Friday, January 07, 2011

Maybe now is ...

...the time to explain why I may be swearing off RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) for a long time. This and "eat more bacon" are my resolutions for 2011. I don't think I'll have any trouble keeping them. There were two "events" but I'd like to describe just the last one.

I have "season" tickets to a professional ballet company about 3 hours away from where we live (you can figure out the rest, I 'd like to keep this as potentially "search proof" as possible). We get a "three-pack" and this year the ballets were poorly scheduled (for us). I had to take the Nutcracker as part of our series. Now this is not usually a problem as December weather is usually not too bad and driving is not an issue. (February, on the other hand, is a b&^ch.) When you are a season "patron" you have a few options with your tickets. 1) You can exchange them for another performance day; 2) You can exchange them for another ballet in the series; 3) You can turn them back for a tax write off. They are very liberal in their policies, and very accommodating. I have no complaints.

This year, however, the weather looked like it was going to be a problem and we were trying to decide what to do with our tickets. (I've described our run in with black ice before, and we have been very careful ever since.) As we were thinking about our options, I had what I thought was a brainstorm. Why not offer them to a family member who was struggling with a recurrence of a serious illness? She probably needed a night out, with a friend, daughter or family member, and the tickets would be put to good use. (BTW, they are excellent high end seats.) My DH was delighted with this suggestion, so I got in touch with said relative, who was happy to receive them. I exchanged them (a week in advance) for the date she requested and all was well....for the moment. THE NIGHT BEFORE the performance at 6:30 pm, she called and left a message at our home and said she was too ill to go, and could I exchange them for another night!! (I might add here that I didn't get home until after 8:00 pm that evening, which is when I got the message.) Now, I was sympathetic at this point because this is the nature of her physical condition. I wanted to call her back, but didn't have the number at home. I called my sister in law for the number and she said "Oh yeah, I have it here I RSVP'd for the party." (!!!) What party, I ask? THE PARTY SHE WAS HAVING THE NIGHT SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO GO TO THE BALLET!! I was dumbfounded. This means she KNEW she wasn't going to the performance at least a week in advance (she mailed the invitations a week earlier), and instead of calling me ASAP and saying her plans changed and could I make the exchange for another night... She, didn't outright fib, but was disingenuous in the extreme. I called and she gave me the story about her condition, and I listened and asked if she wanted an alternate date, then told her I'd try. Steaming all the while. At this point, I didn't KNOW if I could exchange them, and if I couldn't I'd have to make another choice (see above). And I had about four box office hours the next day to do it. And this is before Christmas, and I had other things I planned to do. Sitting on the phone was not one of them. I vacillated from anger to incredulity to simply ticked.

I exchanged them successfully, and then cut my communication. I didn't trust myself to speak to her again. I find I'm still stunned by this. I was hoping by now I'd have some distance. No such luck.

Can you imagine?

4 comments:

Chrisknits said...

I can understand why you are still steamed. I would be too! Some people are just jerks, family or not.

Kaye said...

Yikes. I think that pretty much sums it up.

kemtee said...

Nope. That's the sort of thing that sticks in the craw for a long time. I don't blame you one bit.

Cindy in Happy Valley said...

Chris, that's exactly what my hubby said when I called that Friday night to tell him. (Actually he went a little farther.) I agreed completely.