One of the things that I kept noticing, and that everyone commented upon, was how polite everyone was at the NRA Convention.
As crowded as the convention floor was, it was inevitable that folks were bumping into each other, stepping on toes and spoiling camera shots.
Each interaction of this sort that I witnessed was marked by courtesy on the part of both parties. I was quite refreshing to hear all of the “Yes, sir”, “No, Ma’am”, “Please”, “Thank You” and “You’re welcomes” that drifted around the convention Center.
Just out of curiosity, and because the lads and lasses in the service industry have all the good dirt and juicy gossip, I asked some of the behind-the-scenes folks how this convention stacked up compared to others they’d worked.
A janitor, who had worked, “a lot of these things” thought about my question for a moment, then replied, “You know what? Ain’t nobody puked in a corner, [deleted] in a bottle and left it in a corner, or done anything else nasty in a corner for me to find. In my book, that’s a good one.”
Mental note: In future, non-NRA conventions, stay away from the corners.
The America’s Centre was crawling in security, both security officers and St. Louis PD. While I couldn’t get a SLPD officer to say anything other than a courteous “No comment”, I did get one security officer to talk to me — off the record.
According to this security officer, it’s not unusual for tempers to flare at conventions. The officer explained that too many people in a small area, long delays and lines for scheduled events, and just plain “People being people away from home” results in the occasional screaming fit, or drama, and that minor vandalism, intoxication issues and “strangers getting a hook-up in the bathrooms” and building maintenance areas were a constant at conventions.
He then went on to state that — as of Saturday afternoon — the NRA Convention had been a “nice, quiet, boring” job. And he seemed fairly happy about it.
The last person I talked to was one of the people who stocked the snacks and drinks in the Media Room. When asked, this person smiled gently and remarked that everyone he had met so far had been, “Happy and laid-back.” I remarked that surely there had been a complaint or two, and the response was: “Nah. Too busy talking and laughing.”
I would say that I’m surprised, but I’m not.