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I did...so you don't have to PART THREE

Posted On Monday, August 15, 2011

So after the last batch of emails, MY impression is that I'm on-board for the Kids' Day Event, a last-minute addition which accounts for why I wasn't included on the official roster for the weekend -- though, my friends at Comicrelated.com were ready to promote my participation (Thanks guys!). But let me back track and reveal what should've been ANOTHER reveal that things weren't on the up and up!

CLUE #3: In "C"'s email, they stated, "...everyone participating in the Kids' Day is getting it as an added value for their paid participation." Are they really suggesting that its an added value to ME to perform for THEM?! That sounds AWFULLY boisterous and considering the current climate (contempt) a lot of people have had with Wizard over the past few years (folks like mainstream publishers), I'd say its at least mutually beneficial for us to partner up, right? Still, I digress...

Okay, so the situation stands at: I'm to be a feature of the show and I'm waiting to find out what kind of discount I'm getting on the table fee, which is my "tradeout" for participating. Mind you, this is all just 9 days before the show itself, so I've gotta put a lot of things into motion to account for my share of things: hotel, travel, food expenses, getting things printed, etc., etc., et al...org (that was supposed to be funny). But in the hub-bub of it, I only managed a single phone call to see what was up on that discount, which I'll admit wasn't NEARLY enough effort on my part. Especially when...I didn't get a response...BUT AGAIN, it's 9 days before the show -- that's GO TIME for EVERYBODY! Being the KING of optimism, I figure we can work out the discount situation when I get to the show (similar situations have played out so in the past), so I pack up and take off!

The ride was smooth and full of laughs (we learned on the radio that someone named their child "Shot-of-Vodka"...no, seriously...) and though the hotel was a bit further out than I had intended for it to be, we were in good shape to have a GREAT weekend! And despite my optimism, I'm also about not waiting until later for what I can do now, so I opt to go to the show and see where things are with the discounted table...and here's where the fun truly begins...

I'm introduced to "A", who heads up Artists Alley at the show and reveals that they've gotten no knowledge of any supposed discount that I'm supposed to get. Now they say this not with any air of "hmmm, I might've missed it," but rather, "no, "C" didn't say that and you're lying" disdain. It was off-putting, especially after a six-hour car ride, but I figure, they're just as tired having dealt with God knows how many of our nerd-kind with the show's opening. Even worse is the blank look I get when I reiterate that the discount is a trade for my participation in the Kids' Day Event. Worse still is when I'm told that there's nothing saying I'm to be a part of that either. When I ask for "C", I'm told that they've left for the day (which to me was a good sign for getting things worked out that they'd actually BE at the show), but that "A" will email "C" when "A" gets back to their room (this is starting to sound like stereo instructions...sorry). I email "C" myself with this:

I've arrived in Rosemont this evening and went to check in at the convention center, but there was nothing on file of my participation. "A" is going to get back with you on that this evening to clear up any misunderstandings. I'd hate to think that I indulged this trip/expenses for nothing. I can be reached via cell at 614-419-**** and am staying at the Westin Chicago Northwest.

True to form, I got no response that evening and if you check my Twitter Feed, you can see where I start to postulate how bad this situation COULD be. But I set my aim to rectifying everything in the morning, assured it was just a misunderstand...

THE NEXT DAY: I get to the convention center bright and early, about 8am or so, and scout the registration area for "A" or "C". After a "rousing" convo about whom I actually need to speak with first (if I know whom I need to speak with and it's not you, does it really matter why I need to speak with them?), I see "A" coming in and her first words after seeing me are "I didn't have a chance to email "C" last night (BAD OMEN), but that "C" will be in shortly. So I recommit to waiting for "C", whom I've never seen before in my life, eagerly eyeballing each person I think "C" could be. FORTY-FIVE MINUTES LATER...I'm still waiting, having paced the stretch of registration booths a few times and getting those awkward looks from both the staff and volunteers, who are just as tired of my hovering as I am. I finally resolve to ask another staff member if they know when "C" is coming in and they state that "C" IS NOT a Wizard employee (I felt the cabin pressure in my brain shift on that one). After a few minutes of conversing with other staffers, they bring over "J" who claims to work with "C" -- my first order of business is to make sure that "C" DOES, in fact, work for Wizard (they do). But "J" continues to tell me that they know of no confirmation of my involvement with Kids' Day, Artists Alley or the show at all. I'm told that there was no reason to presume any standing with the show and that any talks of discount were just "conversation" (this is where those feelings I described in Part One came in). The fire was only fueled when I spoke with "C" (with "J"'s gracious use of their phone), to be told the same, even when I quoted from our correspondence WHY I would "presume" such involvement. "J" had to ask me multiple times to keep my voice down (yeah, I was losing my cool) and when I found that the conversation had devolved into the tug-of-war between "you said I was a part of the show"/"no I didn't", I decided to let my end of the rope go and pass the phone back to "J" who looked thoroughly pleased that I didn't spike it in a touchdown dance of ire.

I immediately walked out and set Twitter on FIRE (kudos to my Mom who waited patiently in the car throughout this whole ordeal -- she could've got all "Oh-no-you-didn't", but she let me handle things and even came up with a BRILLIANT solution -- the RIVERS CASINO, cha-ching!). We were there maybe twenty minutes before I received a voicemail from "C", who also sent this email saying basically the same thing:

Hi Victor.
I do apologize for our exchange earlier. I know I got heated about the miscommunication and I do feel bad about that so I spoke with someone on the sales team, and they can make a space for you in Artist Alley for a $300 table which is one of the lowest fees we offer. If you're interested in doing that, please give me a call at 310-383-****.
http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

SO...after I've traveled 6 hours to come to the show, pre-paid my hotel stay because I had to book on such short notice, and spent what I have on supplies ONLY to be told I have no place at the show, your "compromise" is that I'm to drop ANOTHER $300 for a table -- which is more than I was supposed to pay in the first place, because you were getting me discount?!?! Needless to say, I politely declined!

Come back for the final posting, where you can see how Mom and I scooped up these lemons and went to work on making a good weekend outta this mess! And if you missed Parts One and Two, fear not, they're right here!
Part One:
Part Two:

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