Last month, I got an email from a guy who works Lightning games at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Our informant was piss drunk and looking for a place to vent about his job. It will shock and stun you to learn that stadium arenas do not operate like they did on that one Matthew Perry sitcom. I'll let our anonymous stadium guide provide the details.
This guy was writing partly in response to this story, entitled "GREAT FAN EXPERIENCE IN TAMPA." I've corrected some of his spelling errors, because he was drunk. I should add that the email arrived at 5:27 p.m.
Let me be the first to tell you, as an employee of the Tampa Bay Times Forum, that the management does not give a fuck about anybody.
I am currently nine beers in (Natural Ice because I'm cheap and in college, and it's got 5.9% ABV). I have 50 minutes before I need to clock into work. I think it's funny how arenas and stadiums try to tell their fans that the ultimate goal is to make life easier; where to go for their seats, where to find Outback and where to find the discount stations. My superiors never have told me any of this. But I can disclose a few secrets for hockey-goers' sake:
1) The Tampa Bay Lightning sell 24 oz. beers on the plaza, before you enter and before you go through security. The vendors sell them out on the plaza, so when one goes through security, they're casually asked, "Did you buy that here?" Of course you did. Long story short, buy a 24 oz beer, five of them for 6 bucks at a gas station and carry them in and you're gold. Better yet, use the can and fill it up with straight Jack Daniels and you're still all right. Searchers can't sniff or examine your can. Please, bring the liquor in, it'd make my job easier.
2) Be a dick to anyone in a suit. Especially if it's Nick. He's a cunt.
3) If you find someone who looks young, they'll let you into a lower level. Let's be honest, if a college-aged guy sees a couple hot women at the top of his section, he'll let them down no question. But if you're some asshole who gets mad at rich people for being rich then you are a dick. Be hot, and have a vagina. I will let you anywhere. Or if you offer me a beer that I can chug in the bathroom, I will accept. I have horribly low standards.
4) My superiors are retarded. And I say retarded because my ultimate superior is a former EMT named Tripp, and everyone below him and above me is a college intern. I don't want to be the guy who says, "Oh my god, my boss sucks," but fuck. The people above me have the chance to make my job easier and they don't do it. I'm not complaining. I'm drunk as fuck ready for work. How can I complain? Even my punctuation is lacking. I had an instance last week where four hideous old women wanted to go outside and get a cheap beer. We had a no re-entry policy. The suit cleared them to leave and come back. He left while they were out. I was there when they got back. Their tickets wouldn't scan because they'd been through already. I knew this. But I told them that they were fraudulent, and to fuck off. I'm a prick, don't come to Tampa. Not my fault you thought you'd get a tan and be happy. Suck my tan balls.
Long story short, I love my job. It gives me a horribly disillusioned sense of power that I like to exercise if I don't like someone. This, Drew, is how an arena operates. Suits and management can only go so far. There are fuckin' assholes like me that try to make life miserable for everyone else. And there are also poor people, like me, that make the innards work.
Noted. Also, I'm never going to a Lightning game. Are you drunk and unhappy with your stadium job? By all means, let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo via Matthew Paulson's Flickr