Today geeks around the world went through the annual nightmare and clusterfuck of trying to reserve a room at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis for DragonCon. Every year, the process is a Bruckheimer-sized assplosion, pissing off everyone that missed out and leaving those that DID get a room in post-coital tears of bliss.
But I don’t want to focus on whether Marriott’s reservation system is a jacked up mess (it is) or if Passkey is a company equivalent to hot street trash (it is). No–let’s instead look at the 10 types of people that show up on “Marriott Day”.
1. The Social Activist
After the annual train wreck you’ve got several people ready to make a Reddit-style movement to somehow convince the Marriott to care that their phone lines were busy and their website sucked. Perhaps they’ll slap some impact font on Grumpy Cat–that should get their attention.
“I’ve twerted across the web about the terrorists at the Marquis. I DON’T THINK YOU REALIZE HOW MANY FOLLOWERS I HAVE GOOD SIR #ITHOUGHTTHISWASAMERICA #UNFAIR #HOTELMORELIKEBLOWTEL #CATVIDEOS”
2. Mr. “THERE’S GOT TO BE A BETTER WAY AND I’VE DESIGNED IT”
They work in…I don’t know, Public Relations? But they’ve created a better system for reservations while being stuck on hold waiting for an operator. It involves old badges and a lottery and some software and hiring 8,000 additional telephone operators. Often it will include a method to weed out all the “fake geeks”.
“OK, I’ve got an eight-level system where people can test their awareness of Firefly and Troma film quotes. As you attain awareness of each level, you are allowed to get one step closer to a king-size room. Only once you reach the seventh level (a series of drills praising the works of Lou Ferrigno) will you be allowed to know the Passkey website address…Wait, did I just invent Scientology?”
3. The DragonCon Hipster
They hated the crowds and hotel rush at DragonCon before it was cool. They’ve designed several events, adventures, and tournaments that they will be attending instead.
“Oh GOD what losers still want to go to DragonCon? I’ve set up a 5-day sleepover to have a John Ritter movie marathon, followed by a tournament featuring board games based on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”. Get on my level slaves to the corporate convention grind.”
But someone has to get those rooms, right? Most people who actually manage to snag a room react in two ways:
4. Sir Humblebrag
They proudly post their achievement in every thread with people still struggling to get a room, because that’s a good idea.
“OMG I have a room and it’s wonderful and OMG hope you get one but it must suck to be you but OMG I have one!!!111:-)”
5. The Silent Type
The other type of person that got a room says…nothing. They don’t want to rub it in, possibly setting off a karmic chain of events that lead to their reservation being sucked into an alternate-universe wormhole, forever lost. Meanwhile, they’re checking their e-mail and credit card charges every 10 minutes for the next 5 to 6 weeks to make sure that it wasn’t some fluke of nature. They want to be happy and enjoy their success, but they have trouble sleeping all the way until they have their room key in their hand about 11 months later.
6. The “First-timer” AKA HOW DO I DRAGONCON?
30 minutes after the rooms are gone, they hop on a random message board and ask…
“SO I TYPED IN DRAGONCON.CO.UK AND I DON’T SEE ANY ROOMS? CAN SOMEONE ICQ ME THE EMAIL ADDRESS TO ORDER A SUITE? THEY’RE ALL THE SAME PRICE RIGHT? ALSO I GET A DISCOUNT AT RED ROOF INNS. WILL MARRIOTT HONOR IT?”
7. The Daily Saver
These are the people that absolutely refuse to stay at one of the host hotels. They scour the wastelands, searching for the cheapest week-long stay they can find in Atlanta. They also tend to bring George Foreman grills and cases of Cup-O-Ramen.
“Hell, I’m staying at a Howard Johnson and I could not be happier. I get a free copy of “Just Busted” magazine. DragonConTV? F’ THAT. I’ve got the 700 Club in 3 languages! It’s only a 50-minute walk to the con, plus I saw a sign for $30 Air Jordans that I’m TOTALLY taking advantage of. Sucks to be you Marri-autists!”
8. Controlled Renters
They reserved a room at the Hyatt or Hilton as soon as they arrived for last year’s con. And they’ll do it again next year. And the next. They shake their heads at us with our grand dreams of living in the Capital in Panem. Basically they are the hotel version of your parents wanting you to get a degree in computers instead of music because they don’t want you working at Taco Bell until you’re 40.
“Why don’t you just listen to your mother and get a room at the Hilton? Hey, look at me when I’m talking to you!”
9. The Quitter
Often you’ll find them deciding not to go one year…then quietly returning the next year, asking what the Passkey website address is. DragonCon is the one addiction they just can’t shake. Once they saw the 28th YouTube Steadicam costume montage being uploaded, they started to miss it. After paying less than $5 for a slice of Papa John’s pizza, they really started to miss it.
“THAT’S IT. I’M DONE. IT’S NOT WORTH IT! My Restless Leg Syndrome was going OFF THE CHARTS trying to get a room!”
10. The Hacker
He knows all the tricks to getting a room. Either that, or they assure all their friends that they know the “secret” Passkey address because they decoded the source code of the website. They’re also writing a screenplay adaptation of their hacking experiences starring Ryan Gosling as “Mark E. Marriott”, international sex marine and pro-League of Legends player. They usually have 8 laptops (all Mac) ready to slam the page once the madness starts.
“OK, you have to load the Passkey page when the digits add up to a prime number. So I’ve determined that you hit F5 at 8:57 and 15 seconds. 8+5+7+1+5=29. BOOM. You’re welcome.”
Will we be doing this again next year? Yup, probably. Despite the sarcasm, I love DragonCon. The hotel reservation system is a stressful process–and it is too bad that every person that wants to come down and hang out/cosplay/drink can’t get a room where they want.
So please, feel free to relate your terrible Passkey stories below!