Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

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Mofessor
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Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by Mofessor » Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:45 pm

In various threads about the Gate, one of the problems mentioned was that there aren't always enough volunteers, and those that do volunteer don't always show up (causing the biggest problem during peak times) This could be alleviated with paid staff. With paid staff you can increase the number of people checking cars/IDs, ensure everyone shows up for their shift (and not have 5-6 volunteers flake during busy times), and have a smoother process.

Would some people be bothered by moving to paid gate workers? Yep. Would this create some new problems? Yep. But neither of these things trump the community's need for a ticketing process that allows the greatest number of people to participate.

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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by theCryptofishist » Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:47 pm

Mofessor wrote:...a ticketing process that allows the greatest number of people to participate.
So, let me get this straight. All the scalpers are going to sell their tickets at a huge mark up to people who won't even bother going?
Interesting world you live in.
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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by Mofessor » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:50 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
Mofessor wrote:...a ticketing process that allows the greatest number of people to participate.
So, let me get this straight. All the scalpers are going to sell their tickets at a huge mark up to people who won't even bother going?
Interesting world you live in.
should have read, "the opportunity to participate." in other words, fewer people have the opportunity to participate if tickets are being scalped for $800 (or whatever).

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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by AntiM » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:20 am

Mofessor wrote:
theCryptofishist wrote:
Mofessor wrote:...a ticketing process that allows the greatest number of people to participate.
So, let me get this straight. All the scalpers are going to sell their tickets at a huge mark up to people who won't even bother going?
Interesting world you live in.
should have read, "the opportunity to participate." in other words, fewer people have the opportunity to participate if tickets are being scalped for $800 (or whatever).

I disagree. Fewer people with ethics and/or no disposable income will have the opportunity.

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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by rawxtir » Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:31 pm

yo , interesting that your thread got bogged down by semantics and not any comments about the proposition yet. ........ your main question definately qualifies for some serious thought.

as for this year's tickets, folkers are going to probably have to deal with it as is but for next year maybe something else will be tried. and turn out better or worse or the same.

oh and there is a lot of talk regarding hordes of scalpers and blah blah. Any actual references as proof to this? Just wondering. I would love to see proof of all these scalpers.

thanks for your time.

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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by theCryptofishist » Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:43 pm

rawxtir wrote:yo , interesting that your thread got bogged down by semantics and not any comments about the proposition yet. ........ your main question definately qualifies for some serious thought.

as for this year's tickets, folkers are going to probably have to deal with it as is but for next year maybe something else will be tried. and turn out better or worse or the same.

oh and there is a lot of talk regarding hordes of scalpers and blah blah. Any actual references as proof to this? Just wondering. I would love to see proof of all these scalpers.
No proof, but lots of conjecture.

As to paying gate, I have very mixed feelings. I think there is some amount of money-making off the backs of volunteers. HOwever, I also feel that pain labor is a different animal than volunteer labor, and when we start paying too many (No, I don't have a number for that) that the relationships between labor and participants and labor and management changes. That is one of the things that might lead to disneyfication...
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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by C187 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:46 pm

Mofessor wrote:In various threads about the Gate, one of the problems mentioned was that there aren't always enough volunteers, and those that do volunteer don't always show up (causing the biggest problem during peak times)
To be fair this is a issue for all departments.
Mofessor wrote:you can increase the number of people checking cars/IDs
I'm sure it's not just a numbers game, regardless of the people, lanes, or space.
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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by vargaso » Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:51 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
rawxtir wrote:yo , interesting that your thread got bogged down by semantics and not any comments about the proposition yet. ........ your main question definately qualifies for some serious thought.

as for this year's tickets, folkers are going to probably have to deal with it as is but for next year maybe something else will be tried. and turn out better or worse or the same.

oh and there is a lot of talk regarding hordes of scalpers and blah blah. Any actual references as proof to this? Just wondering. I would love to see proof of all these scalpers.
No proof, but lots of conjecture.

As to paying gate, I have very mixed feelings. I think there is some amount of money-making off the backs of volunteers. HOwever, I also feel that pain labor is a different animal than volunteer labor, and when we start paying too many (No, I don't have a number for that) that the relationships between labor and participants and labor and management changes. That is one of the things that might lead to disneyfication...
Very true.

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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by danibel » Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:02 pm

I usually volunteer to work in Arctica (I love being near the cool ice trucks in the middle of day, plus it's a fabulous way to meet people, dance, and have a good time - they call that work?!). Anyway. I am all for putting names on tickets. I have my ID with me because I need to drive to the event (buy booze, check in to the hotel, whatever). I am signing up for gate this year. I hope to get an early pass and work a couple days pre-event, and then a couple shifts at the very beginning. I live near SF so driving to the BM HQ for training will not be problem. My wish is that every person that backs names on tickets, will step up and help the gate. We have to be the solution.
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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by TheJudge » Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:20 pm

Its easy to get volunteers to move bags of ice in the desert. Its a whole different story to get people to stand in a self-made dust storm and climb over mountains of crap, trying not to break anything, in an effort to find some genius who thought he could sneak in by hiding in the storage space under the rear bed of an RV.

Pay the gate staff. Pay them well. Pay them to be the assholes they all rightfully deserve to be. Feed them, give them booze, and give them a bonus for every stow-away and fence-jumper they find.

I was a shift supervisor for the gate for many years. I know how much fun it is to see a line of vehicles extending out to 447 and be told that the people who said they would show up at 6am to help, suddenly couldn't be bothered to get out of their tents because they partied too hard the night before.

I dont know what the current rules are, but in years past, volunteers who worked X number of shifts would be paid with a ticket for next year's event. I dont know the actual number of shifts required, but it was fuck-ton more than "a couple days pre-event, and then a couple shifts at the very beginning."
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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by danibel » Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:33 pm

TheJudge wrote:I I dont know the actual number of shifts required, but it was fuck-ton more than "a couple days pre-event, and then a couple shifts at the very beginning."
I am not looking for a free ticket.
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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by nncoco » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:45 pm

Volunteer labor always comes with problems but bussing paid staff to a distant desert is going to be a huge undertaking.

I am absolutely against anything that adds to the entry process such as having to scan tickets with dusty mal-functioning machines or requiring attendees to show ID.

The flow of cars entering is already a trickle due to searches, and the stop at the greeter's station which I do love.

Do you really want to spend more time in line as people argue over their identity with gate workers? Forget it.

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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by piquehard » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:05 pm

danibel wrote: We have to be the solution.
That ^^^^

I think most of us want to be.

It would an extra 10 seconds at the gate to check each ID. If there's an issue with an ID and ticket not matching, the volunteers OR paid staff could resolve it intelligently and compassionately in a designated area near the gate. Wouldn't hold up the line a bit.

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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by Lord Of Ruin » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:12 pm

@Judge The rules are pretty much the same now: 5 shifts, with one being during the Burn weekend, is what earns you a ticket for the following year. That's 30 hours of service, plus a couple hours in transit time to/from the gate.

We generally need more volunteers every year, but opening weekend is generally an "all hands on deck" event. The trouble is staffing the event during the rest of the "not so exciting" time. We're close to the practical limits of supervision and such as it is with 9 lanes processing. There is some art to the whole dance.

Paying people is one incentive. It helps for some folks to defray the cost of their trip there if nothing else. But you'd have a really tough time outsourcing or paying a large group of non-Burners to do it; they'd need incredible logistic support to even be there to work their shift...food, housing, etc.

Rather than devolving yet another ticket thread, there ARE steps that can be taken to change what happened this year. People keep thinking the solution has to use all the same rules/inputs that prior years have. They don't. Look at festivals, conventions, etc and you'll see lots of other ways to do that.
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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by trilobyte » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:17 pm

Even a fully staffed gate wouldn't cut it, you'd need multiple fully staffed gates and a roadway infrastructure to support it. More info on that in my post over here (under the 'What About Non-Transferrable Tickets?' section)

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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by lemur » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:56 pm

by my guestimate and back of the napkin math youd need over 30 gate booths to make names/tickets workable without noticeable delays
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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by theCryptofishist » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:54 am

piquehard wrote:
danibel wrote: We have to be the solution.
That ^^^^

I think most of us want to be.

It would an extra 10 seconds at the gate to check each ID. If there's an issue with an ID and ticket not matching, the volunteers OR paid staff could resolve it intelligently and compassionately in a designated area near the gate. Wouldn't hold up the line a bit.
How do you know this? Have you ever worked gate? Have you ever needed to take your vehicle from a gate station in the center of the lanes to one or another side? Have you ever had to cope with someone who didn't put their ticket in an easily accessible place? Have you figured out how many extra hours it would add up to with a long gate line? I'm going to put the ticket id check at at least 90 seconds. Per person in the vehicle.
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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by lemur » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:11 am

10 seconds × 57,000 participants = 6 days 14 hours 20 minutes

(of course the people would be processed simultaneously by teams of gate crew in multiple lines with multiple people .. but yeah, dude, 6.5 days of extra man hours)
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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by CornMan » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:42 am

lemur wrote:10 seconds × 57,000 participants = 6 days 14 hours 20 minutes

(of course the people would be processed simultaneously by teams of gate crew in multiple lines with multiple people .. but yeah, dude, 6.5 days of extra man hours)
There are several things that people are not taking into account:

They have to check tickets and correlate the number of tickets with the number of people per vehicle how it is. This was the deal at the Led Zeppelin reunion concert in 2007. It did not take 2.6 days to check the IDs of the 20,000 people who attended that concert. Checking IDs was just a different way to do what they would have done anyway. If you could get out of checking for tickets altogether, then yes, checking for ticket/person correlation would take considerably more time.

Another thing is, unlike the lottery cluster, if the ID to ticket checking turns out to be a fiasco, they could just drop it for the times it gets to cumbersome or drop it altogether if the situation calls for it.

They don't have to check every vehicle for ID/ticket correlation.

Those who pooh pooh the idea of assigning tickets to people, is it out of concern for the possible extra effort asked from the gate crew, or is there some ulterior motive for not being able to transfer tickets?

It's uncanny how past year's eplaya conversations were about how important it is to plan ahead, prepare, and get your business straight. Now it's all about those who want to flake or those who get sudden enthusiasm for attending at the last minute.
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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by Rice » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:26 am

piquehard wrote: It would an extra 10 seconds at the gate to check each ID. If there's an issue with an ID and ticket not matching, the volunteers OR paid staff could resolve it intelligently and compassionately in a designated area near the gate. Wouldn't hold up the line a bit.
10 seconds per person. For 54,000 people is 150 hours extra for everyone!!! (thats 6.25 days)

And then there is the "Whaaat?? You need photo ID??" response from 1/3 of the burners who somehow failed to get any actual information about the process...

The whole gate/ticket process is a bit more logistically challenging than most burners realize. If you have worked a burn at the gate you would have a good understanding of the challenges. Then only would suggestions actually make sense....
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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by trilobyte » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:33 am

@lemur - from conversations I've had with organizers of many different events (much larger stuff than I've done myself), adding gates to a single point of entry (ie. road) has diminishing returns. Even the Glasto organizers with their seven 'gates' (points of entry, each one has multiple gates) wish they had more.

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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by lemur » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:42 am

Zeke Chaparral wrote: There are several things that people are not taking into account:

They have to check tickets and correlate the number of tickets with the number of people per vehicle how it is. This was the deal at the Led Zeppelin reunion concert in 2007. It did not take 2.6 days to check the IDs of the 20,000 people who attended that concert.
well yeah of course it didnt take 2.6 full days itd only be 2.6 full days if it was 1 person taking tickets in 1 line, the processing happens in parallel

10 seconds × 20,000 people / 40 ticketcheckers = 1 hour 23 minutes 20 seconds to process all people wanting to see Led Zeppelin Reunion Concert (at 10 seconds each) eating up up 2.3 'man days' worth of work ..... right?

is my math right on that? ( i dont know, really)

( 10 sec x 20,000 = 2.3 days ?)

The advantage of the man-hour concept is that it can be used to estimate the impact of staff changes on the amount of time required for a task. This is done by dividing the number of man-hours by the number of workers available.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man-hour


maybe i am way off on all of this stuff.. (i suck at math)...

and as trilo points out.. at some point you dont get extra return on extra effort by adding more gates/tickettakers .. mentioned in the 'man hours' wikipedia page:

In reality, other factors intervene to reduce the simplicity of this model. If some elements of the task have a natural timespan, adding more staff will have a reduced effect: although having two chefs will double the speed of some elements of food preparation, they roast a chicken no faster than one chef. Some tasks also have a natural number of staff associated with them: the time to chop the vegetables will be halved with the addition of the second chef, but the time to carve the chicken will remain the same.
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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by Timezone LaFontaine » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:02 am

lemur wrote:In reality, other factors intervene to reduce the simplicity of this model. If some elements of the task have a natural timespan, adding more staff will have a reduced effect: although having two chefs will double the speed of some elements of food preparation, they roast a chicken no faster than one chef. Some tasks also have a natural number of staff associated with them: the time to chop the vegetables will be halved with the addition of the second chef, but the time to carve the chicken will remain the same.
I for one am willing to sit a little longer in line if it means there's a hot meal waiting for me while they check my ticket. Make it so!
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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by Mofessor » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:19 pm

lemur wrote:by my guestimate and back of the napkin math youd need over 30 gate booths to make names/tickets workable without noticeable delays

assuming that you check every ticket. If you check 30% of tickets that would be 9 gate booths, 20% would be 6, 10% would be 3. This could be adjusted for for peak times and slower ones. More importantly, it would make it unlikely that people would buy a scalped ticket.

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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by piquehard » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:20 pm

stretch80 wrote: 10 seconds per person. For 54,000 people is 150 hours extra for everyone!!! (thats 6.25 days)
Realistically, this would spread out over many ticket-takers, and during varying amounts of gate congestion. Your math assumes 1 person is doing the work, at one gate.
stretch80 wrote: And then there is the "Whaaat?? You need photo ID??" response from 1/3 of the burners who somehow failed to get any actual information about the process...
But everyone who receives a ticket would receive the information that their ticket required an ID, when they registered the ticket. The only people who wouldn't have been informed are those that bought tickets from scalpers. And they could be dealt with, at a station to the side of the gate, with fairness and compassion, the way that stowaways are now handled by the gate staff.
stretch80 wrote: The whole gate/ticket process is a bit more logistically challenging than most burners realize. If you have worked a burn at the gate you would have a good understanding of the challenges. Then only would suggestions actually make sense....
Of course we're adding a layer of logistical complexity to the mix. I appreciate this.

Perhaps this would be an excellent opportunity to focus on a faster entry process overall.

Maybe even, Burning Man can lead the way and demonstrate to the rest of the festival world how it can be done.

Consider the pool of brilliant and creative minds that IS our community. We can do this.

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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by C187 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:22 pm

What makes everything think people in the lanes don't check every ticket anyway?
What makes some people think that every burner is responsible enough to have their ticket ready, and not spaz out over the fact they are at burning man?
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Re: Pay Gate Workers/Names on THIS YEAR'S tickets

Post by theCryptofishist » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:26 pm

C187 wrote:What makes everything think people in the lanes don't check every ticket anyway?
What makes some people think that every burner is responsible enough to have their ticket ready, and not spaz out over the fact they are at burning man?
No, the suggestion is that if they were to only check only 30% of the tickets against the name of the person holding it that it wouldn't slow down the line, and that it would be enough to keep the others who aren't checked honest. I think there are plenty of people who'd try it if that's the only tickets they could get, but I'm cynical and negative and don't want to search for solutions.
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