Thursday, April 29, 2010

You want WHAT?

I've been a stadium vendor for over 19 years at 4 different venues throughout the Twin Cities.  I've sold everything from soft pretzels, to Coca-Cola, to my favorite...beer.  Something happened a few months ago while working at a MN Wild game at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul that in a perfect world someone would have been videotaping so I could share it with the world on youtube.  Instead, I'll have to settle for my blog and the dozen or so of you that read it.

The money at Wild games isn't as good as Twins or Vikings, but a hockey game does offer something great to someone like me that makes his money hustling up and down stairs to sell product to fans...2 intermissions.  During the intermissions we are allowed to "set up" in the hallways and have the customers come to us.  It's sort of a mandatory work break except instead of clocking out of your job for 15 minutes and sitting in the break room, you still do your job, minus the hard part which for vendors is walking the aisles carrying your product.  People have asked me if what I'm carrying around at a Wild game is heavy.  I've never figured out exactly how much things weigh, but I can tell you that my normal load of thirty-six 16 ounce bottles of beer plus 8 twenty ounce bottles of pop isn't light.  And sometimes it's even more than that. Vikings games have halftime which is a nice break two-thirds into the event.  (two-thirds because we don't sell beer in the 4th quarter).  Baseball, which is the greatest sport ever invented...has nothing...no breaks.  When you work a Twins game you GO, GO, GO for 7 straight innings.

Back to the Wild game.   What I do when I "set up" at Wild games is stand about 3 feet out from the outside wall of the concourse on the first floor of the X.  I set my case of beer, pop, and peanuts in front of me and advertise to the loitering crowd.  "Cold beer, pop, peanuts....Hey Mich, Bud, Bud Light...Cold Beer".  I usually hold two bottles of beer at eye level to help get people's attention. When someone comes up to buy something I set down the beers I was holding on the floor in between my feet (pay close attention to that fact) and grab whatever the customer wants to buy and make the transaction.  I NEVER sell the beers I was just using to advertise because I've had people tell me, "Not the ones you were just holding".  Apparently they think my hands have warmed them up.  Maybe they have. Whatever...

So it was coming to the end of the intermission and I was getting a nice rush of customers that wanted to buy beers before the start of the next period.  I'd make a sale and then move on to the next person.  "What can I get you?"  "I'll have a Mich Light and a bag of peanuts" is a common answer.  Well, this guy steps up and once again I ask, "What can I get you?"  And he replies, quote, "I'll have what's in between your legs". 

Of course, what he meant was that he wanted the Mich Golden Light and the Bud Light that I had set down on the floor between my feet, but I pretty sure both of us realized at the exact same time what it sounded like he was asking for.

If you're curious about my reply it was, "How about some beers instead".

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