I Transformed And Rolled Out For My Working Vacation

It’s no surprise that I have been overworking myself. And clearly, I was in desperate need of a vacation. The solution? A vacation… That involved working.

Hear me out. It’s not what you think.

Every year, my friends Jody and Thea run the Retro Joad’s booth at TFCon Toronto and invite Mark along to help out. And since getting hooked on Transformers, I have been able to tag along too. Yes, I work at the booth too, but it’s fun work.

The crew of Retro Joad’s

I may be relatively new to the world of Transformers compared to my three “co-workers”, and I don’t always know the finer details about some of the toys, but that doesn’t stop me from having fun. And selling products, of course. For me, the fun comes from interacting with other fans at the convention, whether they come up to the booth or I see them in the halls. In fact, I prefer talking to people at the booth. As someone with social anxiety disorder, being able to stand behind the table while I talk to someone on the other side provides enough of a barrier that I can feel comfortable while interacting with strangers.

Critical Miss and I working hard at the most festive booth in the dealer’s room

This year’s TFCon was extra special because it was my first convention since the pandemic, and my fist time interacting with that many people in over two years. Needless to say, I was extra grateful to have the extra layer of perceived safety that the booth provided because I really wasn’t sure how I would feel about being around so many people. Thankfully, there was fantastic ventilation in the dealer’s room (although that made the room super cold), and everyone who came by was wearing a mask. Plus, attendees were required to show proof of vaccination. I’m glad that my first convention back was a safe experience overall.

Rocking my Soundwave inspired cosplay – but hiding it behind all the cool toys

Because I wasn’t sure how I would react in a crowded room full of strangers in this strange new world we live in, I decided not to go overboard with my cosplays this time around. Wearing some of the head-to-toe yarn suits I have become known for is stressful enough on a good day because of what I have to put my body through, so I decided this time around to reduce any potential stressors as much as possible. Instead, I did two Transformers inspired outfits for the weekend. I loved my Soundwave outfit, but it was my Bumblebee look that earned me the most compliments.

I’m definitely going to have to re-wear this Bumblebee look. It’s fun AND comfy

The downside to the convention was that it unexpectedly closed early on the Sunday. Attendees and vendors all found out thanks to a message on a whiteboard. Although the Retro Joad’s crew understood why this time around the convention organizers might have wanted to end things early, we were annoyed that we weren’t directly informed. It was quite a surprise Sunday morning when we discovered that we would not be there as long as we had planned.

Mark bought me a gift – a print of my fav Transformers couple from the talented Pangolin Prime

And yes, I did want to spend more time working at the booth. I was having fun and didn’t want it to end. In fact, I originally planned on attending two of the Q&A panels, but I got so caught up in the excitement of working the booth again and chatting with the folks that came by that I made the conscious decision to skip one panel, and then completely forgot about the other. So yes, if I’m having that much fun while working in the dealers room, I do consider that to be a vacation.

We were lucky enough to get this TFCon legend to take a pic with our booth – it’s impossible not to smile when Guber Claus is around

I can’t wait until the next TFCon Toronto. I’ve already started to plan my stress-free, yarn-free cosplays. Although I think it might take me a few more conventions before I feel comfortable wearing my yarn suits, that’s not going to stop me from getting all dressed up. I just hope the convention doesn’t take place in the winter again because that was a much colder convention weekend than I’m used to.

Had to snag a pic with my fav cosplayers of the whole convention. I can’t wait to go back!

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