The commercials for Red Stripe beer has the slogan “Hooray beer!” Clearly those commercials weren’t made with what happened tonight in mind.
As an usher, Student Night is not a good night to work. It’s even worse if you work in the section where all these people are sitting. Can you guess that I had some issues tonight?
First, I had 4 students looking for seats up in Section 238. They couldn’t find any, so they came back down and asked me where the student section was located. I assumed it was in left field, so I pointed them over in the general direction. They looked and then asked me where they could find 4 seats. I told them that they had to have assigned seats. The response I got was priceless.
Them: “Where are the standing room student seats?”
Me: “There are no seats for standing room.”
Them: “What? Well, we need 4 seats for standing room. Where can we sit?”
Me: “Nowhere, there are NO SEATS FOR STANDING ROOM. You have to stand.”
I couldn’t believe they were getting pissed off at me, so I was starting to get annoyed when they asked me that second time where they could sit. Come on, the tickets are labeled standing room only. There should really be an emphasis on “only,” because a ton of people with these tickets try taking the handicapped seats. I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked if the wheelchair seats were standing room seats.
Second, I was notified during the second inning that there were some women in Row 13 of Section 239 “chain smoking.” I went up and looked, but didn’t see anyone smoking. I figured it would be best to not accuse anyone of smoking until I witnessed it, and this turned out to be a wise decision. During the next half-inning, I glanced up and saw a puff of smoke. I walked up, and I quickly learned that it was actually two women in Row 14 that were smoking. Fortunately, I didn’t have any problems when I told them they couldn’t smoke inside the stadium, and surprisingly, they ended up leaving the ballpark in the fifth inning.
The third problem I had today was the biggest, though. There was a group of about 6 students* that came to tonight’s game, but didn’t buy seats that were together. So, they ended up sharing and swapping seats all game. Several times, either myself or a supervisor had to tell some of them to stop sitting in their friends’ laps. They were also standing and blocking the view of other fans and climbing railings, and even though I told them to stop, they continued with the various behaviors. Eventually, two other fans took matters into their own hands and started complaining to these students. That’s when the real fun started.
* According to one adult, it appeared that these students were drunk before they even arrived at Target Field. They continued drinking all game. Great combination, huh?
Even though these two fans were just a few years older, the students weren’t too pleased with having non-ushers telling them what to do. They started becoming aggressive and swore at the two fans, and the entire party moved from the seats into the concourse. Pretty soon, the students are being restrained by other students because they want to start a shoving fight. Meanwhile, I’m busy calling security and my supervisor on my pager. Fortunately, the fight sort of diffused itself, and the aggressive students ended up leaving the stadium on their own. It was impressive to see 5 security guards and 2 supervisors show up, but even though they responded to my calls after only a couple minutes, the fight had already ended. Still, it was very stressful that all of this happened. To make it easier for me in the future, I requested that I have a second usher with me during Student Nights so either something like this doesn’t happen again, or at least I have some help that can arrive much faster than the ballpark security.
As a fan, I loved Student Night. As an usher…it’s not fun.