Once in awhile, when I go to see my husband play a show, I sell merch for the band. I sincerely enjoy doing this, as over the last few years of bartending I’ve grown to LOVE meeting random people. Sometimes even the grouchy jerks.
Yesterday, the band was at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, which is only an hour’s drive from Nashville. I knew that with it being a show on-base that going just to go was pretty much not going to happen, but if they needed a merch girl I was available. If not, that’s all right. I have over two weeks of photos to edit, anyway. BUT, I was super happy that they did need a merch person, and I got the call to do it.
Now, my truck is the cleanest on the inside as its been since we bought it. I had no idea what to expect when entering the base, so if they needed to search my truck they really didn’t need to go through empty to-go cups and months worth of gas receipts.
Luckily, after some unexpected logistical changes, it all worked out that I had the tour manager with me and all I had to do was give them my driver’s license to get on base. WHEW!!
I hit the ground running as soon as we got parked, as they had opened the gates early and there were already a lot of people around looking to buy merchandise. I was thankfully relatively busy from the time I started to the time we tore down to head out.
Now the highlights of the day:
- Being introduced during the show as being “from the great state of Texas!” — something I only heard in the background as I had a line of people wanting stuff at the time. But I DID hear it, and it made me smile.
- Military guys GET the importance of respect. I was called, “Ma’am” all day long, and it made me beam every single time. It was NOT an age thing (even though I probably was about *cough*10*cough* years older than a majority of them) but a total, “This is how you talk to a woman,” thing. And I loved it every single time.
- Met a guy who grew up maybe 10 miles from me, which was pretty crazy for both of us to realize.
- Big & Rich turned “You Shook Me All Night Long” into a country shuffle and as wrong as it was, it was so awesome that I want it recorded and on my computer RIGHT NOW.
- I was reminded that Pepperoni Pizza Combos are a totally legit dinner food.
- I sold out of the awesome hoodies that we sell and that I practically live in myself.
Now for the parts of the day that made me chuckle and shake my head:
- “I want that one!” *points* “Which one?” “That one! Right there!” “The blue t-shirt or the brown one?” “No, the grey jacket!” “Oh.” Note: Please be more specific on what you want, because when you point, Merch people can’t tell which one you mean exactly and then we just all get frustrated.
- “So are the kids games going to be here tomorrow?” “I don’t know…” “Is there anything to do around here for kids?” “Really, I don’t know…” “Do you have a program?” “No.”
- “$25? Can I just give you $20?” “No.”
- “Is he coming out to sign autographs later? The opening act did.” “I don’t think so.” “Why not? Can you call and ask someone?” “No, I can’t. I really don’t think there will be any open meet & greet after.” “Should I just hang out over here after he gets done just in case.” “Whatever blows your skirt up.”
- “Hey you can run credit cards!?” “Yup!” “Really?” “Hey this ain’t no dog and pony show!” “Huh?” *sigh*
- “Any way I can get this autographed?” “Will this shrink?” “Do you have it in another color?” No. Maybe. No.
I wonder if ppl that stand in front of the Merch table for 20 mins staring at the display stand in front of the fridge with the door open?
— TheMerchDude™ (@themerchdude) May 16, 2014
I seriously had a blast. Ironically, after I got home and I thought about the day, I realized that while we were at the same venue all day, my husband and I saw each other for MAYBE an hour and a half, and that was mostly because we were able to grab McDonald’s after the show together. But you know, I wouldn’t change ANYTHING about the day, and I honestly can’t wait to do it again.