Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Masters Volunteers: Altuistic?

Some in the media glorify Masters volunteers. The ones you might see on TV are on the course, quieting the crowd before shots, holding the ropes, directing patron flow. Most are older middle-aged white men, most who have served for years. Why do they volunteer? Are they really that selfless that they give up a week’s vacation from their jobs? Like in many things, greed plays a large role. These volunteers get to watch the Masters, the toughest ticket in sports. After the tournament they’re allowed to play a round of golf on the Augusta National course. Again, the toughest tee time in golf. That’s why it’s so hard to volunteer.
The real unsung heroes are the dozens working in concession stands, souvenir stands, parking cars, and other behind the scenes jobs you never see. Long hours serving a constant stream of spectators and club members, all for very low pay. Lines for souvenirs and concessions last as long as the Masters grounds are open. These workers get a peek at the tourney during their few off hours, but certainly no free golf.
A few years ago the PGA was played at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek (aka east Alpharetta/west Duluth). Months before the tourney they were looking for volunteers. An enticing adventure, but the requirements were a little too time-consuming for me to sign up. I would’ve had to take almost two weeks of vacation. Maybe when I am retired.

Tuesday night Will valet parked cars for the Champions Dinner at Augusta National. He parked Terry McGuirk’s car, and noticed a very valuable possession: McGuirk’s SunTrust Park parking pass.
I worked past 6:30 Tuesday night. Busy day. Jonathan and Shane were in Minnesota. Brad was on vacation. Rodney was laid up with back pain. Drove straight home. C cooked a new dish in the skillet: boneless chicken breast in a gravy with mushrooms, carrots, and onions, on top of noodles. M was working but his friend Frank ate with us again. Jeopardy. The Middle. The Voice. Worked on my laptop.

Watched “Fresh off the Boat.” Hilarious. The mom was sick so the dad and the boys paid $60 for pay per view to watch WrestleMania. Turned out the mom was faking, and had snuck out and went to WrestleMania. The guys saw her in the crowd with the neighbor lady – whose husband is the “Let’s get ready to rumble!” guy. The little kid had bet the neighbor the crawfish guy would beat the fish guy, but lost. The kid didn’t have money to pay so the kid had to wash the neighbor’s car.   
Wish it was a home day for me. Was having a dream this morning about two minor league bobblehead giveaways going on at the same time. I was standing in line for one but left to check the line for the other game. I had hid my tickets under a welcome mat, but it took me a while to find them. Went back to the first stadium but arrived on the wrong side of the field. Took the back way around. Saw the Braves taking batting practice. Dansby Swanson was there. Then some workers thought I was there to interview for this fancy job with the team. I played along, but had no idea what the job was. When I got back to the line almost all the bobbleheads were gone. It was a special “dreamchaser” bobble. Each box was a different person: Bobby Cox, Dan Uggla, etc. I had four tickets but only was able to get one bobblehead cause I was late. Earlier I had run into one of my bobblehead buddies: Kevin from Birmingham.
Slept an hour late Wednesday AM. Finally woke up and headed straight to the shower. Light in the bathroom burned out. Shaved in the dark. Traffic was light and I made three straight lights that saved me ten minutes of more. Got to work only 30 minutes later than usual. Then all the storms hit.
We can hardly hear the lightning and rain. I can see windows and whether the wind is blowing, and if the sun is shining, but when it’s cloudy it’s hard to make out detail unless I walk over to the window. When I get my stand up desk I’ll move around more. Field next door is almost a lake. Yesterday the parking lot next to the field was full of trailers, like the Gwinnett Aquatics Center next door was having a health fair or something. Not many cars or people though. Today the trailers are all gone. I joked the tornado blew them away, but that might not be too funny. The wind or the zombies – The Walking Dead is filmed near here.
Ever tried Dunkin Donuts coffee? I’ve heard lots of people like it better than Starbucks.
Governor Deal declared another state of emergency. He was on the way to work and saw a guy lighting a cigarette.

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