It’s that time again! Convention Center Concert Night!
(Please note my expression of unadulterated excitement.)
Okay – to recap for anyone who doesn’t know, generally our casino puts on one big show a month. It could be, as in this case, a country artist of some note. It might be Elvis impersonators. It might be a stand-up comedian. Whatever it is, though, is big enough to pack the fully expanded convention center full of chairs and bleachers, entertain folks for an hour or two, and traumatize the poor bar staff who have to work the event.
Thankfully – this rarely includes me, because I’d rather eat a Bud LIght bottle than work those shows. Yes – I said eat. I’m not being snarky about the contents of said bottle (though I could be), I’m talking about the physical vessel, crushed and ground preferably. I would eat that without ketchup rather than work a concert event. They’re loud, chaotic, and worthless for making any kind of money. You can’t even enjoy the show, really. Unless it’s a dead drinking crowd, like say for an Oak Ridge Boys show, where people just grab free water. Oh of course -that- I can listen to freely, but not anything fun.
But I digress.
Driving into the parking lot, the crowd looked fairly light honestly, but it often does at that time of day. The show doesn’t usually go on until 8, so people don’t get there right away for it. They just stay afterwards, which is, I imagine, the entire point of the affair.
We have two of our regular staff back with us tonight, Jerry the Older, getting the plum position of a solo service bar shift to handle the concert crowd. Also Rickie is back from maternity leave, which is nice. She’s got a straightforward, somewhat dry, but laid back approach to things. Stuff needs to be done the right way, but she doesn’t scream about it, and she knows that the bar staff largely takes care of itself, and leaves us to do our thing unless we call for help.
I get my cash for the night and head over to the bar. I get to tend bar with Cherry tonight, which is always fun. We had both agreed that taking a break before the concert got going was probably a bad idea, because the crowd can surge with a high degree of volatility as people come in to get settled. We chatted a bit as we tended bar, the topic of the day swinging over to concerts we’d attended over the years, amusingly. She seemed most impressed by my getting to see Lords of Acid live at one point in my past. (It was pretty cool, to be honest). I’d list hers, but it would take a blog post all by itself. She got into concerting at a very young age.
Mary’s tension moment of the other night came to pass tonight, however, as Haley had decided that she just wasn’t feeling the work thing tonight, and called in. It wouldn’t surprise me if this represents the beginning of her permanent absence, honestly. Mary dealt with the news fairly well, all considered, but there’s something to say for the press of business and money to be made as incentivizing, I guess.
A little before 8, with the show basically stocked full of people, Cherry thought it would be nice to go give Jerry the Older some break time, given how he was getting hammered. She figured we’d do ours after that. Now I honestly wasn’t holding my breath on that, because the band in the Lounge was going to start up at 8:30pm anyway, and that usually is quite preclusive of any break time excursions. True enough, while her time away was fine, shortly after she returned the band started, and no one was going anywhere. I was okay with it, though. I mentally block the word ‘break’ from my head on big concert nights. The animal simply doesn’t exist in my world at that point.
For better or worse the lounge act this weekend is a classic rock outfit, with a distinct tinge of old-guy country to their sound. They’re very much -not- a country band though, and thus, didn’t thematically match the big show very well. The plus side of that is we won’t get hammered too badly by the departing concert crowd. That’s also somewhat a negative I suppose, but on the whole I was okay, with it.
We did get a bit of a rush after the show let out, and we had some stickiness to the crowd that stayed, but once the wave had passed we were only a bit more full than we had been before. That didn’t mean we had breaks, though. We both snuck out to bathroom once or twice, but that was it. On my second run out, I snagged some loose change I keep in my locker, and bought a single bag of peanut butter M&Ms and split it with Cherry while we worked. Her eyes about popped out at the sight. It was awesome.
Mary was released to go home at Midnight – and surprisingly appears to have done just that rather than her usual post-shift drinking. One wonders what that was all about. She may have had to cut a bit of a deal to buger off early, with her being the only cocktail on the floor. Red commented in passing that he’s thinking that Haley isn’t gonna be staying around. I’ll spare you the circuitious story surrounding that. We also had a new barback in training following Red around, a tall guy with a short pony tail. Seems all right, but time will tell. He can’t realy do much right now until his alcohol handling certifications come back. I’ll think of a good name for him later, assuming he doesn’t bugger off and quit after a day.
We had a few people who were trying to bend the rules, and one guy who insisted on spitting on the floor where he was sitting (ugh) – but overall the night went fairly well all considered. Despite having a bit more to clean up than usual, we still ended up on time, and were out the door mostly on time, which wasn’t bad for a concert night.
The weirdest thing we had happen was these four ladies who had come in for the show but had somehow not figured out how they were going to leave afterwards. I do not comprehend this, truly. Last I heard, they were roaming around trying to panhandle a lift to their hotel in town. From any random person they could. I’m going to just quietly hope that they worked it out in a manner that wasn’t harmful to their collective persons.
And that was Friday night. Now to see if Haley shows her face on Saturday. Even money she doesn’t.
Closing observations :
- Rickie was doing pretty good, all considered, though she confessed at one point to being wiped out, having passed a couple of her usual nap times at this point.
- You see all sorts of old regulars show up for concert nights, which is kind of fun.
- I don’t even wanna think about how well Mary won’t take it if Haley fucks off and she’s essentially left as the only evening cocktail girl for the whole damn casino, though bar tips might tick up a bit I suppose.
- On a related note – I think it’s high time the casino haul their collective heads out of their colletive backsides and just accept that if they’re gonna attract warm bodies, they’ve got to put the baseline pay rate a bit higher at the -very- least.
Next up : Saturday