Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Apparently Not

For the past few weeks I've struggled to get tickets to the Harry Potter exhibit at the Pacific Science Center.  Issues with my login and the ticket booth's computer stymied me day after day.

Last Friday I tried again.  Pushing many buttons on my phone eventually yielded a receptionist.  I told her I was having problems buying tickets on-line.  She asked for more detail, and I hoped her plan was to connect me with just the right tech person. I enumerated my problems logging into my Science Center account, which had worked this summer when I signed the kids up for summer camp. She started a little problem solving, so I assured her I used the right email address (I only use one),  I promised her I had clicked on the "forgot my password" link many times to no avail. After a pause, she suggested I restart my computer.

Trying to hold back my deeply contemptuous and snarky remarks, I choked out, "Restarting my computer is not going to affect my access to your database."  Deep breath.  And then very politely, "Would you please connect me with someone with technical experience?"

To which she replied, "I was a computer programmer for almost twenty years, does that count?"

You can't believe how much restraint it took me not to respond, "Apparently not."


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To be completely fair to the Science Center, said receptionist finally connected me with the membership department.  A lovely man on the other end of the line explained that the box office and the education departments maintained two separate databases, so I need to establish an account for the box office database. He then very pleasantly helped me get the exact tickets I had hunted for so many weeks.

5 comments:

Dea-chan said...

Wow. That's... sad. Although, as my guy was in Tech Support for a while, apparently "Restart your computer" is code for "I have no clue what's going on, lemme stall".

Sara said...

Oh, yeah, I know that stall. I worked in the test group for NT at MSFT for a while and always ran a beta. Which meant lots of calling the guys to come over and help because my machine wasn't working. They had me restart a lot....

Margaret said...

You'll love this comic:
http://www.xkcd.com/806/

Molly said...

Crazy coincidence... you saw this http://xkcd.com/806/, right? Except of course in your case you were theoretically talking to the right person...

Sara said...

I DO love it! What a great comic that exactly mirrors more than one of my tech support experiences over the years!

Thanks.