So maybe you’ve been in this racket for 15 years, slinging fliers for AOL and AskJeeves, or maybe your first event was last week getting mobbed over free hand sanitizer samples – irregardless you’ve got some stories to tell. And for those of us who are lucky to have watched ‘Are you afraid of the dark’ when you were a kid, have come to realize the adult version of sitting around a campfire and telling horror stories is just going to a bar. SO – We’ve reached out and gathered these polished gems to present to you in sort of a ‘BA Tales of woe’ bar therapy session. So pull up an old rickety bar stool and grab a glass of whatever you haven’t demolished during this pandemic as these anonymous BA’s regale us with dark tales from the field (this image is complete with that kind faced bartender asking ‘What’s your story, stranger?’ Whilst wiping down a counter until it bleeds.)
‘Abercrombie and Juice’
Many ages ago, in a time long forgotten…when I was still impressionable and open minded to all the potential horrors of the world, I worked a 3 day event for a fashionable up and coming Smoothie company taking the east coast by storm. My fellow BA and myself were asked to literally walk around New York City and ‘cold call’ style approach and ask good looking men to work for said Smoothie company and their minimum wage rate. We didn’t even get uniforms, so in context- you’re walking the streets of New York, probably on your way to your 3rd year salary job at a reputable company and you are approached by two complete wide eyed strangers asking you if you like ‘smoothies.’ Needless to say it was 3 days of constant eye-rolls and harsh looks as we begged potential Abercrombie and Fitch models to work for $13/hr.
‘Pardon me, do you brand here often?’
I was working at a newer liquor expo involving whiskey, not wine, sampling. I successfully dodged broken glass, angry couples, drunk organizers, and some of the worst pick up lines I’ve heard in my life all night, but a taco food truck came to our rescue at the end of the night!
‘Kidnapped at Pershing Square’
It was a morning unlike most. The kind of morning you want so badly to click ‘no’ to. Cold, bitter and complete with ‘breakfast special’ cafe fliers. I handed my first flyer to a smiling man who then proceeded to pick me up and RUN. Yes, run. The other 2 Laners I was with thought I knew the man, but I had no idea who this was. I reacted in the only way I knew how which was to scream, “ PUT ME THE F*** DOWN!”. He dropped me and ran away. The girls came running for me as I sat on the pavement. They said” We thought you knew that man and it was a joke!”. I replied, “Nope”. That’s when it hit me. This man thought I was a bundled up child and he tried to take me to his unmarked, windowless van to kidnap and maybe kill me. Just another day flyering in NYC!
‘I’ll stuff the world and melt with you’
Not all horror stories happen at night. Not all terrible tales come sneaking up on you in the guise of an axe wielding monster. No. Some start out as any other day. Any other hot Southern California Day. Where we BA’s put on our best white sneakers and head to the next great event. And that’s just what I did on this “any other day.” When we arrived in the early AM we were given our duties as the sun was just starting to rise. We were outside stuffing gift bags but… NOT ALL THE CONTENTS WERE THERE! So we stuffed the bags with what we had and put them all in the boxes that we were slowly emptying of their content. The day wore on, the sun rose higher, and the temperatures started to cause those beads of sweat to gather. And just when we were finished and relief was in sight… THE EXTRA CONTENT SHOWED UP! So in the rising temperatures we stuffed again and moved all the bags to a new area and threw all the boxes in a pile like we were directed. And in that moment of triumph at having completed all the stuffing and having sweat through our t-shirts and drained all our water bottles, we were THEN told to move all the bags into a small makeshift office. THEN those boxes we were told to pile up? Yeah, let’s break them down now. Which we did and piled them up…again. But from the insides of the dark little make-shift office we heard a rumbling. The door burst open, a precious few ounces of cool a/c air drifted over to us as we were then told to move that pile of broken down boxes to another area. I melted. A lot. It was the inefficiency monster that got us all. Not a BA was spared.
‘What Nightmares May Come’ or ‘Wake me up before you scream-scream’
Once long ago in the ‘City that Never Sleeps,’ a city complete with bags under its eyes… I worked as a BA for a big mattress company, lets call it Jasper Nap Co (Yup, good ole’ Jasper Nap Co). The company was a part of a large street festival circuit, so every week they parked their giant trailer on a busy one way street and let people take naps on the mattresses as sort of a test drive (yes we changed sheets in between the naps, now pipe down and let me tell the story). So during this one start of a shift, everything that could go wrong, did. Keep these things in mind; the following took place in less than an hour, the Nap Trailer is roughly the size of a Chipotle building, the trailer is made out of crazy reflective metal, and the one way streets of NYC are the wild west. Well, on this particular opening – I had to call a Truck Distribution center to get a driver’s contact info for a Tropicana delivery truck that was in OUR festival parking space…The already late giant Chipotle-building sized Nap Trailer entered on the WRONG side of the one way street, forcing myself and the BA’s to jump in front of cars to push them to go into reverse – allowing for a Chipotle-building sized parallel park…and once the nap trailer was in place I had to climb up on the reflective metal roof to set up the signage…Sweaty? Check. Stressed out? Check. Smiling but screaming on the inside? Check.