We left this story when I had to forcefully transition from the Wind Energy group to the Aviation group. But before I deep dive into that tricky and sad story, I will tell you about my very first proper job.
My lass at the time had a friend who worked for a security company. He was a private security guard of some sort, and he told my lass that the job was great for students and the activities were utterly exciting. With that reference I accompanied her to the World Trade Center, office 25 on the 30th floor. Servicios Especiales de Seguridad Lobo was the name of the company. I am sure a few of you have seen those guys! On every concert or event being held at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez, el Palacio de los Deportes, Auditorio Nacional, and few other venues… Basically whatever OCESA produced was covered by those lads.
Anyhow, there we were, in the fancy office of Lobo, my lass stepped in for the interview and after a few minutes, she came out very disappointed that she did not get the job. I was like, “Oh, well, next time you’ll get it, don’t worry…”. We were about to leave the office when the recruiter walked my lass out and when he saw me, he asked me, “You here for the interview too?”, I said, “Not really, just tagging along with her…”. He then said, “Are you sure? You are tall enough to meet the basic requirement for height, I assume you study in the same place as her?”, “Well, yes… but…”. Then she said, “Come on, take the interview, what can you lose?”. Long story short… I walked out of there hired and ready for my training event the following Friday at Palacio de los Deportes.
When I came back home I told my parents the story and they were surprised I was looking for a job, for them a full-time student should not be working to make a living, though we were far from wealthy we get by and honestly I did not really need the money. Further, the job was not even related to engineering at all! I was told I was going to be in every major concert and sports event in the City and I would have the chance to attend all these events for free! You want to know what the funny part was? The salary. I mean these chaps paid per hour, right? And offered zero benefits, no transportation, no health insurance no nothing… And the amazing figure they paid us $50.00 MXN per hour. In an eight-hour shift I would make about $400.00 MXN which is nothing! Considering the job hazards, a taxi back home at the end of the concert, and the extreme activities we were asked to do.
Granted, seeing the concert was great! I had the chance to see, on average, three major concerts every week! I worked there for almost two years during the final years of university, I had to leave the place because of the dissertation demanding way too much time, but I had a blast!
Let us face it when you are 19 you think you can eat up the world… I went to the university, two hours away from my home by subway. Seven am first class, take naps in the yard under the trees like a true hippy, eat at the cafeteria whatever awful snack they had at the time, or munch on some street tacos or giant torta, then, at 3.00 or 4.00 pm, take the subway to the venue. We used to gather outside the Auditorio Nacional, for example, on the big steps to the left of the main entrance, as you can imagine, we were the first there and the last to leave.
We would get information, pass the list and enter the venue, then each team captain would select the individuals who would be part of different zones for every venue, kind of like army battalions. The whole thing was a bit militarized, there were, of course, some crazy-ass kids who truly thought of it like in a movie and utterly enjoyed the uniform, the adrenaline and of course the beatings.
My training day was a Friday, so I was not going to school the next day, I was nervous like a pig in the slaughterhouse. I finished classes and took the subway to Palacion de los Deportes, at Ciudad Deportiva metro station. Introduced myself with Apolo, the main guy of that venue. There were a bunch of us new kids there, many of us were scared others were excited… I did not know what to feel or how to act, I am, by nature, a peaceful chap with no sadistic or violent impulses.
All the new lads were placed on the same team: entrances check-points. What did that mean? Frisking all individuals coming into the venue, depending on the band, it was either upper body frisk, which was great since you do not have to kneel or full body frisk, which was a lot harder. You frisked everybody coming into your door, somebody else would check their tickets and you would look for forbidden items. These items could had been alcohol, weapons, cameras (back then no smartphones), and drugs, among others.
Do you want to know the name of the band on my very first day there? Pantera. You´ve heard of them? Well… I had not, at the time, but considering the profile of people attending their concert they were for sure some sort of diabolical violent hard rock band with drug-loaded violent crazy followers who enjoyed carrying knives, marihuana and tequila on hidden pouches in their backs and bollocks.
I was knackered at the end of the first part of the event! Frisking people, dealing with drunk and high individuals, and overall trying to be polite to an assorted public from the very posh all the way to the more dubious and suspicious-looking lads. Once the concert started most of us were taken inside, and I was in charge of stopping people from passing from section C down to section B. If you have been there, you´ll know there used to be a circular corridor between these two sections. Section B on one side started below my knees, whilst section C on the other side was high up and the floor was about my waist, plus they had a very tall wire fence like a couple of meters up so they were kept in there like chicken in a farm.
At a certain point, the chaps on section C became more and more excited about life and shit, so they started climbing this wire fence with the intention to jump across… I was very scared, they were all older, bigger and wilder than me, and I was all on my own with a tiny torch to flash them and shout, “Hey, you! Get down from there now!” As you can imagine nobody listened to me and nobody came down from the fence. They kept climbing up until one of them reached the very top and was pondering on jumping across. I had to overtake my fear, and I climbed up the fence from my side all the way up until I was face to face with the culprit. I shouted, “You! Come down, NOW!” He was too high to understand what I was saying, and some other chaps started to climb up too, planning on overtaking the fence (and me) and jump across.
I gathered all my inner strength, and punch the lad right on the nose, he fell flat on his back without a squeak. I waited a couple of seconds without breathing until the lad slowly started to recover, luckily, he was OK. All the other lads around him saw that and slowly came down and did not go up for the rest of the night.
That night, people spat on me, they threw beer, and soda and what I believed was pee as well. I wasn´t punched or harmed in any way, but I overheard over the radio of few scuffles around the venue and a couple of mates ended up in the hospital, one with a knife wound and another one with a crushed nose. The music was fantastic and the vibe of being in the middle of everything. Keeping things in order and enjoying the concert at the same time resulted in a great feeling for me. Of course, there were horrid moments and even the conviction of never coming back again to do that… but when I finally made it home, took a shower, and sat in front of the TV at 4 am while having chocolate cookies and a tall glass of milk, my mind was set.
I continued working there for some time, had a bunch of crazy moments, and met tons of famous individuals, since I spoke decent English, I was often chosen for keeping safe international artists while their time in the venue. I attended everything! From the national philharmonic orchestra all the way to the Barney show and Disney on ice. I shook hands with Mick Jagger, got a pat in the back from Bono, and almost shared the stage with Andrea Bocelli. Money was crap and I could not afford to buy anything, but I did enjoy the ride.
That is it, it is all about the ride.