Only with Rent It Today (RIT) could you spend the evening at a somewhat dull baseball game in gloomy overcast weather and walk away smiling wildly like a kid after their first roller coaster ride. Before the night began it was certain the Reds home game was going to be a backdrop for revelry, regardless if the team won or not. And despite a less than desirable outcome on the scoreboard, it turned out to be a memorable experience.
Saddling Up for the Ride
As the RIT team trickled into the Saddle Club in Ft. Mitchell around 5:30 p.m., the smoke burned my eyes and the beer bottles started lining up. The real fun began as we boarded the shuttle bus in the back-alley parking lot. Even though it’s common practice at every sporting event for a shuttle service to escort large groups to local stadiums for tailgate parties, you never get used to the comical image of adults boarding a school bus with beer in their hands.
As we rode to the stadium, the good natured shenanigans ensued with a rabble rousing rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” that didn’t quite make it past two verses. This was followed by a broken interpretation of “God Bless America,” which was random but fun nevertheless. The rainy weather outside wasn’t dampening any of the excitement and fire inside the bus.
A disorganized scene ensued in the bus upon reaching the underground parking tunnel at Great American Ball Park. People grabbed for drinks from coolers, passed foil wrapped hot dogs and posed for group photographs. It was like a big Griswold family reunion.
Walking into the stadium revealed a sight to behold. Fans in Reds regalia resembled an army of fire ants swarming the stands.
The opening riff of The Rolling Stones’ perennial classic “Paint It Black” reverberated throughout the previously quiet stadium. There couldn’t have been a better song to describe the sky. Despite ominous dark clouds, the rain held off, yielding a temperate evening which wasn’t too hot or too cool.
The Reds were definitely cool though. Even All Star first baseman Joey Votto in the lineup didn’t change this. On this particular night the Reds couldn’t hit a beach ball if it was pitched to them underhanded by Betty White.
Paying it Forward
In an intimate moment I observed the two owners of RIT sharing quality time with their associates as they enjoyed the game. Founder Jason Glass expressed his appreciation with some heartfelt words while talking to employee Ray Lambert between innings. “I like all of you guys,” said Glass. “I appreciate what you guys do.” He extended his fist as Lambert extended his and fist-bumped him. “I appreciate you too, man,” Ray said.
On the return trip to the Saddle Club the revelry continued with an encore of “God Bless America” that was a bit less crisp than the earlier rendition. As I observed the exhausted and apparently inebriated crowds dawdling down the sidewalk, I reflected on the events of the evening in my solitary pensive way.
In today’s world, a number of people feel a sense of entitlement can extend beyond what they actually deserve. At the end of your work week, all you’re entitled to is a paycheck and some constructive coaching when needed. The fact that RIT exceeds this by treating its employees to bonding experiences such as a baseball game reveals the good natured character of the company.