I was at work, but this story sounded too good to leave so soon to the sands of time.
Claudia was supposed to volunteer at the DNC, for the Media operations. She did the paperwork in time for 9 months of background checking and stayed home from a family trip to Mexico to do it, but when they asked for her schedule a week before the convention, she emailed it a day late. The volunteering positions were gone.
Yesterday, on the last day of the DNC, she and her friend decided to try to get in anyway. First, they went to the Hynes Convention Center, where some of the managing was happening. They shmoozed. Claudia told her sob story. She acted pitiable. No luck. They walked to another location. Wash, rinse, repeat. Next to the Fleet Center to try to get in.
On the way, they stopped at Walgreens to get bandages for Claudia's feet, which were by this point wrecked by her high heels. While there, she saw someone with a purple pass-- a pass into the convention itself. She shmoozed. She told her sob story. She acted pitiable. The lady said she'd see what she could do, and took Claudia's phone number.
Then they went to the Fleet Center and tried to get in. They walked by the free speech prison. [I wish I could have gone there; Thoreau: "Why are you out of jail?"] They were stopped from getting into the Center itself. But they got lots of shmoozing opportunities, and were already having fun. You couldn't throw a stone without hitting 10 democrats from 10 different states. It had all the energy of a good protest.
Then the Walgreens person called back. She had two volunteer positions at Bus Services, and she said they might get to have a 1 hour tour, with a yellow pass (past the first set of guards, but not into the Fleet Center). She told them to just act like they were supposed to volunteer there. Claudia and her friend didn't want to work with Bus Services, but a yellow pass was closer to the action. They went and got the last two 1 hour tour, yellow passes that Bus Service had.
After a while, they were given a 30 minute break. They went back to the Fleet Center, and past the first set of guards. While there, another friend of Claudia's who was in town for the DNC called her. She had a purple pass for one of them. They started looking hard for another one. The Bus job was forgotten.
In line, they talked to the man behind them. Claudia got a glimpse of his pass: a podium pass (he was helping people get on and off stage). Claudia shmoozed. She told her story. She acted pitiable. He was young. He reached into his pocket, and gave her a purple pass.
They went into the Fleet Center, and ended up with seats near the back, far away from the floor of the center. They couldn't see much, but it was exciting anyway. Time passed.
At the end, as people were leaving, Claudia said, "Let's see if we can get to the floor!" They pushed their way down to the floor. They met a Senator and had their picture taken with him. Claudia was interviewed by the Guardian.
At a certain point where people were exiting, a woman who was ushering people in to a line to her left. Claudia noticed all the press people going to her right. She grabbed her friend, and said, "This way." "No, we'll get in trouble!" 'Just come on."
They walked right into the press area... and then right back stage. Past the guard who was supposed to be checking passes. Back stage are the makeup rooms, hospitality tables, rooms for Senators and their families. They wandered everywhere. At one point, they saw in a plush room a table with cheeses and fruit and eclairs. A man walked by and said they could have some. So they went in, sat down, ate cheese, and watched important people walk by and give them wierd looks.
Some wandering later, they returned to the floor and left.