Laura wanted me to take a picture of my name tag as soon as I got through registration. After walking across campus and receiving directions upon request, I found the registration line. The festival opening was still 2 hours off at 7:00 pm. I was happy to be early. The registration line was two people wide and maybe ten people long. As we approached the front, we could see two ballpoint pen signs designating the two lines as “Will Call” and “Will Call or Cash.” It took about fifteen minutes for them to get through the first eight people in my “Will Call or Cash” line.
Hannah, the young woman in front of me, approached and announced that she was a volunteer. “Oh,” said the registrar, “I don’t do volunteers. You’ll have to get in the other line.” Hannah dutifully stepped out of line, and I approached. “I’m a presenter,” I said. “Same thing,” said the registrar, “I don’t do presenters.” I looked up and saw that Hannah had walked to the end of the now longer “Will Call” line.
“Wait a minute,” I said to the registrar, “Does she really have to go all the way back there after waiting in this line for fifteen minutes?” The registrar shrugged her shoulders and looked at her work partner. They both looked dumbfounded. I repeated my question. Yes, I was picking a fight at a festival that promoted “community, creativity and the common good.”
Finally the “Will Call” registrar asked Person #1 in her line if Hannah could step in front. Person #1 said “Sure.” Person #2 said “No problem.” So Hannah got to the front of the “Will Call” line. Someone—I don’t remember who—then spoke up for me: “So where should he be in line?” Hannah answered, “He was right behind me, so…” I looked at Persons #1 and 2, and they nodded their heads.
So I got in line behind Hannah. I re-iterated that I was a presenter; I was so eager to get a name tag with a special ribbon or something. It took a while for the worker to find my name and confirm that I was paid up. Once she did, she simply said, “Okay, go get a swag bag. You’re good.” No ribbon, no name tag. In fact, only the exhibitors and volunteers (not including presenters) received name tags. So no picture for Laura.