Friday, May 16, 2014

In life, it's more fun to participate rather than consume

This thought came up last night, when I was an usher for a musical, the Little Shop of Horrors.  I've never done anything like that before, but a friend of mine had, and said that it was an outstanding show (it was!). So I arranged to be an usher via a few emails. The responsibilities of the usher aren't very taxing - you basically take tickets, and tell people where the bathrooms are. I had to show up an hour before the play for the training, which involved an orientation to the theater, where the men's and women's bathrooms are, and what's not allowed into the theater (glass containers, hot drinks without lids, food). Then I got a little basket for ticket stubs, and started ushering - tearing off ticket stubs, giving out programs, etc. I was in an area that got very few people (Gallery left), so it wasn't too stressful.

I definitely noticed that my customer service skills have gotten rusty - I haven't done much public-facing customer service in a very long time. It takes a whole different set of behaviors that for someone that's introverted like me, take a while to adjust to (greeting strangers, offering them programs, etc).

And the payoff - watching the show! It was a really fun, energetic show, and I got to see it up close - all the ushers were seated in the second row! I've never sat that close at a play before, and it was a real thrill to be able to almost touch the actors.

It's can be more fun to actually participate in something, then just to be a consumer. In this case, it was interesting to get behind the scenes a little bit, albeit in a pretty minor, insignificant way as an usher, than to just buy a ticket and watch the show.


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