(I wrote this article last week, but unfortunately, I don’t have access to my blog from work, as it is blocked for being a “social networking site.” So, here it is:)
If, by coincidence, you made a customer support call last Monday to one of 16 of America’s leading companies and if, by coincidence, that call was routed to the particular call center that I work at, then there was a good chance that the person that took your call was wearing an Iron Maiden T-shirt. And if, by coincidence, you made a customer support call to the same number and place on TUESDAY, there was only about a 1% chance that your operator was wearing a Maiden T-shirt.
The reason that a day makes such a difference is because last night (Tuesday) Iron Maiden played a concert in San Jose, reportedly their first ever in “Central America.” You may not have known it before, but in reality, many, many Latin American customer service operators are apparently total metal heads.
The excitement started back in November, when the band announced that their tour would make a stop in Costa Rica, and it accumulated constantly since then. Even La Nacion, a rather conservative newspaper that is the most “reputable” in the country, had been having Maiden updates and special articles for about a month, and even developed a special section of their website to cater to Maiden fans (and believe me, developing websites is NOT a Costa Rican specialty).
The anticipation grew even more on Monday, when Maiden’s plane Ed Force One (so named because of the picture of Eddie, the band’s skeletal mascot, which is on the plane’s tail) touched down at JuanSantamariaInternationalAirport. The plane was piloted by Bruce Dickinson (yes, the Bruce Dickinson), the band’s lead singer who also, it would seem, is a pilot in his spare time (I even read in one of the articles in La Nacion that he once piloted a plane out of Israel full of British citizens trying to escape the intifada…oh, and he competes internationally in fencing competitions…in other words, this guy leads a more interesting life than you). In any case, hundreds of fans were waiting for the band at the airport.
Finally, for about a week now, people have been waiting in a line outside of Ricardo Saprissa stadium in order to be assured of a prime viewing area when the venue opened its gates last night. The papers were full of interviews with Maiden fans who had come from all over Central and Latin America to get a taste of some “música jévi metol.” Apparently hundreds of people came from El Salvador, many others chartered buses from Panama, and tour companies in Venezuela and Colombia even offered vacation packages that included plane and concert tickets and a hotel room.
And here at work, there was a noticeable shortage of black T-shirts, and the company’s absenteeism statistics will likely sharply skew skyward for February 26th.
I, for one, was unable to get tickets. I say it was because I couldn’t get off work (which is true), or because I was unable to convince my wife of the merits of going to a heavy metal concert (probably) filled with delinquents (which is also true). But still, last night at 10:00, as I waited on the highway for my bus to stop by and take me home, I couldn’t help but feel like I was definitely missing out on something cool across town.
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