Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Predictable Negativity

Sunday was a beautiful day in New Olresns, She started out in Washington D. C. and flew home for the Saints game Sunday. Her flight was early so I picked her up at the airport and we went directly to the dome for the game.

The game was great, I can't think of anything negative to say about it. The Saints were virtually flawless, beating the New Jersey Giants 27 -48.After the game we went home, grilled a steak and watched more football. It was an almost perfect day except for two things;

Decreased Security at the Dome. A couple of weeks ago the NFL announced increased security at games due to the recently uncovered terrorist plots. It has never been in evidence in New Orleans. This week Security was horrifyingly slow, not because of increased precautions but because the Dome had apparently reduced the number of screeners, especially in the male lines.

At previous games if the female lines were empty then men were allowed through them. Not So Sunday. At gate D where we entered only two sets of screening lines were open and the female lines were virtually empty. The screeners refused to allow men through the female line and refused, in spite of the obvious problem and the chants from the crowd pressing forward, to convert one of the female lines to male. That would have required only removing a Velcro sign and allowing the virtually unoccupied female screeners to screen men. As a result She was in her seat well before kick-off and I missed the first two plays.

Agressive Dome Foam Vendors. Sunday I noticed something I had never noticed before. The beer vendors are assigned to specific aisles in the dome, identified by the adjoining section numbers on their ID Badge. Previously I had noticed that the same people worked the same section throughout the game but there have also always also been a couple of other vendors up and down the aisle.

Last year I was spoiled. For almost the whole season our section had the same guy. He was pleasant, always smiling and after a short time really was working the section. He remembered what kind of beer people liked, made a point of checking on regulars, especially near the end of the third quarter. He got a lot of tips that way I'm sure, I know he got them from me.

This year it's been a different person every game. For the Jets game it was a fairly nice looking blond girl, something of a novelty.

This game was not so pleasant. The guy assigned to our section was a hustler, and not in a good way. When I got to my seat aggravated by the security foul up, I wanted a beer so did She. He was there but didn't have my "brand" (which is generally anything but light beer) so I agreed to accept a Bud Light, I gave him a $20, a Jackson.

I expected him to whip out a fist full of ones and start counting them out. Instead he asked "keep the change?" "I don't think so" was my surprised response. Last year my habit had become giving our regular guy a larger tip near the end of the third quarter, generally when I got my last beer. Still he hesitated as if waiting for me to respond, he counted out 3 dollars and offered it to me. I guess the dirty look caused him to count out two more. I'm old fashioned. I like to think tips are voluntary, especially for $7.50 beers.

Not long after that he got into an altercation with another vendor working our aile, chasing him off waving his badge. A first in all of my trips to the dome. He immediately disappeared for most of the first half. I had already decided not to engage in any of more of that. I went to the stand at the rear of our section for the rest of the game. I was really expecting him to say something like "I bet I know where you got your shoes." A couple of other regulars had similar comments.

Now Sunday was perfect. I even got to complain after the Saints opened a giant can of Whoop Ass on the Giants.


jeffrey said...

Hmmm... The screener thing is disconcerting. Going through the "female" line is one of my tricks to avoiding too thorough a pat-down since, you know, they don't really want to touch you so much.

mominem said...

Good luck with your flask.