The thrill and the fear of booking online

Buying concert tickets online wasn’t yet a thing in 1991 when it was announced that Neil Young was coming to town.

I had turned into a monster Young fan ever since watching him perform Like a Hurricane on the television show Midnight Special when I was 17, but I had never had a chance to see him perform live.

Convinced that this show was going to sell out, and determined not to miss it, I showed up at one of the ticket offices that Saturday morning two hours before it opened.

On my way over there I fretted that I was already too late and that the line-up would be out the door. Much to my surprise, only one other guy was standing in line, and only a handful more showed up by the time the booth opened. I bought tickets in the third row.

Unfortunately, Young’s Saskatoon date was cancelled a few weeks later and I never have seen him in concert.

Our kids had arrived by the time online booking became a way to buy concert tickets, and by then we had stopped going to concerts.

I did hear through the grapevine that buying tickets online could become a desperate experience if the concert was big enough — people frantically slamming their fingers on the booking button over and over again.

I’m also told that booking campsites online can be just as desperate, but I’ve never done that either.

However, last week I got a chance to finally experience the thrill and the fear of online booking. That’s because my age group became eligible to book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination.

I was a bit nervous as 8 a.m. approached last Wednesday. I got the laptop ready to go, carefully placed my health card beside it and waited for the clock to strike eight.

It didn’t start out well. I filled out my information, received an appointment date, tried to confirm it and was told the date was no longer available.

I clicked on a new date, only to have that disappear on me, too. I did that a few times, only to see the appointment date move further and further into the future. Eventually, the website stopped giving me options.

Then I tried the phone, but after 45 minutes on hold, I decided to go online again, and this time it worked.

I wonder if buying Fleetwood Mac tickets was ever this hard.

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