Thursday, December 3, 2015

Event Staff

When I was a teenager I thought that the perfect job would be on the event staff at BYU.  Think about it, you would get paid to be at football games, and as a bonus you would get to wear one of those great orange shirts that say Event Staff on the back. Others would tell me that you had to stand with your back to the game, but I was sure that would be the absolutely perfect job.  Well, I finally got the chance to experience being on the Event Staff.

SVU had an opportunity to bring volunteers to the Virgina/Virginia Tech game the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Since a lot of the students were gone there was plenty of room for Neil and I to go.  The money that SVU was paid for each volunteer was donated to a local family with medical expenses.   We met up at the SVU vans at 7:30 in the morning to drive to Charlottesville.  The trip there was pretty uneventful and much faster than the trip home.  We got the stadium about 9:00 to learn how to do our job as ticket takers.  We got to wear yellow shirts that said event staff with our khaki pants (they really didn't go together at all).

We opened the gates and started taking tickets at 10:30 for the game that started at noon.  Right now the school had heightened security after the Paris attacks.  Everyone coming into the game had to go through a security check. You can imagine that everyone wasn't particularly pleased with the situation.  I noticed that Neil and the others around me had more people coming through their lines than I did.  I wondered what was up.  When I asked Neil what he thought about it, he told me to look ahead at the guy doing the security for my side.  He was a very intimidating looking person.  He was big, and looked like he was taking this very seriously.  If I had to be searched by him I would have chosen another line.   After the lines got busy and closer to game time my line got busier also.  At the very beginning my scanner wasn't working, but then we got it figured out.  I am glad we got to start well before game time so when the rush hit we had it all figured out.

When it was almost game time the lines were really long and people were frustrated with having to go through security.  The security lines made a lot of people late to the game.  We stayed very busy taking tickets right up to half time.  It was kind of interesting to watch the fans come in. There were families that had on both Virginia and Virginia Tech shirts.  One family all the girls were Virginia Tech and all the boys were Virginia.  One man had on a Virginia sweatshirt and a Virginia Tech hat.  I told him I was confused about who he was cheering for.

There were several fans who had too much to drink before coming to the game.  One young man fell down a couple of times trying to come down the steps.  A police officer told him he couldn't come to the game and helped him leave college property.  Another man was told he would have to wait an hour and then see if he could come in.

One of the interesting things with taking tickets was seeing how many people came in late to the game.  The last person to come into the game through our gates came in with one minute to go in the game.  One minute!  Why even bother to come in then?  You would have to fight the traffic afterward and not see any of the game really.

I think the event staff in the stadium could see the game at least some.  As ticket takers we really didn't see any of the game.  I saw a football twice when they punted.  We could see the score board and figure out what was happening by watching where the ball was and how many yards to go for a first down.  We also watched the crowd to figure out who had a good play.

We got to under the stadium and catch a bus back to our van. The player were down there after the game.  It was cool to see them come out to catch their buses.  It took us about an hour to make it back to our van.  We stopped at a pizza buffet place in Charlottesville and then headed home.  Our van ended up blocking an intersection and I am sure that the people who couldn't go were a little upset.  We decided that there were SVU logos on both sides of the van so everyone would know who we were.

We got home about 7:30.  It was a long day.  I wouldn't want to do it all the time, but I did enjoy being on the event staff.  I learned what a Hokie is.  I am still not sure why the Virginia Cavaliers have a section for the Wahoos.  Virginia hadn't beaten Virginia Tech in about 5 years.  It was a close game. Virginia Tech won with a field goal at the end. The score was 23-20.  I was just glad it didn't go into over time.  I was cheering for Virginia since they hadn't won in a long time.  It was the last game for Virginia Tech's coach, so I was kind of glad they won for him. We forgot our camera so we don't have any pictures in our beautiful event staff shirts. Even if we had taken the camera we were told not to take any selfies in our shirts.

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