Our Readers' Opinions
August 20, 2010
Fashion or follow-fashion?

Fri, Aug 20, 2010

Editor: I have said it in the past and will continue to say that as a people we have travelled enough and we use the technology enough to know better. Why is it then that we do the things we do?{{more}}

I refer specifically to Saturday, 14th August, when, upon invitation, I made my way down to the Emerald Valley Casino to attend what promised to be a grand affair, scheduled to start exactly on time! Well, what took place left me feeling no small measure of sympathy for all patrons. I emphasize ‘all’, because, as is the popular thinking

for affairs such as these, there are patrons who are worth it and those who are not. This must be so, or else how does one justify placing some patrons out in the dew and others under a covered area, especially given the weather conditions at this time of the year!

Having been ‘warned’ by the organizer(s) to be seated by 6:45pm, patrons were on the road by 6 pm, some even much earlier. It meant, then, a few things: your Saturday chores had to be rearranged to accommodate the evening’s affair; you either had an early dinner/supper, or not; and, that the evening itself promised to be something grand and properly organized. I felt very confident that I was in for a treat, what with a venue bearing an exotic name, renowned designers, a ticket costing sixty dollars and, the directive to be seated early.

What a treat! Upon arrival, my anxiety to exit the vehicle-in part to mix and mingle with other stylishly attired patrons-was curtailed. I was forced to sit in traffic back-up until those so employed (?) learned to do the job they were assigned – park vehicles! What a mess. And it spread.

Patrons were met by a stern-faced host who chose deliberately not to smile while banding everyone. I cannot say that patrons were greeted, because they were not. Regarding the banding, experience informs that this act suggests that some form of refreshment will be served. Poor me! What I found out soon enough was that that particular act was simply performed to separate the sheep from the goats, and…well…I was a goat that night, if I’m to believe popular thinking that the ‘S’ is better than the ‘G’.

The assumption might be that since the majority of patrons would be goats, there would be little need for ensuring that pathways to the seating area were properly marked and safe. But certainly, the hundred-dollar patrons ought not to have been subjected to picking their way to seats, across an unsafe bridge-no railings on either side-through unlit paths, rocky/uneven surfaces, wet/muddy grass and the occasional flashlight!

At one point, I observed one gentleman gingerly assisting another, but elderly gentleman, through the dark. I began to burn inside. Having reached my seat by circuitous means, I found that the chairs were wet. The water on the chairs was visible! And guess what -absolutely no official to assist with something to wipe them! My host, quickly recognizing the futility of the situation, sat in the seat as a means of wiping same. That solved that. We then settled (word loosely used) in, awaiting the after-seven start. A fifteen-minute-late start I will not hold against you, but one hour? Thank God that I was able to focus on the single good of the evening – music from the sound track of Michael Jackson’s ‘This Is It’. Had the ‘movie’ been shown, that would have crowned the evening for me. One thing, though: I would have had to turn around in my seat to view the screen (I would have thought that marketers would want everyone to see their advertisements, not just VIPs). And the poor VIPs: they had to line up for refreshments!

In the end, I could not leave the venue sooner, but even that was problematic. Safety standards were compromised as vehicles were parked every which way. With attendants not armed with basic walkie-talkies, we had to trek back to the venue and ask for an announcement to be made.

Show organizers, Events Management 101.