VIP’d Off

In the course of performing my job responsibilities, I will sometimes be called upon to 'work an event'.  And this doesn't refer to anything requiring a cat o' nine tails and a lack of pants (although I am available for birthday parties).

What I do is help with checking people into the event.  This is what I was doing in Las Vegas last week:  consulting guest lists, handing out things like wrist bands, badges and resentment.  Don't need no stinkin' badges?  Then try getting into a different party, my friend.  Because this is Aubrey, telling you that if you don't have a badge, she's here to kick your sorry ill-dressed butt all the way to Hooters.

Well…if only I could.  Working the media table requires the three P's:  patience, politeness and pleasantries.  To which I'd like to add a fourth:  Phooey.

Because in Vegas that night I had to help stem the tide of – chiefly unworthy – guests trying to get into our party.  And a more ill-tempered, diva-heavy, slovenly crew I'd never come across.

People.  You are getting into a posh club FOR FREE.  Via some bizarre legerdemain you have procured for yourself an invitation to this party.  Would it have hurt you to have ironed you pants?  Brushed you hair?  To have thought twice about that dress?   To have left that woolen atrocity in your room?

Would it have hurt you to be as patient with me as I was with you?  (You don't think I was?  You walked away with your front teeth intact, didn't you?)

What should I have done differently?  Should I have been honest? 

"Why aren't they letting me in?"
"Oh, the party is only open to press now – it will be officially open in a half hour."
"Oh, the party is only open to people who don't look like they've just come in from a day of fly-fishing."

"We have to wait a half hour?" 
"I'm afraid so."
"I'm afraid you'll have to find a way to amuse yourself.  In Las Vegas.  In a casino.  With bars.  And lounges.  And shops.  Idiot."

"Security won't let these people in.  They're Talent."
"
I'm terribly sorry – go right in."
"I'm terribly sorry – as I didn't know just who the hell they were, I was just about to congratulate them on a job well done in keeping out the rabble."

"Why aren't I on the VIP list?"
"I'm afraid I can't answer that, but this wrist band will give you access everywhere except the VIP balcony."
"I'm afraid I can't fanthom why you're bitching about access to a balcony, when the club is already 53 STORIES HIGH."

"My name's on the list, but why wasn't I put on the VIP list?"
"Let me see if I can call my boss."
"Let me see if a can make myself clear:  because you're a bad person, because nobody likes you, and because you're wearing dirty tennis shoes to a nightclub.  Die now." 

"We're from __________  ____________ ______.  There's 17 of us."
"OK – would you mind stepping aside so my co-worker can continue checking other people in?"
"OK – this is a joke, righit?  And would you mind not crowding over me?  This isn't Hamlet.  I'm not a caludron, and none of you are witches.  Although that girl in the polyester jumpsuit has me wondering." 

Anyway, hopefully this will give you an idea of what went on.  Around 12:30AM the party was over, and security moved in to dismantle the check-in desk, and take back the chairs.  In fact, I think that if I was a little slower getting up, they would have carried me away still seated, like a Jewish bride.

Still, it all worked out in the end.  I visited the club myself, and got tremendously drunk.  

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14 responses to “VIP’d Off

  1. I have been to Vegas several times. Never as a VIP. Just playing the slots and watching the crazy parade of humanity. lol Good job.

  2. oh dear. tremendously drunk sounds almost drunk enough.

  3. so long as you got tremendously drunk, and not punch out anyone's teeth, I'd call the night a success!
    i've also worked VIP event checkin. not quite as bad as your experience but I understand your pain!
    where was the club (53 stories?!?)?

  4. LeendaDLL – it was at Moon, at the Palms Hotel. All blue and silver inside, and a spectacular view outside.
    IG – two martinis (with pomegranate juice, very refreshing) and one kamikaze (my first one, not bad) helped to salve my anguish.

  5. Aubrey, that sounds horrible. Makes me glad I lead a mundane lowbrow life of retail servitude. No one expects wristbands from me and I generally only want to knock teeth out of certain coworkers. I admire your restraint!

  6. I sooo feel your pain. We had a big event at one of the cool art galleries here and it was a must-have ticket. For weeks, my boss was stressing about not going over capacity (fire code and all) and wanted to make sure everyone was checked in and wrist-banded.
    When she finally arrived the night of, the line was snaked around the block, as any kick-ass event should be. She freaked out and stood over my shoulder "We need to let people in! The line is so long! People will leave! Just let them in!"
    I also had a TV person practically sitting in my lap, and her in my ear. If I could have ripped out vocal cords, I would have. I turned to her and said, "You wanted everyone checked in, we're checking everyone in. Waiting makes this that more important to get in."
    Never mind the artists and fashion designers who had their personal lists of invitees who were "with the party" but not on our count.
    Luckily we had a lot of leftover booze my boss deemed not good enough for future events. I had cases of champagne in my kitchen/fridge for months. It's all a trade-off.

  7. Well as long as you were a happy drunk.

  8. Every I know about Vegas I learned from CSI (and a brief two-day visit last year). Therefore I'm pretty sure that at least two of the offensive/badly-dressed/arrogant/ignorant people you had to deal with were later murdered in a freakishly complicated way, no doubt involving one or more of the following:

    a rare poisonous snake
    a car seatbelt
    a brown paper grocery bag
    a bullet made of ice
    a dollar bill impregnated with cyanide
    Gil Grissom would then turn up to investigate, and of course he would interview you and he would do that raised eyebrow thing he does, which is not exactly flirtation but more a recognition that you and he are the only two truly deep, intelligent and worthwhile people in the entire city, and he'll see you later for some very kinky bug-related sex.
    Sorry – did I just accidentally write all that down?

  9. Such a wonderfully trenchant story, Aubrey. You should save these pieces for a book!

  10. Jane, I love you too, but I love Gil more. Every time I visit Vegas, I look for him – and his raised eyebrow, his blue eyes, his slightly doughy figure…but alas, am always disappointed.
    And yes, you did write all that. And now I think you need a bit of a lie-down.

  11. Isn't the Palms where Britney goes when she's in Vegas? That would explain the sensibilities of the party people, I think. Vegas was classier when it was all mobbed-up.

  12. You're a wonder of decorum, Aubrey. Kudos on your restraint.Pomegrante martini? That sounds deelish.

  13. MMB – I just had to do a quick search…and you're RIGHT; she's a frequent guest at the Hugh Hefner suites there and was seen at the very club where I was doing battle.
    JP – How I'd love to have a row of them at my work desk this morning.

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