Thursday, October 14, 2021

My First Seattle Job

I love how woodsy my neighborhood is in Kirkland. It's like the best of both worlds: I can see lots of trees but live in a city and can also get a damn fine boba tea two blocks away.

The fall leaves don't stick around long with the constant rain battering them.

As I mentioned in a previous post I applied to several open positions at the new Climate Pledge Arena. I took a swing at like ten different jobs that didn't sound too terrible. All but one were technical: guys that work in the control room, operate the scoreboard, work the cameras, operate the equipment that makes the instant replays happen, etc. The last was a "Hospitality Ambassador" which sounded the most risky in terms of possibly being horrible, but was a departure from my day job so could be cool? I had two interviews, one for all of the tech jobs at once and one for the hospitality thing... and of course I got the hospitality job. The listing made it sound like it might not suck, I don't know. Why not give it a whirl?

"The Hospitality Ambassador will actively seek opportunities to provide exceptional VIP level concierge service and create unique experiences to a specific clientele group within Climate Pledge Arena. Think of your best hospitality experience and help us recreate it for our guests!"

Some of the work at least made it sound like I could learn more about Seattle, which was a main reason I was interested in the first place.

"Work closely with in-house departments and third-party vendors, including Food and Beverage, Merchandise, Parking, Security, Housekeeping, and Premium Sales to best facilitate and accommodate guest requests and resolve issues.
Provide concierge reservation service for all guests, including local Seattle restaurants, attractions, ground transportation, tours, etc.
Identify opportunities to create memorable experiences for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries & other celebrations."

I think I figured at least if it was some kind of bell hop whipping boy at least it was one for fancy people.

We had a couple of training days and watched plenty of powerpoint presentations. One memorable bit was a few clips from a little hockey puck man teaching us the rules of hockey. That was actually pretty helpful for me. Another was a stop motion video of all of the work that has to happen in order to turn the floor of the arena from a hockey rink to a basketball court. It's a pretty serious operation.

We got a tour of the not yet finished Climate Pledge Arena. They were pretty anal about no pictures so I don't have much to report about that. It looked like an arena that had a whole lot of work that needed to be done.

It's kind of a weird name for a sports facility, I will admit. Amazon actually bought the naming rights and instead of naming it after itself, it decided to bring attention to fighting climate change which I think is pretty cool. The venue is supposed to be the first zero-carbon arena in the world, powered exclusively by renewable energy including both on-site and offsite solar.

Inside was a madhouse. I think all of the dust kicked up from construction was setting off the smoke detectors because they were annoying going off constantly. Someone told us that when the place is finished that they would flush all of the toilets at the same time to make sure that the building could handle the stress. I accepted that as truth at the time but in hindsight it seems like an awful lot of toilet flushing personnelle would need to be available at the same time and very coordinated for this to actually happen. We were also told that a signature scent was going to be pumped in through the HVAC system and would smell like the woodsy scent of the Washington outdoors. I felt like I could smell it, but there was also a lot of woodworking happening around as well.. so the smell could have been actual wood.

There is a club type area pretty high up sponsored by the Mo√ęt & Chandon champagne company. It wasn't quite finished yet but was pretty fancy. I guess the deal there is you buy a table for the year and then you can sit in it for any event you want all year? Something like that.

We were told that the only service animals allowed in the building would be dogs and mini horses. Why oh why have I never seen a mini horse service animal. Really I'm down to see a mini anything. A miniature service monkey would be cool. Like a little lemur or something.

They provided an orca mass transit card to help us with our commute. I thought that was pretty cool.

I think it's a pretty slick looking area from the outside anyway. What a strange adventure I'm about to embark on.

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