What a whirlwind!
Having just returned from a maiden voyage to baseball's December to remember, (or forget if the schmoozing and boozing carried on too long) this "job seeker" feels the need to decompress.
For those out there who feel our national pastime is a calling to join, the Professional Baseball Employment Organization (PBEO) Job Fair is the phone ringing in Indianapolis.
For starters, Baseball America prepares all the "seekers" during an all day seminar one day before the fair. With speakers ranging from front office personnel to the president of Minor League Baseball and a sprinkling of minor league owners and presidents, information is aplenty.
Mostly, "seekers" are given a dose of reality as to what is needed to join in the world of minor league baseball. Passion, passion, passion, but no one is looking for a fan. They're looking for passion in selling, selling, selling. Being that the PBEO is strictly a minor league job fair, "seekers" learn quickly that if you're lucky, you are entering the world of entertainment.
Getting fannies in the seats is what drives the engine of minor league baseball. The baseball itself and outcome of games is at best secondary. One great piece of info offered by MiLB President Pat O'conner was answering his own question of "what's the most important place in a minor league ballpark?"
His answer: The women's restroom. Why? If the restroom is dirty, mom is not going to be happy. If mom's not happy, she's not going to be interested in going to the ballgame. No mom, most likely no kids. All about the folks enjoying the show.
Now, all you "seekers" are ready to embark on the job fair. Job postings in one room, interviewees selected in another room, interviews conducted in yet another. All aboard the emotional roller coaster.
Do you want to relocate to Corpus Christi, or maybe Johnson City? How about Everett? Now go look up Everett.
Well, that's the deal. Drop your resume into that organization's cardboard box and hope your name appears as one they have chosen to offer an interview.
As Tom Petty sings, "the waiting is the hardest part."
Getting that interview for the opportunity to enter the ultra small, ultra desirable world of professional baseball may come and it may not. In the meantime, wonder the halls, the lobbies, maybe other hotels for that chance encounter. That "30 second elevator pitch" when you encounter a possible employer. One nice conversation and you're back on the top of the roller coaster.
Unfortunately, these chance encounters do not lead to guaranteed or solid leads. Lingo by baseball executives inevitably echoes the phrase, "good luck, and if there's anything I can do, let me know."
Convince yourself not to get discouraged. Passion, persistence and poise can land you in the no pay, long hour world of family entertainment. But this entertainment at its core is the pastime that's presence, past and future is what drives blood through your veins.
Go after it hard. Buddy up if you can. Know that the organization would be lucky to have you.
And enjoy the heck of the hotel lobby talking to those familiar faces that represent, this, "The only real game, I think in the world."- Babe Ruth.