Monday, February 22, 2016

Pensacon pre-show

I went to Pensacon on Friday. That's the Pensacola Comic Con. It's in Pensacola. But I bet you figured that out by now. I'm not much of a convention kinda guy, but The Doctor was there, and it was one I hadn't met. Which is most of them.

Peter Davison, The Doctor (1982-1984: Stories 117-136)
Anyway, it was crowded. At least, the line to get in was crowded. I got sunburned from standing in line, and am still a little uncomfortable. I'm still more than frustrated over the line to get in. I'm kinda ticked off. And, I wasn't the only one. Many in that line were not happy about it. But let me tell you about this one guy.

After two hours standing in the sun, we (that is, I and the people immediately around me) had advanced to near the stations where actual passes were issued. This is not as good as it sounds. All that meant was that we were now at the turn around point, and had to proceed through the queue that now moved away from the entrance back to the road, then back to the entrance and the passes stations.

When we got to the turn-around point near the entrance, we could see the six stations. They were numbered 1-6. Stations 1 and 2 were handling Will Call. That was us. We had purchased tickets ahead of time, already paid for them, had printout receipts from which our actual passes would be issued.

What about stations 3-6? Well, those were for on-site sales. People who hadn't purchased tickets in advance, but simply wanted to walk up, hand over money, and go in.

How many were in the Will Call queue? Hundreds. Handled by two stations.

How many were in the On-Site Sales queue? None. Zero. Handled by four stations.

That made us not very happy. It made one person in particular not very happy. And he let them know about it.

Our Hero stood up on the railing, waved to get the attention of one of the cashiers (number 5, I think it was), and yelled out his questions.

"You not Will Call?"

She shook her head, unsure, it seemed, of where this conversation might go.

"People who haven't already bought a ticket?"

The crowd was quiet now. All conversation had stopped. The Pensacola police officer a little ways down to the left hadn't yet made his appearance. At least, I didn't see him at that time.

"So if I get out of this line I've been in, go over there and give you money, I can get a pass right now and go on in?"

Number 5 slowly nodded.

Mr. Unhappy proceeded to march his unhappy ass through the queue and over to Station 5. She had left her post about that time, and had, it appeared, gone to get someone to deal with Loud Mouth.

With Station 5 abandoned, Loud Mouth went to the next station. Number 4 was a quiet, unassuming young lady, not quite sure what Fate had bestowed upon her.

"I want to buy a ticket to get in." A credit card and driver's licence was produced and handed to Number 4, who took it and began typing.

About that time, some young Bernie Sanders voter-looking fellow showed up and asked what was the problem.

"This is ridiculous. You got two people handling hundreds in Will Call and these four handling nobody. Whoever is in charge of this is incompetent. Is that you?"

BSV didn't actually address the question, but said that there were three people handling Will Call, and four handling Sales. He didn't explain how three stations plus four stations equals six stations. Bernie Sanders math, I suppose.

"That's nuts. You got all these people done paid their money and they been waiting hours, and these people over here (pointing to Stations 3-6) not doing anything."

"You need to calm down. Lower your voice."

"You need to fix this."

Number 4 spoke up. "He's already in the system. He already purchased tickets."

"That's right. And I've been waiting hours in that line, while you got two people working that line. These other people, you need to put some resources on Will Call and get it moving."

"We have three on Will Call and four on Sales."

"You need to put your resources where the demand is."

"Nobody else is complaining."

It went back and forth. Finally, BSV said, "You've already paid. We'll issue you your pass, and..."

"No no no no. All these people here? That would mean I've jumped them in line simply by being an ass. That's wrong. No. Don't do that to them. I'm not going to. I'm in the sales line, and I'm going to pay for another ticket. But you need to get this fixed."

"We have three on Will Call and four on Sales."

"And that's not how you need to be doing it. If you knew anything about business, you'd put your efforts where they're needed."

I was unable to hear what BSV said as he left Number 4 to finish dealing with Our Hero.

The tone was lower now, and the conversation wasn't audible to the front of the line, but there were smiles from Number 4 and Loud Mouth as they concluded the transaction.

With a look of both disgust and satisfaction, Mr. Unhappy then proceeded towards the doors, past the Pensacola police officer who seems to have been waiting to see how this would turn out. Approaching the doors, Loud But Not Vulgar stopped in mid step, then slowly proceeded to the long line to actually enter.

It was about 30 minutes before Our Hero made it into the actual building. It was about 30-45 minutes before the group Mr. Unhappy had been in queue with made it through the Will Call and to the next line.

Was he crazy? He was angry. Maybe crazy, too.

I was crazy. I got up early, drove to Pensacola, stood in line for hours, got inside, found Peter Davison, got his autograph on six DVDs, and left. That's the only thing I was there for. Pensacon fell on a bad time again this year, but I've seen his appearance schedule and it was the best opportunity in 2016 for me to get Peter Davison's signature.

So, ten hours total driving, a few hours in lines, and spending over $200 for autographs of one person? Yep, I'm thinking I'm the crazy one.

Pensacon, by the way, did assign some additional resources to Will Call. But not enough. After I got the autographs and left, the line was still stretched out to the driveway, down the sidewalk, and up to the road. Hundreds who had missed the Pre-Show entertainment.

I'm not sure who was the winner in all this. Peter Davison, I think.


  1. Dude, the back door was wide open!

  2. They actually ran me from there earlier.

  3. "Bernie Sanders voter-looking fellow"

    Did he look like the doüchenozzle, as well? You know, ugly libtard mouth, mean face, unkempt hair, whiny attitude?

  4. The hair was slightly better. And he was college-age, maybe. Looked like a Bernie Sanders voter.

    I was wondering for a second if we might all get a close look at him, but, alas, there was no snatching of him and dragging him across the table. Woulda been fun to see, though.


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