So the Mets are in the world series! The mets! My mets! Your mets! After years of heart break and futility, to see them as national league champions was both surreal and serene. I spent way too much on upper deck seats to game 3 of the NLDS, but it was an amazing game and experience. As a die hard fan, I desperately wanted to go to a world series game, but it was $560 for standing room only. Cheapest actual seats I could find were a little over $700 a pop. I work hard for a modest salary, I have a house, wife, and daughter, and just couldn't justify spending that kind of money. My brother even offered to pay for me, but I would've felt so guilty about taking that money that I don't think I could have enjoyed the game.
Then I got a phone call.
"Dude. Check your e-mail and respond right away. I think we'll be able to go to the World Series."
As it turns out, the e-mail was forwarded on behalf of this company:
As it turns out, T-Mobile had contracted Premier to hire people to throw out free cracker jacks during the 7th inning stretch of game 4. I (along with many other people), filled out the application online, set up an appointment to come into NYC, brought ID documents to verify my identity, and listened to their proposal. We were told that we would go into the game, "work a table", and give away these crackerjacks during the stretch. The downside was that we would have to leave in the 8th inning. But the allure of making $12/hour to be able to watch at least some of the game? Amazing. Even if we had no view point, but could watch on the monitor and feel the electricity of the stadium? Any die hard met fan would kill for that opportunity. So I took the job with my buddy. We figured that we would just haul ass to McFaddens after we had to leave, and hopefully watch our boys tie up the series with as many new best friends as we can make in the bar. It was a guilt free way to get to the game; one filled with nobility and honor, a working man's way of going to the game but not sacrificing the needs of his family.
Unfortunately, I learned how fucking stupid I am very quickly.
That morning I get an e-mail that says we can't go in until the 2nd inning. I was upset, but figured some of the game was better than none. I drove up to Jersey City, met my bud, hopped on the path, walked to the LIRR, and a couple of exciting hours later I was at citi field:
(I don't know how to photoshop).
We met up with a couple of the Premier staff, and this was the beginning of realizing how poorly organized they were. We were getting apparently randomly put into different groups by letter (group A, group B, group C, etc.) To be fair, this let people like me be teamed up with my friends, but it still wasn't very well run.
I just happen to over hear the woman who hired me for this tell someone else that we weren't going in until the 5th fucking inning. When I asked her to repeat herself, she said it again, and if I was out, "I would have to know now." Hoping that maybe we'd get in earlier, I said I would stay.
The game starts, and we are walking around the stadium. We were outside for 35 minutes, missed 2 innings of ball, and FINALLY got inside. And by inside, I mean here:
No, no, those aren't hurricane katrina victims, those are the temporary employees of both Premier and T-Mobile in the basement of citi field. During Game 4. Without any TVs, or any bathroom access. We were brought into different "groups", and provided with pre-ordered subway sandwiches. It's quite the coincidence that a company that had "NO IDEA" we would be getting in 5 innings later than originally thought would have sandwiches for everyone, isn't it? The only plus side was access to citi field's wifi, and we could stream the game. At least we could watch it like we were at home.
At this point, I'm realizing how fucking stupid I am. This company pulled a bait-and-switch, preying on die hard fans like myself that just wanted to do the impossible: watch the world series in person. I might as well have found a card table and tried to find the red one. I was absolutely devastated and feeling horrific. They knew if they told us the truth, that we couldn't come in until the 5th, and we'd have to leave after the stretch, they wouldn't get anyone. They lied, they knew they were lying, and they did it anyway.
We were "group Q", but our obnoxiously large pink T-Mobile t-shirts didn't have a sticker on them. The sticker was supposed to indicate where in the stadium we were supposed to go for the stretch, but the chronic and pathetic organization of this night had left us "sticker-less." This raging bitch (and I know it sounds bad, but she was awful. Ever see the SNL sketch where there's a medication women can take to only have their period once a year? Like that. She was the fucking worst), kept yelling at us and condescendingly saying things like "WELL STICKER-LESS Q, I GUESS YOU'LL HAVE TO STAND RIGHT HERE."
There was also a pudgy ass douche bag who I think was in charge of overseeing most of the event. If a hemorrhoid could talk and walk, it would be this guy. Not only were we blatantly lied to, but they were treating us like absolute shit. It was at this moment that I knew that there was no way I was leaving after the 7th.
We finally start to come up in the bottom of the 5th, and we're so excited that we're taking a couple selfies in the area:
In fact, we came up just when Conforto hit his 2nd home run. Holy shit were we pumped and the place was going crazy. THIS is what we had come here for. Here's my buddy as citi field is going crazy after the HR
So we're finally up there, surrounded by mets fans, the mets are winning, and at the moment life is good. We're still be talked down to, but the staff clearly doesn't know how to manage us or where to put us. They're just making shit up on the fly. "You're going to the Pepsi Porch. No wait, stand here, you're going to pair up with Ricardo. No, Liz is who you report to. Actually you're going to take these stairs. GO! MOVE!"
Michael J. Fox could direct traffic with more accuracy than Premier handled us. Jim Abbott could play patty cake with more accuracy than Premier handled us. Jason Bay could have hit a baseball with more accuracy than Premier handled us. How you can work for that company and not be embarrassed by a night like this, I don't know.
At this point, I knew I could sneak away.
So here's my view during the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings:
Not bad for free! And all the while, I'm just giving crackerjacks to people ahead of time, because fuck t-mobile. I'm also talking to a hospitality clerk working in this section of the stadium. I tell her the whole story, she agrees that it's absolutely terrible. I ask her for where the best escape routes are, and I've got a game plan. Nurse Ratched (The 3rd person to be in charge of me in a 40 minute span, she wasn't as awful as the stickerless Q wench, but she wasn't very nice either) is occasionally walking back and forth, but she's clearly not paying that much attention. Top of the 7th ends (Addison Reed I love you) and it's on. We go into the section, and it's actually pretty fun. I make a game of trying to hit the people's hands accurately with these crackerjacks. I get rid of my supply as quickly as possible. I come up to the top of the steps, look both ways, no assholes to be found, and I go right down stairs.
As I'm going down the stairs, I take off my XXXXXXXXL pink shirt, and put it into my container for the crackerjacks. I get to the bottom of the steps to field level, drop it quickly inside the doorway, and steadily walk toward the Shea Bridge. I see people that I recognize from the citi field bunker we were in previously, but I avoid eye contact, and walk casually on the concourse. Since I no longer am wearing my T-Mobile bullseye, no one notices me. I'm worried that everyone will be meeting at the Shea bridge to go down together, so I change course. I get 1 layer into a standing room only group (actually after I explained what was going on one dude let me get in front of him), and then I watched the rest of the game, for free, outside section 126.
My friend unfortunately was corralled in back to the basement. He had to go to McFadden's to finish the game.
And then we lost. God fucking damn it Clippard and Murphy. And Cespedes.
So I'd just like to give a giant fuck you to T-Mobile and Premier. I don't know who knew what going into this particular event, but the intent to deceive was retroactively obvious. The people that were hired, or at least the ones I met, were wonderful, nice people, desperate to see their Mets in the World Series. These people took off of work to travel to NYC, ruthlessly lied to, and then discarded like a wrapper in your pocket that you don't recall putting in there in the first place.
Life is hard. I never thought I would work as hard to feel as financially inadequate as I do. That part of life is exhausting enough; but moments like this remind me that you also have to be skeptical of everything. You can't trust companies or people at face value, because shit like this is common place. When you are lucky enough to come across companies or people that you know you can trust, realize how blessed you truly are. They are the very needed anthesis of awful, arrogant, and apathetic shit heads like the ones I dealt with last night.
Would I be as pissed if the Mets had held on like they should have? I honestly don't know. But I do know I really resent how I was treated last night, and am not even a little bit sorry about hiding in the stadium for the rest of the game.
And that, is how I snuck into half of a world series game.