A while back, I wrote about automatic teller machines being part of America's growing illiteracy problem. (ATM's: Americans' new illiteracy problem
) Well, I think I found another one: simply finding our seats at a ballgame or concert.
I find this really baffling. Most venues have their seats broken up into large sections, or levels (field boxes, loge, mezzanine, orchestra, etc), then smaller sections, then rows, then seats. The small sections usually are denoted by numbers like 10, 213, 405 in stadiums and arenas and letters in theatres. The rows are usually letters, though some sections are so big, they use double letters or numbers. And we all know the seats are numbered in almost all cases.
So, to me, all it seems to take to reach seats is really just a rudimentary understanding of the Latin alphabet--the one English, Spanish, French and many other languages use--and a second, rudimentary, familiarity with the Arabic numeral system.
How hard can it be to read the ticket, glean which level on which we are sitting and then find the section and ultimately the row and seat? If we are lost or misdirected, many times an usher is around to help us. I will grant this:
some venues are confusing when it comes to finding the sections due to poor design, poor signage or both. However, that does not excuse the utter lack of common sense people have when trying to find rows and seats.
It is very simple, people! 1) Look at the ticket 2) Find what's labeled as "Row". 3) Remember that letter or number. 4) Look down at wither the ground or the side of the last seat of each row. The row letter should be shown there. 5) Go up or down the stairs and find the row that matches the one on the ticket. Sound simple?
Well, anyone who has been to a venue of even modest size that had reserved seating has to have seen packs of people who look like they are more lost than a tourist navigating a Middle Easter bazaar. It is totally amazing at the stupidity of some people.
And all these stupid people ruin the experience for the rest of us thinking humans attending the event.
Another thing that pisses me off is when people try to enter a row from the wrong end! If you have seats 28, 29 and 30, why would you try to enter the row on the end where there are seat #'s 1, 2 and 3?? OK. Maybe you didn't know how wide the row was. fair enough. But when you have to get up (in the middle of an inning!!), please look around an pick the path of least resistance. That is, pick the shortest, or, more importantly, the least crowded way to the end of the row!
A few things to remember: Rows go in alphabetical order, with row A being closer (or lower) to the action than row B. B is closer than C, etc. Try to enter and exit a row at the point of least resistant, i.e. least crowded. If you are not sure, ask an usher--there is no shame in asking directions.
And before I sign off, one more rant: If there is a group of four guys, why do they each have to go to the bathroom, get something to eat or drink, or get up to make a phone call at different times?
I have a feeling all those stupid and lost people at stadiums and arenas and theatres are the ones who take forever at the ATM's.