When Events Go Wrong Before the Event

The flyer was pinned to the message board in the real estate brokerage I worked in. I thought it would be something worth taking in, a one night seminar about mortgage funding for single parents. Definitely something useful to have a grasp of in my business. I copied down the web address and went to my desk to book my ticket.

The website was obviously a rushed effort, but it was a one off event so I was only slightly put off. I was put off enough to vow not to use my credit card to order online so I called the number provided. My call was routed to an answering service. I use one too, so not a big deal. I left my contact information and the reason I was calling, which was to where I could pick up a ticket. No call back that day, so towards the close of the next business day I called again. The call was picked up by the same answering service. I left another message, and said this was my second call. The following day I received a call back. Annoying, because in my business getting back to people quickly is the norm.

The caller wanted me to order online, explaining that my information would be added to the database automatically to print my pass, which would be waiting at the door. It sounded reasonable, but I was feeling uncomfortable. It was only $40, so I purchased a prepaid VISA card and made the order. I received an onscreen notice that my payment had been received, but nothing that was printable. I needed a receipt for the expense. Now I was getting annoyed.

The night of the seminar I was actually anxious. $40 wasn’t the issue, but rather what I could be doing that would be more productive if the evening was a waste. I gave the lady sitting at the table with rows and rows of name tag passes laid out my name. My stress level hit the roof when I was told there did not seem to be a name tag for me. Only by chance did I spot my name tag with my first and last names reversed. I pointed out the name tag to the lady, who handed it to me while apologizing, “Another backwards one, I’m sorry.”

I looked up the website on my phone, and sure enough I had put my first and last name in the fields labeled for each, last name first. I smiled knowing that anyone with their name correct on the name tag actually didn’t read the form, filling it out blindly. I made it a point to get their business cards. After all, if I have to deal with them during a property sale it’s good to know they don’t actually read the documents they fill out.

The seminar went well. However, I’ll never attend another managed by the same company. I have enough aggravation in my life without paying someone to add more.


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