The Hall Monitor: Hands Full

by: TK

One midseason day in Season 18, Blaseball’s Hall Monitor could have been seen individually counting millions upon millions of coins, pressured to decipher exactly how many gifts to distribute to each team in the ILB. This process was brand new for them, and despite having no formal experience in Gift Shop management, this “promotion” and responsibility was laid at their eight arms. Where were the other ILB employees? Well, Lōotcrates had tweeted “wait what” two days earlier, so they were done with work for the week. The Ticker, still “HYPED FOR SEASON 18” well into and through season 19, was not rushing to the Monitor’s aid. And Parker, well, Parker is doing a great job.

This is not a hit-piece on what other employees on the ILB team should and shouldn’t be doing, rather it is a look at how overworking an employee can lead to burnout and substandard performance. This is a story of poor leadership, unrealistic timelines, and continually ballooning responsibilities being placed on an accommodating employee at the wrong end of a power imbalance.

by @FlipAntArt – Available at Blaseballcares

Spawn and Success

The Monitor first showed up in Season 7 with the opening of the Hall of Flame and provided fans a venue to view and offer respects to incinerated blaseballers. This Hall Monitor role was their main employment responsibility for three seasons, up until Season 10. In these seasons, the Shelled One (aka Peanut God) had seized total control of Blaseball, with the Discipline Era becoming more terrifying for blaseballers by the season. 

After seeing the Charleston Shoe Thieves and Baltimore Crabs be summarily bludgeoned and cursed by the Shelled One’s Pods, the Monitor lept to action with a plan. They assembled and led a team of 14 Hall of Flame players* to engage in Blaseball combat with the Shelled One’s Pods, ultimately defeating the Peanut squad. This ended the reign of the Peanut and closed the Discipline Era of Blaseball as a whole. Without the Monitor’s initiative and aptitude, the ILB might still be under the rule of the Pod God to this day.

*Note: there were 16 total players who played on the Hall Stars, with Sebastian Telephone being re-incinerated and Axel Trololol feedback swapping on the team.

Depiction of Boyfriend Monreal by @elevenquietseas

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Depiction of York Silk by @alienmandy_   

After the fall of the Pod God, the Coin became CEO of Blaseball.  Under this new management, the Monitor saw a number of promotions and expansion of work responsibilities:

In Season 13, they became the food and beverage director.  

In Season 17, they were given the title of Tourism director.  

In Season 18, they were named the Gift Shop director.

The Monitor is constantly coming up with delicious ideas for snacks like Wet Pretzels, Sundaes, and Cold Fries. Whereas Hobbits are known for having a paltry 2 breakfasts, the Monitor will let fans feast on a buffet of 99 Breakfasts. In their role at the Gift Shop, they have offered fans a way to temporarily revisit with preserved legendary players, as well as offering teams protection from league safety issues like Rogue Umpires or Feedback. In each role, Monitor has strived to do their best and give back to the splort.

Fan Depictions of York Silk & Nagomi Gift Shop Replicas by @glassgoblin

Hands Full

The Monitor’s first role within the ILB was the Hall of Flame Monitor, but because of their promotions and expanded responsibilities, this is now not even listed on their official title as of Season 19. “Who is currently watching the Hall of Flame then?” Pudge Nakamoto brought this question into direct relevance with their stunning decision to Roam out of the Hall of Flame following the Season 19 elections.

Note: this is the exact moment where this reporter began to investigate this story. Letting Pudge walk out of the Hall of Flame, put the hereto seemingly isolated instances in a different context, and reveal a pattern of overwork and suffering job performance.

In Season 19, there was also a mishap in the Gift Shop where the Monitor miscalculated and delivered one gift too few to 14 ILB teams. This complication likely originated because donations from non-ILB teams were not counted.  It appeared that the Monitor was not instructed to count these coins, and seemed genuinely confused about these teams, asking “also who are the data witches.” This story is still unfolding into Season 20, where the Monitor promises to allocate a compensation gift next season to the affected teams.

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The Monitor apologizing for missed team gifts in Season 19

As the Hall Monitor, each incinerated player was switched over to Null Team to show their standing in the Hall of Flame. However, this practice again took a backseat to other more pressing responsibilities, and in Season 12, Joshua Butt was not converted to the Null Team. Instead, Butt remained a Chicago Firefighter well past their death. This has become the new normal, with every subsequent player remaining on their team. Was there a change in league policy, or was this again a responsibility that could not be continued by an already overworked employee?  Efforts were made to reach out to league offices for comment, but there was never an official response regarding this matter.

Additionally, the Monitor has filled in several times for Lōotcrates, compiling and awarding season MVP awards. At this point, they are confused at what is and isn’t their job anymore, as during Season 14 Elections they appeared, asking: 

The Monitor: Season 14 Elections via BlaseballWiki

Despite any mistakes, the Monitor has remained upbeat and polite. They admit and apologize when they make an error, and never shirk their responsibilities. The Monitor has repeatedly noted they have their eight arms full and could use some help, but there has been no response from management.

Making Coin

The Coin has decided to run ILB like a business, wherein they care more about ratings and financial earnings than employee satisfaction, player safety, or any non-monetary benefit. This probably shouldn’t come as a shock that someone made entirely of currency cares only about money, but it is still worth reiterating to make their position abundantly clear.

In Season 19, the CEO Coin claimed that “Ratings are tanking” and questioned the financial viability of the league.  They went on to proclaim: “We’ve recorded massive Losses / The League is in the Red /  We’ve been forced to make a Deal / A Grand Bargain / Inflation will keep Us afloat.”  Sources are yet to verify the validity of these statements as the league has not turned over their financial books for outside review.

The financial situation of the league could be the topic of its own investigation, but there are some surface-level signs that point to the league being in positive financial shape. For instance, there were more votes cast for Season 19 Decrees and Blessings than in any other season, with over 11.5 million Votes cast on Decrees alone.  There have also been several new Shop snacks added, with a stack of 99 Pickles costing players upwards of 300,000 coins.  Where does this money go?  Obviously, not towards staffing the league appropriately.

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The Coin, Season 10

Beyond financial incentives, there still remains the question of why overwork and risk burnout in their top employee?  There are several possible answers here, among them:

  • Allegedly, the Coin could be an absentee boss and does not recognize the stress they are putting on their employees.
  • Allegedly, the Coin could be busy fighting with the Reader and has their attention consumed by this infight. 
  • Allegedly, the Coin could recognize but fail to care.

As it is extremely hard to prove intentions, this article will not be trying to decipher which of these above motivations is most likely correct. This reporter does not have a legal team or the funds to face the Coin in court, with all earnings being donated for Goodwin Morin gift shop replicas. Thus, each of the above has ‘allegedly’ thrown on there, and has been advised this is enough to cover legal bases and put these alleged claims out into the ether.

The Coin is also found to be extremely lacking with regard to role delegation and strength recognition. As previously mentioned, the Monitor was smart or strong enough to defeat the Pod Gods.  And yet, the Monitor is tasked to be an emcee, reading off-season MVP awards, instead of the League Historian and Scholar Lōotcrates already on staff. The Monitor does their best, despite not being the most natural of public speakers, but has to take away time and attention from their many, many other jobs.

A Hallway Forward

Throughout all of this, the fans’ support for the Monitor has never waivered. During the three-week siesta, the official Baseball discord has devoted a channel entirely to suggesting vacation destinations for “Binky,” an affectionate nickname for the Monitor. As of the time this article posted, there are over 400 image vacation suggestions, ranging from the beach to an Elsewhere Waffle House, and everything in between. 

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#binkys-vacation, Blaseball Discord  / Monitor @ Elsewhere Waffle House by EpicToast™#4314

Blaseball fans have shown their concern for the Monitor’s work-life balance, and it is past time for the Coin to take this under consideration. In season 10, The Coin stated “[they were] finally going to start Investing in Blaseball.” It is now time for them to invest in their employees. The three-week siesta offers a rare downtime where the Coin could reflect upon the organization as a whole, spot these deficiencies, and make changes going forward. 

What happens from here is anyone’s guess, but it will be well worth tuning in to Blaseball’s season 20, returning Monday June 14th to see if there are any new developments regarding this matter.

Disclaimer: this is a parody article about characters within the game of blaseball, not about the game as a whole.  However, the author’s love for the Monitor is undeterred.

Print copies of the Hall Star of Shelled One’s Pods cards can be found now by joining the waitlist at Blaseballcares.

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