It all began about ten years ago. After over 30 years as a summer camp administrator I was finally spending a summer at home. What to do with all my newly found free time. Well why not spend more time at the ballpark, so I bought a 20 game season seat package to the Twins. WOW! I loved it, going to so many games, making friends with those sitting around me, and the team was fun to follow, young and spirited. Frankly after 92′ I had a break from baseball. Like many the strike had soured me on the grand old game, but this team of hustling underdogs brought me back in a big way.
One day as I was entering my section in the upper deck I stopped to speak to the Usher, a woman only a little older than myself. Curious, I asked, “How did you come by this job.” She told me she was a fan and retired and applied over the winter and was lucky enough to land a job. “Do you like?” “Love it,” she replied.
I let it go and then about four years ago when I had a student at school, who was a Twins fanatic, we will call him Marshall, largely because that is his name. Marshall and I talked Twins almost every day, in season and then had our very own “Hot Stove League,” during the long, and in Minnesota they are long, winter months. Marshall it turns out was an usher for the Twins. Again intrigued I asked, “About this Usher thing, what’s it like? How much of the game do you get to see? Marshall smiled and stated, “Well I love it, and I get to see most of the game, but the job comes first, but I love it?” “Would I like it?” I ventured. “Mr. Sachs you would love it and with your love of people you would be a natural.” There it was, the encouragement I needed. Little did I know how sought after these positions were, but like everything else in life, timing and persistence pay off.
I believe it was in January of that year that I went on the Twins website and found nothing there about usher jobs, but I did find a name. So I called that individual who very patiently explained that they posted openings for Usher jobs for a very brief time in December, they had so many hits in a 48 hour period that they did not know what to do, so they pulled it off the website, sorted through the applications and started interviews. “I sounded great,” (my words not their, he was probably just humoring me) he said, but they “had all the interest they could handle.” I, like a proverbial Cubs fans, would have to wait until next year.
But it was actually a couple of years, that’s when I had Marshall’s brother Malcom as a student, and it turns out he too was an usher. I admit I caught the bug again right then an there, so when December came, I started watching the Twins website almost daily. Then one day it magically appeared, they were taking applications for usher jobs.
Excited I immediately went online and completed my application, and the wait was on. Of particular note, when they asked how I found out about the job, I found myself listing my students as my references, a humbling experience since I was so used to playing that role for others. Now my references were 20 and 17 years old. However both were excited when I told them I had applied and told me they would contact the Usher Director and put in a good word, which I know they did, because they told me after they did it.
The students were now the masters as they filled me with advice for my upcoming interview. I went to my interview in late December and met with the Director who was very polite, asked me a few questions about my personality and leadership style, problem solving abilities, and how I became interested in the job. When I mentioned Marshall and Malcom, he said, “Yea, I love those guys.” It seems my references would work better than I thought.
In the middle of January I was called and offered the job. I must admit I was excited, especially after I was told of the numbers who applied and who were interview, I felt a bit like I had just survived the “selective college admission process.” I was told I had passed the “background check” (Whew!!) and now I was to come in to take my official photo, present appropriate ID, and bring my social security card with me.
Panic set in. The last time I saw my social security card was when I was sixteen, and believe me, that was a long time ago. I spent that evening searching all my old boxes that contained my high school memorabilia (a trip down memory lane I’ll tell you) and miraculously found it. Wow has my signature changed over the years. Was I even literate back then? Anyway I took everything in to the front office, had my picture taken and now I am ready for training. Eleven hours worth. I can hardly wait!!!