It’s Monday morning and normally I’d be pulling the house back together from the weekend. Instead, I’m having coffee with one of my besties, Jeri. She and I have a standing coffee date that I wrote about here. Thursdays are our day! We meet come rain or shine, snow or hail. It’s written in stone and nothing comes between us and our coffee dates.
Except Dr’s. appointments. More recently because of repairmen who seem to only be able to make house-calls on Thursday mornings. What gives!
So we’ve adjusted and tweaked our schedules a bit. Monday’s are now the day. (At least for the immediate future.) Our coffee dates have turned an ordinarily dreaded and hated day of the week into a day that I now look forward to. Hurray!! Monday’s are fab!
This morning, while catching up with each other and everything that’s happened in our lives since last week, we decided that we’d make this upcoming holiday season super special and go see a play in the city. There’s nothing we love more than to spend time downtown. The people, the lights, the beautiful river walk, the restaurants and lively bar scenes make for such fun.
So, a play for the holidays it is!! It was all decided! After discussing it for a while we settled on Mamma Mia!! YAY!!
I was put in charge of looking for good seats. No problem! I love this kind of task. I’m a self-declared event planner. I could plan, coordinate and execute events like there’s no tomorrow! A regular party girl, that’s me! Now that I think of it, I probably should have been a concierge at some big, swanky city hotel or high-end specialty retail store because of my love for (a) events, and (b) all things swanky!!
After coffee, I raced home and got out my computer. I looked at the seats that were still available for the date that we had agreed upon. Lots of availability popped up. Hurray!! I carefully studied the seating chart (just as a professional event planner would do!) and chose two seats where I knew there would be nothing obstructing our view. We were on our way!! Great!
Or, so I thought. I went from the “select your seat” page to the “security” page” when things started to go awry. What is with these security pages that pop up all over the Internet when trying to purchase any kind of venue tickets? They’re annoying. And, impossible to read.
The security screen that popped up informed me that in order to help “fight bots” I was to type the letters that appeared on the image in front of me.
Huh? It was like trying to decipher Russian. No, it was worse than Russian. The image I was staring at was like a big mass of scribbles. Who could read it? Not me. And worse yet, there was a timer counting down the number of minutes I had to complete the purchase before I would lose the seats. It was making me nervous. It had big red flashing letters that said “You’ve got 3 minutes before you lose your selected seats.” YIKES! I quickly typed out random letters that I thought I was seeing. Nope. Wrong letters. Nuts! A new combination popped up. It was worse than the first set of letters.
I glanced up at the timer.. “You’ve got 1 minute 32 seconds before you lose your selected seats.” Good Grief! I was going to lose my perfectly thought out seats if I didn’t guess the right combination.
I noticed a large button next to the alien image. It said to click if you wanted a new image. YES! I want a new image! An image that people can actually read! I clicked the button. Nope, couldn’t read the image either. I was starting to sweat. My fingers which normally sailed over the keyboard effortlessly now felt damp and clumsy. I think I was making typo’s but what did it matter? I was randomly guessing and typing any old letters in hopes of hitting the jackpot.
And then – “ding ding ding” – the page went black. My shoulders slumped in defeat. My hands fell off the keyboard and down to my sides. I had lost our seats. I stared at the blank screen. What had just happened? If these sites have an option to press a button for a new image, then they must be aware that nobody can read their STUPID IMAGES in the first place!
Well! I was going to give somebody a piece of my mind! I was going to call the theater and demand to talk to the manager. I wanted those seats that just two minutes ago were in my online cart. I was going to tell them that no normal human being on the planet can decipher what that secret scrambled image says. Ever.
I quickly googled the number of the theater and called it. It rang a few times and then was picked up….. by a recording. Oyyyyyy! Another pet peeve! I listened to a mechanical sounding voice on the other end and was given a list of prompts. I pressed the number associated with talking to an agent and was transferred. The phone rang again. One ring…two ring…three ring… BINGO! The line was picked up…by a recorded voice. It stated that tickets could only be purchased at the box office and that the box office was only opened during performances. Some good that would do me!
Okay, it was on to plan B.
Or, plan A revisited. I went back to the theater’s website. This time I was prepared. I knew what was coming. I plugged in all of my information. Our seats were still there. Hurray for small miracles!! I added them to my online cart. Andddd, there it was. The crazy security image. I stayed calm and stared at it. I plugged in some letters. Wrong. Tried again. Nope. And one more time. YES! It worked!! I had no idea what letters I had plugged in or how I got them to work but I wasn’t going to question it. I hit “purchase” and Wallah!! The tickets were ours! Mamma Mia here we come!!
I knewww I was a talented event planner!