Monday, October 22, 2007

Hot Dog, Anyone?

Friday night was wrestling parent concession night. For those of you who haven’t been blessed with this activity, it means that last Friday was the wrestling parents’ turn to help sell concessions during the Friday night Varsity Football Game. We didn’t actually volunteer for this job. The parent liaison called our home late one night and my husband caved in. You know how it goes-every parent in a high school booster club has to do their part.

There were twelve of us in there, each given stations. Some had ‘nachos’. Others had ‘popcorn’ or ‘Gatorade’. Another was the runner, passing hot dogs and pretzels to the ticket windows. One poor gal had the thankless job of hot chocolate maker (it was cold and windy on Friday night). My husband and I were given Window #2.

The job was pretty easy. Basically, tons of people line up, tell us want they want, we make sure they get it, and take their money and give them change.
That’s how it was supposed to go.

In reality it was like something out of an old Saturday Day Night Live ‘Cheeseburger!’ episode. Things moved at a frantic pace. Tom and I each waited on kids and parents and got pretty good at yelling out orders. Well, enough to do any diner waitress proud. It was noisy. It was windy. I had to be loud. “Two hot chocolates, one popcorn, one walking taco, and a Pepsi!” And then I had to add it all up in my head. And give correct change.

Of course, we had lots of people who changed their minds. Two popcorns. No one hot dog. No, two pieces of pizza. Don’t even get me started on the kiddos with one wadded up dollar in their hands and twenty kinds of candy bars to choose from. The game finished at 9:45. We got out of there about 10:30-anxious to get off our feet and drink some hot tea. I had lost my voice during the last two minutes of the game!

What did I learn? 1) All of us parents, no matter what we do for a living, can come together and make a stand run like clockwork. No egos can be involved in the tricky dance of delivering three plastic containers filled with steaming cheese sauce and over-flowing nacho chips to antsy eight year olds! I got pretty good at telling the president of our local bank to hurry up with the purple Gatorade.

2) Kids, by and large, are polite. They stood in line and didn’t push and shove. They asked for their order politely. They said thank you. Even the kids who wore letter jackets. Even the kids with the earrings through their eyebrows. Even, uh, my kids.

Finally, I learned what I sometimes forget-that there’s a whole lot of volunteers out there who work really hard and deserve my thanks. So, here’s to volunteers!
This week, I’m going to rest for a little bit—finish a book! Because, well, the spirit sale is next weekend and I’m on the list for that, too.

Any one else have a volunteer story?


Jennifer said...

Good for you for finding the best in volunteering in the cold. I've had to work concessions too, but I'm lucky, my girls play volleyball so we got to work the nice, warm kitchen in the gym. I don't mind working the concession stand, but I really wouldn't be crazy about the cold. I know, wimp, I admit it. :)


Anonymous said...


The stand actually ended up being the warmest place to be. Everyone was pretty chilly sitting in the wind. How fun to watch your girls play volleyball!


Heather MacAllister said...

I was once known as the nacho queen. Then I became a swim meet stroke judge for years.

The most harrowing moment was being asked to judge the All-Stars. We had to walk out on a two-foot wide floating barrier between pools and stand where we'd judge the turns. The big kids would make it shake. When it was time for relays, we had to make room for two swimmers per lane. Right. I did not fall in, surprisingly.

Anonymous said...

Heather, My daughter's been swimming for six years. The only job at the meets I ever do is time. Yikes! on judging strokes! Double Yikes!! on standing on the floating barrier! I'm fairly sure I would have fallen in within minutes!


Danny said...

I had a similar, though less frantic experience once, my high school musical theater class sold snacks during a basketball tournament or some such... I feel your pain, though :)

Jennifer said...

Glad to hear you kept warm in the kitchen. If I'd been there, I'd have volunteered to work the grill just to stay warm. Yep, I hate the cold.

The coldest I've ever been at the girls' volleyball games was at the state tournament. It's always at the end of October. This particular huge gym had no heat (no one there knew how to turn it on) and for some unknown reason they had the doors open most of the evening. It was so cold my feet were numb by the time they finished playing. I'll never forget that night. Next time I go to states, I'm dressing in layers no matter the forecast. *g*

catslady said...

I volunteer at the American Legion. Things I've learned - you can't please everyone and parents are usually the problem and not the kids lol.

Anonymous said...


That's good advice, for any situation!


Lily said...

I don't volunteer much... work too much, though I find it a great thing!