One thing I absolutely cannot stand and won't do even for Shake Shack is stand in line for hours. I've never been to a general admission area of a stadium concert (even for a band I like) because I hate waiting in queue. Impatience, sure. But it's mostly the people.
Sure, I'll walk around the ballpark to get my food, stand up eating at a table for an inning or two and not get to our seats till like the 4th inning. I'm at least watching the game. But standing in line. Ugh. Makes my skin crawl.
So while I thought the Noah SyndergaardenGnome giveaway was pretty fantastic, being that the giveaways are now limited to 15,000 people, getting to the park three-four hours before first pitch is well...let's just say, I can think of a million other things I'd rather do. Like pass a kidney stone. Because at least then there's a guarantee I'd have something tangible afterwards. (And by the time the game is done, and I factor in travel time, it's an eight hour day. No bueno).
Plus, it's not even so much the waiting that gets to me. It's the fucking people. MADON, just if they SHUT THE FUCK UP and talked about anything else besides the goddamn line, the fuckin ticket plans, the people getting in before us, criticizing the staff, being hungry, having to pee (okay, that might've been me, but in my defense I had two glasses of water, a coffee and a gatorade AND I peed twice before going to the park, but still had the urge)...if there's anything an introvert hates, it's fucking small talk. Talking about the line will not make it go any fuckin faster. And talking about the ticket takers and CitiField employees won't make you a better person than anyone.
Please. For the love of all that is good in this world (and Zeus), SHUT THE FUCK UP.
But what an introvert does love, is deep talk. I realized something as I saw impatient people waiting in line, shifting weight from one leg to the other, standing with a partner, shutting the fuck up (because if my better half knows what's good for him, it's don't talk while I'm there), but of course counting the minutes till the park opens...anyway, I was brought back to Shea once again.
I am not a parent. I can't blame a parent if they're just trying to make sure their kid is protected or not being trampled or whatever. But this is a charity event. There's a time and place for everything...
What I found though is that a lot of the folks there were not just protecting their kids, they were letting their kids be kids. Which, hey, is all fine and dandy.
Till you make them wait in line for a fucking face painter or caricature.
Then all hell breaks loose.
Bonus points: it's a really hot day and no one has any patience whatsoever. Including the mean lady bouncer, who I had quickly become.
So what happens is this. There were three separate lines for face painters, caricatures and fake tattoos. For some reason, they put two volunteers on this detail. (I told them the next year they needed at least four and some guys, so I wasn't labeled the crazy screaming bitch alone). Three lines, two people directing, and letting people do the honor system of waiting just wasn't fucking working.
To some of the parents' credit, they made their kids wait patiently. Meanwhile, I'm sure some parents reading this knows the joys in that. It's hot, it's miserable, they want their picture, but they also want to run the fuck around and be kids. So they start shifting their weight to another leg. They're hungry, they're cranky (hey, sounds like me 99% of the time). It's a recipe for fucking disaster.
I had worked with several charities before that had Mets games as the event. But I had worked with adult charities, and we had NONE of this happen. Once parents bring their fuckin kids in there, and their kids aren't happy, it becomes the volunteers' faults. Then they don't realize that I'm not drawing the fucking caricatures and can only move people as fast as the artist goes. It sucked.
But then the piece de resistance was some lady with her child, who was clearly one of the ill children, started yelling at the volunteers when her kid was left alone in the line. I saw the kid. She was fine, a tough little cookie who was standing by herself. It was mommy who was yelling at everyone, like not only were we volunteers, we were fucking baby sitters too.
So now *I'm* hot and fucking cranky. But I noticed an interesting little thing. Some parents were standing in line, minding their own business, and then it was time for them to be next in the queue, it was like, "Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike! It's almost time." So I'm sorry, that's not fucking fair, and the parent fucking knows better. Holding a place for one person, whatever. I let that shit slide. But for five people, it's unfair and holds up the line even more.
So then I snap. I start losing it on people when I saw it happen for the fourth or fifth time. When I saw kids get bored and their tired (and probably hot and cranky parents who have to listen to them complain) parents let them run around and then come back when it's their time, I said, "I'm sorry but to speed up the line, we would ask that you all wait together, so as it's fair to other people who decide to wait in the line." I mean, if I was in the back of a line of five people, and think, oh this isn't so bad. Then a family of four cuts in because Dad decided he'd take the fall for the family, that means it's more like 10 people in front of me. Maybe I'd have gone someplace else (of course, I'm thinking about the children too...but mostly me).
I literally yelled at the same little girl THREE TIMES because she kept sneaking under the table to get her caricature done because she didn't want to wait in line or because she got bored and didn't want to wait.
I told her to take a hike.
Yes, I'm a big mean bitch. I embrace that shit. I blame a lot of things on my bitchiness, but the truth is, I come from a long line of big bitches. It's most likely in my DNA, a part of me. But not to say I didn't feel bad about ruining a kid's time. But to be fair, that's bad fucking parenting, and probably why I wouldn't make it as one myself.
So this is why I hate lines and people (and I can blame a lot of my attitude on my years in retail, which hoo boy...I'm sure I have some doozies to tell you).
But fast forward to 2008, the same foundation and charity, same event, last year at Shea. It was also my last year at this employer, so I was like, "Yeah, I'll do it." In fact, the charity people even reached out to me. Which was cool because a baseball game was always high demand.
Except I requested -- do not put me in the caricature line. Fair enough.
So they put me next door with another volunteer...the tattoos.
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
It's the same goddamn thing. When I explained, this is what happens when you don't put enough volunteers over (I told the organizers, the charity and the team captains). I was like, "I cannot be held responsible if I snap and start yelling at people." Yes, I'm a bitch. But I do try to be nice. Sometimes.
So long story short, I got two extra volunteers -- one of whom caught people (mostly unsupervised kids) who went snuck into the back, and cut the lines. Another was a guy, who was like me the year before. "Hey! This event is a cakewalk. Little kids and face painting...what's better?" I'm like, "Dude, you literally have no clue when you put parents, kids, hot weather and waiting in line together. will do...do you?"
Ten minutes into the event, I have him yelling at people too.
So when you think of stupid giveaways that are only for the first 15,000 fans, when you think of cynical and exploitative marketing ploys to get 30,000 people in the park (50% of whom won't be happy for getting to the park that early and missing out on a cool giveaway) and then really give them no better reason for being there but buying food and extra drinks because FUCK ELSE YOU GONNA DO AMIRITE?
When you think of all that, ask yourself the question...This is such a cynical & exploitative marketing ploy. Just make 40,000 gnomes for crying out loud. https://t.co/MulMmkJ40K— Jerry Beach (@defiantlydutch) April 30, 2016
OMG WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?
OR WHAT ABOUT THE COOP WHO ALMOST LOST HER MIND ON THE TWO FELLOWS BEHIND HER WHO COULD ONLY TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER, THE LINE, THE GIVEAWAY, THE LINE, THE TRAINS, THE LIRR, THE SUBWAY, THE TICKET PLAN THEY HAD, AND SPRING TRAINING AND OMG WHAT'S TAKING SO LONG...
Think about the people who are actually doing it, waiting in line. Think about the kid who wanted it, or the adult who wants it for their collection or to give to their sick kid.
Or think about my husband, who was smart enough to leave me the fuck alone until we got in, and he asked me what I wanted to eat.
Oh, and the Mets won. Figuratively (like, the team won), and the Mets, the team, for getting people early into the ballpark to spend more money. GO TEAM.