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Tell me who was unreasonable!

(19 Posts)
musicposy Wed 28-Sep-11 02:14:03

This is really a small thing, but I'm so pissed off (maybe unreasonably!) that I'm still up at 2am!

There's a ballet on in the next town where my girls do ballet that they wanted to go and watch, as lots of their friends are in it and it's one they've been in themselves but not watched. I agreed to book them tickets, at £15 a head for the cheap seats. Online, there was a £4 booking fee. I said, I really can't go over the £30 so we'll book direct at the theatre when we're down there.

Tonight, DD2 was being picked up by a friend of mine from ballet. He's a single bloke, not much to do and is more than happy to collect her (I'm working) and bring her home in return for a home cooked meal. I asked if he could take DD2 to the box office after ballet to buy the tickets. He said no problem. I gave DD2 the £30 cash in an envelope and wrote down the exact seat numbers and price. She's 12, so I thought she would be capable of dealing with it.

When we got back, friend said "they didn't have those seats, only rubbish ones at the side, so we bought seats in the dress circle. I put it on my credit card and you owe me an extra £4 because you didn't give DD2 enough."

I thought this was odd so I checked on the internet and there were the seats we wanted, still available. But, stupid theatre has two sets of seats with the same number, one set in the dress circle and one in the stalls, and both friend and theatre took it upon themselves to say we wouldn't get a very good view in the stalls.

DD1 was cross because she likes to sit very near and the cheap seats we wanted were right at the front. She's not interested in the loveliness of the ballet as such, she wants to look at the footwork. So she's in a monumental strop about having to sit miles up. I was very cross because I had made it clear that £30 was my max. But as friend had done us a favour in collecting DD2 and going to theatre, I couldn't be too annoyed with him, though I was very annoyed inside. I made DD2 cough up the £4 for not following instructions and because I said I had made it clear I was not paying more and had sent her there to save the £4 booking fee.

So now I have: DD1 in a strop, DD2 in tears, friend saying I am mean to DD2, seats we don't want, the seats we do still available, and me cross because I wasted all that effort for nothing and could have booked over the phone for only £2.50 fee. Theatre will change the seats but only for an extra £1.50. This makes me crosser still.

Who is most unreasonable? Friend should not have taken it upon himself to spend money on my behalf, but I can see was just doing what he thought best. DD2 should have had a bit more sense and spoken up, she knew £30 was my top limit. Theatre quite obviously persuaded them into pricier seats when I had the seats we wanted written down in black and white, and told us they were gone (assuming circle instead of stalls) when actually they weren't. Or maybe me because I'm getting so het up over so little - and I really don't know why!

Or, just tell me to stop being pathetic and go to sleep!

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Wed 28-Sep-11 02:34:54

Your wish is my command: stop being pathetic, go to sleep - and await a flaming in the morning grin

YABU Poor dd2 - would you have been able to withstand the dictats allegedly reasoned thinking of an adult combined with the blandishments of theatre box office staff at the age of 12? Thought not.

Give the poor child her £4 back, and either buy binoculars for dd2 or stump up
and get the tickets changed.

And give your interfering friend an earful. You'd written exactly what you wanted on the envelope; whatever made him take it upon himself to butt in and cause so much upset in the process? As for him asking for the £4 he had no need to pay..... fuck that, he owes you - bigtime.

IrmaLittleteapot Wed 28-Sep-11 02:48:04

I thinking you're making a mountain out of a mole hill. Give dd2 her £4 back. She'll have been politely deferring to the adult who was there and while irritating it's not the end of the world. Your friend won't interfere again by the sounds of it.

Spend the £1.50 to change the seats. If you can afford ballet for 2 kids you can find the extra. It's not even as much as a cup of coffee.

And now let it go. You are only annoyed because you're a tight wad like me and the extra couple of quid grates grin

Doyouthinktheysaurus Wed 28-Sep-11 03:06:52

YABU, spend the extra to get the seats you wanted and don't ask the adult to do anything like that again. I place the blame firmly on the adult who was in charge

I feel very sad for your dd2. She probably didn't feel able to speak up and override the adult, I know I would not have done when I was a child.

MsWeatherwax Wed 28-Sep-11 06:41:12

The adult should have phoned you and is the one who behaved badly. The theatre don't sound great either, but yes, all you can do is change the seats, the kids probably feel terrible.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Wed 28-Sep-11 07:16:44

FWIW I go to the ballet several times a year and, in London theatres, centre seats in the front rows of the dress circle or in the middle of the stalls offer the best view of the stage and the dancers especially if there is an orchestra playing in the pit - unless, of course, you have a box and opera glasses.

musicposy Wed 28-Sep-11 07:40:36

OK, I will give DD2 her money back. I was just cross at the time because I had explicitly told her I wouldn't pay more. I can't afford it, I really can't. Just that they never have any treats because we're broke, no cinema, meals out etc, (that's why I'm not going, only them) and DD1 in particular was so desperate to go. sad But you're right, IrmaLittleteapot, I'm a tight wad and I hate spending money that isn't necessary and that's why it grates!

I am very cross with friend, he always thinks he knows better than everyone else and he shouldn't have taken it upon himself to spend money on my behalf without phoning me. The trouble with the dress circle tickets is they were the last two left right at the very edge/ back. I've paid him the £4 now - as he'd brought DD2 home for me and done me a favour I didn't feel I could say no. When I wrote the seat numbers down I didn't know there were two seats with the same name (stupid theatre) so he blamed me for not being more specific.

I'll probably have to get them changed at another £1.50, but that grates too. It's not going to be easy for them to amend, either, as the amount's on his bloody credit card that I don't have details for!

Lesson learned for the future, I guess. I know I'm also making a big deal out of nothing, so why can't I just forget it? I'm not usually so stupid over nothing!

peterpan99 Wed 28-Sep-11 08:34:37

oh you big meanie! I cant believe you made your daughter pay the extra four pounds! Did you really expect a 12yr old to argue with an adult and the theatre staff?
You know your being silly. Get over it and be greatful that you've got the tickets, and have a friend who is kind enough to pick up your daughter and run errands for you. As for your DD1, she could take some binoculars and she would be able to see the foot work then.

musicposy Wed 28-Sep-11 10:07:19

I paid her back this morning and I said I was sorry. I think I'm getting over it now grin.
If I feel cross again, I'll just read what you put, peterpan99.

Everyone on here unanimously thinks I shouldn't have been cross with DD2. Sometimes you need AIBU to give you a kick up the arse!! Thanks to everyone for putting it in perspective thanks

smartyparts Wed 28-Sep-11 10:15:04

Was about to comment, but see that peterpan has done it perfectly!! grin

MissMap Wed 28-Sep-11 11:12:10

My DD is only ever interested in watching the feet at the ballet, I always think is odd when she fusses about sitting in a particular seat at the theatre so that she can. I am so glad to hear that your daughter is the same, but I do sympathise with you.

We had a huge drama at the booking office recently whilst she cross examined the rather grumpy booking office lady about whether she would have an optimum viev of the dancers feet. I was squirming with embarassment.

The great thing about Mumsnet is finding others in the same boat.

I hope you enjoy the ballet!

DeWe Wed 28-Sep-11 13:07:07

If the seats are still available, then I'd go back to the box office, point out there are two seats with the same name and ask to swap. I've swapped seats in theatre box offices before, and not usually had problems.

IrmaLittleteapot Wed 28-Sep-11 13:14:18

Very gracious OP smile

2rebecca Wed 28-Sep-11 13:14:33

It sounds as though the confusion came about because you weren't specific enough about what you wanted and didn't specify stalls seats and din't write that down, just seat numbers. Getting someone else to do something like this for you is asking for trouble, plus the theatre may have sold the seats you wanted in the time between you looking and your friend booking tickets.

kelly2000 Wed 28-Sep-11 13:22:11

I would telephone the booking office explain that when you went to book the seats they told you they were taken but were not, and see if they could get changed without the fee.
Then cook him tripe all week.

mayorquimby Wed 28-Sep-11 13:30:31

The theatre really in my book. The bloke was doing you a bit of a favour and was then told that the seats you wanted were gone. He tried to sort things out on the fly and was under the impression that your original choices were in the dress circle because that's what the theatre told him.
Your daughter is 12 and I wouldn't really expect her to know to put a stop to an adult conversation and assert her will on the situation.
I'd try ringing the manager and explain what has happened, that it stemmed from a mistake on the part of one of their employees and see if they'll change for no charge as an act of good will.

mayorquimby Wed 28-Sep-11 13:32:50

just saw your last post.
Fair play for taking your licks and being open to being told where you may have acted poorly and taking steps to rectify it. It's a good quality to have.

peterpan99 Wed 28-Sep-11 15:08:36

glad to be of service grin

musicposy Wed 28-Sep-11 20:45:57

Amazingly, the theatre phoned me this afternoon (I'd sent them an email in a strop last night blush ).

They actually agreed it was "partly their fault" shock and so they said they would waive the booking fee to change seats to the original ones we wanted. DD1 is now happy as she can watch their feet (it's not just her, then, MissMap!). However, they wouldn't refund any money so we are still down the £4, but hey ho. The theatre have probably done very nicely over it, actually, as they will be able to sell those seats again and charge the higher price twice hmm. But there's no point getting any more het up over it.

I've made my peace with DD2 and said I realised she was in an impossible position. Apparently friend was moaning anyway about not being able to park right by - he hates walking grin, so she didn't like to upset him by insisting they went home without tickets. Friend just did what he thought best, I guess, based on what the theatre told him.

So, apart from the £4 down (which I'm just going to have to suck up), it's turned out OK. The only ones I'm left feeling a bit cross with are the theatre, who having said it was mainly their fault, could have refunded. However, the theatre is not family and I don't have a friendship with them, so I guess feeling a small bit cross with them won't hurt!

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