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July 01, 2005

Registration

Ohhhh, if I were king of the forest...

What a bent operation. This was the fog of war, friends. There are so many people milling around, that the tail of the snake cannot tell what the head of the snake is doing. And what the head of the snake is doing is waiting! Waiting! We were in a long winding line that snaked through what appeared to be a military grade parking garage, with maybe four football field length queues filing back and forth across the hard concrete. At the end, we went up the escalator, to another room, with more lines.

Eventually we got close to the actual machinery of registration. Ranks of computers manned by reasonably cheerful volunteer clerks. The young woman I was directed to took my printout, that I'd done a week before online, and entered my information into the computer, where it already resided, I'm sure. Then she told me to go wait at the printer area.

This area was the cause of all delays. I can't believe they had things so very badly messed up. They had maybe six printers spitting out the product of the fifteen or twenty registration clerks. Registrants were pooling in front of these printers, and eight or twelve volunteers were grabbing tags as they came out of the printers and shouting the names into the noisy throng. If they didn't get an immediate response from this mosh pit, they handed the tag down the line and shouted another name. I heard my name from the back of the crowd, but had no way to get to the front to grab it.

Using my height to my advantage, I squirmed to the right hand edge of the printer phalanx and waited for my tag to work its way over there. When I saw it lying on the table in a pile of other tags, I shouted, "that's me, Phin" and shoved my paperwork at the harried printer clerk. He handed me my tag, and I waded back through the mosh pit to get away from it all.

As a result, people were waiting in a huge backlog at the head of the snake, and the tail often experienced these long delays for which they had no explanation. Now it's time for my armchair general speech. Guys, you've got Don Wakefield standing in front of your computer, and you just typed his name in. It took about ten seconds to print out his tag. Have him wait at the computer, where you know he is, and bring the tag to him. Then send him on his merry way. Waiting at the mosh pit took ten minutes, not ten seconds! I hope someone who actually has the power to change things saw what was going on last night and makes this simple change for registration this morning, or the poor saps are really going to suffer. We were in line three hours last night! THREE HOURS. It didn't have to be this way!!!

But now we get to take our showers and then head down to try to get our tickets for the Maaya Sakamoto concert. I'm sure that'll be much better.

Posted by dpwakefield at July 1, 2005 06:47 AM