Ranger Trainees-watch out!

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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Ranger Trainees-watch out!

Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:27 am

TL;DR
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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1durphul
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Re: Ranger Trainees-watch out!

Post by 1durphul » Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:04 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:TL;DR
I thought it was an interesting read.

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Re: Ranger Trainees-watch out!

Post by dusty hill » Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:01 pm

Yeah, I'm sorry it was too long.

I'm also having second thoughts about the wisdom of having written it, but oh well..... I'm too honest early in the morning....

To any BRR reading this, please don't take anything I wrote personally. I'm not attacking the ranger establishment. I have an immense amount of respect for BRR, especially the dusty experienced rangers, the ones that know when to insert themselves into a situation and when to just let folks be burners. Great friends I would do just about anything for, and without whom there would be no burning man.

I did make light of a situation that even many rangers don't think is a good one.... Collectively BRR are some of the smartest people I've ever met anywhere, and I know they could do better.

It's a bit of a cautionary tale too, if you intend to give it a shot, just know that the chances are slim these days. It's pretty unlikely you'll make it, so set your expectations accordingly and it won't bum you out so much..

It was my experience. Was reading some of the experiences threads, and came upon this. I felt a lot of empathy for the OP's plight, because there is seemingly little information about the process, or even POTENTIAL one has in becoming a ranger these days. They really should be more up front with that information, then again the old skool spirit of Bman has always been "figure it out for yourself". There's an astounding amount of information available here on Eplaya that did not exist a few years ago....

But it is tough on people to think they are about to embark on this new playa adventure, only to find out they had about a snowball's chance in hell of making it to begin with.

Yeah, I suppose that I was told this on my last attempt, though not in so many words, but since I had prior experience and felt that I knew what I'd done wrong previously, and had another several years on playa I really thought I had it in the bag. I was in a position where I wanted something to do in BRC other than be a part of the problem, which I had done exceedingly well.

One of the mentors I have talked to afterward about it and I bear no ill will towards this person. Though they may have made the wrong choice (in my opinion, certainly), they felt they made the right decision, and once again, it wasn't so much that "I sucked" it was that they had a limited number of spaces to fill, and there were people better than me, at least in the few hours we had to get to know each other.... I just hadn't realized there was so few spots, because you figure there wouldn't be dozens of alpha rangers standing there if there was only a few spots....

I pretty much stand by my assessment of the mentoring process. You really have to ask why they allow so many to sign up with no kind of prior information, knowing that so many will be bonked and left disappointed at the very beginning of their burn, when they could use some method up front to do a round of obvious elimination. Similar to any other "hiring" process....

Some might say that would be discrimination, to eliminate based on age, ability, weight, favorite band, but is it? How is it less discriminatory to basically do the same thing in person? Just a hypothetical philosophical question.

I'm sure it might be a challenge to ask what "relative experience" you have that applies to rangering, but maybe not... You could ask applicants to write an essay about why they want to be a ranger, why do they think they'd be any good at it, etc etc. What do they want to get out of it, etc...

Of course, I say these things because I feel I'd have faired better. Maybe I'm not so good in a new situation in the first few hours.... But normally in a really short time I'm well liked by my peers, maybe I'm an acquired taste.... :roll:

Anyway, good luck to ALL and mad respect to BRR. Hope you can figure out a process that both ensures a better quality ranger than Ms EpicFailRanger and at the same time, spares some folks the embarrassment and disappointment of investing time and emotion in something they have little chance of being a part of ...

Yeah, I know TL;DR get over it! :lol:

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Re: Ranger Trainees-watch out!

Post by maladroit » Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:59 pm

I've only had a few interactions with Rangers. My opinion is that on average they're no more or less informed and helpful than any other random burner who wants to be a mall cop in the desert. That's still a useful position in a community, but I think burners expect too much from them. They aren't the first line, last line, or any line of defense against anything...they aren't noble figures of authority. They're dusty untrained counselors, and eyes and ears of BMORG...that's it.

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Re: Ranger Trainees-watch out!

Post by graidawg » Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:33 am

so BRR are short of people but they make it more difficult to join, they have no standard for passing - its subjective and they fail teh majority of appicants.
on the alpha shift, they can do whatever the mentor decides - either wander round center camp or journey to the trash fence pass or fail is based entirley on how the mentors feel.
The original purpose of rangers no longer exists. The stated purpose of being helpful is entirely subjective- they might not know and in spite of having a radio connecting them to every other ranger and the central hq with maps and files (and probably google) and of course every other department we shouldnt be annoyed when they can't help. Also when the ranger station is deserted we should just go to ESD because they can always do the one thing rangers are defintely supposed to do - help people out.
Rangers are inclusive- as long as you can walk a shift in the desert, effectively excluding anyone who isn't fully healthy (and many who are)

Basically don't xpect rangers to know anything, be helpful or even there when you need them.


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Re: Ranger Trainees-watch out!

Post by Simon of the Playa » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:49 am

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Re: Ranger Trainees-watch out!

Post by trilobyte » Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:22 am

That's got to be one of the most long-winded efforts to resurrect a dead thread (and simultaneously falling for troll bait) ever.

That's not to say that your words and feelings on the subject don't matter - that you've invested that kind of time in articulating them says that you do... very much.

But I do have to point out that the OP on this thread appears to have been trolling the boards. Looking at the account and the post, they joined this board simply for the purpose of making an inflammatory post, and have not once been back to the site. They may have looked back on the page and gotten a giggle at just how worked up they got people (trolls enjoy that sort of thing), but they haven't logged back in, they never made any replies, there appears to have been no interest in a discussion on their part.

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Re: Ranger Trainees-watch out!

Post by Simon of the Playa » Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:53 am

^what trilo said.^

my personal opine is it is a very lame attempt to discredit the Rangers, and it's Founder, and i have a feeling i know from whence it came.

call it a hunch.
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Re: Ranger Trainees-watch out!

Post by Dr. Pyro » Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:09 pm

I for one have always respected The Rangers. They have the best drugs.

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Re: Ranger Trainees-watch out!

Post by Elderberry » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:50 pm

graidawg wrote:...they have no standard for passing - its subjective and they fail teh majority of appicants. on the alpha shift, they can do whatever the mentor decides - either wander round center camp or journey to the trash fence pass or fail is based entirley on how the mentors feel.
THIS!
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Re: Ranger Trainees-watch out!

Post by SageV » Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:03 pm

trilobyte wrote:That's got to be one of the most long-winded efforts to resurrect a dead thread (and simultaneously falling for troll bait) ever. But I do have to point out that the OP on this thread appears to have been trolling the boards.
I figured as much, because every time there's a "teachable moment" for rangering, historically the rangers are generally all over that post on ePlaya. I figured it didn't pass the sniff test. However, since I'm from one of the regional rangering orgs, I can talk about rangering without inadvertently representing BMORG. Since someone bothered to bring this dead thread back to life, I see some teachable moments from the OP worth mentioning that would apply to any community volunteer situation:

1) Don't pick out a role for yourself because you think you are good at it or simply because you think it would be a reasonable accommodation for you. For example, let's say someone was differently abled and had some mobility challenges, that doesn't mean that being on radio is a reasonable accommodation for them, because it isn't. The radio person coordinates rangers, they aren't walking the dirt, so if they aren't there and a situation relayed over the radio merits a judgement call, someone who hasn't worked the dirt isn't going to know what to do. Each rangering role has qualifications that might not be obvious, so if you preemptively pick a role for yourself other than dirt ranger, you might be setting yourself up to fail. That being said, anybody who put you on radio would be setting you up to fail, and setting someone up to fail is the exact opposite of a reasonable accommodation IMHO.

2) Rangering attracts wannabe cops. We have actual cops at these events, so we don't need people who want to be cops. We pay a premium for local law enforcement to staff these events, if we wanted more cops we would have hired more actual cops, not set up a volunteer corps of wannabe cops.

3) People always make an inference whenever someone talks about "sexual harassment" or some other legal issue that it's because the organization itself has had a problem. Rangers, like your mailman or the person who takes your order at the local burger joint, are the actual face of the organization. Not everyone participating in events like Burning Man is pure of heart, some see a huge event that seems to make lots of money and think to themselves that a little acting ability and a good attorney might fetch them a small sum from that pot of money. That always hits the front facing people in an organization and that's why you can't have a discussion about being a community volunteer without a discussion about legal liability. Sorry, that's the age we live in, don't blame the messenger for the message.

4) Being bonked hurts, but in any competition, not just rangering, you have a few people who just won't make the cut and the majority of people who might be equally suited for a role. You may absolutely be qualified for a role, but with a limited number of slots, demand that outstrips the supply, it's the small differences that sometimes determines who makes the cut and who doesn't. It's not about whether someone is qualified, it's about who is most qualified for a volunteer role with a limited number of spots.

5) That being said, in any community volunteer role, it's about who is best for the community, which is not necessarily the "most qualified" person. For example, a person who has been around a regional event forever and is well known and maybe even popular as a ranger might not work. The ranger's goal to appear when needed and then fade back into the background is not well served by someone who might grab everyone's immediate attention, because being popular can be quite a distraction.
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Re: Ranger Trainees-watch out!

Post by trilobyte » Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:44 pm

You're missing the point of my post (and also way off on your assumption that I somehow have any kind of affiliation with Black Rock Rangers). My point is that you not only got suckered and fell for troll bait, but did so in a pretty extreme way. Less extreme this time, but still taking the bait and replying to a troll's thread. Your passion and energy for sharing a teachable moment are lost on what pretty much amounts to a drive-by thread from more than a year ago. If you're serious and genuine about that, you might be better served by starting a new thread as opposed to ripping the proverbial band-aid off a long-dead argument thread to resurrect the debate with people who may no longer be around.

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Re: Ranger Trainees-watch out!

Post by SageV » Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:54 pm

trilobyte wrote:You're missing the point of my post (and also way off on your assumption that I somehow have any kind of affiliation with Black Rock Rangers). My point is that you not only got suckered and fell for troll bait, but did so in a pretty extreme way. Less extreme this time, but still taking the bait and replying to a troll's thread. Your passion and energy for sharing a teachable moment are lost on what pretty much amounts to a drive-by thread
FWIW I did know you aren't a ranger, because I know you're a site admin. I bounced on the troll thread because, like a lot of troll threads, it played off a bunch of themes that people actually are pretty passionate about. That's why it works as troll bait. People who get bonked actually say things like this, a lot.

However, that's actually constructive advice. Thank you for the constructive advice, I think I'll use it in the future.
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
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Re: Ranger Trainees-watch out!

Post by 1durphul » Wed Jul 08, 2015 12:13 pm

trilobyte wrote:You're missing the point of my post (and also way off on your assumption that I somehow have any kind of affiliation with Black Rock Rangers). My point is that you not only got suckered and fell for troll bait, but did so in a pretty extreme way. Less extreme this time, but still taking the bait and replying to a troll's thread. Your passion and energy for sharing a teachable moment are lost on what pretty much amounts to a drive-by thread from more than a year ago. If you're serious and genuine about that, you might be better served by starting a new thread as opposed to ripping the proverbial band-aid off a long-dead argument thread to resurrect the debate with people who may no longer be around.
It is possible that the persons posting these stories were sincere. We throw the word "troll" around pretty liberally here.

Either way, I found both stories interesting reads, and took them with a grain of salt. Since it is only one side of the story it is effectively fiction (and we will only ever hear one side of the story due to the nature of professionalism not permitting the Rangers to gossip about people they denied). As fiction goes though, it was interesting fiction.

I personally think I'd make a pretty good Black Rock Ranger, I used to be a Lifeguard for LA County, I have years of radio experience, experience dealing with altered people, a lot of emergency response experience, and lastly I know how to encourage others to follow rules through persuasion (lifeguards don't carry weapons, and while we did have ticket writing authority, we don't carry ticket books with us since getting wet is part of our job. Writing a ticket was a last resort, and in 6 years I never wrote one). All that said, I have to say, after reading these two complaints, I'm not sure I'd want to go through the time and effort to become a ranger since it sounds like their training process doesn't clearly define what exactly is needed to become one. Certainly these two people walked away from it feeling as though the decision were arbitrary.

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Re: Ranger Trainees-watch out!

Post by SageV » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:59 pm

1durphul wrote:
trilobyte wrote:You're missing the point of my post (and also way off on your assumption that I somehow have any kind of affiliation with Black Rock Rangers)...
It is possible that the persons posting these stories were sincere. We throw the word "troll" around pretty liberally here...
Actually, more I thought about it trilo was right, I just jumped into the conversation and though I wasn't concern trolling, it had the same effect, so teachable moment for me. :)
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
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