January 18, 2008

Football: Workday 2

2007: Working Football: At the start of Ramp F going down into the stadium, I stand behind a bicycle rack.

Duck: We got him as far as the Great Room and were ready to discuss the birthday gathering he’d been party too when he pulled up his pant legs and we saw the bloody mess his legs were. Raw. Ugly, frightening. Rushed him back to the nurse. “I can’t stop him from scratching,” she says. There must be something as I am beginning to itch too and no cream stops it.

Me: Today 1st PT appointment. Drove by and know where it is. Daughter emailed, she’s walked to school, walked to, and found, her class rooms, and she is ready to start college. M-J is getting potty trained too. (At last a nick name.) Marie feels liberated.

G: Work computer still dying. Not happy at all. Spent a lot of time today defragging…dusting, waxing, polishing….metaphorically putting his computer in order. Used AIDA32 to poke around inside and found hardware that was incompatible with software and only 1G of memory for all that he does every day.

Weather: San Diego: 65 for the high. 43 for the low. Football: http://www.blogger.com/ VS Patriots Sunday at three PCT: High: 21 F. Low: 5 F. Strong winds from the WNW at 22 mph. 10% chance of precipitation Sunday. Snow forecast for the weekend.

WW: B: veggies and ersatz coffee. L: Chips, Tostada, diet cokes. D: Salad and two small rolls. 1 point desert.

”Are you watching the game yourself?” Wintersong asked. Nope, there I am looking out.

Usually four hours before a football game starts, I arrive at the stadium mid-traffic delivered by G. He’s freed of me for the day and gets to head out into the world. I leap out the car or truck door into hopefully stopped traffic, roll my bag across the oncoming traffic, and down the main entrance into the stadium parking lot. Usually I’m in the middle of a crowd of workers. Food service workers arrive at the same time I do, and a few other supervisors are walking in with me. Employee parking is across Friars Road from the Stadium, and this is the main entrance for those who drive.

I stop at the main gate and there to talk with the parking people I know from Baseball, then I check in at Gate P. A supervisor makes sure my Guard Card is current and checks me off a list, I’m patted down, and I sign in at a table where another list waits. The two lists haven’t always been the same this season and caused me untold grief. I grab a radio, make sure it works and discover the channel I am to use this day. Then I make a great effort to grab an event staff person who is sober, unhungover, clean, has teeth, and wants to work with me, and I tell him where to stand until I can return to get him. Event staff personal are not always the best apples on the tree. I grab any paperwork and reports set aside for my ramp and pop it on my purple clip board.

Usually it’s a very smooth operation. You are in, checked in, find an employee, and move right on through to the club level without a burp. There you have a moment to chat with friends and find out the latest in gossip before the briefing starts. I make notes at the briefing. If I didn’t, nothing the bosses say would be remembered in my fuzzy brain. As everyone is filing out, I grab the green shirted, retired police officer, Jericho, who will be checking in carts, and find out what time our dog and pony show starts.

To get from one end of the stadium to the other, everyone uses carts. Everyone wants to stay out and finish all their last minute business no matter what’s happening or what the rules are. Jericho sends out staff to every level to bring the carts back to the ramp before the two and a half hour early gate opening. As they arrive, he checks them off….for no gate can open until they are all in, I stop any more from leaving the ramp. Once all the carts are in, I begin training my Event Staff person to do my job.

We stand, our back to the ramp facing Gate F. I check down the ramp often so upcoming workers don’t bowl me over. The is the first think I teach my employee. Safety. Then, I give the Event Staff person all the material to read for this position first. After he is finished reading I show him the maps on either side of me outside the ramp going up. I suggest the Event Staff person try to memorize the layout of the stadium if he is new. I explain the map, and tell him where he is. I show him where stairs are to get to the field level….and I make him walk there to see them. I tell him that everyone that comes down this ramp must wear credentials, and I stop employees so he or she can see what the credentials look like. Once they begin to feel comfortable, I tell them that they can help fans find their seats. Ah, the lost leading the lost. Sometimes it’s even funny.

All sorts of staff go up and down in the middle of the food service workers who are moving up and down with their loads. Occasionally a fork lift will bring a pallet to the top of the ramp to be offloaded onto smaller powerless carts. For the first two hours, I talk nonstop to fans, Charger’s staff, friends, cops, firemen, and then do it all over again all the while carts of supplies and drinkables continue to pour up the ramp as they have since five in the morning.

It’s an entertaining spot to start one’s day.

(To be continued: )


  1. If I had to get patted down every day, I think I'd be tempted to put an orange or something either in a sling in my pants or in my bra, just to see if anybody noticed. I suppose the "patter" is the same someone each day. (an aside: I remember being patted down in an airport in India way back in the mid-80s when security was even crazier than it is now. I think she enjoyed the task a little more than she should as she pressed and poked pretty hard as I remember.) Oh well, now I have a better idea how the inner workings of sports events go. I helped out at that car thingie in Las Vegas one year. Swore I'd never do it again because of the noise levels. I'm sure I lost a little hearing that day.

  2. Hello Mage,

    I think you are incredibly lucky to have the jobs you do.

    I think you know it, too, because in every picture you are wearing a wonderful smile.

    Your description of your Chargers games is so detailed and so interesting I wish I could come out there and be your assistant.

    So here goes, Mage:

    I am sober
    I am unhungover
    I am clean
    I have teeth
    And finally:


  3. Had to laugh at Nancy making your comment into poetry of sorts. Just wanted to say how much I enjoy you talking about work. Don't know if it is the job, or your marvelous descriptions of the people involved and behind the scenes insight.

    Who did you get to work with today?



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