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.