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10:06 a.m. - 2001-07-16
Blues, Brews, and a few unemployed people

Compare & Contrast

Well, this weekend blew by quickly. Not to mention that I worked most of it, just makes my summer vacation seem so much more worth it. Not only will I be working 6 days a week (mostly by choice, partially by necessity) for the summer to be burned out for the fall...what I call... Summer Lovin'.

I have a scenario to type out that was told to me this weekend. To me it makes some sense, but I find loopholes.

I have a friend who is a drug & alcohol counselor at a rehab. He works backstage security at the same place which occuppies my weekends so thoroughly. I asked him to define "alcholism." (I teach that B.Science class and he came in as a guest speaker last fall...) He gave me this analogy.

"A man goes into a bar and drinks beyond his limit. He leaves the bar and proceeds to get behind the wheel of his car, cracking it on a fence.

A year goes by, he doesn't touch a drink.

Then... He goes into a bar, again, and drinks once again beyond his limit. He gets behind the wheel of his car, only to smash it again on another fence. He swears he'll never touch the stuff again.

Two years pass, he doesn't touch a drop.

A friend gets married, the man has one drink which leads to several more. By the end of the night, he is totally inebriated (sp). He gets behind the wheel of his car and crashes yet again."

Question: Besides his obvious stupidity (DUI), does he have a drinking problem?

Now, I have difficulties believing that a person could be an alcoholic without having that dependancy on liquor. Isn't that part of the whole dependency thing? First you have to be addicted to something?

So, he and I discussed this off and on over the course of about 10 hours. (It was a long day, 14 hours for me, 12 for my staff, 2 for the buttheads that loafed and didn't work...I'll get to that in a sec.)

So... Is an alcoholic someone who could momentaneously abuse something, not touch it for a long period of time, then abuse it again for a day, several hours, or a weekend?

That's what we disagree on. He thinks the man in the story IS an alcoholic because he abuses the stuff whenever he has it. I think the guy was incredibly stupid and won't acknowledge his limits, but isn't one because its not a continual habit (daily).

We live to disagree, but we remained friends for a few years since and I value his opinion. I just don't have to agree with it.

During the course of SAturday (it was a big blues beer drinking old people acting cool festival that lasted from noon to midnight for the on-lookers), I went from managing the concert area w/ security, a festival staffer and myself (whereas, I normally would have 8-13 ppl under my guise) to a night shift of 8 people with security meandering around in the dark.

I sent two people home. I hate being the bad guy, but hell, don't fuck w/ me while I'm paying you to work. (Ok, its not MY money, but I'm supervising you and my bosses are paying...) One girl had worked for me the last time (Nevilles) and didn't do squat. She sat down (big NO NO), wandered off more times then I could count, and managed to be inside doing something constructive for approximately 30 minutes of the 6 hours. I spoke to her three times about it and was tired of constantly checking on her to make sure she was working. Thing is... she didn't do anything. She hung out. For a concert usher, that's bad. Sat. she decided to take 45 mins to get her coat, 25 to put her purse in her car, 35 to go pee, another 1/2 hour to get a coffee. When she finally wandered back, she stood w/ her friends instead of me. Me, who was waiting there with a wicked scowl on my face. Why? Because I'm not paying her to fuck around when I need her inside the goddamn tent.

I pull her aside, and tell her this:

"Listen, I want to let you know that when you work for me, you have to ACTUALLY be INSIDE the tent. For the past two shows I've noticed that you take too many breaks, most of which I do NOT approve. It shouldn't take you 45 mins to get a coat. (I elaborated more on that.) I think you should punch out for the night because I don't need you."

She, in her teary eyed way, said, "But I want to work for you."

I said, "I'm sorry, I can't use you anymore. You're welcome to stay and watch the concert, but I can't have you inside. Besides, I have enough people tonight. Please work your way back to the timeclock now and punch out."

And that was that. I was nice, quiet (tons of ppl around us) and trying to be sensitive. But goddammit, she took up EVERYONE'S BREAK TIME. The two hardest workers of that nightshift only were able to get coffees and pee.

The production guy, who is my archnemesis (at times) also supervises the maintenance guys. In order to help me out, and seeing that he was overstaffed, he sent me some guys to help out in the concert tent area. One worked out great. I love him. If I weren't married, I'd keep him on a leash at my side at all times. He's adorable and helpful. *grins* But... the *other* one entered shutdown after a few hours of grim greetings to our more-than alcohol-induced visitors. When the evening shift came on (I managed to find people willing to come in after they were finished working their day jobs), he kinda disappeared.

Since I supervise (House Manager of Tents...I feel so circusish), I give breaks. I will make sure everyone gets one. WHen they take their own, there is chaos. Mr. Attitude decided to tell one of my guys he'd be right back. An hour later, I was on the radio requesting he get his ass back from the ticket booth where he was hanging out with his skanky g'f (who I've went at it with before...she's big n scary and thinks she's the bomb. Except, she stole shit and I caught her. Well, not exactly caught. But, in my experience, when someone gets nervous over me asking them about the missing $5 from their ticket drawer (each day for 3 days), I have my suspicions.

So, he finally wanders from the ticket area back towards our concert area another 1/2 hour after that. He sees me, and makes a sharp right towards EMS, where I proceed to confront him. ONce I get there.

I don't have a problem w/ confrontation.

Just don't get IN my face about it, because I AM being nice... at first.

It took this nice cordial young man 1 hour and 30 minutes to punch out his time card after I told him to go home. Do you know why? Because anyone who was a supervisor, he bitched about me to. I AM a supervisor. By going to the prod. guy, he went to my peer (tho the guy thinks he's my leader).

I grabbed J backstage to tell him that I sent his guy home. I explained the situation and he started to laugh (laugh=like dad did when he found out that we threw hamburgers at a parked police car when I was 9...only because my cousin's friends were scary and I had to do what they said). He said the kid was back there complaining about me. He said that I told him there were enough people and to go home. He neglected to tell J about the 1 hour MIA (he was only entitled to 15 minutes legally, btw) with his trashy g/f while she was selling tickets. J was not happy. But, for the first time since he started working w/ us, he said something that shocked me.

He said, "I will back you up on this. If he did that to me, and he's my regular staff, I'd fire him on the spot. You did the right thing, and I'm sorry for sending him to you."

THIS is the man who patronizes me before every concert with "let's not get excitable tonight, ok?"

I've done this job longer than he's been here. I've also done security, and goddammit, I TEACH H.S. That counts for a hell of a lot more than you think.

(Especially since those dirty little freshmen last year will more than likely be my dirty little sophomores this year.)

So, end of the night tallies:

The mafia driver for the main act initially scared me, but ended up giving me a ONE cheek kiss (I kept praying that the second wouldn't happen...cuz then I'd be sleepin w/ the fishies) and called me honey.

The bands were cool (way cool maaaaaaan) and I tormented several members (there were 8-9 bands on a day long schedule) of different bands that I became acquainted with during the course of the day and I could feel comfortable bugging them and expected a response worthy of my sarcasm.

I was groped by a dirty hippie (UGH!! I am still grossed out. I was talking to someone in the tent and he came up behind me and tried to GRIND MY ASS. I pushed him off and said "EWW GET OFF!") while security stood there laughing their big testosterone asses off. (Buttheads, I'll get them back.)

A drunk man got into a fight w/ his ex's (I posted about that before I think) and resulted in a big security guy getting scraped up (he cried like a baby when I had to clean him up).

I was patronized by the production super, again. (But I think I'm liking it now.)

I was dually harassed by the Operations supers (Again).

I'm seeing a pattern...hmm

I had to listen to the bitchy 3' tall security woman super tell everyone she could that she was boss of MY tent (let her talk...I know who's boss and so do my people).


I was freezing and have this wicked sunburn on my face again.

All this gets to be repeated NEXT WEEKEND.

It's gonna be a full lineup for that concert, mark my words.


Well, I have to go to work now. Have a nice day.

Tah tah


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