How did you spend your day today? Living near DC, I joined legions of other DC Metro Area parents, ticket hawkers, and other moms and dads from all over the country online trying to score White House Easter Egg Roll tickets only to experience hope, disappointment, and frustration repeatedly throughout the day.
This year the White House abandoned the old practice of waiting in line on the Ellipse the weekend before the event. When I first heard that tickets were going to be distributed online, I thought this was a brilliant idea. No longer would families be camping out, trading parenting shifts to secure highly coveted tickets and families from all over the country would come to gather on the White House Lawn for this great event. Going online to reserve tickets seemed like a much more humane method of ticketing.
Or so I thought. Since the ticketing information was quite vague, there was a lot of speculation about the process for obtaining tickets. The official website did not say what time today the online ticketing portal would open and there were also rumors of a lottery system. Speculation abounded on my various DC mom listservs, Twitter, and through my friends on Facebook.
When ticketing finally became available, it was clear that the Obama Administration and/or the online ticketing system powered by Front Gate Tickets did not to understand the lengths that parents will go to for White House Easter Egg Roll tickets whether waiting outside in the cold or camping out online.
Messages on my listservs, Tweets from strangers who answered my query about tickets, and friends on Facebook reported checking all day long. I was doing everything right. We were doing the same thing but the game was just about waiting, clicking, and refreshing the screen. Over and over again.
Every once and awhile I was lucky enough to wait, click, enter, wait, hope, wait, wait, and wait only to be kicked out by a server error. Or the ticketing server crashing. Or my browser timing me out from having to wait too long for the screen to update. Numerous times I was lucky enough to click on the link allowed me to enter the Front Gate Ticketing portal, select the number of tickets for my desired time, and get to the verification page only to have the Front Gate server time out due to overwhelming demand. Then it became another round of waiting, clicking, and refreshing in hopes that the ticket portal would open up for me again.
I never got my tickets and realized today that my love of technology only goes so far. As much as I love all things digital, I prefer when everything works and when it isn’t riddled with frustration.
Perhaps the Obama Administration will reconsider the ticketing system for the 2010 Easter Egg Roll and revert back to distributing tickets on the Ellipse. If so, I’ll take my chances waiting for my tickets with the masses in potentially cold weather rather than chance it on inadequate technology.
Or if the online system is as bad next year as it was this year, I’ll worship eBay or CraigsList when I give up and just buy a set of tickets for my family. Earlier this evening I watched 6 tickets sell for the Buy It Now price of $979. *rolling eyes*
And if they switch to TicketMaster then I might just vote for another president in 4 years.
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Original post by Tech Savvy Mama