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Working media charged at the gate

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Big Buckin' agate_monkey, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    I covered a pair of sectional semifinal high school soccer matches last night (don't apologize, I enjoy soccer).
    As I walk up to the gate, there are a few people in line in front of me. Someone makes a comment about the $5 entry fee and the woman taking money says, "That's set by the IHSA; even the media have to pay."
    I thought she was just joking; maybe she recognized me and was trying to ruffle my feathers.

    As I get to the table I say, "Hi, I'm from the Bumblefuck Star."

    Woman: "$5, please. The IHSA says even media has to pay."

    Me: "You're kidding, right?"

    Woman: "Nope, the IHSA said media has to pay too."

    Me: "Well, I'm going to need a receipt."

    Woman: *looks in her money draw, finds nothing, looks all around for I don't know what*

    Me: *pulling out my wallet* "I need a receipt so I can get reimbursed by the Bumblefuck Star."

    Woman: "Fine, just go."

    Me: "OK."


    I later find the athletics director who said, "What? No, you shouldn't be charged. I'll get your money back for you."
    That's when I explained I didn't give her any money and he assured me it wouldn't be a problem on Monday for the final.


    I was just excited I got to use the "I need a receipt" line to make 'em sweat.
  2. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    The state manuals always specify that media do not have to pay for state events ... at least the state I live in.

    The "I need a receipt" thing gets them ruffled enough 99 percent of the time to let you go. Well done.
  3. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    I was in an argument with a woman about paying at a high school basketball game (i was freelancing), and I said, "I'm 26 years old. Do you think I'd come to a (crappy) high school basketball game for fun?" The guy behind me in line was cracking up.
  4. Claws for Concern

    Claws for Concern Active Member

    Media or not, who would pay $5 to see a soccer game anyway?
  5. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    We accept the ticket stub as the receipt. If someone demands we pay, we pay. Most of the area high school leagues/districts/associations have passes they distribute. Some do not. The cost of a ticket is not worth turning into an issue.
  6. Bob Slydell

    Bob Slydell Active Member

    I've had people try to make me pay before. I just ask their name so I'll know who to tell parents caused their kid's game not to get covered.

    I rarely carry more than a few bucks on me, so I hate when people sk for money. But it rarely happens. I did have to pay for a program because school had no roster of its won school available. I may be petty, but that ticks me off. It wouldn't have been as bad if the lady at the program booth wasn't such a bitch about it.
  7. Trouser_Buddah

    Trouser_Buddah Active Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  8. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    They weren't giving tickets stubs. And I can't turn in my stamped hand.

    I wasn't going to turn it into an issue, but I figured I needed to try the "I need a receipt" line. If that didn't work, I would've asked to see the AD. If still got heat, I would've paid and contacted the state association.
  9. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    For places that don't give tickets or stubs, we accept "I had to pay." We trust our folks not to cheat us out of 5-10 bucks.
  10. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Few years back, I'm a stringer and I'm asked to cover a state field hockey final. No credential, of course.

    It happened to be one of those rare days I didn't carry any cash on me. So I get to the gate, and I run into the one group of people who refuse to believe someone toting a tape recorder and notebook was a reporter. I argued with the guy for five minutes. He was just doing his job, so I kind of felt bad, but I was pissed -- partly at myself for not being prepared. I pleaded and pleaded and pleaded. Finally, I just hopped in my car, searched around for an ATM (that wasn't easy, took about 10 minutes) and headed back to the field.

    It wasn't an issue of reimbursement, either, since that paper reimbursed its people pretty well. It was just annoyance.
  11. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    That's a very good attitude, Moddy. Not that I can pull it off, but it is admirable.

    I only really got into an argument over a situation like that once. I was at a smaller suburban paper and I was covering one of our main schools in a first-round playoff game. They had been terrible for years and were making their first post-season appearance in over a decade. I had covered that team five or six times that year, including four at home, so these people at the gate had seen me before. It's the kind of community where you'd be amazed how many people know the preps reporters at the local paper.

    Even with my ID, they wouldn't let me in. The head coach was the AD, so it was a pain to get him to come out and deal with stuff like that. I was about to pay anyway when one of the assistant coaches saw what was going on and called me over. He rolled his eyes at the goofballs at the gate and handed me one of his extra tickets through the fence.

    The ticket takers saw the whole thing, so I did enjoy favoring them with a smirk as I entered.
  12. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    This is not a knock on you OOP or the others but is a point about that attitude in general.
    You favor them with a smirk and they sit there thinking, "fucking asshole."
    It is easier, and pays off in the long run, to smile, be nice and pay. If your paper won't pay you back, well, that's a whole 'nuther issue.
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