Thursday, April 20, 2006

I feel dirty

Yesterday I decided to suck it up and answer a random ad to "jump start my career in sports marketing" and help sign-up people for credit cards at a major sports event. It was a very strange experience, and the only cool person there I apparently pissed off and offended.

I rode my bike the approximately 3 miles, navigating the cool but sunny day in downtown to the stadium. It was a very awkward feeling waiting outside the instructed gate, waiting for our as-of-yet-unseen organizers. A tall, pretty thin girl also waited and a stocky, late-twenties guy with overly spiked hair and huge eyes was also waiting in a dress shirt and khakis. We looked like misplaced GAP employees. "Please sir, we had to leave GAPtopia, please give us job, we sell other poor people credit cards for you." Emerging from behind the gate came one of the two promoters with kiosk passes for us. He didn't look more than 19-years-old and had unattractive, shaggy hair, a dirty shirt and untied skater tennies. His hair was overgrown in the front and combined with sort of funky but not quite glasses and oily skin added to his teenage looks. He was one of those guys who is "super excited!" and claims the job is "super easy!" if you get used to "people ignoring you!". We were cornered by his enthusiasm in a small supply room while we were handed jackets and shirt with the insignia of the team. Unfortunately, all he had were "larges!" and so the polo I was assigned hung to my knees. Try to tuck that into a pair of fitted trousers, I looked like Pat from SNL, all lumpy and with an indiscriminate gender. The jacket pullover was even bigger. I looked like a rogue umpire ready to throw someone out at the plate in my big, puffy navy blue wind jacket.

The kiosk was in a freezing wind tunnel of death. There was one Cool Girl there, who had lived all over and owned her own business. At first, she reminded me of my friend Shelly. I forget that in new situations, my tongue is totally tied. Give me a few hours and I'll loosen up and take over, but to begin with I can be very shy. Not only in this situation was I already tongue-tied and quiet, but I was being asked to yell at people like a fucking carnie. So when the first thing I said was, "Are you seriously asking me that?" when asked if I was the 'Danielle from the modeling agency,' she thought I was actually offended. Okay, um, sarcasm = 0, cool girl = 1. Then, only a few minutes into it, I was observing and really struggling to yell out things. I was so uncomfortable and had had 4 minutes of training. I'm a marketing pro, this isn't the way I would work a booth. It was crude and I didn't find particularly effective. So Cool Girl says, "If you aren't going to yell, stand behind the booth. It's the easier job." This did nothing to help my demeanor. I later made a comment that I had been "put" behind the booth by this girl she was obviously angry and I think she left. Great, I was trying to kid but she was kind of a bitch about it. Team "Security" came to us at one point to check out passes b/c someone in the group had had an outdated ticket on accident. This older, red-headed man in thick glasses walks up and DEMANDS my ticket. I say, "please," to him as one prompts a child. I couldn't believe what a dick he was! He was so curt that I ripped the ticket back out of his hand. Obviously I had offended his territory of Gate D and he stood there, staring at me, like one does to pick a fight. I wouldn't give him the satisfaction.

So thusly I began my career in vendorship: starting two fights w/in one half hour.

I did manage to work myself a secure spot at "the better booth." There it was much, much warmer out of the wind but still not in the sunshine. I worked with another organizer who was really sweet and didn't care that I wasn't screaming at people. I was pissed that I was taking all of the shit from Exciteable Boy b/c I was getting as many people to sign up as anyone else AND definitely more than the model Danielle. I think though a lot of guys did come over just because of her and a few asked me if they could have her instead of the giveaway tee-shirt. Gross. At the better booth I could kind of see some of the game, unfortunately, the home team got SPANKED and it wasn't that great of a game. I was doing okay until an older man, who I am nearly certain was autistic, came over to the booth. He didn't even know his own address and we didn't complete his application. But I was told, that even people with mental handicaps can apply for the credit card as long as they "understood what they're applying for" and "know their contact information." It gave me the shivers.

I don't know if I'll go back, but I guess now I can say I've been there, done that. I need a real fucking job!

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