2010-01-26

Hero of the Day: The Usher at the Volksoper

Two nights ago I went to the Wiener Volksoper for a ballet version of Carmen, which you can read about in yesterday's blog post. Although the performance was disappointing, one of the theater employees was not.

This particular gentleman was standing next to the ticket window and a sign that read "Ausverkauft" ("sold out"). I asked the woman inside the window if there really were absolutely no tickets left.

The gentleman in the red blazer and name tag replied, "Im moment nicht." ("Not at the moment.")

"Würde später viellecht ein Paar Karten verfügbar sein?" I asked.
("Might a few tickets be available later?")

"Könnte was passieren."
("It's possible that something could happen.")

I thanked him and moved off to the side to wait. The greatest thing about the conversation is that the man had a serene, omnipotent air about him. At first I thought that was because he fancied himself The Keeper of the Tickets, but I later found out he had something else in store.

After ten minutes, I heard him tell a woman that there was nothing at all left, so I inquired again: "Gibt es noch gar keine Karten?" ("Are there still no tickets at all left?")

His only response was to look at me and put his hands out in from of him, palms down, and push them slowly towards the floor, an expression I might call "hold your horses". I nodded and moved off to the side again.

Within five minutes he walked over to me and asked if my ladyfriend and I were students. I replied in the affirmative, after which the gentleman procured two tickets from a room next to the ticket window. For €10 apiece, we had very good seats in the third row of the lower balcony.

For this, you are my Hero of the Day, Mr. Volksoper Usher.

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