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Press Release

Monday
Apr232012

Release April 24, 2012

This is a baseball story of a different kind. The only thing I can promise is no ball park metaphors. I will not strike out nor will I hit a home run. This is my story of the 2011 Major League Baseball season, inspired by real events.
     It's my experience, a laid-off older career woman reinventing herself as a Tampa Bay Rays team shop girl. I will follow the season in my own athletic wear shoes. 
     As hard as it was to free-fall from a decades-long career as a journalist to a shopkeeper, taking arbitrary orders from condescending supervisors, I found surprising fulfillment working in the ball park. I waited on mostly happy customers, bagged lots of cotton T-shirts and dragged myself home at night - often with memories of funny, touching moments.
     And when very often push came to shove, I usually responded in a manner that surprised and delighted me. But it wasn't all me. It helped that I made a friend. 
     Then too, my pursuit of a Rays job is pure of heart. In the beginning, I simply asked my unemployed self, "What bright idea do I follow next?"
     And when I encountered late in my "sales clerk career," a personal hurdle that made layoff and job searching seem like just a ripple in the smooth pool of life, I discovered my "menial" job had powers I never expected. 
     If you take a retail job, working at a Major League Baseball stadium has perks. Who doesn't love an action-packed day at the ballpark? Pass down the foamy beer to seat 12. You simply spot the cutest player in the whole wide world and follow his exploits all season. Or you actually look for ability in a player and see if that skill is going to soar or dip. 
     When the Rays win, the excitement stimuli showers down from the catwalks at Tropicana Field like leaping under a rainforest waterfall.   
     This craziness in the stands will translate to a team shop that isn't dull. Doesn't sports merchandising have a rhythm worlds away from the blues of mundane shopping? And behind-the-scenes peeks of big scale recreation are always so amusing. 
     The best approach to this story is just to let it unfold.