Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ferris Wheel Scalper

We went to the fair, and  I had already bought my tickets in advance. I paid half price, because advance tickets were on sale.No waiting in long lines a the ticket booth! Score! It was 'dollar ride night' or 'one ticket a ride' night, because the tickets were one dollar a piece.

Simple, right?

Well, MY tickets are different, they are striped and printed on them is .50 because they were a special deal. The man at the giant slide handing out wool blankets explained to the girl taking tickets that the striped ones were some 'online deal' and they were good.

Every ride accepted them as one ticket. The Tilt-a-Whirl dude had no idea what special was going on, just took whatever you gave him. He looked at our tiny ticket squares - that's what they were this year - with amusement, and also like they were psychedelic. He was really nice, but I think he had just woken up. I had the feeling he'd probably let us on for a sandwich... but I digress. Just because I was frugal, didn't mean my tickets counted any differently.. until the ferris wheel.

I (and my son) get up there and the man says, "He needs to ride with you."

And I say, "Yeah, there's two tickets."  I give an encouraging smile.

"No ma'am, it's dollar ride night, these tickets are 50 cents. It costs a dollar."

Confused, I attempt to straighten him out. "I paid a dollar PER ticket, it's one ticket to ride."

"Look Ma'am, this says 50 cents. It's a dollar to ride." He shows me the ticket, where the .50 is printed clearly.

"These are ADVANCE tickets. Each ticket is WORTH a dollar. The lady said.."

"Well she told you wrong! Take it up with her! Go on." So I turned and ushered my son back down the entrance ramp.

"Fine." (I always have to have the last word, don't I?)

"Mom, we aren't going to ride the ferris wheel?"

"He kicked us off, he wanted two tickets instead of one."

The man watched me for a good 30 minutes after that. He was thinking I was chicken for not going to the office and complaining right then. He was thinking I had PLANNED to dupe him, that I was devious.

Hopefully, you people know me better than that.

While my post is mostly about a miscommunication in the terms "Dollar ride night" and "One ticket per ride night", I was reminded of this story (rant) by a link to this crazy policy in a New York restaurant.

After reading about the way the man was treated over some 'policy' (It's always easier to blame the system isn't it?) I was thinking of the daycare policy that made me leave the daycare.

The contract sets forth that parents who pay cash must pay the daycare provider during holidays and vacation days that they are closed and not working. I was not working either, and not getting paid, so I was unable to spend money I didn't have. I explained that I could pay her back over time, but that was a breach of contract. If they let me do that, then they had to let ALL the OTHER parents do it too. If I did not pay, and chose to withdraw my son, I could never return. I didn't.

Rather than accept a late payment by a parent who pays cash, they chose to fill that spot with a kid on assistance from the state, WHO DOESN'T PAY WHEN THE CHILD IS NOT IN ATTENDANCE. The state doesn't pay them for vacations, so why should I?

I get that a business needs to know it's costs and income, but partial payment is better than no payment. Even the state sometimes pays them late.

In this case, the anti-discriminatory policy discriminated against ME, the PAYING parent.

Policies are weird.

So are carnies.

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