Usher Technology

Radio Use & Etiquette

The center uses radio communication to relay issues such as staff on duty, lobby status, house opening and closing, ticketing issues, and emergency situations. Information conveyed on radio is considered confidential.

When you arrive for a shift, before the briefing, please take a look at the placements and check out your position for the shift. If you see “®” by your name please know that we’d like you to wear a radio for the shift. Please also check the placements to see which ushers stationed close to you aren’t on radio. This way you know, if you hear any important information that all ushers should hear, those are the ushers you need to relay the information too.

Radio protocol:

  1. Select a headset and insert the end into the radio receiver.
  2. Turn the radio “on” by rotating the dial to an appropriate volume.
  3. Make sure the radio is on Channel 1.
  4. Announce yourself at the beginning of the shift. “This is [Your name] signing on radio”. (If you are assigned to coordinate house open and close, announce yourself to the stage manager.)
  5. Be brief.
  6. Begin communications by stating “[Your name] to [the name of the person you are speaking to]…” and then your message.
  7. Acknowledge you have been addressed by responding promptly. If you are unable to respond verbally, signify that you heard the message by clicking one time.
  8. Do not interrupt a conversation in progress unless there is an emergency.
  9. Use appropriate language.
  10. Keep volume level low enough so that only you can hear radio conversations, especially when inside venues.  (Typically, volunteers should turn radios completely off once the performance has begun inside the Regis Philbin Studio Theatre and Chris and Anne Reyes Organ and Choral Hall.)
  11. Relay appropriate information to staff members not on radio.
  12. Make sure that when you sit down that you aren’t sitting on the headset button. It could be triggered on this way and you probably don’t want everyone on radio to hear you watching the performance!
  13. Upon completing a shift, the usher should sign off by stating, “This is [Your name] signing off radio.”
  14. Turn radio power off and stow the radio on its charger. Please match up the radio’s number with the number on the charger. The charger’s light will be red if the radio has been properly docked.
  15. Remove the headset from the radio receiver, wrap the cord in a clockwise movement, and hang the headset on the wall. (Please don’t worry about matching the number on the headset to the number on the hook).

Ticket Scanners

Ushers positioned in the ticket taking position use a computerized ticket scanning device.  The scanner is equipped to read the bar code located on the patron’s ticket.  Ushers should check for the correct performance, date, venue, and entry door before scanning either of the two bar codes located on the ticket.

Ticket scanner preparation:

  1. Undock the scanner assigned to the usher from the placement page.
  2. Place the safety strap around your wrist.
  3. Select the N-Scan icon in the top left corner.
  4. A “Profile Check” window will appear with the words “Device profile updated”. Click “ok”
  5. The scanner will open to the Main Menu for you to select “Track Tickets”.
  6. Next, select “Ticketed Events”.
  7. The scanner is ready to begin scanning patron tickets by holding the gun and pointing the laser at the ticket’s bar code.

Tips for effective ticket scanning:

  1. When handed a ticket or stack of patron tickets, scan tickets individually then immediately hand one ticket at a time to each patron in the group.  This procedure will ensure that each member of a large group is ticketed prior to entering the venue.
  2. A valid ticket will indicate a green OK.  The patron is welcome to enter the venue.
  3. An invalid ticket will indicate a red error message stating one of the following:
    •  “Ticket Already Recorded” – look at the ticket and verify that all the information (time, date, venue, performance) is correct. If it is, this means the patron has been in the venue or the ticket was accidentally scanned twice.
    • “Wrong Performance Date/Time” – look at the ticket and verify that all the information (time, date, venue, performance) is correct.  This typically means the ticket is incorrect or the ticket scanner needs to be rebooted. If the ticket is indeed for the wrong performance, please direct the patron to the correct venue (if that event is happening currently). If the ticket is for the correct performance but it is for a different date please send them to the Ticket Office to see if they can exchange the ticket for the current performance.
    • “Ticket Superseded by Reprint” – this ticket was invalidated by a reprint at the Ticket Office. In most incidences this is not a problem, so please take the stub and notify a House Manager or Student House Manager.

Troubleshooting error messages or if tickets aren’t scanning:

  • Contact a House Manager or Student House Manager immediately to resolve the problem. Many times it is an issue with the scanner so as long as the patron has an accurate ticket for the event please take their ticket stub and give to the House Manager or Student House Manager when they get to you.
  • If it is any other issue please simply tell the patron, “If you could wait one moment off to the side, the House Manager will help to resolve this issue. “ Please continue to remind the patrons that this technical problem will get resolved as soon as possible.

Following ticket scanning:

  • Once the House Manager or Student House Manager has notified that it is okay to enter the venue, hand the scanner to the House Manager or Student House Manager before entering the dark venue.
  • On occasion, you may be asked to restore the ticket scanner to its docking station.  First, exit using the stylus pen to return the scanner’s original screen where the N-Scan icon is in the top left corner.  Next, since each scanner is numbered, place the scanner on its corresponding docking station.

Ushers utilize “My Volunteer Page”, an online scheduling system, to sign up for shifts, access schedules, and send emails to find subs.  Visit for more information.

When do ushers sign up for shifts?

The upcoming month’s volunteer shifts are posted at noon on the 10th of the current month. For example, on December 10th ushers sign up for all January shifts. Ushers may sign up or decline shifts until the 15th of the month.  After the 15th, any shifts on an usher’s schedule for the upcoming month, whether confirmed or unconfirmed,  are the responsibility of that usher. After the 15th, ushers must send out sub requests for any shifts they cannot fulfill for the upcoming month.  Do note, shifts are on a first-come first-serve basis, and shifts can still be available after the 15th of the month during our busy months.

How do ushers sign up for shifts?

  • On use the “OPPORTUNITIES” tab to see the list of available shifts.
  • Scroll down the list of assignments, which appear in order by date.
  • If “O” appears under the “Shifts” column, no shifts are available for that event.
  • If “1” appears under the “Shifts” column, 1 or more shifts are still available for that event.
  • From there, select the hyperlinked event title.
  • If interested in signing up please click the “Sign Up” box. Now you are signed up.
  • At this point, “Confirm” will show up where “Sign Up” was.  You may click this now to confirm or later, but all shifts must be confirmed by the 15th of the month.
  • If you click “Confirm” it will say “Are you sure you want to confirm this assignment?” Click “Confirm” again.
  • Return to the choices menu by going “Back to Activity List.”

For how many shifts can an usher sign up?

In the spirit of fairness to allow all ushers the possibility of achieving the minimum number of hours to be in good standing, we ask from noon on the 10th until 11:59 PM on the 14th of each month ushers only sign up for three (3) shifts (clarified below).  On the 15th, ushers are welcome to sign up for as many shifts as they choose to reach or exceed the bonus requirement.

  • Does a docent shift count towards an usher’s 3 shifts?   No.  Docent shifts are assigned at the start of semesters for ushers who work Monday-Friday from 12-2.
  • Is a Football Friday Tour shift considered a “docent” shift?   No.  These shifts open on the 10th of the month and ushers choose them like any other performance or screening shift.
  • Does the Saturday Football Mass count towards my 3?   Yes.  In considering your 3 shifts, treat the mass like any other performance shift.
  • Does the bonus-qualifying shift count in the 3 shifts?   Yes.  If an usher qualified for the bonus, consider the bonus as 1 of the 3 shifts.
  • What happens if an usher exceeds 3 shifts? Ushers who exceed 3 shifts from the 10th until 11:59 PM on the 14th will be asked to remove any shifts over 3.

How do ushers “remove” a shift?

Remember, until the 15th of the month, you can remove yourself from a shift without any further action.  To remove yourself from a  shift please do the following:

  • Use the “Schedule” tab to see all shifts you have selected.
  • Select the “Remove” button to remove yourself from an assignment.
  • It will say “Are you sure you want to decline this assignment?” Then click “Remove”.
  • On occasion, the Guest Services Department will automatically assign you to our social gatherings.  Use the “Confirm” or “Remove” feature to RSVP to the gathering.

What is a Bonus shift?

Bonus opportunities are available most months providing ushers a perk for signing up for a predetermined number of shifts that month.  Typically, the bonus perk has been early sign-up for a popular/favorite shift before the shifts are available to all ushers.

How do ushers send a Sub Request?

It is always encouraged that ushers have their personal calendars available when signing up for shifts; however, if an emergency, illness, or conflict would arise after the 15th of the month when shifts have been confirmed, ushers should send a sub request in order to find a replacement.

  • Volunteer Ushers first remove yourself from the shift by clicking “Remove” on your activity. (Note to Student Ushers, please do not remove yourself from the shift.)
  • Then use the “Contact” tab to send the sub-request email.
  • In the “To” section select whomever you are sending the sub-request to. For example ushers will click: “To all VOLUNTEERS”
  • In the Subject, indicate “Sub Request for PERFORMANCE, DATE, & TIME”
  • In the Message, repeat and clarify the shift information.

Since it’s not always easy to see if an usher has replaced you, know that Guest Services carefully monitors the requests and will notify you if further action needs to take place on your part.  Every attempt must be made by the usher to locate a sub, including multiple sub request emails or phone calls to fellow ushers.  Ushers are not released from responsibility for their shift until a sub is found.  While having the sub request system in place is very helpful to our staff, a pattern of repeated requests for a replacement is discouraged and will be addressed as needed.

How can ushers update Contact Information?

If an usher changes address, email, phone number, or password, use the “MY PROFILE” tab to update any information.

How can ushers track their hours?

Ushers interested in monitoring their 100 hour goal can reference hours in two ways:.

  • The easiest way to reference is on the “HOME” page.
    • In the Welcome window it has Volunteer Hours separated into “This Week”, “This Year” and “Lifetime”
  • Another way to check on hours is to go to the “REPORTS” tab
    • Scroll down to “Detailed Hours Report”
    • Change the date range by choosing “Date Range” from the drop-down list.
    • Put in the beginning of the year in the first calendar and today’s date in the second calendar.
    • Select “View Report” and scroll down to see your total yearly hours.

How do ushers modify their Privacy Settings?

A feature of allows other volunteers to see who is working a particular shift. Under “MY PROFILE” scroll down to “Contact Information”. When you click on this you will see below “Privacy Settings”. Here are your options:

  • I want other volunteers to be able to see my name in the list of scheduled volunteers.
  • I want my last name included.
  • I want my photo included.

Check the appropriate boxes then select “Save”.


One thought on “Usher Technology

  1. Pingback: TIP OF THE WEEK: What are my three shifts? | Guest Services Department

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