty light on my duties, I don't send followup PMs to my new mems, I wait for them to ask questions.  I answer Live Help questions when I know I have time to be online and put myself on hold when I don't.  I don't even really answer much in the forums unless I'm hanging out with LH questions anyway.  It isn't so much about having time as it is about being willing to help when you do have time.

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

OK cool. I think I'll look into it.  It'd be cool to have the little icon under my name.

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
Back To Top

Yeah, it's not really too demanding.  At most, I probably field about 3 or 4 Live Help questions a day, and I am on the site quite a bit, so it would be less if I could learn to stay away.  :)  You get new members assigned to you regularly, but most don't ask questions.  I find it fun...although as others have said, I feel that we as a group have taken a bit of a beating lately.  So, it can be challenging in that regard. 

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
Back To Top

Mary, it's only fair to say, though..there will be days when you may well feel like you've stumbled into Eureka. ;-))  (Ok, I admit it..I couldn't resist, lol)

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 8,411
Back To Top

Join us!  :) 

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 5:03 PM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
Back To Top

It's not hard. Brain taxing, some days, sure. But not hard. Most of the time it's a matter of looking up the answers for people. Occasionally we get doozies. But it's not a hard job. Some days you get a lot of questions, some days you get just a few.

 

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
Back To Top

Anytime you don't know an answer, there's almost always another TG online that you can PM or post in the TG forum to get other opinions, and we have a terrific list of preanswered questions already set up by Diane G., leader of the TGs. I agree that I've seen you answer enough questions with good thoughts and knowledge that you would be a great asset for the group.

Sometimes it's a bit taxing to forget to put your duties on hold and come back from watching TV and discover 8-10 people decided to pick you for asking their questions, but usually it's not bad. Most of the time, you read the forums, answer a Q, look for a couple books, answer a Q, read some more forums, answer another Q, and just kind of continue like that during the time you are on. I find it to be a nice break sometimes to reading the forums or my actual books. And it's really a lot of fun when you know you actually helped a new member figure out how to use the HC, and get around the site.

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 7/23/2009 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
Back To Top

I -love- being a Tour Guide, you get to meet lots of new members through the Live Help section, and you can really feel like you are making a difference and helping out.  I've seen you helping people here in the forums, agree with the others that you would be a good Tour Guide.

Most of the Tour Guide duties consist of manning the Live Help line.  Sometimes, you can get lots of Live Help questions submitted, and sometimes you can go a long time without talking to anyone...  there are times you can  find yourself swamped with questions, though.  However, if things start to get too crazy for you, you can put your Tour Guide duties on hold and not be visible in the Live Help list.  (Putting your duties on hold does not prevent you from getting new members, however.  That's the other main helpful thing Tour Guides can do, send mail to their New Members about the site, helpful hints and/or reminders to post books and add nicknames...)

You can also post helpful advice in the forums, but you'll need to be careful about that -- some people like to jump all over Tour Guide posts.  They think we have connections with the site administration we don't have, and worry about us policing their actions...  I don't think some members realize we are members just like them.  We only decided to volunteer some of our time here to help out others.  That's really the only difference between us and them...

As the others have said, it's not hard to become a Tour Guide.  Just PM Diane G. (icesk8tr) and she'll ask you about your experience with the site, and check out some of the posts you've done.  They like someone who has been here at PBS at least 4 months -- not a problem for you.  You'll take a short quiz about common help topics, and fill out some electronic paperwork.  Then just wait to be approved and it'll happen soon enough!

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 10,267
Back To Top

It is only hard in CMT and Questions about PBS.  ;-)

I missed one of the questions on the entrance exam and they still let me in (though they did explain politely why my answer was wrong.)

Like Meghan, I am in the lazy TG crew (just teasing, Meghan!), I wait for the new mems to contact me if they need something, and only very occasionally will I contact them about site features, etc.  Most of the questions are from Live Help, and most are pretty easy to answer.  the TGs have some 'cheat sheets' available with answers to commonly asked questions, and of course there is always the Help Center.

The best parts are when members are appreciate of help, and the opportunity to get to know the other TGs.  Though we don't always agree on everything, discussions are always respectful and I've really enjoyed many of the people I've 'met' through being a TG.

Please do join us if time allows!

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 7:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
Back To Top

Just wanted to pop on & say go for it, Mary.  I think you'd be great.  And to let all of the TGs know that there are plenty of us out here who respect & appreciate your efforts.  Kudos to all of you:)

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

Actually Diane already PM'd a while ago to ask me to be a Tour Guide.  I said I'd think about it. I'll PM her and let her know that I'll give it a go. 

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 9:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 10,267
Back To Top

I'll PM her and let her know that I'll give it a go.

Yeh! :-)

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
Back To Top

This has been a fascinating thread to read - thank you to all our Tour Guides!

And, I think you'd be a fabulous one, Mary!

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 10,267
Back To Top

Mary, let me know if you want the wrong answers to the quiz, LOL!

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,439
Back To Top

This has been a very helpful thread!  I've been considering applying to be one also.

For the record, I think Mary'd be an excellent tour guide

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
Back To Top

Oooh, you too, Sarah.  You'd be perfect as well.  I personally couldn't do it.  It's not the Q&A, or the responsibility, and I know the help docs like the back of my hand.  I enjoy the forums too much and I'm too outspoken, opinionated & sarcastic to be a TG.  Put me at it for a couple of months and I'd have a torch waving mob beating down the doors:P

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 11:04 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2009
Posts: 2,054
Back To Top

Ahhh but Kim you would fit right in then and be perfect. You really just got to know how to dance :)

Yay Mary!!

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 11:16 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
Back To Top

I have to agree - Kim - at least you'd help make things interesting!

Ruth

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 11:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
Back To Top

First, I want to say I really appreciate all the TG's that I've dealt with and read their posts. 

Second, I'd like to second Mary's becoming an official TG.

Third, I like to ask a question that I've thought about a lot. - How many new members does a TG get on average?  Is it assigned, or is it by time you're on, or just what???

Fourth,

I wish there was a sticky thread at the top here that sort of let people know what the duties and skills a TG does and needs.  I don't think people appreciate what you do, so having a little knopwledge available might help you all out.  JMHO.

Ruth

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 11:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
Back To Top

OMG.  No, really... y'all clearly don't know what you're asking for with me.  Trust me, I'd be the Dr. Evil of TGs:P  I guess I didn't realize that the membership had grown so much recently.  I see new faces on the forums all the time, but didn't think much about it.  I've been busy for the last few weeks though.  The car accident & all that.  I like Ruth's suggestion about the sticky thread, and Ruth, I've thought more than once that you'd make a great TG.  You should look into it too.

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 11:41 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
Back To Top

Thank you , Kim.  You're sweet to say so.  I'm a little wary about it given that I'm not sure I'm hard-shelled enough for some things.!!!

Ruth

Page: