i have never had such a hard time buying tickets to things in this town. it’s also, coincidentally, the flakiest city that i’ve ever lived in. i wonder if, like the sports teams’ hex, it’s a chicken and egg, cause and effect situation. like-people don’t show up at things because it’s so dang complicated to buy tickets, and so everyone is jaded. so much money and everyone’s discouraged by how hard it is to spend it-boo hoo.
now that i am debt-free and actually earning a living wage (though i’ve always been resource-full like that), i am in a position to be a patron of the arts, to live the dream fund in a way that i haven’t been able to before-onward and upward, right?
but today marked this year’s hat trick of difficulty that i just had to shake my head and walk away from. earlier in the year-i went through way too much effort to see a show at the shedot comedy festival, i have no more words for the experience i had when maple leaf sports and entertainment dicked me around when i was ready to drop 3Gs on home opener tickets (and i almost caved when they obviously still have tickets left as they’re emailing me the night before, but i will stay strong and committed to watching the game in the square for the first time) and this morning-i walked away from the independent theatre company that i really wanted to support.
they keep sending me emails, and the “buy now” button doesn’t work. i’ve replied to it, and they’ve sent me a new link that only leads to gift certificates. they don’t have a contact phone number listed on their website, or box office hours. after weeks of trying to buy them online and no response after that first one (no one told me that it was a browser problem then), i decided to go in this morning, on my day off, and try to buy tickets in person.
i arrived to a closed box office and asked the tight-faced barista when it would be open. i was told “1pm”. it was 12:59. i asked, “isn’t that now?” i was told, “yea, i’m expecting (blahblahblah) to be here for 1pm”. so i just posted up on the ledge and waited, reading and filling out my crossword for about ten-fifteen minutes.
at that point, that same lady asked me if i was trying to buy tickets. no, bitch-i’m standing here in front of the closed box office after enquiring what time it opened because i am waiting to hear the score of the baseball game. i expressed at that point that i had had problems buying them online, and she asked me what browser i used-when i told her safari, she claimed that all the problems they had online were with safari, and it was working fine here. but she did not invite me to use their system so i could buy tickets, and she wasn’t “trained” to take my money and issue me any tickets, and (blahblahblah) may still be held up in traffic. there was someone who could help, but she was on the phone, for another longish period of time. i offered to come back if i was just given a time when i would be able to get a dang ticket, but i was waved off for the girl on the phone, who really wasn’t interested. (i could hear the first lady saying-“i need you to do this” and her saying that she was too busy).
it was only when i called in that i had to go because it was my day off and i had other appointments that the first woman insisted that “she’s coming right now”-she wasn’t-she still had the phone glued to her ear and an uninterested look on her face-that there seemed to be any sense of urgency.
call me old fashioned, but a smile, not blaming a customer for having the wrong browser, and at least pretending to want to help (if not really wanting to help your theatre company get asses into seats-because if those actors end up playing to 3 people a night, i hope they think about this) kind of go a long way.
i was, for example, more than thrilled to spend 150% of that cost a little further down the road on a german engineered ergonomically correct relaxation aid at come as you are, because the staff delivered friendly, prompt service and had what i was looking for.
i guess private joy won tonight.