Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Derek awoke just before midnight on Monday, and realized he’d forgotten to pick a new Aspiration Benefit for all the points he’d received for achieving his Lifetime Wish of becoming Chief of Staff at the hospital.

He looked in on his little daughter, who was fast asleep on her toddler blanket,


and decided to pick Family as his second aspiration, so that he would eventually be able to make Grandma’s Comfort Soup for her. Derek had been a doctor long enough to know that colds spread quickly among little kids, and that every schoolmate Yevgenya would bring home was a potential germ factory. ‘Might as well be on the safe side,’ he thought.


Since both his child and his wife were asleep, he went outside and played soccer with Benjamin Long.


Yulia got up several hours later to find her daughter busy with the bunny again (which Yulia encouraged, because in her opinion Charisma was the most useful skill a person could have),


and went out back to the bowling alley to chat with whatever customers were there, in the hope of getting a star or two.


Benjamin Long told her what a great idea the sports venue was, and that the neighborhood had been needing such a place for a long time.


Yulia thanked him for his kind words, but as he left she wrinkled up her nose at how badly he smelled from having played soccer with her husband earlier.


So she immediately installed a shower room for her customers!


Derek, who had showered, and had lounged about the house for a bit after exercising with Benjamin, bowled with some of Yulia’s customers before he left for work,


while Yulia played soccer with Ivy Copur.


“Looking good, sweetheart!” Derek called supportively as he left for the hospital.


‘Yeah, maybe now that I’m not pregnant I can finally get into shape,’ thought Yulia.


She went in to check on Yevgenya, who had an urgent need to go to the toilet. Yulia judged that there wasn’t enough time to make smart milk, so she just gathered up the girl and set her down gently on the potty, trying to be as reassuring and positive as possible.


She was flabbergasted when her daughter suddenly became toilet trained. “My little Genya!,” she cried with delight. “This is only the 2nd time you’ve used the potty, and we didn’t even use smart milk--you must be a genius!” (Of course, it WAS Fall.)


The new butler arrived for the day,


and Yulia left for her retail store.


When she arrived at Yulia’s Emporium, she realized she’d forgotten to choose a Business Perk after achieving her first Rank 10 business the day before. She picked “Boundless Influence,” though she didn’t much care about it; she really wanted the “Rally Forth!” perk that lay just beyond it.


She called in her employees. To her surprise, Bruce Rausch headed right for the cash register (cutting off Troy Go, who was also assigned as cashier), perhaps trying to make up for his lackluster performance of a few days earlier.

Yulia gave Troy a uniform and assigned him to Restocking.


The venue soon gained Rank 2,


and Yulia was able to get the “Rally Forth!” perk she so coveted. ‘Of course,’ she thought, ‘I don’t need it YET—it’s most useful for an astoundingly expensive venue (according to her mother’s draft book).’ But Yulia was not the type to wait till the last minute to take care of something and, besides, not many of the other remaining perks interested her very much.


Though Yulia wasn’t working at the register, or restocking, or even selling (because the “Ridiculously Cheap” prices meant that her merchandise pretty much sold itself), it took most of her time and energy just to manage her employees. She watched their needs carefully, and often rotated them and gave them breaks and chatted them up while they were relaxing.


At one point she looked around and didn’t see Christian, who had abandoned his flower arranging station. She realized he’d gone into one of the tents to take a nap (a good thing, since he had “gone orange,” judging by the bubble above him).


Several hours thereafter, she realized Shelby had also gone into one of the tents for some rest.


When Troy became tired, and with no empty tents available, Yulia had no choice but to send him home for the day.



Since she was down to only one employee—Bruce Rausch, who was inexplicably still working as cashier even though he had never taken a break—Yulia decided to raise all of her prices to $9,999 (to slow down sales, because there was no one to restock), use the Energizer,


and try to sell a couple of really expensive items to improve her bottom line. From the two days she’d run the store, the business was more than $37,000 in the red (mostly because of the construction costs, but also because she had been paying 4 employees at a time for hours).


At least she got the store to Rank 3,


and she took her first Perception perk, “Assess Mood” (which she frankly didn’t expect to use much, if ever).


Both Shelby and Christian woke up from their naps and, though Shelby immediately returned to her restocking duties without being asked,


Christian did not resume making snapdragons.


‘Oh, well,’ Yulia reasoned. ‘He’s worked pretty hard today."’

So she decided to close the venue for the day and send Shelby and Christian home.


She had sold a couple of flamingos at $9,999, and kept Bruce working till the last customer had paid for her merchandise,


which got the store out of the red at least for the day, if not overall.


Then she sent Bruce home (telling him he was much improved), went home herself, and crashed.




Retaining employees from one venue to the next: There doesn’t seem to be any EA-sanctioned way to do this. Though Yulia shut down her first home venue, the game thinks Shelby, Troy, and Christian still work there. Yulia repeatedly tried calling all 3 of them from her community-lot business, but they were never home—as if they were at work. She finally summoned them via the teleporter painting and, when she tried to hire them, the game said, “This Sim already has a job. Hiring this Sim will cause him to lose his job.” What job?—the business that employed them is shut down! Of course, she hired them all anyway, but it’s weird the game doesn’t have a straight-forward way to accomplish this. I didn’t want her to fire them before she closed the 1st venue, because that leads to bad feelings. And you really want to keep your employees from one venue/store to the next, because you’ve invested time in building social relationships with them, and their talent badges may already have increased because of the duties you’ve assigned to them.

Promoting employees to manager: One of Yulia’s next goals is to promote as many of her employees to “Manager” as she can. Once an employee has 5 badge points (a Gold badge is worth 3 points, a Silver is worth 2, a Bronze is worth 1). At this point, each of Shelby and Troy has 4 badge points, Christian has 3, and Bruce has 1.

Managers are controllable—if you see they’re getting sleepy, you can direct them to get into a tent, click on the tent a second time, and click on “Sleep”. You can also monitor their other needs (though the dozens of snapdragons Yulia stashes around her venues do a pretty good job of keeping those up).

Danger of “boolprop”: I’m coming to the conclusion that you can’t reliably use “boolprop testingcheatsenabled true” EVEN JUST to monitor employees’ needs. I turned it on briefly this time, and selected each employee in turn just to see how he/she was faring after a few hours on the job. When you do this, the “employee bubble” disappears from above their heads and is replaced by the usual plumb-bob (that all controllable Sims have). Yulia was no longer able to direct them via the “Management” interaction; I’d have had to direct the employees myself. (And that’s cheating, so I didn’t do it!) I de-selected them, and even turned off boolprop, but the employee bubbles didn’t come back! So Yulia was STILL unable to direct them via the Management interaction. I had to exit the lot without saving and go back in, and the employee bubbles were back. I hereby resolve not to make that mistake again!

When Troy Go was selected, he abandoned his restocking duties and starting dancing to the stereo. (And Troy is usually such a reliable employee!) So maybe THAT was the problem with Bruce Rausch the other day, because today he’s been a model employee….

Tents: Tents really work! I was playing double speed with Yulia’s Needs screen up, while simultaneously trying to keep my eye on all the employee bubbles. And I realized I’d lost track of Christian, used the business interface (in the upper right-hand corner) to bring up the “Employee information” screen and clicked on Christian’s thumbnail in order to find him—turns out he had AUTONOMOUSLY gone into one of the tents to sleep! I immediately had Yulia get the 4 snapdragons Christian had most recently made out of her inventory and stash them around Christian’s tent (so his bladder, etc., would hopefully refill while he snoozed). And Shelby later also autonomously went to nap in a tent.

Danger of “Get Back to Work”: If you want an employee to come back off break and resume his duties, DON’T use Get Back To Work—both Sims will suffer relationship deterioration from that interaction. Instead, use “Management – Assign”.

Uniforms: You have to create a separate Business Outfit for EACH Sim of each gender, even if the clothing is identical—because their faces and hair will be, too, if you don’t! Example: Yulia had created the “red apron” outfit for Bruce a couple days ago (“Management – Set Uniform”) and, when Troy came into work today, Yulia did the same for him. But, since the red apron outfit had already been created for Bruce, the picture of Bruce in his outfit showed up under “Plan Business Outfit.” If Yulia had picked that, Troy would have had not only the red apron outfit, but also Bruce’s face and hair! (And I think we can agree we don’t want any more of that!) You have to click on the “Create a Business Outfit” tab (it’s to the left of the default “Business Outfits” tab--which really means “Business Outfits You Have Already Created for a Sim of this Same Gender”—then go down to “Everyday”, then to “Outfits”, and find the red apron again.

Cash Tracker: You can find out how much money a business has made or lost by clicking the Business Interface – Cash Tracker (the Simolean icon).

1 comment:

  1. Managing employees is one thing that's always made me leery of seriously trying to run a business, and I'll admit I've never run one with employees without the use of hacks to sidestep a lot of the hassles of having to keep them happy and needs up, etc. Because of this, I was very interested to see your tips for dealing with them, since I would like to try to make a go of it one day. Whenever I get brave