Behind the scenes of a box office

mera events box office

 Box office madness

So, I and a team of people were asked to help out at the box office, a place where tickets are sold or delivered, for Skrillex show. Since I hadn’t been to a concert in years, it was a little exciting, even though I wasn’t familiar with who Skrillex is or the fact that he doesn’t know me either didn’t really bother which wouldn’t have been the case with other artistes. For those of you who haven’t heard of Skrillex either, he is an electronic music producer born in 1988. He is a US-born music producer, DJ and a songwriter too.

The day was here and not much to be excited about, we reached the venue and started setting up counters. By late afternoon, people began arriving in the hope of collecting their tickets earlier in order to find a vantage point to watch. It was sunny outside and our huge tented box office got occupied with our team-mates ready to man the ticket counters, and braced for a passionate start which we have been waiting for a few days.

About 20-30 of us manned those entry booths and when we stepped outside the box for some air, we could feel that it’s still cooler outside. But the unusually scorching dusk too didn’t matter to the people, as a few still lingered around the parking lot waiting for the time. In some time, the counters were packed with people standing in serpentine queues waiting to be served and it was crazy trying to attend to everything so precisely that the fear of making a mistake was not even close. While we brag about how good we were at the counter, a daunting task of managing those people standing on the lot and streamlining everyone into the designated lanes to smoothen the process needs a word of praise.

My partner was a little slow and I kept on nagging him to speed up giving away the wrist bands and the LDA (Legal drinking age) bands and the tickets to match up my pace and so we wouldn’t have to slow down. After he got the hang of it, he started taking the heat along with me and we served at least two people every 60 seconds and this routine of giving away tickets included identification check, and issuing of tickets with bands.

Since ours was not a cash counter, we had to validate the e-Tickets/m-tickets produced by the patrons. We had to scan the barcodes to check the veracity of the claim of the tickets and redeem the same with physical tickets and the relevant material including the bands.

It’s not like we had a whole stack of ticket books kept with us. There were multiple counters akin to the one manned by my partner and I. Rather, we needed to run up to the ticket manager to get a couple books every time we ran out of the tickets. Though this decreased our turnaround time, it was okay because we learnt that we were managing probably one of those fastest moving queues among others.

Apart from working on counters give away tickets, it was fun watching our colleagues stomping feet as they saw people getting in to see Skrillex perform live. Of course, they were indeed gripped by a sense of missing out. Yet, there were no regrets. We gulped down a lot of bottles of water, while we were drenched in sweat handing out tickets that kept us standing for hours serving the unstoppable crowd gathering for Skrillex. People coming for tickets had their own concerns to present and expect to be helped. This naturally wiped the tiresomeness from the faces of those manning the counters.

Helping anyone was alright, but some attendees had to be handled with care for obvious reasons which are anybody’s guess. Apparently, I did help a few people. We, as a team, were also engrossed in our own madness inside the box office which gives out the maximum number of tickets in the least amount of time apart from our scramble for T-shirts, fighting for the right size.

With the fast moving lanes and time coming closer to the start of the concert, there were a lot more people in the queues than in our lanes and we knew the rush hour is over and were able to sit down for a change. All in all, it was a great experience filled with energy, hot air, T-shirts and a great team that gave us a sense of enormous fulfillment on that productive day.

Syed Hussaini

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