By: Libby Sweeney
If there’s two things in life that are inevitable, it’s paying taxes and the fact that working in events always brings something different. The irregularity is something I find appealing compared to the monotony of other jobs, but sometimes it can create a divide of good days to better days, or days that are more fair and enjoyable than others.
That also can happen when working with a group where people do different jobs. All of us students have the same abilities and access here, but depending on where we’re scheduled, our days can look drastically different. Today was one of those examples.
I had the morning off and was able to sleep in and catch up on editing blogs (I have no homework, seeing as my first class in Los Angeles met yesterday and I wasn’t there), and in the afternoon I was managing the NFL Transportation Booth.
Students who worked there the day before were telling me that it was a challenging experience; they predominantly interacted with angry journalists looking to complain about changes, and the students had to find a way to assuage their hostility and explain other options. I was absolutely dreading it.
But the afternoon and evening for the booth was relatively mild, especially compared to my expectations. Definitely some journalists were still peeved, and they shared that with us, but none of them chewed us out and were all eventually understanding of our position in the end. It seemed they all got their anger out the day before on the previous staff, which made me feel guilty for lucking out on a gentler shift than my colleagues from the day before.
While we were working the Transportation Booth, we learned that some of our other peers working Super Bowl LIVE at Bayfront Park had to actually shift over and go work the door of the media party that night along the port. They weren’t able to actually attend the exclusive party, but that was initially lost on some of my colleagues when I moved to work in the Social Media Command Center. There were grumblings that it was unfair. I explained that our friends weren’t actually at the party, but validated their frustration at being in the room when their friends were outside along the Port of Miami. Unfortunately, sometimes that is how the pie is sliced up when our days are so unpredictable.
After being cooped up in the Social Media Command Center with a slow Twitter day, many of us began to lose focus and needed a break. We broke for group photos with Dr. Scott, and took some great photos in the lobby of the Convention Center in front of some of the displays. Someone suggested we get a photo of everyone staggered on the escalators, and it ended up being the funniest thing I have seen in weeks. First of all, everyone got on the escalator like they had never been on an escalator before, like Buddy the Elf. Hannah jumped with both feet together on it for absolutely no reason. Then, by the time the last person was getting on the escalator to go up, the first person was nearing the top and everyone began hollering for people to walk down the escalators to remain on it for the picture. They were yelling as if a volcano had erupted at the top and lava was about to come down the escalators. I was near the bottom of the escalator, and the last few people refused to walk down. Someone even screamed for absolutely no good reason. It was madness. I was laughing so hard at the pure insanity of it all that I was doubled over, wheezing, with tears coming down my face, and couldn’t stop for about five minutes. It was the most ridiculous and hilarious thing in the world. It was also a great break for the students who had been feeling restless for most of the day, wishing they could have been outside.
Working in events is that in a nutshell. You never know what can change, so you never know what you may actually do within an hour or a day. Be able to work on your toes, and then dance on your toes. Have fun.
Being flexible is one of the best skills you can have in events, second to handling crisis and negativity like a champ. Our staff is phenomenal at that. I am so proud of them for handling all the bumps and changes we’ve had, and understand that they also want to go to Super Bowl LIVE and see celebrities and famous athletes. To me, I have a post to stay at on any given day, and it’s okay that my peers are doing different things and experiencing great learning opportunities.