Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Deciphering The Meaning Of The Strange Black Curtain, And Getting To The Bottom Of The Unfriendly Security Guards At The New Yankee Stadium

Andrew over at Scott Proctor's Arm was the first in the blogoverse to wonder about this strange choice of decoration for the field level concourse at the new Yankee Stadium around section 120a/120b:

Like many others who passed by, we just thought it was there to protect the best views in the house. After all, why would the Yankees offer the average fan, unable to afford the upscale "Legends" seats, the opportunity to see such a great view?

It turns out that the black obstruction affectionately known by some stadium workers as "Shaq's shower curtain," is actually there as a "fielder's eye" for the infielders. Apparently, the way that the field level concourse at the new Yankee Stadium was built causes the ball to get lost among the fans passing by, so the curtain had to be erected. As always, we are skeptical, and still think part of the reason is to prevent too much gawking.

Speaking of prevention, we got in touch with a security guard at the new Yankee Stadium who told us that a lot of the mistreatment of fans has to do with ambiguous instructions from supervisors. Apparently, one security guard in the vicinity of "Shaq's shower curtain," is responsible for guarding his section, but also for guarding the curtain, making sure that fans don't peek around it. This kind of double-duty in a brand new stadium can easily lead to worker frustration, which eventually leads to confrontations with fans. Add into the mix that these security guards aren't making very good money, and you have the recipe for some very unfriendly security.

That being said, as low paying of a job as is, it is still a highly desireable one. After all, if you could afford to, wouldn't you want to be able to stand around and watch baseball games for a living? We have all seen the ecurity guards who are into the game and cheer for the home team. These are the kinds of security guards that the Yankees need.

One Yankee Stadium ticket office employee wasn't too pleased with the attitude a Yankee Stadium security guard displayed during a stroll around the publicly attended park for the first time. Speaking about the awkward situation, this employee told us, "I had a I guy give me a hard time and I work here (if he's a problem again I'll certainly be taking his name, as I'm sure there's plenty of friendly folks that would love to have a job in security)."

Things might have to get worse before they get better at the new Yankee Stadium. It very well might take fan uproar for the Yankees to realize that they need to employ security guards who possess the proper balance of protection skills and human relations skills.
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