Earlier this week, my friend and I were in the audience as Jay Z and Beyoncé kicked off their hotly anticipated On the Run tour in Miami. Both of us were crazy happy the day had finally arrived. With VIP tickets that placed us in the fifth row, there was no way the night could be anything but perfect… And then we got to Sun Life Stadium, and it all went to hell in a handbasket.
Before I continue, it must be known that I’m in a wheelchair, as it plays an important role in the story.
After spending over an hour in bumper to bumper traffic just to find parking, we hurried to retrieve our tickets. Luckily, an employee spotted us, and helped out by picking them up for us. Yay for no standing in line. We were assisted by a string of people after that, all trying to guide us through the maze of the stadium, and it wasn’t until we got to the last guy, who was tasked with getting us to our VIP seats, that we ran into trouble. When we finally entered the field, which was expectedly crowded, and located the general region where we were supposed to be, this “gentleman” looked incredulously at my friend and said, “You’re going to take HER (that would be me) into THAT crowd? She won’t be able to see anything.” Why he couldn’t address me directly, I don’t know. Maybe he thought because I’m in a wheelchair, I must be slow… but whatever. And besides that, it wasn’t up to him to determine whether I’d be able to see. So rather than helping me get to my assigned place, or anywhere in the vicinity (we could have sat at the end of the row if it wasn’t possible to make it to our exact seats), he flagged down another employee who pointed to a raised platform all the way at the back of the field where it was deemed more accessible. Obviously we protested this move because we spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars to be near the stage, but he dismissed whatever we said like we were nobody. When asked for his name, he said his name wasn’t important. When asked for a supervisor, he said that wasn’t going to happen, that we would have to wait until the following day to talk to anyone.
At that point, there was really nothing else to do because the concert had started. We sat on the platform in the back, so far away from the action that we could barely discern anybody on stage without watching the jumbo screens the whole time. For a fraction of a second, I wondered if I was being a diva. The majority of the audience had to rely on those screens to see the concert, why couldn’t I? Oh yeah, because I handed over all that money to avoid just that!
The concert itself was amazing; the Carters know how to put on a show like nobody’s business. I tried my best to enjoy it despite everything, but found it incredibly difficult to bury my frustration for longer than two minutes. How can someone treat another person that way?