A View from the Trenches

From dealing with coyote sightings to nasty mid-season breakups, one never knows what to expect when working the customer service desk at the Sport & Social Club.

The SSC has been organizing programs and fostering an active sports community since 1996. In that time, we have amassed a membership totalling well over 150,000 sports loving individuals in the GTA! We are so incredibly lucky to have such amazing members. Through the good, the bad and the ugly, our customer service crew loves interacting with each and every one of you.

That said, over the last 19 years we’ve received some pretty interesting phone calls and emails. And just when we think we’ve heard or seen it all, some crazy new story comes out of the woodwork to give us a run for our money. These unique challenges definitely keep our days exciting!

For your entertainment (and as a bit of a “release” for our customer service team), we have compiled some of the best SSC Customer Service Tales in recent memory. Enjoy!

Fall Fox Subbing in at St. Mike’s
During a late fall season game a few years back, our ultimate players noticed an illegal sub take the field during a game at St. Mike’s field. While most players wouldn’t mind a foxy opponent lining up against them, this one looked a little rabid while chewing on an end zone pylon. Needless to say both teams kept their distance and this was a phone call our evening staff was definitely not expecting!

Sports hungry fox spotted at St. Mike's field
Sports hungry fox spotted at St. Mike’s field

Coyote Sighting
Continuing with the theme of wild animal interference, coyote sightings have been a little too frequent for our liking at SSC games. On more than one occasion, our after-hours staff has received a call letting us know that a wild coyote is roaming the outfield in the heart of Toronto! For future reference, its best to steer clear of this ineligible rover in the outfield.

Team Name Trickery
Team names can often be a hotly debated topic. There is fine line between funny, clever, inappropriate, and downright rude (as we’ve discussed in previous blogs). But mistaken identity can also be a problem. When the schedule was created for a 2012 coed basketball league, this team name raised a few eyebrows: Toronto Correctional Facility for Dangerous and Devious People DAY PASS Basketball Program. While we are all about second chances, our customer service staff had to field more than a few emails about the potential sportsmanship of this team! Luckily, DAY PASS is guilty of nothing but a wild imagination. And hey, at least they didn’t choose “Blue Balls” for the 1000th time.

Lovers’ Quarrel
Signing up as an individual is a great way to play your favourite sport and meet some new friends! It can also be a great way to spend some quality time with your significant other. However, the individual team roster can go from awesome to awkward in a hurry if that relationship takes a turn for the worse. A word to the wise… that 12 week soccer season will feel like an eternity with your ex.  Sadly we’ve had to accommodate a few “anti-co-player requests” over the years. Let’s think of the individual team “couple registration” as a level of commitment slightly above meeting the parents and just below moving in together. Choose wisely. (This team captain shares our sentiment (warning: NSFW language): http://goo.gl/cLMWfP)

Softball Diamond Proposal 
One of our favourite customer service tales was when we received a very unique request from a SSC softball player. Normally teams or players will request to play at a prime time or a downtown location, but this request was for a secluded diamond north of the 401 with lots of room to hide. Uhhh, what? Why? Well, the reason for this out of the ordinary request was to accommodate a surprise proposal that was going to happen before the game! Friends and family were hiding in the bushes so they could watch/film the special moment. An amazing story that turned an average SSC softball game into a story for the ages! Not to mention another story for the SSC Couples Project (which we are always looking to add to! Send us your success stories!).

At the end of the day, the Sport & Social Club is fueled by our fantastic membership and you guys keep us smiling every day. Through thick and thin, we will always do everything we can to give you the best playing experience possible, even if it means fighting coyotes!

~Written by Calum McCullough

Want to test out our customer service team? The Sport and Social Club offers a variety of sports for adults all around the GTA. Check out our website to learn how you can get out and active!