Saturday, July 23, 2011

The View From My Ass: Where I Start To Understand The Unibomber

Sometime between the ages of 20 and 30 a funny thing happened in life. I went from thinking my Father was the dumbest man on the planet to actually becoming my Father. Well maybe not quite. Unlike him I understand why technology has taken over our lives and why MOST of the time it's a good thing. However like him I do not understand why there is never a backup plan for when all these gadgets and gismos that make our lives so much easier fail. I get why the grocery store has gone computerized, I do not get why the grocery store has to come to a complete stand still when the computer system crashes. Man should run the computers instead of computers running man. I know what a quasy idea.

Tonight at 5 o'clock central time The University of Minnesota put it's football tickets for the Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin games up for sale and the tickets were sold on line only. OK No problem tickets sold on line only. This is the world we live in today. And nobody I mean nobody would be dumb enough to put the tickets on line only with out having a server strong enough to hold the traffic after the Colorado Rockies World Series fiasco right? Right? Ok so tickets are $95. That's a little steep and part of the cost is they're making Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin fans buy a ticket to another shittier game earlier in the season AND unlike are old Big 12 brethren at least they are also soaking Iowa and Wisconsin besides Nebraska. And $95 isn't that bad. The other Big 12 schools charged that or more with out throwing in a ticket to Miami of Ohio. Anywho the website says tickets go on sale 7-22-11 at 5:00 PM. OK.

5 O'clock I am on line. Here we go. The server is down. You have got to be shitting me! This I will NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER understand. YOU chose to do this entirely on line. And you couldn't test your server to see if it would hold up? See I think the internet is a marvelous thing. The greatest invention of my lifetime but can we really not cope with out it? How about server's down call 1-800-blah blah blah? How about testing your servers? How about staggering the times when you put the tickets for your 3 biggest games on sale? Instead of all 3 at 5 on Friday why not Friday for NU, Saturday for IU and Sunday for UW? Hell even if you staggered them a few hours it would thin out the traffic and put less stress on your servers. Anyway I keep trying to get in and buy tickets. I am not Sarah Palin I do not quit easily. Server down, server down, server down, Wait I am in. What does this say? We are experiencing a higher volume of traffic than expected (And why in the fucking world wouldn't they have expected it to be heavy? Nebraska fans travel 2000 miles to see games you think they won't travel 350?) you are now in the online cyber waiting room. OK cool. I am on cyber hold but at least I am in. 3 minutes later server crashes again. I start over. down, server down. server down. CYBER HOLD AGAIN! Maybe this time It will go through! 5 minutes still on hold! Good sign! Server crashes again! Now at this point I am pissed. Nebraska's website I would have 12 tickets by now. But I keep plugging away. Server down, server down, server down On line Hold again. THIS TIME I AM GETTING THROUGH I KNOW IT! Well ten minutes and another server crash later I finally say OK I am holding things up I've been here 45 minutes, we need to go eat I'll get these tickets later. OK we go eat we go to Borders to see if there was anything left worth grabbing, that place was a mad house and already 60% empty. I think they just liquidated their crappy stock no way could they be that picked clean already. But I digress. We get back I get on click click I get through to Minnesota's ticket site. HEY quick and easy. Do you want to buy tickets to Nebraska, Iowa or Wisconsin games? YES! next screen! I am really finally going to get these tickets! Nebraska SOLD OUT!

Man was I pissed. When the tickets were there and I was on line at the time I was told their worthless server kept crashing because it couldn't handle the volume. Not my mistake but theirs. Now the tickets were sold out? I got the tickets. I went to another site which I thought would be too expensive since they mark up the tickets plus I hate those fucking places anyway. They are a huge part of the problem. But at $119 a ticket I decided it wasn't that much worse than what Minnesota was charging and I didn't have to think up away of unloading Minnesota Vs Rudypoo U. With taxes and charges (the same Minnesota would nail me with) it was $137 a ticket. All because They weren't ready to do the job they said they were going to do. Or more precise their server wasn't ready to do the job that they said it was going to do. And of course no plans were taken on their part to have any sort of backup should the server crash.

Finally on the subject of technology and convenience . The E-reader is a neat little gizmo and being able to push a button and have a book sent to you with out getting up is a nice luxury but it also takes a job away from the book seller. 11,000 of which are about to lose theirs. internet commerce is great and quite a luxury but when businesses like athletic ticket offices finally have the capacity to handle their transactions correctly, and I have to think someday they will! that will be even more jobs gone. No need for the ladies in the ticket office anymore when everything is sold on line.

Sometimes If I am forced or we just need an item or two (even that takes too damn long) I go to the store with the Contessa and she uses the machine that lets you scan your own groceries bag them and pay for them yourself. Being the killjoy I be. I said to her I know you love that machine and it's convenience but that machine has taken a job that somebody was once getting paid to do. Funny with more and more do it yourself machines in the stores and less and less employees to pay the cost of groceries isn't going down is it?


1 comment:

et said...

I hate those scan-your-own machines and refuse to use them when they're offered as an option. As you say, they're taking away someone's job and not really providing a service to the customer.

My fun-n-games in online purchasing is thanks to ET Spouse. He registered our credit cards for online "Secure Code" service but neglected to tell me anything at all about that. As a result I had to get my ticket to Harry Potter (while he and daughter were away in the UK) using my PayPal account. Today I booked tickets for the two of us for Saturday and got the info, asking (a little sarcastically, which I'm sure is excusable) whether he'd ever intended to inform me of this? He replied that he'd only encountered it in Europe. Hell-O - kiddo and I will be in New Zealand in less than a month, did he not think it might come up THERE?


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