metro mama

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Refresh

I’ve gone to my share of rock concerts back in the day. Remember the hot tickets that if you wanted to snag you had to log on to ticketmaster at 12:00 sharp, and frantically hit your refresh button, and you were fucked if you were on dial-up? Well, registering Cakes for swimming with Toronto Parks and Recreation is exactly like that, only without the reward of getting stoned and drunk and rocking out to Soundgarden.

I managed to screw up her registration for the Fall, so I was determined to rock today’s Spring registration, which began at 7 A.M. this morning. I set up my Outlook reminder months in advance to pre-warn me last Friday. I had carefully prepared notes with my client #s, dates, and class code (plus five alternates). I set the alarm for 6:30 AM this morning. At 6:58 I was poised in front of the keyboard, when Cakes started crying in her room. I ran up the stairs and yelled at McHotty to get up, dashed into Cakes’ room, patted her and explained, “daddy’s coming”, and was back in front of the keyboard at 7:01. click. All available sessions are busy. Fuck. I spent the next 20 minutes hitting refresh every 10 seconds, finally snagging the last spot of my second choice.

How can registering your kid for swimming be so annoying?

I think part of the problem is our closest rec centre is one of the limited number offering free programs. This is awesome, but do the people who need them most get these spots? Probably not, unless they have high-speed internet. I’d be happy to pay, but I don’t want to travel to another location to do so. Especially since there seems to be no mechanism in place to ensure the people who live in the neighbourhood get fist dibs on the spots. I hope to hell no one is packing up the kidlets in the SUV and driving over from the Beaches (but it wouldn’t surprise me).

Anyone else getting totally stressed out by swimming classes? Who’s up for ACDC?



Blogger Lisa b said...

It is the same at my rec centre. I've heard you can register in person and people start lining up at some ungodly hour since the online registration sucks so much. Sounds like its improved!

4:05 PM  
Blogger petite gourmand said...

I know it's so frustrating.
I missed it again last week...we end up just going to family swims when we can and hopefully we will eventually get her into our local rec. center by the time she is 14.
Well that and we tend to hotel hop-but don't tell anyone ;

4:51 PM  
Blogger Don Mills Diva said...

Oh my gosh - I had no idea about all this stuff - for kids swimming lessons? Crazy!

5:01 PM  
Blogger b*babbler said...

Oof - that IS really crazy.

Kinda makes me appreciate the York Region system a bit more. No, the spots aren't free, but it seems a bit more controlled in the chaos. I got Peanut into our first choice late in the afternoon after registration started without multiple attempts.

I know that the free spots are supposed to be there fore those that need them, but perhaps there needs to be a better system for doling them out so that they aren't open to the public or something. (and I speak as a person who really believes in public access for those that can't afford it, but payment structures for those that can).

5:07 PM  
Blogger kgirl said...

How bout this one: we actually got Bee signed up for Fall session ballet, missed the first two classes because we were in Florida, FORGOT to go to the next class, and gave up after that.

And I spent FOUR hours on the phone/internet for the privilege.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Mac and Cheese said...

That's crazy! You made me laugh with your concert analogy though.

10:50 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

I had a very similar swimming registration story from this past fall. lol! Made me laugh. And, yes, not nearly as rewarding at The Day I Tried To Live. ;)

11:31 PM  
Blogger No Mother Earth said...

I can't seem to get this right ever! And this time I think I missed the registration altogether. Totally forgot with all that's going on...damn.

(PS Apparently you can register for the Fall and Winter programs at the same time. Who knew? Why have a second registration date. Argh.)

11:49 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

totally with you. Went through it too yesterday and didn't get the lessons I wanted. I got him into another spot at a different and way less convenient pool...we'll see how that goes. And I hit refresh until 7:08am...and that's when everything I wanted was gone already.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

we swim in york region...and it's a total pain in the ass to sign them up...because people sign their kids up for several classes and use up all the spots because they aren't sure if their kids are going to pass the class before. it's SO frustrating.

1:37 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

I was doing exactly the same and got a totally crap time for skating - the rest were all full already. In the spring, all EIGHT soccr teams were full. How crazy is that?

9:01 PM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

If you can get ACDC tickets will totally go badass rocknroll with you!

2:45 PM  

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