Now first off you can call me the Retail Redshirt, on account of both the uniform I wear for a store chain named after a kind of paper fastener, and how I feel like I’m an extra on Star Trek from time to time. Sometimes I love my job and helping the nice custies, sometimes I feel like breaking down and sobbing, but that’s not what I’m gonna talk about for this first story.
No, for this first RHU experience I’m actually describing the time I was a “black shirt” – black uniform for a concert, that is.
See, last year my brother and I were volunteering as ushers for a concert. Not just any concert, but Video Games Live: which if you don’t know, is actual orchestrated renditions of various game tunes. There’s a Guitar Hero competition, short sketches, a costume contest, music videos… It’s fun, it’s epic, and all I had to do was direct people to the correct rows, and I could watch for free. All in all,it was a pretty sweet deal.
But about…. I dunno, halfway through the first half? I start hearing a kid crying some rows away from where I’m crouched down, enjoying the show. And anyone who’s been in the audience when some 2-year old rugrat who probably doesn’t understand what’s going on anyway can tell you, it really messes with your enjoyment of the show.
I don’t do anything at first, mainly because A) I’m a bit non-confrontational, especially back when this was going on (though I’m getting better at standing up for myself), and B) No one else was complaining about it. But a short while later another woman comes over and asks, really nicely, if I can tell the woman with the baby to leave. And hey, I decide to oblige her. I mean, if I can legitimately say that the crying bothers someone else the mom shouldn’t have a leg to stand on, right?
So I go up to the mom and ask nicely if she can leave until the baby is quiet again, but surprise… the baby is the one who won the costume contest at the beginning of the concert. I am dead serious here. The baby is only around a year old and dressed in this tiny Mario outfit. Personally I feel sorry for the kid because he’s not gonna remember or understand this, and he likely only won for the cute factor (I was rooting for the guys who came as Left 4 Dead survivors, myself, but I digress).
Still I ready my retail (or is that usher?) balls and tell the mom that people are complaining about her child’s crying, and she needs to leave the concert until he settles down. She’s pissed, yeah, but gets up anyway and exits. I give a sigh and figure my job’s done… until I hear the kid again. The mom is literally standing in the doorway, watching, and not doing anything to calm her own child down.
I mean, WHAT THE FUCK?! Do you really think that moving 4 meters will lessen your kid’s cries at all? Seriously! So I go up and ask her to leave AGAIN, and now she’s really pissed, but still obliges. I think what ended up happening was she and a friend switched off on baby duty so they could both watch the show.
Still, it’s just… Really. You could afford tickets for the concert, a costume for your infant boy to dress up in so you could win a costume contest… a VIDEO GAME costume contest, of all things… but you can’t spring an extra 20 bucks to hire a babysitter? Did you think the baby would enjoy the concert? A loud, dark room where he probably couldn’t make out the figures on the stage, much less understand what the hell is going on?
The most I can say about that experience is that at least the woman didn’t make a fuss about being forced out, which says something about my town. Even being rude, people are polite about it. And let this be a lesson to anyone else who thinks they can ignore their kids at a major event… having a baby with you is no exemption. Winning a contest is no exemption. Please, PLEASE, think of not only the well being of others, but of your own child, before deciding to bring them along to an event because you don’t want someone else to take care of them for 3-4 hours.
Until next time, this is the Retail Redshirt, ending transmission.