Though it may not seem like it to outsiders, the Breslin Arena’s workforce is actually brimming with complicated, Machiavellian politics. Recently, I’ve been moving up the slippery ladder, making calculated ties with the lead ushers and head lead ushers, constantly planning my next move. And it’s paid off–where I was a measly upper-tier usher eight days ago, I was put in the lower-tier position on Thursday, for a concert with “Carman,” a Christian Rock musician who can only be classified as bizarre. And on Friday, for the Ani DiFranco concert, I was a coveted ticket-taker, helping the retirement-age salary-paid folk tear tickets. With ticket taking, you get to leave early and dally around when nobody’s coming–it’s a smooth deal.
But there remain many factors I must consider when making my way up into the usher elite. For example, what part do the Greencoats–security types who look twice as important but do half as much–play in the system? Which of the higher-ups controls position assignments, promotions and raises? And who are the mysterious people known only as “The Browncoats,” who, on rare occasions, can be seen hurriedly pacing by on some important errand?
Now, while one might speculate that position assignment is fairly random, and promotion is a sheer seniority matter, I remain guarded, always ready to play the right card in this ever-present game of skill and chance–for one false step could be fatal.