US Open: The Ugly side of the US Open - what to avoid!

Tip: Look for the Good and the beware Bad.


Check this out: Mr. Clueless Fan with the flip flops.

CHALLENGE: Can you name 3 things wrong with the picture below??

*The Clueless Fan* (yes, I know we've all seen them before...)
Here's a funny one fan who come into the US Open with complete disregard for his fellow fans.

Surplus of bad US Open Jobs
If you work at the USTA membership booth, I expect you to be able to find my USTA number quicker than I could by simply looking up Gmail.

If you run the bathrooms, please do not be sitting in there, watching video on your cell phone while charging and just pretend to stand in the doorway with a trash can in the way to try to block people from entering.

If you are an usher, be a good docent and guide of Tennis. Just by telling people to leave and yelling at kids like a Soup Nazi isn't your whole job. From the Sound of it, you don't enjoy it. Well, let me say there are lots of other people who would be happy to do your job instead - step aside.

When I'm ordering my food at the food court, do you really need 3 cashiers standing around who cannot figure out how to turn on one cash register? How about you give me just 1 single competent cashier.

NYTimes Article: Where the $ Millions of US Open Really Going?

State of (In)-Security: Contracted Hoodlums

Rising prices for USTA annual memberships and organizational member fees I pay do not seem to be recruiting any talented USTA staff. Most of them are not-tech-savvy at all and who have NO CLUE about marketing. Yet annually, the US Open spends $12+ Million on marketing expenses!

In fact, I usually see 2x-3x more USTA staff just standing around than doing actual work. That includes in the bathrooms, staff, ushers, security and guest service folks who actually will snatch money out of your hands when you're going through the bag check area.

Be careful with your possessions! Even the US Open staff cannot be trusted to be professional (more on this later...part 3 of the Ugly).

One of many Bullies working for Guest Services at US Open this year. Probably not getting paid enough, so has resulted in several instances of staff reportedly taking bribes and stealing at access control points around the stadium. This one was at the East Gate near the NTC.

Gregory Y. Rabener, 40 Cheslan Ct, Oceanside NY:
"This is MY property now...I may or may not give it back to you..."
After refusing to return my property pass, money and paper receipts stuck to my daily access media wrist band.

Guest Services Employee "Randi" warned by ATP ref 3 times! Stop walking during play at Court 17.
Not sure where they hire these "guest service" employees from.
If you don't know tennis etiquette - find another job you bum!
US Open staff hiding at the back of Grandstand and Court 8.
Again, you see these Staff sitting around or sleeping (on the right) at important checkpoints.
Zero accountability by the supervisors who let this behavior happen daily!
Big question to US Open: Where are the Supervisors?!

What are they doing to fix this? Worst they have many of them just sitting around to collect a paycheck. I recommend hiring competent staff / reduce the numbers of redundant positions. Or find volunteers who *love tennis* as they do at the Cincy Open and do a better job for FREE than most US Open paid employees.

Several times there are Ushers who know little or nothing about tennis. They simply stand there giving fans the evil eye all day long - especially those working in the P1-P5 areas. Occasionally at P5 there were some helpful ones that could actually identify the player playing and offer helpful suggestions. I tried to do this for a few fans who came up to me: "who's famous here"? I pointed out Monica Puig (Gold Medalist for Women's Doubles). Unfortunately, the Usher standing there was surprised as the young fan who asked the question. Let's get some knowledgeable

Don't be rude, know that we see you hiding there...
I want to highlight the staffers who are going the extra mile. But for those who are treating my fans with disrespect - I have no patience. Not even in NYC, there's no excuse to be rude and unprofessional at an important tennis event shared by the world.

In my book, you don't get away with being a jerk or stealing patron's hard earned money. Period.

Wall of FAME: The Brave Ball Kids of the US Open

I have to try to end on a positive note here. The Ball Kids.

Let me highlight these commendable and talented young people - especially the ball boys and girls who EARN their spot with hard work and for free.

Volunteer Ball Kids! Proud to make it out of Try-outs :)
Super eager to run down the balls and full of energy for the game.

I respect a Meritocracy where they had to compete to get their spot.

Competitive Tryouts can last for days, and the chance to help out is their biggest reward.

Instead all around the grounds, what I saw was overstaffed positions of US Open Staff (sometimes 6 people to do 2-3 people's work).

Worse of all, most of the Ushers were clueless to answer even basic questions related to their job. They are there just for crowd control and not helpful at all.

1 comment :

jschaff said...

HELL YES!!! I have had my share of shitty interactions with workers at the US Open. One year at court 17, one of the ushers blocked my view of a Donald Young five setter, in the fifth set. ON PURPOSE!! I was completely angered and yelling at the guy to move aside so we could watch from the line waiting to come in.

And as a Life Member I think I have shown my committment to the USTA. And they advertise a special gift for life members. Each year I go see what it is. It's usually a lapel pin or one year it was a Venus Williams fridge magnet. REALLY!!! Pretty weak. Maybe they should just let Life Members enter the venue at the credentials line or some kind of value add that costs NOTHING. That would make us feel a little special and they wouldn't have to spend a dime. Not even on a lapel pin.

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