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

The UGLY: Villains and Jokers working at the US Open

The Ugly-est of Ugly at US Open
Read the Good and the Bad.

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.


Ball Kids
First off the commendable and talented young people - especially the ball boys and girls who EARN their spot with hard work.

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


Stupid Fans of Tennis / Sports
Here's a funny one fan who come into the US Open with complete disregard for his fellow fans. Check out: Mr. Clueless Fan with the flip flops. Can you name what's wrong with this picture?

Too many US Open Jobs
If you work at the membership booth, I expect you to be able to find my USTA number quicker than I can looking up Gmail. If you run the bathrooms, please do not be siting in there, watching video on your cell phone while charging and just pretend to stand in the doorway with a trashcan to try to block people from entering.

When I'm ordering food, do you need 3 cashiers standing around who cannot figure out how to turn on one cash register?

NYTimes Article: Where's all the $Millions of US Open Money Going?

My Secret Shoppers and Tennis Bargain Reviewers

I have asked my readers send my pictures of any outstanding individuals, products or booths you want me to post online! They are my eyes and ears on the ground the next 2 weeks. Secret shoppers and eye witnesses.

According to Roger Friedman (writer for NY Times): $2 million dollars/year was paid for private security staff at the US Open.

State of (In)-Security

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.

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