Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The very first principle

While I am a great many things - I would never call myself principled. I have morals (no cheating, no killing, no white after labor day) but I don't really have principles. If that makes sense?! I figure there is a time and a place for everything, so I try not to limit myself...while I do love me some hyperbole I feel that saying that I am "never" going to do something is really just impractical, because with a drink or two and a "you won't" I can be game for pretty much anything.

Until today. I have found my one principle.

I refuse to buy tickets on Ticketmaster unless I absolutely have to. I understand that there are some festivals and what not that don't let you buy tickets at the door (or are so likely to sell out that trying to get them day of would be fool-hardy). But really, these exceptions are rare and for the most part I am now totally embargo-ing ticketmaster.

I am going to see the Joffrey's Cinderella in February with the lovely and talented Cindy Loo-hoo. This was my idea so it was my job to buy the tickets. No biggie - they're not that expensive for dress circle seats (although I did have a moment where I had to decide between dress circle - good view of everything, or far right balcony - amazing view of feet. I am such a ballet nerd). I even found a code online for 10% off the ticket price. Yippie! Hooray!

On Monday, while avoiding work, I logged in to ticketmaster and went about looking for tickets and after I did everything I noticed that there was a $4.50 convenience fee per ticket. Now, the tickets themselves were $37. And then 10% off, which means that the discount basically paid for (some of) the convenience fee. Well, that's kind of ridiculous when you get right down to it. And that doesn't include the tax that they added on for shits and giggles.

I decided to wait, thinking that I would just go buy them on my way to/from Hyde Park on Wednesday or Thursday, since I am going/coming from that direction anyway.

The rest of Monday happens and then some of Tuesday and then I am feeling stressed out and grouchy and lazy. Then I check the times for the Box Office and realize that they're only open until 6 PM. Which is fairly useless for me since I don't normally hit that neighborhood until about 6:15, unless I rush (which, in my lazy haze I decided I never do). So I decided I would suck it up and drop the extra money.

I decided that I would have the tickets mailed to me, because for some reason putting a 44 cent stamp on an envelope costs $2.50 LESS than me printing them out at home (really? really ticketmaster?) and that I would forgo any sort of insurance figuring that if the City of Chicago loses my tickets then I should probably take it as a sign and stop living here - because seriously, how do you live in a city that can't even deliver mail correctly).

Then when I'm all done and getting ready to give them my credit card I realize that there is another $3.30 fee that's tacked on at the very end. A 'handling' charge or something - I don't know what they're handling, but they need to knock it off.

At this point, my $66 worth of tickets has sky rocketed $79. Now I get that to all you rich white folks out there, $13 is not that much, but you have to understand that it is the PRINCIPLE of the thing (also, I am dirt poor).

How can they go about charging $13 of convenience fees??! And if I wanted the convenience of printing the tickets out on my own printer with my own ink and my own paper it would cost me an addition $2.50 (I don't know if that's per ticket...and really at this point it doesn't matter)...

Anyway - so this got me so enraged that I left work (this is all because my boss still isn't back from winter vay-cay and when you're your own boss...you get to do whatever you want including be an asshole on principle) took the train down to the theatre, had a conversation with an actual human being, picked out my tickets, handed them my credit card, and then was given a set of real tickets in a real envelope handed to me with a smile and a "Have a nice day."

You cannot BUY that people. And so now, I will continue doing stupid stuff because I live a mostly unprincipled life, except I will buy all my tickets in person...because that is what is really important.

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She's pint-sized and amazing.