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EMMA CONNOLLY: When holding on the line turns out to be just the right ticket!

May 12th, 2024 3:31 PM

By Emma Connolly

EMMA CONNOLLY: When holding on the line turns out to be just the right ticket! Image
After holding for more than 40 minutes Emma got her panto tickets and is way more excited about that than seeing Bruce!

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The jury is still out on whether I’ll join the thousands of others off to pay homage to Bruce Springsteen in Páirc Uí Chaoimh next week and I’ve no concrete plans made yet for the summer holidays, so it’s probably a bit ironic that a night out in December is already firmly marked in my diary ... sure it takes all kinds!

• I HAD two really positive customer service experiences this week that are worth sharing. So remember how I said I was going to be that person (nutter?) who booked the pantomime tickets on the very day they went on sale in May?

Right, so when that day dawned, last Wednesday to be precise, I was all set, like a dog with a bone.

They were going on sale at noon, so (quite cleverly I thought) I dialled the Opera House box office with around three minutes to go.

Unfortunately, the person on the other end wasn’t having any of it and told me to call back.

Close, but no cigar. I rang back as the Angelus bells sounded and ... 40 minutes later I was still being told that my ‘call was very important’ to them and that someone would be with me soon.

I started getting a bit hot and bothered but told myself not to panic so I peeled the potatoes for dinner, I made a pancake batter for breakfast the next day, I did the dishes, folded some laundry ... and still my very important call was waiting in line.

• So that’s when I did something radical.

I went online to see if I could book the tickets that way.

Now, I’m not an online person. I’m more of an in-person person.

Even if there’s 50 people in the supermarket queue and no one at the self-service check out, I’ll wait (I tell a lie: last week I had to do the self-scan option as there wasn’t anyone on the till and I got totally flummoxed and had to ask the more senior customer beside me to help me. Is it just me or are those barcodes impossible to spot?).

Same for the bank: I’ll wait at the cash desk for however long (it can range from a few minutes to a few days!) rather than chance the automated machines. Even if I’m getting the train and the platform says ‘Cork’ and the train itself says ‘Cork’ and everyone boarding is ‘boy’ this and ‘like’ that ... I’ll still have to double check with someone and ask ‘this is the Cork train isn’t it?’. That’s just me. Like.

• Anyway, so there I was, still on-hold but also online with a slightly raised heartbeat, and perspiring brow.

Fortunately, even for a slightly-dense luddite like me the process was very straight forward and I managed to complete the booking ... just at the exact same time as my call was answered.

Pure gas! And here’s the good bit now, I explained to the girl my situation (a more condensed version of the above paragraphs, leaving out the bit about the train and the bank etc), she reviewed my booking, changed us to better seats and wait for it, all for a better price too! I was overjoyed.

We’ve no holidays booked, but the panto night out is in the diary. May the Lord spare us until December now is all I can say!

• So my second positive experience went like this: Santa brought us a little snazzy karaoke machine last Christmas.

You had to call the lyrics up on your phone, but it had flashing lights and two microphones and we all got so much fun out of it. I have to admit that I always get a thrill out of using a mic. I think most people do if they’re not used to one.

Testing, testing etc! The rest of the family used it mainly for belting out a tune or two but I found it very useful for announcing things like ‘dinner is on the table’ or ‘close the door after you.’

Anyway, it was a huge hit, except only a week after we got it, it went all temperamental on us.

Sometimes it would work, and sometimes there wasn’t a geek out of it, until it gave up completely.

I had half an idea where Santa might have picked it up and thought I’d bring it back to see if anything could be done.

Then a few weeks went by, and a few more, and I still hadn’t got around to it (despite the fact that it was residing in the boot of the car since January).

Anyway, last week I was in the vicinity of the shop and I popped in, told my tale and within around three minutes I was leaving with a new karaoke machine under my arm.

I could not believe it but such is the magic of Santa. The public service announcements have resumed – I’ve currently got it on standby to roar at the canvassers to ‘come around to the back door please!’

• Right, so has everyone get their Cúl Camp kits at this stage? The excitement! Sure our summers wouldn’t be the same without it now.

Someone suggested that if there was an option to get your kids’ initials initialled on the sleeve, for an extra cost of course, it would be a huge hit and I agree.

I’m sure it would make the lives of Cúl Camp coaches easier too, when yet another kid comes up to them at going home time to say they can’t find their top ... which looks exactly like the other 100 tops on the pitch!

• Anyway, it’s hard to believe the May Bank Holiday is behind us already, and it’s full steam ahead now for the poor souls getting ready for State exams.

We’ve got Brucie in town next week too – I’ve got first refusal on a ticket and am toying with the idea of going even if I’m not his biggest fan. I’d have to figure out what to wear, though, and would the queues for the loo be very long I wonder?

Also, do you think he’d wrap it up before 11 pm so I could be all tucked up by midnight (it’s a school night!) and finally, would people laugh if I brought a fold-up chair? So much to consider. I think you can see why the panto is really more my thing!

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