When I last posted I was looking forward to peace and quiet. Did I get it? Nope.
First my daughter got into a huge argument with her current (and hopefully soon to be ex) partner that led to him threatening to throw her out late at night so I had to deal with that. She’s okay now by the way.
Second my body decided that I need to be sick from both ends for a day because, y’know, I wasn’t stressed enough to begin with. The best part? It didn’t hit me immediately, my body waited until I was out and about with Mister to suddenly decide that it hated me being actually productive. On the plus side, I got a couple of nice pictures while I was out in the sunshine 😊
Today though, while still not feeling too hot, I got to work a game with Castleford Tigers. I’m not sure who won because I was busy trying to stop children from going bats on the terrace I was working and concentrating on not throwing up.
I’m honestly beginning to believe that the moment the UK gets some sunshine, all the kids decide that it’s the perfect moment to let all their energy and stupid out at once. Combine that with parents getting drunk because it’s sunny and that’s rare and it can lead to all sorts of shenanigans.
Thankfully we managed to keep control for the most part and everyone got out safely and that’s all I can really ask for.
So, apologies for such a huge delay between posts and I hope you’ve had a fabulous weekend!
Yeah, that’s me. I took it like five minutes ago. I’ve had rougher days but I can’t remember when.
I knew it was a bad idea to drink, I said I wouldn’t drink, I promised myself I wouldn’t drink, so what did I do? Yeah.
I didn’t manage to fall asleep until 7:30 and woke up again at 10 to get ready for work. I swear that a small dwarf with a sewerage plant took up residence in my mouth this morning and felt like his brother was clomping around my head.
I’d like to say I’ll never drink again, but that’d be a lie.
Still, being at work for 1:30 and trying to remember what year it was, was fun. It was doubly fun because my daughter was working her first ever shift as security alongside me so I had to pretend to be vaguely normal. I think I pulled it off.
It was an interesting shift because while I was keeping an eye on my daughter’s progress, I was helping deal with stewards who didn’t want to work, three guys who wanted to knock out my stand manager and wanted me to act as a catalyst for a fight and got grumpy when I wouldn’t, and having to run rings around team members who were trying to help but were making things worse.
I feel like death and three cans of energy drink and a meat pie haven’t helped at all. Bollocks.
I’m gonna go find my bed now that I’m home safe because I need sleep and I’m off to my mum’s for Sunday dinner tomorrow so I can check up on her after she had an accident the other day and damaged her knee badly enough to need seven days off.
Today has been one of the longest, most drawn out and batty shifts I’ve had the pleasure of working. Normally we have a very good team working on the Upper Tier stand where I am but today we had some new people working with us and holy hell did I want to play Benny Hill so badly.
There were two in particular that made me laugh. They were working the vomitary next to the doors I was guarding and they took it in turns to go to the toilet. Now, ordinarily that wouldn’t be a bad thing but they were taking turns every five minutes. I’m serious. Me and the stand supervisor began taking bets on whether or not they could stretch the break to six minutes just for some variety but alas, they stuck to a rigid five minute schedule.
My supervisor is a brilliant guy and I always have a laugh with him because he really cares about the people who work with him and makes sure everyone’s okay, including letting me use the lift when my hip goes funny rather than having me walk up five flights of stairs. I really can’t rate that man highly enough!
Anyway, today for the first time I saw him actually go red with rage. I’ve never seen him angry before and it’s something I never ever want to see directed at me!
Needless to say, the two wandering stewards who were too busy with going to the toilet to do their jobs are no longer allowed to work Upper Tier with us again. It’s a safety thing.
Oh and, as an aside, Leeds Utd drew 0-0 with Queen’s Park Rangers if you’re interested.
I was hoping after that, that there wouldn’t be any more problems but no, I’m not that lucky. Traffic was absolute murder tonight. We left the ground at 5pm and have just got in at 6:48pm. Nearly two hours to get home! I was practically foaming at the taxi driver. Normally I’d be chilled out about traffic but the driver barely managed to string a sentence in English together and obviously doesn’t know how traffic works in the UK because he was cutting in, barging across lanes and nearly got us into a smash and that’s before we were even halfway home.
For the first time in a long time, I had an easy night.
It all started with work.
We’d been put to work in a different stand to the one we normally work and weren’t sure about how things worked in this one, given we were used to the other one, but we got given a heads up by the stand supervisor and I spent most of the game as floating relief for the stewards who were guarding the doors and vomitaries (they’re the tunnels people use to get to their seats).
I did have to report one steward unfortunately. I don’t like doing that, it smacks of brown-nosing to me, but the situation was so bizarre that I had to tell the supervisor because it was putting the public at risk.
You see, in the stands, there’s a rule that says you can’t stand up at the back of the stand because it’s dangerous and even more so when you’re working in the upper tiers of a stadium like we were. I’d spotted a few people doing that in this particular steward’s section and went and told him and said he should probably tell them to sit down.
He agreed and I went on to the next steward to see if he needed relief and kept an eye on the one I’d informed people were standing in case I needed to run back and help him. I kid you not, the steward looked me in the eyes and slowly slunk back into the vomitary so that he couldn’t be seen. I couldn’t believe it. He’s a steward, his job is to be visible and available and he hid.
Like I said, I told the supervisor while laughing myself silly trying to explain that even though he hadn’t said anything, that was fine because it was near the end of the game. It was the fact that the guy tried to hide while wearing a bright orange high-vis jacket.
It was like that scene from the simpsons where Homer sort of melts into the bushes and that kept me giggling until we left.
I did get some dirty looks from that steward when we were waiting to be stood down but for once, I didn’t care. People’s safety is paramount to me, I treat it as the most important thing in the world when I’m at work and I’ll make sure the rules are followed to the letter so when I see someone breaking them or not doing their job properly, I’ll say something.
I kind of surprised myself with how much I didn’t care because usually I’m a bundle of nerves when I even think people are looking at me in a mean way so that’s one small victory.
Oh and the score was 1-0 to Huddersfield in case you were wondering.
For some reason though, when I got home, I just crashed. I got changed, managed to eat a packet of quavers and fell asleep and slept right through with no nightmares so today I’m in a really good mood!
Last night I learned that I love Geordie folk. They’re loud, they’re rowdy and they’re a whole heap of fun.
I got quite a few indecent proposals last night from some of the drunker parts of the Newcastle contingent but, for some reason I can’t fathom, they refused to ask Mister’s permission before I’d go on a date with them. Sure he’s 6′ 4″ and built like a tank but that shouldn’t have stopped them.
I despair for modern day Romeos, I really do.
I did have to smile at one poor man who stepped out of the grounds to have a cigarette, not knowing we have a rule about not coming back in. My supervisor took pity on him and allowed him back into the ground after his first mistake but the silly so and so walked out at half-time thinking it was full-time and the game was done.
Yes he did come back, and no, he didn’t get back in the second time. I felt sorry for him but there wasn’t anything I could do about that.
There was another guy who tried to enlist my help in getting his friend into the ground. He was very nice and totally polite and explained that he’d given his friend the tickets to get in, but somewhere between home and the ground, his friend had lost them. Ground rules means no ticket, no entry and I pointed that out.
He was totally fine with it but his friend, who by this time had reached my gate, decided to try and offer me £200 to let him in. I turned it down flat. I earn more than that in a couple of days working festivals so I’m not about to turn around and ruin a good job by taking a bribe. He wasn’t happy but he didn’t get in. Yay for assertiveness!
Then there was a guy who was hastily shoved in my direction by the response teams for drinking in view of the pitch. According to him, his friend had passed him the bottle, he’d had a quick sip before putting it down and that was the moment he was spotted and so he had to be ejected.
He didn’t really like that though and stood by the exit arguing about it. (By the way, it’s never a good idea to argue with response teams, they’re busy with a thousand different things going on, ranging from jumping in to stop fights to helping children find their parents. They can, and will, remove you from whatever event by any means necessary if they’ve been told to and if you hold them up, you’re putting other people in jeopardy).
The response team eventually got tired of listening to the guy about how he’d only had a sip of drink and picked him up bodily and pushed him through the gate. That was fun to watch even though my anxiety kicked into overdrive.
Eventually Newcastle beat Huddersfield 3-1 and the game ended with a bunch of happy away fans. I was glad about that considering I was working among them!
Today is a day of rest and my daughter is coming around to watch movies with me later and I’m really looking forward to it. All I have to do is contend with Mister who, for whatever strange reason, has stated that I should call him Lord Stormageddon. I could get behind that but he was walking round with his underpants on his head a minute ago and it’s hard to really respect an evil overlord that does that 😂
So yesterday was a nice day off, despite my daughter crashing harder than a five year old who ran out of sugar. She did eventually wake up and I got another whole half an hour with her before she shot off to do whatever it is she does when she’s not working. She’s coming back tomorrow though so that’ll be nice.
Tonight though, I’m working again. This time it’s a football match (I won’t say where or who until tomorrow because, y’know, security). The away club has a reputation for being a little bit batshit. And by little bit I mean that they’re known for getting into scraps in the stands, in the halls, in the toilets, in the car parks and anywhere else they can find.
I’m not looking forward to it.
To give you some idea of how bad a reputation these guys have, we have to be at the stadium three hours before kick off to secure everything and make sure there’s nothing even remotely resembling a weapon available to them (although I’ve heard stories about them ripping the backs off of the bolted down chairs to use in the past when nothing else was available).
I just hope I don’t get put on the seg line when the match is over.
The seg line, or segregation line, for anyone who doesn’t know, is the huge line of stewards and police outside the stadium that kind of funnels the away fans towards their coaches and keeps them separated from the home fans to try and stop fighting. It doesn’t always work and sometimes stewards get clobbered while still trying to get the fans away safely.
I’m crossing everything it’s not as bad as I’m sure it will be.
For now I need to get changed and get my gear together for it so I’ll leave it here and update tomorrow with how bad, or good, it was.
My eyes are open, I’ve had coffee and I’m even talking. That means I’m alive, right? I certainly feel like I’ve been dragged through the hedges a bit and poor Mister has hurt his shoulder at last night’s game.
Before the game even started, we were on car park duty which isn’t much fun when drivers are growling at you because they want to get in and you only have so many spaces to manage it with, but my friend was with me so we spent a lot of the time in between parking cars having a giggle about life, the universe and everything and one guy who drove the coach for the away players brought me, Mister and my friend a flapjack each.
I swear, I could wax lyrical about that flapjack. It was like my childhood had come and smacked me dead centre of the forehead and then teased my tastebuds with the promise of heaven. The three of us talked about it for ten minutes it was that good!
When the game kicked off, we moved inside to work on the terraces which, up until last night, had sounded like some mythical creature that involved fun and adventure and possibly a sword. Well, not the sword but still, as I’d only ever worked outside the stadium until last night, I wanted to see what the fuss was about.
Me and Mister got set to work the family area which usually just involves telling people they can’t smoke in that bit and they just have to move two feet to the left or right. Unfortunately, the away team were having their asses handed to them. That meant the crowd was way rowdier than usual.
We did have a giggle with the group of girls we nicknamed the Tanned Teenaged Trio because they were rather obviously attempting to flirt with Mister and he was a little squicked out considering they were no older than 14 and he’s 29 next month. In the end I felt sorry for him and told him to give me a kiss in front of them which got me more than one glare but at least the heat was off him.
About 35 minutes in, another steward came rushing by and Mister was dragged over to another part of the terrace while I was left to fend for myself with a group of around 15 boys who were about 12 years old and determined to chant their little hearts out.
Somehow I managed to get them on a timer for chanting so that when there was 20 minutes left, they got one chant, at 15 minutes they got another and at ten minutes they got two chants before giving up for the night. They were good lads although very cheeky. I told them chant time was done so they immediately started chanting, ‘be quiet for the steward!” For about five minutes.
Thankfully at that point I had to go stand pitch side with Mister who was nursing his shoulder and ended up having a nice game of high five with a four year old girl who was attending her first game ever and was adorable as anything.
Finally, after the home team won 66-10, everyone started filing out.
Once the stands were clear, I asked Mister what was going on with his shoulder and he told me he’d had to dive into a fight because a teenaged away fan was having his backside handed to him by three home fans and one of them had managed to get a punch or two in at him.
I was so glad when we were finally stood down because it was one of the hardest rugby games I’ve worked.
You’d have thought that’d be the end of the fun and games, but no. We ended up having to wait half an hour to get out of the car park and the traffic was horrible! We finished our shift at 10pm and should have been home around 10:45pm but didn’t actually get back until 11:45pm by which point I didn’t care about anything but getting into bed.
That was the last I remember until my daughter woke me up at 10:30 by ringing me and telling me that she was going to be visiting and was already on the bus. Yay. I love her to bits but being half-asleep, I had no clue what year it was, never mind what she was trying to tell me.
About an hour after that she called me to tell me that the ‘shortcut’ bus she’d taken had dropped her off far from where we live and so we spent half an hour directing her over the phone while using Google Maps on Mister’s phone.
Poor thing looked half drowned when she walked in thanks to the rain.
I think she must be tired though because she managed a half an hour of conversation before she fell asleep on the settee. I’m letting her have another hour and then I’ll wake her up so her sleep pattern isn’t ruined.
So, there you have it, last night’s game and today’s wake up call 😊