Article by Gamegoddess
I still remember the day I decided I wanted to become a Ultima Online Counselor. I think I had been playing for around a year or so and had always been in awe of the "Blue Robes". Who could not be? If they showed up you knew something was going on.
After thinking about it no further, I hunted down a site where you could apply to be a counselor or seer and I filled the application out and sent it in. It was just the usual stuff...of wanting to know how long you had played and how you would handle some situations, etc. It took about a week and I got my first rejection. Yes, that's right, I said the first...there were several.
I had given up after the third rejection. I was talking to one of my friends about the fact that I really had wanted to be a counselor and he said "really?" It turned out he was a counselor, and yes this was a major no no that he told me that information. We were told never, never tell anyone that you were a counselor. He proceeded to tell me a person to contact in the program which I did, and within a week I was being pulled into irc rooms, going on irc interviews and on my way to becoming a counselor. I found out early on that it really does matter who you know.
The day of creation finally came. One of the things you really give a lot of thought to is your name. For the sake of all of those that I worked with I am not going to share my name, nor the others that shared my experiences. The stories are entertaining enough. I was told to create a character and go to the Yew guildhall. I still remember the moment and how funny it really was. Here were all of these noobs...all at once our characters were stripped. I mean stripped, our clothes, our hair, our backpacks and everything. Then, it happened, we were clothed with our wonderful, well pressed, robes. I was a counselor. Well, almost anyway.
Early on there wasn't a lot of training. There was a mentor program, that if it worked had you paired up with an experienced counselor. You would respond with them in an invisible mode to see how they handled calls. I know I responded on perhaps 3 or 4 of these and then was out on my own. I'm telling you this is a really frightening moment of truth. You don't know who you are going to see. You don't know the frame of mind they are in. The one thing you can pretty well bet on though is that they aren't going to be happy.
Till next time....