Monday, August 25, 2014

The Perfect Storm

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

Lori Haislip is a very welcome and wonderful addition to Central Office.  She is managing the theme park ticket program and daily accounting processes for VRPS.  On the last day of her very first week at VRPS, she experienced "The Perfect Storm".  

* Friday, August 1 was the "early, online 2014 VRPS Annual Conference registration deadline".  And, since it was a Friday, in August, and since lots of folks were off-site, the task of registration was left to "many-an-admin" around the state to register Professionals in their Agencies.  Without their VRPS login id's.  And many of whom had expired or soon-to-expire memberships.

* Friday, August 1 was also, obviously, the first day of August, which means VRPS invoices consignment ticket agencies for their July EZTicket (Busch Gardens and Water Country) ticket sales.  This is of great importance because VRPS makes payment for those tickets to the vendor on August 11, just ten days later.

* Friday, August 1 is also the first day of the month in the calendar year when most, yes MOST, of the VRPS memberships are up for renewal.

* Friday, August 1 was the last business day before the weekend deadline for 2014 Kings Dominion Parks and Recreation Days discount tickets - use or lose for some customers, use or return for others.  Everybody wants tickets!

* Lo and behold, it is also the first day of the month in the calendar year when the Foundation memberships are also up for renewal.

* Oh, and the VRPS server was scheduled for maintenance (first Friday of every month), with a new tech this month, so we were offline for 20+ minutes.

After being understaffed for three months, I am happy to report that we very much survived, and Lori came back on Monday, so it will be (fingers crossed) smooth sailing for a bit.

To all our members:  Fair winds and following seas ....

Monday, August 11, 2014

Service with a Smile

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

Last week, right in the middle of the week - on hump day, to be exact - I took my daughter to Busch Gardens.  So, after selling theme park tickets to what feels like most of America for the past five months, I finally went myself.  I could bore you with tales of my stealthy coaster plan-of-attack (maximum rides, minimum wait), or how I can outlast everybody (everybody) in my family when it comes to back-to-back vertigo-inducing thrills, but instead I would like to focus on something that has stayed with me since Wednesday.  As we rounded the corner of the Tweedside Station on the train (there's that coaster plan), a maintenance worker was weed-whacking.  He cut his engine, faced the train - sweat rolling down his face and arms - and he waved.  He waved and waved and waved, until the end of the train was past, at which point he reconvened his task at hand.

The fact is that everybody waves at the train.  It must be in the Busch Gardens Employee Policy Manual that all employees must wave at the train.  And the tram to the parking lot.  And the Rhine River Cruise.  So, what do we visitors do?  We wave back.

How in any way is this remotely related to VRPS you might ask?  Be patient - I'm getting there.  In a recent conversation at Central Office, we discussed how the phone rings all day.  And when it does, we are all reaching to answer it.  Very rare is it that a call is not answered on the first or second ring.  Likewise, visitors at the office are greeted warmly and rarely make an escape without a water bottle or at the very least candy - even the UPS man.

I think this is what makes us special - the extra effort to extend the VRPS version of the theme park wave.  It's a little gesture that we come to expect, enjoy, and reciprocate.  We want you to enjoy your experience, and we are here to serve you.