Complaints About Coliseum Event

Dear Editor,

I spent 24 years managing restaurants in Greensboro. I even lived in Greensboro a couple of years before most of your Coliseum employees were born.

On Saturday past I attended the Donald Trump rally held at the Coliseum. The Trump campaign had sent out an e-mail on the day before titled “Guidance for Guests.” It explained the schedule of events, parking and parking fees. It also included a list of things not allowed in the Coliseum by the Secret Service.

Even though I had been warned about the exorbitant $20 parking fee, I still regard it as absurd. That’s more than valet parking at a high-end restaurant, and I have to do the walking.

We arrived at 8:25 a.m. and waited in the ever-growing line for three hours to get inside. There were a couple of food vendors in the parking lot and a bunch of hat and T-shirt vendors. As the time passed the line grew until it almost reached the parking lot gate where we entered. So, there were probably 5,000 people waiting in the line. Did you have anyone checking in on those folks waiting in line? Of course not. There was a large police presence, but they were all hanging out up near the building entrance. The lack of concern for the public safety that your staff and the Greensboro Police Department shared is breathtaking.

Have you heard of trash cans? If your answer is yes, there is no evidence available to support that claim. A lot of people in that line had soft drinks or bottled water or even snacks that they were consuming while waiting. I have seen at other event centers that they have disposable trash containers that are just cardboard boxes for people to put trash in. Rather than furnishing trash receptacles, you will pay someone to pick up all of the trash later and complain about those who left it there.

As I neared the front of the line, I saw two trash receptacles. One was by a set of exit doors on the building in an alcove. It was overflowing by the time I reached it. A few feet away in the same alcove was a Rubbermaid Brute trash can, probably between a 40- and 50-gallon capacity. Of course, it was turned upside down. This sparked one of the funnier lines of the day as everyone who passed asked, “How many city workers does it take to turn over a trash can?” The other trash receptacle was by the doors. It was full long before I arrived, so I just tossed my empty bottle on the pile that was growing around it. A trash can was overflowing within four feet of the entrance and no Coliseum employee could see that and make a decision to empty it. Really?

I entered the space for the rally and there were two lines of more than 50 people. One line was for the bathrooms, and one was for the concession stand. There were somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 people in that hall and you couldn’t open another restroom? That’s not the only restroom in that building. By the way, one of the five urinals in the men’s room was out of order and covered with a trash bag. That left like one urinal for every 750 men. There were two employees standing in the bathroom. I can’t tell you what they were doing because neither moved while I was in there.  I didn’t make it to the front of the line at the concession stand to see how many staff members you had on duty, but it obviously was not enough as the line remained long.

I won’t bother commenting on the seating that you obviously purchased in a surplus sale from Spirit Airlines. I take a better chair to sit in at flea markets. You should let people bring their own folding chairs and blankets!!

In what was a master stroke in stupidity, the concession stand closed down around 1 p.m. At the time, there were still more than 50 people in line. With the event not scheduled to start until 2 p.m., you closed the concession stand and left thousands of people without access to food or drinks. You had a captive audience of thousands, and you stopped selling food and drinks. Really? This may be the answer to “What is the dumbest thing I have ever seen” question. You are selling incredibly overpriced drinks and food and you stopped for no reason. There were a couple of medical emergencies during the rally. Were those caused by the lack of access to food and drinks?

Your policies prohibit people bringing in food or drinks and you stopped selling food and drinks. Do you see the possible issue here?  You left thousands of people without food and/or beverages. If you aren’t going to have the concession stands open, how about some vending machines?

Here’s my personal issue. I have diabetes. I left a few minutes before the rally ended because my blood sugar level was dropping, and I didn’t want to add to the medical emergency numbers for the event. I spent more than 50 years in the restaurant business, and I am telling you that you need to hire some professionals to run your operation.

Years ago, I read an article in the Greensboro News and Record written by someone in the city government. This person described the Greensboro Coliseum as Greensboro’s “crown jewel.” The author was obviously someone who shopped for “crown jewels” at the Dollar Tree.

I suggest that you either turn this over to professional management or return it to the cow pasture from whence it came.

Gilbert Jones


Don’t Sort Your Trash

Dear Editor,

Is there any limit to the overbearing arrogance of those people who call themselves our “public servants”?

To provide one trivial example, we are admonished to sort through our garbage, expected to discriminate between this item and that item, as if we were unpaid trained trash sorters. We are not, and it is not incumbent upon us in any way to comply with the PC predilections of our servants.

When we discard our rubbish we surrender our title to it as we wheel it to the curb. That means that we voluntarily give up our ownership of it, and the city or private trash collector can do with it what they please.

If they have an odd preference for red things, they are at liberty to go through our trash and help themselves to all things red. It is no longer any concern of ours.

In exactly the same way, if they have a strange preference for plastic, or cardboard, or whatever, they are free to search through our trash and help themselves to whatever it is that they want. But it is not our obligation to do that for them. We are not their servants. They are ours.

The whole recycling scheme is bull, of course. But if the public sector wants to impose another feel good program on us, the least it can do is to perform its own work.

Just chuck your refuse in the trash.

Let the saintly ones sort it out.  Hey, that’s what they want, right?

Austin Morris