Thursday, February 18, 2010

Who Works at Target Field anyway?

After attending a depressing job fair and passing a later drug screen, I was officially offered a job by Delaware North, the Target Field concessions company. I'm supposed to go to a five hour orientation tonight at the new stadium where they'll train me in as a "food runner." I don't know what that means, but it doesn't sound fun. I'm guessing I'd be taking food from a kitchen to the suites or the fancy seats behind the plate. I'd have to wear a bow-tie.

Not Me

I'm not going to take the job. I could use some extra money, and I don't have many other obligations over the next six months. Yet, there's no way I can accept the gig for one simple reason: they expect all employees to work every single home game.

Besides not being able to attend a single game as a fan, I'm not sure you could have much of a life either. The Twins have an exceedingly erratic schedule. Unless you're a professional baseball player, I'm not sure anyone could swing it.

You'd have to be available for:

some weekday evening games.
some weekday afternoon games.
some weekend evening games.
some weekend afternoon games.

And how much would you even work? Let's do some math.

81 home games multiplied by about 5 hours per game = 405 total hours for the season

405 hours divided by the approximate 26 week season = 15.58 hours per week average.

Less than 16 hours a week. Unless they're paying about least $30/hour, you'd certainly need a second job. Even if you're in high school or college it would be tough to do. You'd be working around your spring semester schedule, your summer stuff and then your fall semester class schedule.

He Does

In search of answers, I contacted Andrew from Off The Mark. He was recently hired as an usher at Target Field. He's also a college student at Gustavus. I asked him a few questions:

How did you get the job?

I have a college friend (Craig) that has worked as an usher for the Twins the past few years. I've been looking at getting a summer job since last summer, because I've had very little to do when I'm not in school. So, my parents suggested that I become an usher, and they thought that I could go to Craig for some details. As it turns out, the Twins' policy on hiring new ushers was that they had to be recommended by a current usher, so Craig was my recommendation. I drove up to the Metrodome for my interview in November, and in January I received a call telling me that I was hired.

Are you expected to work every single home game?

Here's something that will probably anger you. For ushers, we have to meet one of two requirements during the season. Either we work a minimum of 40 home games for the season, or we work every weekday afternoon game (by my count, that's only eleven home games. However that's only the minimum, so by doing option 2, it would allow me to work anywhere between those 11 and 39 games). Since I have classes during the day, the second option isn't feasible for me, so it looks like I'll have to shoot for the 40 game plan.

Here's the kicker though. My brother checked this for me, and it turns out that there are only 43 home games during my summer break from college. So, if I have to miss 4 games or more for various reasons (other plans, family vacation, etc.), I have to make up those games while I'm at Gustavus...which likely means that unless I pick a handful of weekend games (yay 1 1/2 hour commute), I'd be leaving at 3:00 pm to get to Target Field an hour before gates open (open at 5:30 pm, so I'd be there at 4:30 pm), I'd work the entire game (until about 10 pm), leave around 11 pm, and get back to Gustavus at about 12:30 am. Throw in my 8 am class that I have 4 days a week, and I'll be a very unpleasant, sleep-deprived usher/student that's behind on finishing his homework.

What else do you have going this summer?

As of right now, nothing. However, my parents suggested getting another job at the TPC in Blaine (same one that hosts the Senior PGA) because I live just a few minutes from the golf course. They figure I could schedule those work days either before I leave for that night's Twins game or when the team is away.

Do you know which sections you'll be assigned?

Not at the moment. I have yet to do my training sessions, which occur on 4 separate days in March. If I don't know my assignments during the training, I'll probably find out after I've finished. However, I do have something to point out...I'll ask the question for you.

How much do you get paid?

I have no clue. I didn't think of asking when I did my interview, and to be honest, I don't really care. Working as an usher is pretty sweet even if I didn't get paid.

What and when are the training sessions?

My four training sessions are called "Team Alcohol Training," "Target Field Orientation" (read: ballpark tour), "Primary Orientation," and "Skills Training." When I applied for the job, I was told in my interview that these training sessions would be very flexible to schedule, and they would run from the middle of February to the end of March. So, I thought, "Sweet! I can schedule all of these on weekends so they won't interfere with school!" Not quite. You see, by flexible, they meant there were plenty of days to choose from. However, this did not mean that all 4 could be done on any day of the week. Two of the sessions were available only on Thursdays, a third only on Mondays, and the last one was Thursdays and weekends. At least I got to pick which days to show up...

Only one of the sessions is on the weekend, and it's on a Sunday (although it's the day after the TwinsCentric party on the 13th, so I have added incentive to go, plus then I can stay home for the weekend). The other 3 days are on March 1st (Monday), and March 4th and 25th (both Thursdays). The weekday sessions are all 6 pm to 9 pm (the Sunday one is 10 am to 4:30 pm), which if you throw in travel time is more like 3:30 or 4 pm to 10:30 pm for me. Additionally, I have a class on Thursdays that normally ends at 4:30 pm, which means that I get to skip part of it so I can get to my session on time. Normally, I'd be pleased to know that, but it's a class that I'm retaking in order to get a passing grade. Skipping the wrong day might be a problem.

Signing up for the training sessions was a bit frustrating, but it's just part of the process (sounds like Dayton Moore, heh?) in becoming an usher. Despite those scheduling issues, I'm definitely happy to be working for the Twins, especially in Target Field. Besides, I've faced adversity much worse than this before. I certainly can't wait for the season to start, and I'm even more excited for when I get to start working for the Twins.


So there you have it. He's a lucky bastard; accepted openly into a loving, understanding a flexible family. I've been grudgingly accepted into a cold, heartless corporation, only after passing a drug screen. At least I got the last laugh. Right?


TwinsWin83 said...

I think before you make a final decision you need to consider the fact that you'd rock the shit outta that bow-tie Mike.

Bryz said...

Correct, I might get a beer thrown at me after I pop my first beach ball.

Bryz said...

Oh, and I just used your own link to get to my Twitter page. How lame is that?

Jim H. said...

Wouldn't it be kind of fun (in an ironic way) to say to some drunk rich guy in the boxes, "Sorry, man, you've had enough."