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When we first heard that we would be working at Busch Stadium, the home of the St. Louis Baseball Cardinals, in a sales competition among the 131 GMTs I was excited. My competitive nature overtook me as I reverted to my primal survival roots of survival of the fittest, or best salesman. A chance to get out of the office and be among the consumers at the most basic level was inviting at first, but excitement waned when the weather forecast came in, predicting temperatures in the 100’s. I’m from Florida, but 100 degrees is freakin’ hot no matter where you’re from.
Weather notwithstanding, you can only begin to imagine the scene; 131 trainees in their early 20’s, most of whom from foreign countries ranging from Brazil to China to Ukraine, converging upon one of the most prototypical American destinations in existence, the baseball park, to serve the masses of Card’s fans their food and beer of choice. At points it was mayhem, at others comedic entertainment, but overall it was just an awesome experience. At first, some were lost in translation, as one Latin American trainee asked customers if they wanted caterpillars on their nachos (jalapeños being the word of intent), and an APAC trainees serving draft beer on ice. Eventually though, we had things running like a well oiled machine, pushing burgers, brats and beers* on everyone with a pulse (*that’s been beating for 21 years). I sported the signature beer goggles as other team members yelled to the passing fans trying to gain any edge possible. In the end, we actually won the competition, averaging over $500 in sales per team member.
After sweating it out for hours, and the Cardinals dropping the ball in epic fashion (18-4), it was great to see the combined efforts of our rag-tag thrown together concession stand selling machine that was “Stand 154”.