Saturday night was a bit of fun working a football game. In addition to the photo story from yesterdays blog post, i have to try to navigate a country where I don’t speak the language. Most of the time, it has my brain thinking I was the problem by not understanding how the culture and things work.
Another part of the problem with starting over in a new country is i have done a few thousand shows, concerts, and festivals and until it got monotonous for a hobby – photographed a lot of NFL, NBA and NCAA sporting events - so it is like taking 20 steps backwards to move one step forward.
There is a silver lining in all of this, it is like getting a refresher course in business reality - i am allowed to see the cracks inside of organizations and helps me work out solutions that I will apply to the Agrowvillage training programs. What and how things are formatted in the boardrooms and at the upper levels is usually nothing like what the reality is with implementation or how people are treated at the lowest levels.
At the top there is no shortage of ego, competition, ruthlessness and people wanting to reach the pinnacle and collect the accolades and perks of position (i have to confess, it is easy to get used to them) At the bottom, there is no shortage of humans being treated like numbers or ticks on the balance sheet when doing financial models.
When I was a kid, we always were playing games in the neighborhood. How a team was picked is the two popular kids would create a team and then one after the other, the most talented or cool kids were picked first. You never wanted to be picked last, as it meant you were an uncool no-talent. in modern terms, you might want to get a big "L" tattooed on your forehead.
That is how I felt on Saturday night when I went to sign in to work. To get a simplistic job, I had to fill out forms, explain what languages I can/can’t speak, skills, etc -do a formal resume (I think the last one I did was age 25) and submit photos and all types of degrees and such. I really found the process odd, and was surprised to get a some work with Elton john yet, never had to meet, speak or talk to another human until i walked up to the gate.
When I got to sign in for work at the soccer game, a man spoke Swiss German and nothing else, he said, “you are no value to me if you can’t speak Swiss German. i have no use for you.” I was dismissed to stand by a pillar for a while, where I have to confess, a large part of me almost walked away because I started to realize the organization had some issues they were working out. somewhere inside the organization was all the information, but it wasn't shared, or no one really cared to share via assumption of information. (new business term?)
When i was asked, “do you want to just sit and watch the game?” I bit my tongue with what I really wanted to say and politely replied, “No, I don’t want to watch a game. I came here to work.”
As i write this, i find it ironic, as later in the evening, someone asked why I would greet people and say “hello” or “enjoy the game.” Thankfully there was a guy from the church i attend that i had to pull over and ask "how do you say...(insert phrase) in German?"
From what I understood in the training talk while walking (might be a new name for a business technique?) the organization was trying to soften the blow of the look and feel of the Securitas people at all the gates that looked more like paramilitary people than anything in their uniforms. If I heard correctly, the organization wants a friendlier level of service between the customer and the security. (there is a high probability i did not understand what was actually said, but this is what i think they asked of us)
So while we are simply providing access barriers for people, if you simply smile and say hello, the vast majority of people will responds with a smile and happiness.
I only had time this did not work, when one pissed off driver with no credentials began swearing at me to get past the door.
“Sorry brother, you can’t get past this door without the right credentials and pass.”
My years as being a doorman in college to make extra money and having people call you all sorts of names paid off when the driver told me to “f*ck off”, all I could do was smile, His actions would allow him to take the long way around the building instead of becoming bigger idiot and trying to get through the door.
Perhaps I will write about the change in audience behavior in the last 30-40 years. What has transpired with the reality of money, greed, a sense of entitlement, and the reality of who is actually purchasing the tickets to attend the shows?
Time for coffee. thank you to mark and his wife for the german translation of words!