By David Lauterbach, special to MiLB.com
Throughout this year’s Winter Meetings in Nashville, four attendees of the PBEO Job Fair have agreed to keep a journal chronicling their employment-seeking experiences (meet them all HERE.). In this, his first installment, David Lauterbach enters the scrum and prepares for more of the same.
I’d never been to the Music City before this week. Nashville is an incredible town and the Opryland hotel is amazing. The hotel is about 20 minutes away from downtown, but luckily there is so much to do outside and inside of the Winter Meetings events there really is no need to leave.
Speaking of the hotel, I have already gotten lost twice. One was on my way to meet the other job seekers, when I asked someone from the hotel for directions and they had no idea. The other was trying to get back to my room after we met, when I took about five wrong left turns and four wrong right turns. When people say this hotel is massive and it takes forever to get around, they aren’t lying. I tweeted yesterday that I may get lost seven times over the course of the Winter Meetings and Ben Hill responded with “Bet the over.” He’s probably right.
But, anyway, the point of this journal is to talk about the Job Fair, right? At least that’s what Ben told us. The first jobs to get posted yesterday didn’t appear until around 3:30, which left about an hour and a half for hundreds of job seekers to squeeze into a tiny room to look at them. The only advice I got before I walked into the small room was “Sharpen your elbows.” Truer words have never been spoken.
The job posting room is laid out with about 10-15 rows of poster boards. The jobs were posted on said boards and had numbers attached to them that job seekers have to note and write on their resumes when they drop them in the application bins. Due to the small amount of room between the poster boards and the clamoring of hundreds of job seekers and briefcases and backpacks and resumes flying everywhere, it was akin to when I was eight and trying to get Hideo Nomo’s autograph before a Dodger game. If you think about it, the Job Fair really is just that: A bunch of eager young men and women trying to get something that only a few can, and they all are trying to wiggle their way closer to the finish line. Only when we were eight it was an unreadable signature, and now it’s for a paycheck and a job. No pressure at all.
A couple hours after I visited the crazy job posting room, I went to the relaxing and incredible Winter Meetings Banquet. Growing up as a huge baseball fan, I’ve always admired the role of the Commissioner and have always had a desire to one day be in his shoes. So when Commissioner Manfred was introduced for a Q & A session, I freaked out. The majority of the questions and answers I had heard before in other interviews, ranging from expansion talks to rising young stars to youth participation. In the end, it was really cool to see the Commissioner in person for the first time. After that, various awards were handed out to individuals who have made a great impact on baseball. It was really cool to see those people recognized and hear their crazy stories from their time in the game. It really makes you appreciate how close this community is and how important it is to treasure every second you have in it.
From there, I got to meet Ben and the other job seekers. After Ben interviewed us and we got to know each other, we all split up and went our separate ways. We all knew the real madness was about to begin the next morning and that it was time to go back to our rooms, rest, and plan the quickest route to Hideo Nomo for the next day.
There will be Nomo from David today, but there will be plenty mo’ from David tomorrow.