So here's a good one to think about...
Being in a stadium, you hear many sounds...talking, laughing, crying, beer men, the crack of a bat, the organ, announcers, kids, chants, heckles and rants...
...there's something else that you hear and it's brought up a question.
You see, in the bottom of every inning, every time a Cardinals' player walks from the On-Deck circle to the batter's box, they have about 15-20 seconds of music playing.
I sometimes have wondered what I would have playing as I would walk up to bat...or as I'd walk down the steps into a section carrying beer...
I think I've made my selection...you see, it has to have something that would either A)pump you up a lot or B)get you to laugh. At least, that's what I'm thinking...So I've been pondering about what song I would have played for my entrance theme music...and I've narrowed it down to a select few (in no particular order):
Heard The World by O.A.R. (chorus towards the end of the song)
Welcome Home by Coheed and Cambria (that part of the intro right after it gets heavy)
I'll Be Missing You by Puff Daddy (does it matter what part of this song is used?)
DOA by Foo Fighters (the bridge section of the song)
Jump On It by The Sugarhill Gang (the jump on it part...duh!)
But then again, these are just runner's up in the final selection process of finding an entrance theme song for this beer man...
You'd think I'd select a drinking song...right? wrong...I mean, any song by Dropkick Murphys (Shipping Up to Boston) or Flogging Molly or some country song about getting wasted would do right?...but I'm thinking something along the lines of a song that would have some meaning behind it's lyrics....
That's why I'd choose Marvin Gaye's: Let's Get It On
Who doesn't wanna groove to that song? It brings a smile to your face just thinking about that song doesn't it? Well, it might not be possible to hear it over the PA system at Busch Stadium, but it may or may not be my current ring tone on my phone...
So what song would you walk out to as you made your way towards the batter's box? Not as a beer man, but as someone going to bat...(and because of my many friends who are baseball fans of other teams, no, it doesn't have to be for the Cardinals). So what would it be for you?
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
So here's a good one to think about...
Posted by Josh at 7:45 PM
Sunday, April 26, 2009
My first Cards/Cubs home series as a beer vendor has come to an end.
I want to start off by saying something about Cubs fans...
Cubs fans tip better than Cardinal fans, which I appreciate!
Cubs fans are polite when they are losing or lose a game
Cubs fans are cockier/annoying more than ever when they have the lead or win a game!
You see, the bit about them tipping is a fact...I had more tips from Cubs fans than Cards fans...I also came up with a clever beer call while the Cubs were in town..."Ice Cold Beer! Bud Light, Bud Select, Old Style...Just Jokin!" You see, most of the Cub fans got a laugh out of it...some felt led on, I found it to be clever! (for those that don't know, Old Style is the beer of choice at Wrigley Field)
I nearly got flashed... Fact: I would have been flashed if I hadn't of turned my head away. There was this girl who was already pretty wasted and well, she about as big around as a pencil and probably didn't even weigh in at 100lbs....and she had on a tube-top that was probably the wrapper to a straw...well, i don't know how to put it politely, but she was not gifted with anything to help keep her top up...she was jumping around as a few runs were being scored, I didn't realize it till it was almost too late as i was standing right next to her after after just selling a few beers to the row across from her...I quickly looked the other way and was yelling out my call.....well, what she barely had was about to pop out and as I turned away I heard her say a few words that she shared with everyone how tired she was of popping out of her f'n top and flashing everyone...
I had my best day ever! Personal best so far this season! I sold 5 cases!...during last call, didn't even get out of a section without selling everything left in my tub! Great day indeed!
The atmosphere at Sunday's game was very intense. I saw numerous cards/cubs fans get into dispute about who was sitting in who's seats...I saw more police and security than ever on the move through out the game. I saw several people drunk before the game had even started.
It felt as if everyone was on their worst behavior...everyone was acting rude, very irritated...and the game hadn't even started...
I had beer spilled onto me today...no crazy story other than the dude wasn't paying attention and wasted about $3.50 of beer onto me.
I found an entire section from Quincy, IL...as I was carding most of them, I mentioned how I was from Hannibal...it didn't help with the tip and it didn't help with starting conversation with any of them...oh well...
I was being "watched" by one of our supervisors today while selling and I didn't even know it till I walked back towards the commissary and saw her there. I just said hi to her and she asked what I had left in my tub...I had just sold out of my 4th case during last call. She was happy for me, told me to sign on this paper that showed her observations...it showed that I did a perfect job! I was pleased.
Once again this coming week, another week of away games...thank God!...my arms/hands/legs/shoulders/back/knees need a break! I'll be doing another Q & A blog if there are any Q's posted (so post them as a comment and i'll answer them) on here....also, look for a blog about how all of us guys in Commissary 240 have become like a platoon of solders and how an ex-Marine walked out after one day of work as a beer man (true story)....also this coming week, I'll share a few other thoughts of what it's like to be an STL Beer Man.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Friday night was the first time working as a beer vendor during a Cards/Cubs game in Busch Stadium...I can't imagine what the rest of the season will be like after an amazing night like this was. The stadium was nothing more than a sea of red and blue. I saw some amazing things...a cards fan holding the hand of a cubs fan...I wouldn't want to be that couple going home together after this series is over...I saw a few babies dressed up in cubs gear...why would anyone do such a thing to their child?
Overall...an amazing night! Beautiful weather....if you were watching the game...it felt like the surface of the sun if you were hauling beer around all night...but no more did you get a full case out there, and it was sold in a matter of minutes...so lots of rushing back and forth to reload.
Got to see the Blakley's. Always a good time seeing great people you know at a ball game...especially when they are Card fans!
I don't know if someone had prayed for my knee or what, but I didn't have a single bit of pain in my right knee through the entire game! The night before, I could barely walk on it and the pain had been increasing all week long...during friday night's game, not a bit of pain!
Thank you to whoever prayed and thank God for the power of healing!
Side note: volleyball knee pads cause chafing on the knee caps from rubbing on the pads, but whenever I knelt down, it felt like I was kneeling on a soft pillow instead of that hard concrete.
I had a personal best in sales....probably one of the worst nights in tips per sale.
I went to one section and nearly sold an entire case before walking all of the way up the steps...I visited that section frequently. I had one guy in that section who was a few years younger than me buy a beer every time I walked by him...every time, no tip...till the last bottle I sold him....You see, people around you notice if you tip or not...especially a large group of guys (only way to describe them would be some larger rough-neck guys that obviously rode in on some motorcycles) that sat between the ails and where this guy was that was buying beer. Every time I'd pass his change back to him, the guys would look at me and say "what the hell, no tip...not even that quarter you have to pass to him?...cheap bastard." Finally, during last-call, he ordered a beer and those guys weren't passing the beer down to him or his change unless he was going to tip me...I asked the guys that it wasn't necessary to do that and I didn't expect a tip...but they insisted. It was rather humorous to see this guy look like he was about to cry cause these guys weren't gonna pass it down...then he finally got his beer and change and reluctantly passed back a dollar bill. Those biker dudes were awesome! They bought nearly half a case off of me through the night.
I had a group of people who were around the same age as I was that would always be happy to talk to me as I made my way to the end of their ails. I was called a magician because I seemed to just appear out of nowhere whenever they were close to being finished with their beers.
Another group of 4 (2 guys, 2 girls) were buying 2 beers from me and they were impressed with the fact that I was even old enough to sell beer...this was a very common throughout the entire night...I think I was asked about 10 times if I was old enough to sell beer...I'd reply back with the snappy question, "well, how old do you think I am?" No on even came close....anyways back to this group of 4...I asked them how old they thought I was and after revealing my age to them...they were impressed...but one girl just couldn't get over it and was causing a scene...she was sharing with everyone around her that I was 26...blah blah blah...same story over and over again....
This "looking too young to sell beer" thing is a good opener for conversation between lots of guests. I enjoy it...but then again, I'm wondering if people aren't buying from me because I look so young? I mean you wouldn't buy lemonade at a lemonade stand from someone who looked 40 would you? so would you buy a beer from a guy who doesn't look old enough to sell it? does 'looking your age really make a difference?
Total sales thus far:
11 Bottles of Water
47 Bags of Peanuts
582 Bottles of Beer
Posted by Josh at 10:30 AM
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I forgot to share a story with you from Tuesday night.
While walking to the parking garage after the game on Tuesday night, I was at the intersection of 7th and Market Street...I was heading towards Pine and 7th...there were lots of people at the corner where we were waiting to get the "good-time to cross light". I noticed a lady was in front of me, holding her daughters (about 6 or 7 years old) hand with one hand and holding a mixed drink in the other. Her husband was standing next to her. All of a sudden, she starts to walk out into the street, still holding onto her daughters hand...she sort of stutter steps her way out into the middle of the street after several cars have honked and gone past her...as she took her first step out into the street, her husband asked her what she was doing and to stay there...she made it half way out intot the street and several people around her husband asked him what was she thinking...several cars had to stop for her to finally make it across the street, the whole time she had her daughter by her side and was stumbling to get across the street. We finally got the light to cross and by the time I was up there next to them, her husband kept his tone down, but asked her sternly, "what were you trying to do back there?" You could hear a sad tone in his voice as if this had happened before and you could his wife's blood-shot eyes and could tell she was drunk. He grabbed the little girls hand from his wife's and they walked down a different street than I was going.
...not all stories happen in the ballpark.
Introduced into a new change in our system...commissary 240 beer men now have to sell 3 products. 1)Beer 2)Peanuts or Cracker Jacks 3)soda or water...I'll stick with beer, peanuts and water.
I was making my rounds early on during batting practice when i noticed two older gentlemen. They looked a little rough...and when I say rough, I mean they looked like they were Father/Son and Brothers and Cousins...I sold a beer to one of them who had only one crutch to walk with, because he couldn't afford the other one he said...I started up a conversation with them...they said they were from around Columbia, "that's where the Tigers play. You ever come to those games?" I replied, "yes, I've been to a few games there." They were really excited to hear this and said, "Great, we hope we see you around there sometime then!"
I was going to get change from the commissary 240, where i've been assigned to for the past few home games and am evidently assigned there for good till they decide to switch things up again...when I noticed what looked like at first someone had spilled something on the floor...then i noticed something in that spilled soda didn't look right...then i notice the kid sitting next to the trash can...he didn't quite make it...he spewed chunks...and he must have eaten a hot dog earlier! I chose to take a different route to the commissary.
After several games into the season, I've noticed that all of this heavy lifting and activeness of walking those steps has caused some serious pain in my right knee. Not just on the part where I'd kneel down either...I'm talking on the right-outside part of my knee.
Several veteran beer vendors suggested that I get knee pads as most of them do because the worst part of being a beer man is taking a knee during a sale while the game is taking place. Some have some hard shelled knee pads, others have soft gel ones, some have volleyball knee pads...some wear knee braces, which is where I may have to head to eventually. I went to Target and bought some volleyball knee pads. Stronger pain in the side of my knee, but overall, I didn't get bruised up from kneeling down onto concrete.
I got to see some guys form Lincoln today! Ed Plumier, Don Kauffman, Matt Searby and Kyle Wilson. Great group of guys. I won't mention the fact that I may or may not have had to carry my full load of beer and peanuts and water half way around the stadium to see them, but it was well worth it.
I was hit on again today.
I asked a lady to see her ID after she asked for a beer...she had her hair pulled back in a ball cap, big sun glasses on and she had a cardinal painted on the side of her face...no joke, she looked 22...maybe 25 at the oldest...she looked at me and said, "come here! I love you boy! let me give you a hug!" She leaned over from her seat and gave me a big hug. As she handed me her ID, she said that I would be breaking plenty of ladies' hearts by asking them for their ID's...especially ones in their 30's. yep, she was 34. I couldn't believe it! I seriously thought she had to be in early 20's. Most guys would wonder...was she attractive? yes, she didn't look 34! She looked great for a 34 year old! did she engage in having a conversation with me for the next few minutes? yes. ...all I did was do my job.
I was once again questioned about my age...I was asked if I was even old enough to be selling beer...so I did my routine of asking them how old did they think I was? I was impressed, one guy yelled out "27" but most of the people said "18 or 19"...they didn't card me.
I witnessed the best belt buckle i've seen yet while working at the stadium...an older guy had a large belt buckle, big enough to notice a giant deer standing tall on a hill and a huge fish in the background of it with "MISSOURI" in large letters wrapping around the top of it.
Then as "last call" was almost over...I had one beer left to get rid of...I wanted to sell a full 3 cases...so I went into a section I hadn't been to all day...I didn't even get down the first step when a group of ladies (probably in their late 40's-early 50's) asked me to stop. I said, "what can I get for you". The lady sitting on the end of the row asked me if I had salted nuts. This was true, I was selling peanuts, as usual. She said, "well the lady a few seats over wanted to know if you had salty nuts and if so, she wants some." I kid you not...they started giggling like a punk of jr. high girls would giggle if someone just said "nuts". I saw that they had numerous beer bottles on the ground around them...so I could only imagine that they were a little on the tipsy side. The lady a few seats down yelled at me, "you're sure they're salty?" "Yes" "Good, cause that's how I like them." I couldn't believe this...I was selling peanuts to a group of cougars who were giggling about saying "salty nuts". This is too true to be making it up...I never got to sell that last beer...stupid cougars took up my time asking about my peanuts.
Cards swept the Mets with today's win...2nd Series to be swept at home this season!
Total sales thus far:
5 Bottles of Water
41 Bags of Salty Peanuts
486 Bottles of Beer
Posted by Josh at 5:22 PM
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tonight was the first game after a week long break. My muscles were already tightening up knowing my body was gonna go through hell again...I decided it was time to man-up and start this 6-game home-stand with carrying a full case.
I didn't sell a single beer till after the middle of the 1st inning...and then I sold an entire case in a matter of minutes. I couldn't believe it. Everyone expected it to be a slow night with it being so windy and the Blues playoff game taking place...no one expected to bring in that much money tonight...I had other plans.
By the end of the 7th inning, I had sold 3 cases of beer! Most of the guys in the commissary I was in (240) were asking how everyone did as they brought in their returns. I didn't have any returns and some guys asked if I was able to get through my first case...I replied proudly that I had gone through 3 cases. About 75% of the guys in our commissary (mostly veteran beer men) didn't make it through their first case. I was overjoyed! I'm still excited to know that I did so well!
Did I just pat myself on the back? Yes I did, because I hadn't had a game like this since opening day (which on opening day I sold 2 beers more than tonight)
Now I know commission was nice tonight, but I made a killing on tips tonight...I won't say exactly how much i made, but I made more tonight in the 4 hours I worked, than I did working 8 hours at my 2nd job earlier today. God has truly blessed me tonight.
I actually got to see a few friends tonight at the game! The one and only, Dan Drake was in the ball park tonight with the staff from FCCF and sitting in a few sections from my commissary (don't worry SLCC he didn't buy that many beers...and when i say "that many", i mean, he didn't buy any!) ha!
REMINDER: If you are going to be at a game, let me know and I'll do what I can to get to your section...even if it's just to say hi!
Okay, now for the story of the night...
I went to the restroom in the Redbird Club before I even started selling beer tonight. I walked in and witnessed the following: A guy (probably in his mid 40's) had his crotch positioned to be angled up at the hand dryer in the men's restroom. He saw me and had a look of embarrassment on his face and shook his head and kept on drying his shorts off. It took everything in me to not burst into laughter when I was in the stall.
That's it. I didn't encounter anything else really worthy of blogging about...just the usual night...only tonight I was selling a ton of beer!
Total sales thus far:
1 Bottle of Water
33 Bags of Peanuts
363 Bottles of Beer
Posted by Josh at 12:07 AM
Monday, April 20, 2009
I would like to take a few moments to mention a coworker who is one of the coolest ushers in the entire stadium, Bill.
Bill is an usher near section 271 (Big Mac Land) Bill is a much older gentleman...probably in his mid 70's. He is rather tall and built as if he was a boxer back in his prime. He reminds me of a guy that would probably gather his grand-kids around a fire and tell them old war stories and how he made it out alive with a few gunshot wounds. He has a few scraggly white hairs that stick out from under his ball cap and always has a smile on his face. He's like an old grandpa everyone would want to adopt.
I first met Bill on Opening Day. He asked me if it was my first time working in the stadium. I responded with a yes. He told me to hang on for the wild ride this season and to never let go of my dreams.
I have made a point to go by and say hello to him and shake his hand everyday that I work. It just seems like the right thing to do. He usually is always there standing around is section, almost looking as if he's lost, but knows exactly where he needs to be.
Occasionally Bill will tell a few stories of what he's seen over the years of being an usher. He's never come out and said how long he's worked there...almost as if he can't remember.
Before the Saturday game of opening week, I just finished shaking Bill's hand, told him hello and then he said that today was his brothers birthday. Another beer man that was standing there told Bill that his brother should have come to the game and he would have bought him a beer for his birthday. Bill paused and then kind of chuckled with a replied, "well that would be a little difficult for him to make it since he's been dead for several years." Bill's smile never left him as he told us a little about his brother.
If you ever make it to a game and sit near Big Mac Land, say hi to the usher up there.
Tonight I ask that you raise your glass with me and solute Bill, the usher from section 271.
Posted by Josh at 8:39 PM
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Prologue: I have not gone and lost my faith. I have not decided to sell beer forever (unless this market doesn't turn around)...I have chosen to be a beer man because that's the only job I have been able to get and honestly, I'm showing I'm willing to do anything to take care of paying my bills and I don't mind getting to watch baseball. So for those of you that roll their conservative eyes or gasp at the thought of Josh Hunt has gone and sold his soul for becoming a beer man after going through Bible College and ministering to so many teens over the years...unless you can find me a different job, shut up and buy a beer from me...I've got Bud, Bud Light and Bud Select for $7.75 (if you're over 21 and have a proper ID with you).
Being a vendor has put me in a place that is out of my comfort zone. I don't usually get up in front of complete strangers that often and yell or hawk. As a rookie, I'm starting to learn a few new things to make better sales too.
Most of the beer men at the stadium have a funny saying or do something that would make them look like a fool on any given day, but while in the ballpark, they are beer men.
As a Man of God, I've begin to think about somethings while working at the stadium. I came to a realization that there might not be much difference between a beer man and a minister. Let me explain.
A minister gets up in front of hundreds...sometimes thousands of people (mostly strangers...sometimes) during a service.
A beer man gets up in front of hundreds...thousands of people (mostly strangers) during a game.
A minister can make you laugh, cry, feel content and feel good.
A beer man can make you laugh, cry (if he's out of beer), fell content and feel good, (only with beer).
A minister wants to be your friend so hopefully you'll come to know Jesus.
A beer man wants to be your friend so hopefully you'll buy more from him.
A minister advertises Jesus/Salvation/Forgiveness...which he isn't selling, but he is advertising something to get you to take action upon it...so for this example, same type of thing...
A beer man advertises a product that they are selling ("COLD BEER...ICE COLD BEER").
A minister has a way of connecting with people.
A beer man has a way of connecting a beer bottle to someone's mouth.
A minister looks forward to seeing people tithe.
A beer man looks forward to seeing people give him a tip.
Now I'm sure you are ready to unleash hell, fire and brimstone upon the beer man who compared himself and his co-workers to a minister how selling beer is the same as selling Jesus...not the case. I'm asking who would make a better beer man?
But wait just a second. Am I not a minister? Did I not spend 5 years of my life and roughly $60,000 on Bible College? But I'm a beer man...and a minister? Does this mean I hand someone a Bible while I'm handing someone else their Bud Light they just bought from me? No...I can't do that...but it does mean I can (and do) show the love of Christ towards coworkers and anyone else in that stadium.
I wasn't going to say it, but then I thought, why stop here? Ministers and Beer Men are both offering something to the people they are talking to...just one gets them to know Jesus, the other offers them something that makes them eventually think they are Jesus.
So what do you think, knowing what you know and seeing some comparisons, would a minister make a better beer man than an average Joe?
Posted by Josh at 12:18 PM
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
As promised, I said I would answer questions that you had about my job as a beer man at Busch Stadium.
Q. Do you sell only one kind of beer?
A. No. I sell Bud, Bud Light and Bud Select. I have the option of taking out some of each or the two most popular kind that is being consumed that day (usually Bud Light and Bud Select). I usually take 14 Bud Light, 8 Bud Select and 4 Budweiser whenever I load up.
Q. Do you get paid by the hour? Or is it tips only?
A. I do not get paid by the hour. I am paid based on commission and tips only. I make about $0.85/beer I sell and then tips on top of that. Since I sell beer at $7.75/bottle, I usually get $1.25 per tip...sometimes I sell 2 beers and they hand me a $20 and tell me to keep the change...and then sometimes I get nothing at all. If I find a group of people wanting to buy from me throughout the game, I'll usually get great tips off of them.
Q. Do you check ID every time?
A. I check ID's on anyone who looks 30 and younger. There are some people who are in their mid-50's and it's obvious I don't need to check their ID. If I did decided to card them, and they are clearly older than 21 (meaning they are old and you can see this) and then they don't have their ID, I can't sell them beer. If I ask someone for their ID and they don't have it on them, no matter what, I can't sell them a beer, even if they already have a beer in their hands. I carded one guy 3 different times when selling him a beer 3 different times. The reason for that? The people around him don't know I carded him before and if I just hand him a beer without checking his ID, then they might assume that this is a minor and I'm selling to him and not checking his ID. I've been cussed at, yelled at and have had eyes rolled at me when asking for ID's. Most people are nice about it and majority of the women I've carded find it flattering.
Q. Would you check my ID if I tried to buy beer from you?
A. Yes. People around you don't know that I know you are 21 or older.
Q. Would you be offended if I bought beer from the "Bud on a Stick" guy instead?
Q. Do you work every game?
A. I'm scheduled to work every home game, the home-run derby and the 2009 All-Star Game. I can ask off and they are very nice about it if you ask off instead of simply not showing up. Which I'll have two weekends of home games this season I'll have to miss for weddings I'm in. I can ask off and go to a game, only I have to have tickets...meaning I can't use my worker's badge to get into the game...I must have a ticket.
Q. Is it true you have to buy the beer before you sell it?
A. Yes. The first load I take out is a credit on my account that I have to pay for at the end of my shift. After my first load, I have the money on me to buy more and I pay for every beer I take out before selling it.
Q. Do you enjoy your job?
A. I work in a baseball stadium! I get to look up and watch a play or two and then go back to selling! Let me say it again, I work in a fricken baseball stadium! I love the atmosphere! I love hearing the stories from other beer men that have worked there for many years. (no joke, there is a guy who has been working as a beer man for 33 years! He is amazing and probably still one of the fastest beer men they have at the stadium) I love the smells of the game! I love getting to do something more than sit behind a desk all day and get paid for it! ....so yeah, I guess you could say I enjoy it!
Hope this gives you more of an insight about the life of a beer man. If I missed a question, please post it below and I'll do another Q & A With a Beer Man very soon! I appreciate your questions and look forward to answering anymore you may have! Vote on the poll and come back and visit again soon!
Posted by Josh at 12:48 PM
Sunday, April 12, 2009
I enjoy day games much more than night games! I feel like I put in a great workout and still have most of the day to do something and enjoy an evening.
Saturday was a great day! Sunny! Nice cool breeze! The perfect conditions for a great day of selling beer!
There is something amazing about getting to stop selling beer and watch Pujols bat. I got to do just that and witness 1 grand slam, 1 HR, and 7 RBI's...I think I'm loving this job.
I was back in commissary 240 and I was enjoying getting to know other beer-men and hear their ways of selling. With a little encouragement from the weather and knowing that the home series was almost finished, I decided to man-up and carry a full case of beer.
I took the advice of a veteran and stayed in the commissary while my beer sat on ice until after the National Anthem and then head out into the stands. This veteran told me there is no sense of going to make 1 or 2 sales and wear yourself out carrying your load of beer all over the stadium when you should wait till the guest get seated. I obliged and decided to relax before going out into the stands.
Stories from the game on Saturday:
While making a sale in the front row of section 250, I hear the crack of the bat and see everyone standing up. We are trained to stay down low when this happens because it means, "we have incoming" and we won't have the reaction time to turn around and find the ball that is coming our direction. I was 5 seats away from get hit with this fly ball that came back into the stands. The ball bounced off of the seat and went down into the lower section.
I accidentally hit a guy in the shoulder with the corner of my tub as I was walking up the steps in a section. I immediately apologized and he just gave me a disgusted look as if I had just destroyed his life or something. Honestly, I don't think I should have taken out a full case yet...walking up and down those steps sucked.
Beer tub - 1
Random spectator's shoulders - 0
Overall, Saturday was a great game...nothing too exciting took place...I survived carrying around a full case and then a few extra along the way when I reloaded.
Now for today. What's that Lassy? Timmy fell down the well again and the Cardinals just swept the Astros...and the Cardinals opened their first week of the 2009 season 5-2...and they are in first place in the National League Central Division? Touche Lassy....Touche!
SWEEP! SWEEP! SWEEP! SWEEP! SWEEP!
Honestly, I wasn't excited about working on Easter. I mean, yes, I'm willing to do just about anything for a job right now...obviously, I'm a beer man at Busch Stadium...but to work on Easter?
I debated on calling in today, but then, what would I do? Go home? I could have...but honestly, I don't think I would have...so I decided to work towards paying bills.
I went with a full case again today. My body didn't hurt that bad today before work. I did forget to med up before I went to work today...I usually pop 2 asprin before going to work to help with the soreness. My shins and knees have become bruised up from kneeling on steps. The soreness in my arms is not as intense anymore, but after carrying a full case for the second day in a row may do the trick...
Stories from today's game:
I witnessed 2 ladies, who were slightly intoxicated, walking up the steps out of a section while a guy from another section was yelling at them...It was then that I realized that he was asking one of them out to dinner...Then, out of nowhere, a guy gets up and yells in a very loud voice, "excuse me ladies, I think this man wants to take you out to dinner tonight. Do you accept his offer?" The ladies walked away and the guy got shot down...
While selling a few cold ones to some guys, I started up a conversation with them as I do with nearly everyone I make a sale to, and asked them where they were from and they live right down the street from me...but only for 38 more days...because they are about to leave for the Florida Keys and never come back. They expressed how they are going where there are "Beaches, beers and girls in bikinis" and they didn't need anything else. I somewhat agree.
I managed to sell through my first case in no time at all, but that second case was nice and cold as it sat in my tub on ice through most of the game.
I made a sale to a group of people and they told me to come back in a bit. Well, I just got that second case in my tub and decided to visit them. They revealed to me that beer vendors are like drug dealers cause all we do is try to get rid of what we have on us and overcharge for it. They got a laugh out of it...I however didn't enjoy being called a drug dealer... I did eventually make another sale with them during last call.
Today was "Kids run the bases day." Don't even begin to ask me how tempted I was to get in that line. The line was nearly all of the way up the ramp that winds up to the 4th level near gate 1.
I did manage to come out of my shell a bit more and started to interact with the crowd a bit more. It did hit me today as I was leaving the stadium, that if I want to do better in my sales, tips and overall performance, I'm going to need to be more animated. No way around it.
Everyone remembers beer-man from their hawking and calls that they yell...
-"The King" - "who wants to be the king? who wants to wear the crown? who wants to be drinking the king of beers?"
-That one guy with the long mustache that curls up on the ends...I can't remember his real name, but I have met him and everyone remembers that mustache.
-The "Bud on a stick" guy. There is a guy who would stand around and yell randomly "Bud on a stick" and shake an empty Bud bottle on the end of a stick at people...you get the picture...
For the first week of my new job, overall, I've enjoyed it. It has been quite the workout, that's for sure. I never thought that in my entire life that I'd be doing the manual labor that I'm doing and with the pay that comes with it after receiving a bachelors degree...sometimes you have to do what you have to do to make ends meet.
Total sales thus far:
1 Bottle of Water
29 Bags of Peanuts
291 Bottles of Beer
Even though there is a full week and a day between now and the next home series...I plan to blog about a few things:
-"Q & A with a beer man." I want to answer your questions. Many of you have asked questions about my job and I'm sure there are more out there...so if you have one, comment your question on here and I'll answer it for you.
-"Who would be a better beer man? A Minister or the average Joe?"
-"An Ode to Bill. An usher from section 271"
Thank you to everyone who reads and follows this!
Posted by Josh at 8:09 PM
Saturday, April 11, 2009
I'm a liar.
I did not use the phrase "The more you drink, the cuter I get" last night.
But will you still check this blog and read the stories? Yeah, because there are some stories that I'll have that will be too stupid and true to be made up.
I guess I'm still a little shy...who would of thought...
Well I'm still learning...i'm right up to par with most rookie vendors. Last night, during the cold, drizzly game, I sold 1 1/2 cases...I was also assigned to a new commissary...240. So I knew many wouldn't be drinking...or so I thought...some guys sold 4 cases...
I took some time to ask the experienced vendors what do they do to sell so much....
Most of them had the same answers:
-be loud and crazy
-have a catchy phrase to yell
As for stories for being under the Friday night lights for the first time this season...
I honestly didn't have anything strange or crazy happen to me or see anything at all.
It was cold! I went to checkout a jacket before I went upstairs and all they had left was 2XL...HA! I could have made a tent out of that coat and camped out for the night....I decided to brave the elements and was still sweating through the entire game...carrying around a tub full of beer up and down stairs...it can be quite the workout.
Something worth mentioning was that I ran into a friend who I met at workcampNE in Vermont this past summer. Her and her husband were at the game with some friends...who would have thought...small world...of course her and her husband are from Mt. Vernon...but still small world for them to be a section I was selling in.
I also want to take a moment to apologize to anyone who asked me to come to their section over the past week. It's been tough to have enough beer and not sell out by the time I walk from the commissary to a lower level or upper level from where I've been assigned to so far. But I've decided to start carrying more beer in my tub...time to step it up. Pray I don't end up like that guy on the Southwest commercial.
Today is looking good though. Sunny day. High of mid-60's.
Perfect conditions for many beer drinkers at the ball park today.
Total sales thus far:
1 Bottle of Water
17 Bags of Peanuts
205 Bottles of Beer
I guess if I'm wanting to increase my sales...time to get loud and crazy!
Despite the away games next week, I will still blog and I want to take time to answer questions anyone might have about my job.
Posted by Josh at 11:28 AM
Friday, April 10, 2009
I've combined Day 3 & 4 together because I have been rather busy and didn't get a chance to update the other night.
Day 3 Highlights:
Still assigned to same commissary, which I'm enjoying because I am getting to know the guys I work with a bit better.
As I was going down the steps into one section, I was doing my standard hawk and wasn't getting anything from anyone. I got to the end of the aisle and a kind gentlemen sitting at the end of the row leaned over and said, "dude, you know we get free beer in this section from up there in that clubhouse area." I then realized I had made my way into the Bank of America Club seating, where you get free food and beverages throughout the game. I jokingly asked him if he'd still like to buy a bottle because mine would taste better...the guys sitting around him laughed and I hustled backed up the steps, never again to go back into that section. I pulled my first error of the season.
Overall, Wednesday night was a better night than Tuesday. I mean, I sold more beer in the first inning than I did all of Tuesday night.
Day 4 Highlights:
First official day game! (outside of opening day)
I found out that there was many sections around the section 235 region that needed a beer man. So I carried my tub halfway around the park and struck it big time.
One of my first few sales of the game were to these two ladies who had to have been in their mid-40's. These cougars were on the prowl and they had their prey right in front of them...all of that to say...they flirted with me. Now, I'm not much of the kind of guy to be into cougar hunting, but it got me a sale, so I won't deny that I made sure to come back upon their request a few innings later. As I made my way back over towards them...on of them said "oh we just love you...thanks for coming back around to us." I got a decent tip from them and I'll leave it at that.
I've realized how important it is to simply ask a question and instigate conversation with a guest and how much farther sales will go from there.
Busch Stadium is a smoke free facility...although there are many designated smoking areas outside of the gates...well most guest don't enjoy making it all of the way down to a gate to smoke...yesterday I just finished getting another load and walked around the back of the commissary to put it all on ice from the ice tub when I saw about 10 guys at the same time smoking back there. A clever spot to hide and smoke...the first guy looked at me and raised his finger to his mouth in a "ssshhhhhh-ing" motion...I just shook my head and walked over to let them know they needed to put their cigarettes out and let them know where they could smoke at...as I was doing this, a few of the guys that were much younger than I was went around the corner to continue smoking....as if i wasn't going to see them and turn away...so i told them to put out their cigarettes, and they replied with saying how f'n dumb it was to not be able to smoke and left...it was fun playing the bad guy.
Thursday was my best day so far with sales (besides opening day) and it was a much more enjoyable crowd to be around too.
So far, I've known people who have attended and have seen people I've known at every game this week...probably going to be the case for most of the summer.
Total sales thus far:
1 Bottle of Water
14 Bags of Peanuts
169 Bottles of beer
Tonight I will try the beer call "The more you drink, the cuter I get". A full report on how well it works, tomorrow.
Posted by Josh at 11:56 AM
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Was I looking forward to my second day of working at Busch Stadium? Well, is the Pope Catholic? I was, but my body wasn't. After making it back up to 261, I was pumped...adrenaline was flowing and I was ready for a great night...then I lifted my first load around the corner to add ice onto it...my arms, shoulders and legs were angry!
I saw a few guys stretching before taking their first load out into the stands. I followed the example. I was hurting pretty bad after that first day of doing something physical besides just sitting around on the couch and job searching, like I had been for the past 2 months. Ok, so I may have played a game of ultimate frisbee a few weeks ago...but that was a cardio workout...and this was ridiculous.
I told myself that I have to be doing some physical workout throughout the away games, because I am not wanting to feel like this again.
Okay, enough complaining...time to suck it up sally and grow a pair and make a man out of myself.
I said a short prayer (for strength, to build relationships with co-workers and for a fun time tonight) to myself before leaning over to pick up that 1/2 case of beer and water bottles (yes, i sold water instead of peanuts). With an hour before the first pitch, there wasn't a soul to be seen in the upper deck area of section 261.
Throughout the game I was asked numerous times by guests if I was cold or if I thought it was a good idea to sell COLD beer or water when it was freezing outside.
I never got cold. It felt much colder than opening day, but I was sweating most of the time carrying that full tub around.
On my way up the steps to one section, I noticed several college aged ladies following behind me...I then heard them make a few comments that basically were in "code"...but I'm not stupid...they made a comment about how I wasn't much to look at but didn't mind the view from where they were. yes, i was dissed and complimented in the same breath...they honestly weren't my type or much to look at either...
During the bottom of the 2nd inning, I made a sale to 2 older gentlemen who already had 2 beers sitting next to each of them while they were sitting in the top row against the fencing, in the section above Big Mac Land...One of the men asked me to come back in the bottom of the 4th. I was making my way up there during the bottom of the 4th and the older man who asked me to come back was dancing around and starting to take his jacket off. I thought, well, maybe he was getting warm...and then he kept going and decided to go shirtless.
I was making my way through a section and was asked by a younger guy if I'd sell him a beer...I looked at him and laughed to myself and said, do you have an ID? He replied back, "do I look old enough?" I said, "no, but neither do I" So he said he had 6 years to go and I told him to come back and visit me then.
I'm pretty sure I caught 2 guys smoking in the stairwell as I was making my way back to a lower level...they had a look on their face as if I just caught them stealing from an old lady...a look of guilt and the stench of cigarette smoke lingered in the air...they didn't have a lit cigarette on them, so I could not accuse them of something without further proof. It was funny to see their faces though when seeing the lil beer guy stumbling down the steps with a full tub of beer.
During "last call" (7th inning) I made my way down into the bleachers...after making my way down to the bottom of the section, I noticed a guy talking to an usher...as I passed back up the isle, they were laughing and saying how I don't even look old enough to be selling beer...I asked him how old he thought I was. He chuckled and said 12...13....maybe 14. I laughed back and said 26. The guest and the usher both chuckled and said that they were sure I'd be carded till I was at least 50... oh how sad, but true i'm sure.
Honestly, every encounter I've had with guests has been positive. I've enjoyed getting to help people out, either by simply answering a question about the stadium or where the nearest restroom is...its been awesome!
The results of the game were much better than the day before, Cards won theirs, and Cubs lost theirs, but the sales were not as pretty.
I sold a total of 11 bottles of beer tonight and 1 bottle of water. Total to date: 85 bottles of beer, 1 bag of peanuts and 1 bottle of water.
Still very sore from last night...even after soaking in a tub of hot water, but not as sore as yesterday...tonight it is supposed to be warmer than last night so hopefully sales will be up.
Lord, beer me strength.
Posted by Josh at 2:39 PM
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Every man knows what it means, it is a mutual sign of communication amongst many, it is what every rookie yearns for...the head nod.
This rookie beer man got the nod and started opening day.
The streets were packed full of people as I walked to the employee entrance, showed the guard my badge and entered into the lower level through a "employee only" door as if it were the entrance to the bat-cave.
I wasn't for sure what to expect honestly. There was only about 50 of us in orientation and I knew there would be plenty more people crowding the lobby of where Sports Service employees check-in and check-out uniforms and such. After getting a coat and apron checked out, I made my way to the concession stand where employees get a free food item from a small selection and cold beverage. I opted out of the beverage and decided I was going to get my first hot dog of the season.
As I stood in line, a large group of volunteers were in front of me. I could tell they were volunteers because they had on volunteer jackets. (Busch allows groups to come in and work as volunteers in order to help raise money for a cause or for fund raising.) Today's group: some form of military personnel. Now I assume they must have just recently joined and hadn't seen any combat action because they were dancing around shivering and complaining about the cold. Yes, it was cold, but they too had a jacket on and I was actually starting to sweat in mine...and starting to think to myself that if the country is protected by this small group of shivering military personnel...well, I looked down and shook my head in disgust knowing that a heart complication kept me from passing my physical and I wouldn't have been shivering.
I ate my hot dog on my way to my assigned commissary. I was assigned to commissary 261, which yes, it is behind section 261. Now, for those who do not know, as a vendor, we are able to vend anywhere that there is red seats in the stadium...but we are assigned to one of four commissaries in the stadium and can only reload our product from that station...meaning, I wouldn't want to go to the opposite side of the stadium to sell my last few cold ones when I would have to walk half way around the stadium just to get more product.
2 1/2 full hours prior to the first pitch, I had my first load of beer (1/2 case and covered in ice) in hand and a large bag of peanuts tossed over my shoulder. I chose to carry only a 1/2 case, because I wasn't for sure how heavy it would be hauling this tub up and down steps numerous times...not to mention the added weight of the ice in there too. It took about 25 minutes before people were flooding into the stadium, none of which looked like they wanted an ice cold beer while it was snowing on opening day...and then it happened...
A gentleman was walking towards me and he gave me a nod. I did it. I made my first sale!
Throughout the game, I had some very comical encounters.
I saw Ronald McDonald walking around before the game near Big Mac Land and he had a creepy voice.
During one transaction, I asked a gentleman for his ID (which I do with everyone who is 30 or younger) and I could tell he wasn't too happy about it. He took off his cap to show off his balding head and said here it is. Frustrated, he passed his ID down to me when I noticed he was younger than me...He commented to me saying he couldn't believe I was carding him, I then replied cheerfully that I wondered if he'd believe that I was older than he was. He replied with a few explicit words and said he wanted to see my ID...so I showed him. A few explicit words later, he announced to everyone around me that he was a year and a half younger than the f'n beer man.
Over the course of the game and 3 1/2 cases of beer later, that bag of peanuts was beginning to get heavier and heavier...I was hoping to sell most of them and make the load a bit lighter, but that didn't happen.
As the snow was starting to fall again and as the last out was caught in the bottom of the 7th, I was taking everything back for returns and to check-out when a gentleman asked me for a beer. I replied back with stating that we weren't allowed to sell after the 7th inning. He looked at me and winked and said come on, you can still sell one more. I thought to myself that I wanted to tell this guy I wasn't gay and he wasn't getting a beer either...which would have been funnier than what I really said which was 'sorry, i want to sell you one, but i can't, enjoy the remainder of the game'.
Overall, I loved my first day. I had a blast getting to know some of the other beer men as well as the fans in the stands. My body hates me and the job...I woke up the next morning with arms that could barely move and legs that wanted to not take another step...I need a massage and can't believe I have 6 more days in a row of this before a break.