Monday, October 13, 2008

It's a Big Week for Me

I worked the So You Think You Can Dance touring show tonight. Do you know about this? I had no idea it was a big deal. It was a sold out show. Seriously. It boggles the mind.

But that's not why it's a big week for me. It's a big week because my baby's getting born this week. On Wednesday, at noon. The database project in which I have a personal stake goes live. I worked SYTYCD, but my bosses just planted me in front of a computer to work on the database. I never know where I'll work for an event until I get there, but tonight, surprise! they needed me more for this than for that. I usually get a higher rate of pay for database work than I get for ushering work, but I didn't even care today that I was getting ushering pay for databasing. I just want it finished. I've been telling my bosses for a couple of months now to get on it, to play with it, to practice, to explore, to give me feedback. Did they do that? No, they did not. There were football games; there were concerts. They didn't have time. Three days before go time, suddenly they're hot to trot. They've got changes. Now they've got changes. But hey, at least it's finally going live. Glory be.

You see, when you usher at the arena, you travel back in time to some time in the late '70's, when people know that there are such things as computers, but these computing machines generally don't affect their daily lives. Here's the time-honored signup procedure for getting onto an event that you want to work:

1. Show up at the building at the same time as 200 other ushers. If you can't make it, you're screwed.

2. Write your name on a sheet of paper, next to one of a couple hundred consecutive numbers.

3. Sit around. Shoot the shit. Catch up on the gossip. Feed your toddler lunch. Let him run around and charm the retirees who make up a large percentage of the ushering population. If he's in a crappy mood, you're screwed.

4. Watch the boss draw a number out of a hat. Hope that it's yours, or close behind yours. Close ahead of yours and you're screwed.

5. Line up with everybody else. The lucky stiff with the drawn number is at the head of the line with each consecutive number coming behind.

6. Slowly trudge past a table full of colored sheets of paper representing available events. Some have only two or three available spaces; some have dozens. Sign up for the ones with available spots, if they happen to be on days that you can work. If there aren't any, you're screwed. When the few perfect-for-you events fill up, you're screwed.

7. Stop by the building one or more times a week for the next month to see if anyone's taken themselves off of one of those colored sheets of paper so that you can put yourself on. If they haven't, you're screwed. If somebody else beat you to it, you're screwed. If you live, oh, let's say "hypothetically" twenty miles away from the building, you're screwed.

So, there you go. That's the system my database replaces. It will mean that we (and by "we" I mean "I") can sign up for events from home. The next month's events will still open at noon on a particular Wednesday, but now we can all fight for spots from the comfort of our homes while our toddler sons take naps. This will be particularly helpful to me now that my own toddler son prefers to be unconscious at noon rather than eating lunch and charming retirees. And doubly glorious: we can simply open a browser window to see if any spots have become available insteading of driving 40 miles round trip to find out that no spots have in fact become available. I may or may not be able to actually get onto more events this way, but I am sure that I will save money on gas. And maybe I won't feel quite so screwed.


Pasifik said...

Congratulation for your newborn! I'm still struggling to have a baby. I can imagine how wonderful it is to have a new member of family.

Keep posting,


anne said...

this is so cool that you could identify the problem and then solve it... and get paid to do it!


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