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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What Does Professionalism Mean in Second Life?- Rere Sandalwood Reporting…

Though beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there are a lot of beholders who love what they see in Tehran Hammand.

Brown-skinned with a delicately trimmed beard, Hammand not only possesses a chiseled physique, but encompasses a style that conveys perfection.  This perfection is personified in a brown tweed jacket with matching knickers, as well as a page boy hat…complete with burgundy and white checkered patterned socks. 

Yet all physical features aside, there is yet another feature that distinguishes him from others: his commitment to Photo Unlimited & Design, a company he founded and created, as well as his commitment to the photography profession.  This, as well as the ethics he brings to the photography industry are key characteristics intrinsic in what Hammand describes as “being about and beyond reproach [when it comes to] strong customer service.”  This, along with a hosts of other characteristics, are what epitomize the definition of professionalism.

Others Share What Professionalism in SL means to them

While Tehran Hammand is a stellar example of professionalism, what distinguishes him from others is that he practices photography not only in SL, but in RL as well.  According to Hammand, owning an SL company like Photo Unlimited & Design allows him to cohesively bridge his RL photography career with his SL Photography studio. He explains that “It (SL) extends my creativity. In Real Life I am a professional photographer, so doing the same here is…so to speak…my personal challenge. [Specifically, creating] photos here [tends to be] a lot different than in real life. My artistic challenge is to [solely] create and [avoid using] photo shop/post editing as a crutch. I see post edit as a tool and [as an] endgame, not so much as a creation tool set. So I guess I enjoy pushing myself past what [others] might consider normal practices [in SL Photography].

In contrast to Hammand, America Seetan Ajontae (also known as america2000)’s realty, decorating and landscaping business does not extend into RL.  Nonetheless, she and her partner Belle 'Love Hunni' Sonsie (also known as bbwbabe Resident) have not only joined forces to create Babes In Wonderland, but have incorporated professionalism within their SL business.  Thus, with the incorporation of professionalism in their SL endeavors, comes a desire to convey professionalism within and throughout their SL realty business.  America explains that “…professionalism is knowing the intricacies of your chosen vocation, and presenting it with excellence. I am responsible first for quality customer service to our tenants, making sure the SIM is lag free, rents are paid on time and subsequently our tiers paid on time.”

Besides providing great customer service, America believes that it is important to continually be open to learning about your chosen occupation.  America explains, “I am always open to growth.  My business partner Bbwbabe Resident is quite adept at every facet of the business, so I am constantly peeking over her shoulder and learning.”  In addition to learning the SL realty profession, America has decided to expand her growth with the inclusion of learning a foreign language.  “Right now I'm in the midst of learning key phrases in both Turkish and Croation so I can effectively communicate with two families on our SIM.  Thank God one has an interpreter!  Google translator is my friend…[but there are] some conversations I can do on my own.”  After America gives a playful wink, she continues:  “I feel the standard is to have quality, long term tenants....and not to be so cocky that you deliver substandard services because of confidence in the demand you have for a parcel.”
While America and bbwbabe Resident are incorporating professionalism in their newly fledged Babes In Wonderland Realty business, DJAykoAya Resident has been practicing professionalism in her SL profession for over five years. 

As DJ AykoAya name suggests, she has been a Disc Jockey that has worked various venues, as well as an array of private functions.  The key to exhibiting professionalism, according to DJAykoAya, is to be open to playing a variety of music at different functions.  She continues, “[My SL Job responsibilities entail that I] entertain our guests with music from many genres, create a welcoming atmosphere, [and] make them feel welcomed. [I also do] venue [related] promotions [for my clients].”

Yet regardless of what kind of music genres DJ AykoAya plays, she explains:  “The music that I play creates a warmth to our guests. Their complements, and messages on how I made them feel, or made their night special, I love that the most. [That, along with] SL being a fun place to work, as well as an escape, [enables me to] give 100% of [myself] every time I play. And to go home knowing that I did my very best, and that it affected people in a good way….makes me feel good as well.”

Making Customers Feel Good and Being On-Time

While everyone interviewed agrees that it’s important to be mindful of their customer’s needs, they also agree that it is important to be on time for the sake of your SL supervisor and customers too.  Among those interviewed who routinely practice this belief is Subtlety Dalglish, an entertainer that sings, writes, records and produces poetry that she eloquently describes as “poetic vibes.” She states, “I try to be professional pretty much all the time. I love to have fun, but I avoid drama and gossip - in other words keep it drama free and clean. [I also believe that it is important to] always be on time…even early if possible.  This is good in both SL and RL situations.”

With a seductive and alluring voice, Danglish’s poetry exhibits a sharpness and candidness that is not usually found in SL. Danglish asserts, “I sing on every Sunday at 1pm SLT and on SL every Sunday at 5pm SLT at the Blue Room Live.  I also perform every other Sunday at 6pm at NY Skylight in the Sky. And starting March, I will perform every two weeks at Pure Seduction.”

Danglish continues by saying, “…I [am working on] improving my fan base [because] I think the poetic thing I am into is not as prevalent on SL as it should and could be. Poetry is out there but I wish there could be more of it shared as I share my own.”

Stacey Cardalines

Stacey Cardalines, who believes that professionalism entails “getting the job done, generally as it is supposed to get done,” functions as a writer in SL, but in a different capacity than Subtlety Dalglish.  Cardalines states, “I’m the Sports and Leisure Editor for the SL Enquirer.  I wander around SL and look for things to tell my readers about, then I tell them about these things I have looked for.”

However, just like Dalglish, Cardalines tends to touch a diverse audience with the stories she publishes.  “I see myself as automatic gunfire that eventually strafes every corner of SL.  In both [SL and RL] realms, you have a job to do and you go do it. If it was easy, they wouldn't pay you. It's a good thing, otherwise all newspapers would be written by children.”

Conveying warmth and humor in her answers, Cardalines continues, “If it weren't for this job, I'd be stripping. However, if I get fired here, I don't miss a mortgage payment.” 

Nonetheless, Cardalines as well as the other professionals mentioned in this article, agree that professionalism is just as important in SL as it is in RL…mainly because if you are producing a good or service in SL, you have to find an effective way to find and retain customers, and encourage them to continue to patronize your business.


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