The first time is always tough.
I can understand why I didn’t get to audition for the public announcer job at Petco Park on Saturday. There are only so many hours in the day. I wasn’t planning on getting there by 5 am, or 6 or even 7. My son had a little league practice at 8. Sorry dream job, but my son takes precedence every time.
Just for the record, I parked my car at 9 am and it likely took 5 minutes to get the back of the leviathan-like cue. That made me 5 minutes late, I suppose… so shame on me, I guess.
I didn’t mind the line, either. I talked baseball with some guys. A radio personality was in line in front of me and he told stories about crazy things that had happened on air. Good stuff. I brought my iPad. I played Candy Crush, tweeted and read Padres articles. Life was good.
11 am rolled around and I could see the home plate gate or, as I thought of it, the first step toward glory. A very nice lady in a Padres shirt came out and started handing out pieces of paper with instructions on how to submit our applications online. I’m sorry ma’am, but 95% of the reason why I am here is to hear my voice on the PA system at my favorite sports stadium on this planet or any other. This nice lady then explained that the audition process can’t go on all day and they will cut things off within the next 150 auditions or so. I’m still not panicking because I did a quick estimate and there are only 100 people in front of me. It’s all good.
Now I am making the right turn to head in the home plate gate. People inside are gleeful. That will be me before too long. I start going over in my head how I will say “Everth”. Is it “EV – reath” or is it “EV – rith”? Will they make me say “Quackenbush?” Because that would be awesome!
There are literally only 15 people in front of me. I turned off the iPad so I would be ready when they ask for my name. I cleared my throat a few times, you know, in case the audition starts when you give your name. Should I make up a name? Maybe I can be something cool, like “Jack Power” or “Hank Macho”.
That’s when the same nice lady told us that, in order to make sure everyone who entered the stadium got the chance to audition before the event was over at 4 pm, no one else was allowed to enter Petco Park. Hmm.
I’d like to say that nearly 3 hours standing outside Petco Park is how I like to spend my Saturday mornings. Unfortunately, unless I am waiting for box seats to a Padres game, it is not.
Here’s the only real fact I take umbrage with: why did the Padres allow 200 people to stand outside the stadium for as long as we all did, without sending them home? The solution would be as simple as sending out that same nice lady to stand at the end of the line at 9 am to explain the audition is at capacity and that all late arrivals can go home.
I still love you, Padres. I give you the benefit of the doubt and assume the problems this morning are caused by a lack of practice in holding public announcer auditions, and not a lack of compassion for people standing outside your stadium all morning.