Masters of All Trades
Buried deep in the heart of commercialized Washington Road are the rolling hills and budding azaleas of The Augusta National; home of the world famous stop on the PGA Tour, “The Masters”. “The Masters” is a week long golf event hosted exclusively within the gates of The Augusta National. This tournament is no easy show to run. Between stocking golf-shops, feeding patrons, and selling Arnold Palmers, it requires a gargantuan work force of teenagers from all over the CSRA. What follows are real accounts of actual Masters employees; the untold stories of what goes on behind Gate 11…
This first story is my own. The story of a boy who applied for a “regular” job in concessions, but to no avail. The story of a boy who thought he was down for any job he could find. The story of a boy who was wrong. I walked into the International Broadcasting Center with wide-eyes Sunday morning before the tournament began to shake hands with a photographer from Golf Digest. I was destined to be his “runner.” In my mind, this meant getting him a sandwich when he was hungry, making a trip to his car when he needed a cigar, or maybe, at the worst, taking memory cards to and from the IBC when he didn’t want to miss a shot. What I soon discovered was that “running” really meant “following”, and not just following, but “carrying.” Carrying four cameras, three lens, eight memory cards, a folding chair and zero water bottles. Needless to say, I finished each day sun burnt, sore, and seriously regretting ever saying “I’m a cross country runner. I can keep up.”
The next story is that of Junior Hampton Williams. Hampton worked as a “stocker” in the main golf shop. When asked about his experience he said, “The first thing my supervisor said to me when I walked into the storage room was ‘WELCOME TO THE DUNGEON, BOY.’ So that’s kind of how my week went.” Hampton was in charge of making sure the glassware stayed on the shelves. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. You know those Masters Tervis-Tumblers that fill the pantry of every family in the CSRA? They’re considered glassware and they’re a hot item. Imagine Hampton, if you will, as a scuba diver with a box of chum (Tublers) and the few hundred Chinese tourist surrounding him as hungry sharks; then you might have an accurate picture of what he went through every ten minutes or so.
This mauling was observed by the subject of the last story. Junior Zach Bradley in the hats section. Zach had the ever so taxing “job” of listening to a person say a number, pivoting around to grab the hat that corresponded to the number and then hand it to the patron. The patrons don’t buy the hats at the hat counter, but for some reason they need someone to hand them the hats. Zach says, “It can be really tough! Sometimes people yell at you in weird languages or tell you the wrong number. Or you could get dizzy!” and while some (and by “some” I mean “none”) of those things might be (but aren’t) legitimate concerns, he still made a thousand dollars playing middle man between a shelf and a patron.
I don’t tell you these stories to scare you, but rather, to inform you. As you can see, many potential jobs will require you to utilize a wide variety of skills that you might otherwise think unnecessary (see: learning to say “let go of my leg” in Korean). Still, you might get lucky and get put in hat sales or golf cart driving. No matter where you work, there’s no better way to make a thousand bucks in a week than at the Frattiest Place on Earth, the Augusta National.