All posts by drlaguna

My Life with UT Football

I have worked for UT for many years. I started working UT EMS back when I was a firefighter; those were often interesting times. Most of the time I was caring for drunk fans who fell. Once I did have a woman go into labor during the game…no the baby wasn’t born in the stadium. Back then UT was very nice to the folks working the game paying them well, giving them rest breaks when they needed it. We work long days 8-12 hours; most days we are there 3-4 hours before game time and leave 2-4 hours after the game ends. Still most of us enjoy being part of the whole thing of helping 100,000+ folks support their team; it is an electric atmosphere.

These days I work with the VIP folks up in the Touchdown Club and private suites….very nice digs. Over the years the attitude at UT has started to evolve to a harder stance against the very employees who work so hard for them. Pay has gone down or not moved in 20 years, benefits have diminished and the attitude towards the little guys is meaner. Sort of like you are so lucky we let you work for us.

In the “old days”  folks would get breaks, they were allowed to sit when the situation allowed, go the restroom when needed, grab some food or drinks/water during your break. We were one big happy family, not so much anymore.

The first thing to go for many folks working during games was no sitting – ever…I am allowed to sit but folks in other sections. no way Jose. Then it was no food – they backtracked a little this season and give out $10 tickets to spend with the outside food vendors, but no eating any of the food in the VIP or hospitality areas…unless you are a UT staff, EMS or Law Enforcement; the rest of us get to watch them eat. Then it was no drinking from the drink containers in the VIP/hospitality area.  We had an Igloo cooler to drink from if they remember to bring one out and refill it when it goes dry, but just one for about 150 of us on my floor. Next it was only one 15-minute break during your entire shift.  You have to eat, go to the restroom and get back to your station in 15 minutes or you will be fired. Just to make it more challenging as of last game we are not allowed to use the elevators . . . I work on the 8th floor. Have you ever tried to run down & back up 8 flights, stand in line at the concession stand, eat, use the restroom all in 15 minutes? Good luck!

UT has taken the new corporate model of employee relations, that is to treat it’s employees as slaves.

I know they say they are just trying to control costs. I mean they have to come up with those $5 million bonuses for coaches somehow 🙂

But here is the catch, I see them throw away tons of food every game and I do mean tons, just dumped. And what really got me yesterday…. I was asked to work extra late to supervise the closing. You know those recycle conatiners you see all over the stadium, because UT is all about being green, it’s a lie. I watched them dump all of the recycle conatiners into the trash..WTF. When I approached a UT supervisor about that I was told “yeah I know, they are supposed to sort it but . . . .”

*A note to Mr. Powers & Mr Dodds, you guys should be ashamed of the scam you run on the folks who work so hard to make you look good on national TV. Instead of throwing all that food away maybe allow your employees to grab a bite to eat of decent food or donate it to a homeless shelter, give your employees breaks long enough to be a true break. Finally if you are going to collect recycleables…recycle them, damn it!

 

I think this is my last season with UT.