Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Letter to a Rude Guy: How Not To Treat People at a Concert (And What Happens When You Do)

Last week I aggravated an old ankle injury at a show in Anaheim, necessitating the use of a cane. For Bon Jovi’s Staples Center show a couple of days later, I was still on the cane so I used the opportunity to see what it’s like to be a differently-abled audience member (no industry perks, and without venue staff knowing I’m industry). I’d planned to post about that, but first I need to address an audience member who was at that show. At least six people saw what you’re about to read. To any guys reading this,  please be assured this is no reflection on your gender. There were plenty of rude women there, too. This person just happened to be the worst I saw. I wrote this the morning after the show.

Dear Rude Guy in Floor 1 at Bon Jovi Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA, October 11, 2013:

If your behavior at the above-mentioned show is any indication, there’s nothing “dear” about you.

Out of human decency I will do you the courtesy of not mentioning our row number, or your seat number, in a public forum. But don’t think I’m not tempted to. You’re probably lucky I’m the one writing this instead of someone who does not consider the power of his or her words.

In the middle of Jon Bon Jovi’s Circle Stage* performance to my right, you barreled your way down our row to get to Jon, passing in front of everyone in our row without so much as an “excuse me.” As you pushed past, you inappropriately ran your hand over BFF @Jinjer ’s hip area, then knocked my cane off of the back of the chair in front of me, sending my purse flying and nearly toppling me over as I balanced on one foot. Had that chair not been in front of me to grab onto, I would have fallen; the only thing that kept me from it was a hopping lurch toward it on my good foot.

Someone with less mobility would have gone down. Someone with manners would have noticed their error and apologized and perhaps helped the injured party retrieve her purse and cane, or, at the very least, said a simple “excuse me.” You did none of those.

If you’d made a beeline toward the restroom after your loutish behavior, I might have been more forgiving, because you may have been ill. (You looked sober.) But no…

You proceeded to stand in the aisle that was next to me, blocking my view, and then you attempted to crowd me out of my spot in front of my aisle seat and claim my seat as your own. (My seat was a full-price ticket, bought through normal channels, by the way. I wanted to have fun and not feel obligated to “network” so I didn’t even use an industry buy. Your seat was at the other end of our row.) Then you had the temerity to nudge me and smile and try to be my concert buddy while I stood my ground (on my one good foot) and tried to ignore you as I clapped along in support of my favorite frontman.

Oh, but wait…There’s more.

When I shouted in your ear, “I’m balanced on one foot. Please move!” and held up my cane to show you--yeah, the one you never noticed you’d sent flying a minute ago--you ignored me and continued to crowd me while I balanced precariously.

This is why you were at the show without a date. And if you think that trolling Bon Jovi concerts for female companionship is going to help you, you are sadly mistaken.

Do not think for a millisecond that gold Rolex you were attempting to show off by pushing up the sleeves of your cashmere sweater will help you. It won’t.

Do not try to blame my icy glare--some might call it “the stinkeye”--and my lack of any friendliness toward you on the fact that Jon Bon Jovi was standing a mere few feet away. While that certainly wouldn’t help your case, Jon’s not your problem.

It’s you. More specifically, the problem is your behavior and demeanor.

You, sir—note the omission of a capital on that “S,” because you clearly don’t deserve one-- are an ass.

That is why, unbeknownst to you, while you were busy pulling out your camera, I caught the eye of the usher working the aisle, gestured toward you, and gave her the Security “he’s outta here” hand signal. She gave me a nod of recognition and came toward you immediately.

Until that show, it was unthinkable that I’d ever use it as an audience member. Even while working various artists’ shows over the years I’ve only had to use it twice, because most people are truly good people who just get a little carried away. I do admit to feeling more than a little gleeful when I used it on you, however. You groped my best friend’s *ss and nearly knocked me over, remember?

You then proceeded to stand in the aisle pleading with the female usher, which only made you look more asinine (I didn’t think that was even possible). You had no case, and she got rid of you as two members of Security--who’d silently moved in behind you without your ever noticing--stood ready to escort you out as necessary. (As it always does when I see Security move in on someone, the theme from “Jaws” ran briefly through my head.)

Let me guess: you didn’t get laid after the show that night, did you, Rude Guy?

While Security was dealing with you, I just rolled my eyes and shook my head and went back to watching my favorite frontman sing. You know…the guy who inspired me to want a music career in the first place. You know…the career where I learned that signal that made them send you packing.

Ain’t the Circle of Life grand?

And while all this was going on a few feet away from him? Jon, pro that he is, kept singing and didn’t miss a note, despite multiple audience distractions.


“Have a Nice Day,” Rude Guy.


P.S. The ushers and Security were very busy dealing with seat stealers and rude people that night. Thanks and kudos to them for doing such a great job.

Also, Staples Center Guest Services staff, you rock! Thank you for helping me get around that night. You went above and beyond, and you did it with a smile. I wanted to see what differently-abled concert goers really experience, so you didn’t know I’m industry ‘til now… Surprise! :-) Thanks again. I had a great evening, despite Rude Guy’s antics.

“The world is only broken into two tribes: The people who are as*h*les, and the people who are not.”—Arnold Spirit Jr., The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

*For those not familiar with the show, that’s the part of the stage where Jon comes down front with his acoustic guitar to sing a few songs.

©2013 Randi Reed and MusicBizadvice.com
.All rights reserved.