Saturday, January 15, 2011

Joe Beer Man! c2011 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

     This one was ready to go almost a month ago but you're just now getting it. Stuff happened and I wrote about that instead. Plus there's probably an optimal time to post this (right before baseball season? preseason football? Hall and Oates reunion tour?) but something's always going on, so we're going with now.
     In the unlikely event that you're reading this, you probably work in a restaurant. If so, you might find this interesting: another hustle that's kind of like waiting tables, but not really. I roam the football stadium several times every autumn selling beer and you probably can too.
     The next time you have tickets to a concert or sporting event, get to the venue about 90 minutes early. Cruise around the building until you find the employee entrance. Ask someone that you see going in if there's anyone you can discuss vending opportunities with. You'll probably get a supervisor to come out and talk to you, or at least get a phone number. It's very unlikely that you'll be invited to work that evening's event and you've got tickets to it anyway, so just go somewhere and get drunk until the show starts. Of course you don't have to have tickets; you could just go to the building when you know something's going on. Who knows? You might luck into some ducats or a good party or something.
     If you're going to be in the arena anyway you could just call a vendor over and ask them what you have to do to become their coworker. If you go this route, remember to buy something and tip when you do (sorry for even mentioning that but perhaps somebody not of our tribe is reading this). I'll give my supervisor's contact information to anyone who asks unless they're wasted or they say or do something I don't like.
     I got the gig because a client who's in the vendor-supervising business came to my bar one night and asked if I knew anyone who might want to work the Puny Possums' games. "Hell yeah. Me!", and I've been there ever since. I mostly work just the home games of that one football team. I get their schedule several weeks before the season starts, making it easy to coordinate things with my other jobs. However, I have worked a few concerts and a minor-league hockey game.
     Every location and event is different and they have different policies about things like who has to be carded, how many you can sell to an individual, if you have to pour the shit into a cup or not. Beer is sold at all pro games but not at all college contests. Alcohol isn't available at some concerts. And most venues have secret shoppers and spying eyes in the skies, so be aware. In some jurisdictions you've got to have some kind of alcohol license, which if you work in a restaurant you already have. If that's what's up, you're pretty much guaranteed the gig if you want it.
     Anyway, it's not for everybody. The beverage box is bulky and when full of ice and product, very heavy. Just like where you work, most people are OK, but we get our share of jerks and fucktards. The money's usually at least adequate, but sometimes it isn't. The weather can have a big impact on your day. I like it though. It's good exercise, the money's often great and since they'll probably make you give last call during the third quarter and there's no sidework (!), if you're capable of being cool you can discretely slide in somewhere and watch the fourth quarter for free!
     I like to amuse myself and the attendees by yelling out entertaining things like "Beer! Drinks like a soda, kicks like an energy drink!" and my favorite, "I've got beechwood-aged BUDWEISER! It's kind of like Bud Light, only good!" and "You don't have to leave your seat to beat the heat!" That last one doesn't work after the middle of October, but as a way to get out of my shitty usual gig on a weekend and still make some money, beer vending works for me.

1 comment:

  1. Your lines are cute at the stadium. The beer guy was my favorite person at the Nats games this summer ;D