Food Service and a Free Game

Prior to the Badger-Iowa game Saturday, there was a chili cook-off with tons of free food held in the field house. Because the event was free, the school decided to use the various sports teams as sources of “volunteers” for the event. For most other sports, the event truly was voluntary – but our coach had promised that we’d get free tickets to the game. Needless to say, everyone signed up. But earlier this week, we found that we’d be unable to get the tickets due to a new NCAA rule this year :p So to make sure everyone would show, our coach made the event mandatory… (continued)

We ended up being assigned to a concession stand where brats and soda was being served. Myself and one other decided we could handle the soda. Prior to the start of the event, we filled about 500 cups with Coke, Diet Coke and Sprite using this 8-tapped (4 Coke, 3 Diet and 1 Sprite) fountain that filled trays of cups pushed along a track in about 30 seconds. We stopped at 500 because we figured we’d be able to keep up the flow of guests….. it’s amazing how wrong we were. Within 20 minutes, the 500 cups were gone and we easily replaced them with some trays we had prepared during the time it took for them to disappear. About 40 minutes into the 3-hour event we began to lose ground on the amount of Sprite – so I took a tray of empty cups and began filling it up manually at another fountain. By the time I had finished that, there were only a few cups of Coke and Diet left – so I had the guy I was working with run a few trays through the big fountain. After the 3 run through the big fountain, the Coke began to lose its color – so I ended up having to change out one of the 12 5-gallon boxes of syrup. By the time I had finished changing one box, another needed to be replaced. I ended up replacing 4 of the boxes before I could go back to madly filling as many cups as I could. The insanity continued for another two hours and by the end, I had learned a few things:
– Straight Coke syrup is amazingly concentrated (one of the fountains malfunctioned – spewing only syrup)
– People are unsanitary idiots. No fewer than 50 people (kids and adults alike) would walk up to the window, take a sip from one cup and place it back.
– People are lazy. Even with an empty trash can no more than 3 feet from the window, people would come up and leave their half-eaten chili, brats and beer right where others were trying to pick up a soda.

After this sequence of trying events, I decided I deserved to get into the game for free. Luckily some of us had discovered earlier that the access cards we were issued to get into the boathouse and the student-athlete academic center worked on any door having to do with athletics. So a group of us went around the outside of Camp Randall looking for a door that wasn’t guarded. We ended up finding a door on the side of the McClain building (where Barry Alvarez gave the press after the game) that took us under the field house and exited directly into an area near an entrance to the student section. The second we exited into the stadium, a security guard stopped us – we quickly flashed our access cards and said we were trainers with the football team. Somehow he bought it and we were allowed to proceed. Now if only the team had won :/

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