...And an Instance of Inhospitality
The least hospitable spot of the SBWFF was the Media Hospitality room, where complimentary tickets to media outlets were doled out. The cluster of FIU student volunteers and a BrustmanCarrino PR rep were pleasant enough, even if the latter exuded all the cheer of a mortician. But they were not particularly hospitable -- as in my dictionary's definition of "Welcoming guests with warmth and generosity. Fond of entertaining. Well disposed towards strangers." Here is why I say this:
Upon entering the small room, first thing you came to was a large
circular table where the workers sat and ticket exchanges took place.
Beyond this, off to the left, was a much smaller table spread out with
a platter of sandwiches, a plate of fixings (lett, tom, pickle spears,
etc.), a bowl of chopped salad, and a two-tiered cake stand filled with
brownies. While at the Bubble Q prep at the Miami Beach Convention
Center prior to picking up my tickets, I was told there would be
food and coffee at the media room. So after snagging my tix, I took one
of the few empty seats in the room and proceeded to eat a turkey
sandwich, a chicken salad sandwich (they were small), and a taste of salad. Then I wrapped a brownie in a napkin to go. This food is supposed to be our perk, so to speak, but most writers and media types weren't aware of this. As I sat and munched away
-- very nice late morning snack! - four media tpes entered within minutes of each other. Each one was greeted, asked
to sign for the tix, was given their tix, and then left. Not once did
any of the workers around the table offer anyone a bite to eat or
beverage or cup of coffee (although the workers themselves were
partaking). And I hereby apologize to the Burger Beast,
who was one of those who entered the room while I dined -- I wanted to
offer you something, but I'm never anxious to shed anonymity. Plus I
wanted to see if they would let you leave without saying something such
as "Hey Sef, wanna cup of coffee?"
Just as well they didn't. There were two urns of hot brew, but no cups,
and when I asked if there were any, a couple of people
shook their heads left-to-right; nobody offered to get any. They were engrossed in watching the television set.
Welcoming guests with warmth and generosity? Fond of entertaining? Well disposed towards strangers? I don't think so.
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