Thursday, July 20, 2017

Muny tickets - 'til death do us part

Real quick, for those of you from another country who may have just stumbled upon my blog.  The Muny is America's oldest and largest outdoor theatre.  It is in one of the largest parks in the United States - Forest Park.  Yes, we are bigger than Central Park in New York.  This is in St. Louis, Missouri and going to the Muny is a part of St. Louis summer traditions.  On with this post.
This past Tuesday, we were at the Muny for one of our rescheduled sessions of Something Happened on the way to the Forum.  Phenomenal performance, but that's not the point of this post.  The person sitting next to me talked about how they were not in their usual seasons seats, in row A.  Wow!  Row A?  Those are usually seats that have been and continue to be in families for decades.  Yes, decades.  Most people don't give up those seats, except through death and not having a child.  So, I asked him how long he has had those seats.  He said a few years.  A few years?  That's less than 10 years and in my book, from everything I know about prime Muny tickets, that's not possible.  How can you start a few years ago, like I did, and start on row A?  I wanted to know.
He explains.  It was technically not his seats.  He didn't own them.  Ah Ha!  I knew it!  The person who owned the tickets/seats has had them since 1916 is what he told me.  We calculated to 102 years.  Hmm.  My math is off.  Maybe he said 1915?  Irrespective, that's a long time and if you have tickets to the Muny for so long, of course you are going to be in row A.  Heck, at that point, you might as well be box seats A.  As I'm typing this blog, I just realized that 102 years of holding those seats is simply not possible.  The Muny turns 100 next year.  So, maybe he meant 1960 or 1950 and it just sounded to me like 1916 or 1915?  I remember the 102 years though.  Oh well.  That's not the point.  The point is that the owner of those tickets on row A cannot transfer them.  The Muny will not allow a transfer.  Basically, the owners had several tickets in Row A and didn't use all of them anymore but they didn't want to give up those remaining tickets either.  Why give them up?  So, it moves laterally through them to their friends.  My point in this is that everyone is doing it.  No one is giving up their tickets.  They keep it but have their friends pay for it or just give it away to their friends and it's all noble and fine.  I feel that since it's already going on, why not allow a transfer of those tickets to the person of the owner's choice.  It's happening anyway!  The Muny rule is keep it in the family, but is it really being kept in the family?
I recently heard of a woman who doesn't even live in St. Louis anymore but she doesn't want to give up her tickets.  She maybe comes to one show out of 7 and gives the rest away.  I don't know.  I guess it's like owning property or a home in another state that you never use.  Why can't someone just buy that home from you?  Well, no one wants to give up their prime property, right?  And without the transferability (or sale of home) to friends or even nieces/nephews, one would want to keep it.  I feel, ticket transfers should be allowed. Why not?  Or maybe it's not allowed so in cases of death, there can be movement after all, but if there was transferability, there would be no movement and people in the rows at back will not ever be able to move forward.
So, my forward progress inches along.  I think I've had Muny season's tickets for 7 years now.  I was able to move 3 rows forward this season from row J to row G.  It is something.  If I ever get lucky enough to hit the row A in my lifetime, I would want my niece to be able to take it from me before I pass away.  Otherwise, those tickets cannot be willed.
For now, any movement of tickets, literally means the death of someone.  I can give up my Fox tickets after this season but I won't be willing to give up my Muny tickets.  I never considered it, but looks like I'll have Muny tickets 'til death do us part.
Before I go, a quick note to those of you who have never been to the Muny.  If you are in the St. Louis area in the summer, try a show there.  It's well worth it.  It's a neat experience.
Best to you all,

The odd one out

We're all unique in our own ways, but sometimes, how unique is too unique.  When does the bell shaped norm drift into an outlier?  It all started at my office.  As a business owner, we're always looking for new ways to market the practice.  Of course, there's the "what are other offices doing?" question.  Should I, as a business owner, market my business that way or should I go about it with what I know (which is not much at all, unfortunately).
Recently, I heard of a marketing plan that another office was using.  They were raffling tickets to Ed Sheeran (whoever that is) or the Cardinals.  I guess in their office, there was an option for which raffle one wanted to win.  You could only pick one.  Apparently, for this office, 70% of their patients wanted the Cardinals tickets.  I was talking with someone who said they would want the Cardinals tickets and that they never missed a single game.  Someone else said Ed Sheeran.  I said, I wouldn't enter either raffle.  I take that back.  I would probably enter and then give the tickets away if I won.
Then it hit me.  All my marketing plans with raffling items would not be as successful, because it does not follow the platinum rule.  I do not feel the pulse of the average person.  We have raffled Oral B's latest toothbrush ($200 value) and we didn't get much interest.  I guess, raffling items that people don't care about is not a good idea.  Who cares about their teeth?  Seriously?  Apparently, what I value is not what the average person values, for the most part.  I probably should have considered that a great toothbrush is not as fun as a sports or a concert ticket.
Regarding show tickets, I know what tickets I would want to raffle for my office - musical tickets to the Muny or the Fox.  Maybe even symphony orchestra tickets, but the average person would give me that "I'm so sorry you are that way" look.  Yet again, I'm reminded of a post from 2 years ago, still sitting in my unfinished pile.  It was part of my trip to LA with my cousins.  What they loved is very different from what I value.
I can see where I'm different, but then I wonder.  There has to be something to connect on?  The only thing I can think of is Harry Potter.  I share that experience with all those who have read the 7 book series, and the Harry Potter fans are in the majority; thank God for that! Maybe I am a part of something.
If I'm looking at it as a personal trait, I would say, yay!  From a business point of view, I definitely need help.  I don't want to raffle things people don't care about.  Maybe I should just ask my older teenage patients about what they think is the coolest.
The obvious reasons for my disconnect may be age and a generation gap, but do we really want to go there?  Yes, let's please delve into it for a brief moment.  I will leave you all with this question regarding being more mature and having a change in interests compared to the younger generation.  Snap chat.  I think it's the dumbest thing ever!  Seriously, I have people wanting to take my picture and make me look like a dog or a cat or add a dumb tiara on me or something stupid and then the picture comes out and everyone laughs.  Isn't this just great?  Ya right!  SMH.  Part of me thinks, "does this really float your boat?  Seriously?" and sometimes I'll say it and sometimes I'll just walk away from the Snap chat hub of, in my opinion, childishness.  Back to the age thing.  There is someone I know who is 15 years older than me.  One day she tells me about how the kids are doing this new thing called Snap chat and how much fun it is.  I give her this incredulous look.  I know what Snap chat is but I don't think it's fun.  She tells me that I don't know what it is then.  She brings out a picture and makes it one where the tongue sticks out like a cartoon.  This is Snap chat, she tells me.  Isn't this fun?  I wonder if she is just faking it.  Maybe age has nothing to do with it.  I may just be an outlier yet again regarding what I find as interesting or worthy.  Or maybe I'm boring.  Such is life.
I do have to run and finish the other "draft" on my inbox but thought I would let you guys read this for a bit and see what you think.