Sunday, September 20, 2009

Opening Day as Seen By Jon, the Marketing Intern

Opening Day as Seen By Jon, the Marketing Intern

I am sitting at my desk after quite a hectic morning of interviews and tasks. That’s to be expected, as our entire year revolves around these seventeen days. Almost the entire summer I am used to looking out and seeing an empty parking lot filled with a few dozen cars. Now I look out and see hundreds of people passing my window almost every few seconds. They’re fairgoers. Everyone who was willing to take some time off from school, work, or not in either one of those and had some free time, seems to be here. I see wheelchairs, baby carriages and backpackers. It’s a quite a stark contrast to the emptiness I have grown accustomed to. Right now there is a huge chipmunk, our mascot BiggiE, waving to a couple of people.

The entire structure of my job has changed. Things have gotten a whole lot busier with new and more exciting tasks. Right now I can hear an R & B Band playing on the Court of Honor Stage. Everyone who is here at the Fair, is here because they want to be, especially the fairgoers, employees, and who knows maybe even the sea lions and elephants. Running around and doing errands is something that I am really starting to enjoy about this new atmosphere, it gives me a chance to explore the fairgrounds and the people who make this Fair a reality; it gives me a very personal view of the Fair. It’s more than just a business, a job, or even a career. It’s about the people behind each of these things. This Fair is the people. those who, like me, this Fair is the first one I have ever worked at. Or maybe others who have been here for thirty or even fifty years. It’s about us, it is us. We are the Fair. We make it breathe, make it into more than just an idea on a wall and into a tangible event that draw over a million people.

We give it life in a way that an average amusement park, or even Disney World lack altogether. This isn’t just “a job” to us. We consider The Big E ours, a part of us and that each and every one of us who contributes to the Fair has a stake in, a part ownership in. We do our jobs with a sort of passion that is lacking on the bland expressions you find at one of the other “attractions.” It’s because we’re local and special. It’s because this day is just as special to us as it is to the fairgoer, we only get seventeen of these days rather than a whole season or year. This Fair, The Big E means something to us. We are about it.

We’re more than just co-workers here, we’re a fair family. We know everything about each other in a way that only years of companionship can procure from people. At the employee orientation about a week ago, it was more like a family reunion than an orientation. There were no bland expressions or bored dispositions. Everyone was in a very jovial mood, like they were seeing old friends, because in fact they were seeing old friends. It was a party, not with friends, but with family.

I guess this Fair is more than just a fair, it has become something more to each and every one of us, it’s become a part of ourselves.
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