Monday, November 24, 2008

Request: separate queue for Problem Folks

(I decided to write this in the second person. Maybe this has happened to you.) If you've gone to as many games as I have, it's certainly happened to you. You want to be inside the stadium. It's almost time for something you want to see: tipoff, faceoff, first pitch, the National Anthem, the starting lineup, the spotlight introductions. You know what ticket you want. You stand in the back of the line, looking hopefully to the box office ahead, mind-gaming how long it's going to take, hoping what appears to be a large group right in the middle is just one transaction.
And THEN what happens? Someone is at the front, and there's a problem. She wants a certain ticket price, and it's sold out. And she can't make up her mind about the other options. Or she has a ticket and wants to exchange it for something else. Or her husband is parking and she wants to use his credit card. Or, or, or.....
How long should a box office transaction last? LESS THAN TWO MINUTES. And for the purpose of this blog, I'm going to clock the next one. Number of tickets, price/seating location. Provide cash/credit card. Check tickets. Leave. Is that so difficult?
The UIC Pavilion uses TicketShafter software. I didn't ask, but it appeared the poor box office attendant needed to enter the event code for every transaction. Each ticket should be just a mouse click away--especially at the Pavilion, where for men's basketball there is just one price level other than court level seating. Why is she using the keyboard to enter a bunch of keystrokes? What a waste of time. It's like a flashback to the 1980's, before price scanners became widespread, when K-Mart cashiers punched in every item barcode. Very, very inefficient use of time. It slows up the line and keeps people from spending money indoors on food and gift shoppe souvenirs.

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