It used to be, every time I came up with a wicked evil plot to get me on the US side of the border, the Canadian version of the Greyhound service–website, customer service line, occasionally the station itself–would tend to throw a small fit. Or an extremely large one, depending on the phase of the moon. I had thought, on my last trip down there, we’d managed to convince it that it wants to sort itself out once and for all. Clearly, I was categorically wrong.
It actually started before I went down to Rochester this last time–Jessica had come up for my birthday, and so I could propose to her. And, in attempting to organize such an event, or rather in the attempt at its execution, it was the US arm of Greyhound’s turn to successfully fall over sideways. They weren’t exactly experts at organization to begin with, as evidenced by the fact none of them ever seemed to actually have the foggiest idea what the guy next to him was doing. Because of that, she ended up missing by an hour the connection she was supposed to catch to leave Toronto. That was apparently a warning shot.
We’re having a sort of get-together thinggy, as we almost always do, for Canadian thanksgiving. The family shows up at mom’s and doesn’t leave until at least half of us can’t move. Yesterday was mostly spent trying to invent a way of getting Jess up here so she could join us, now that we know she’s got the room to do it. That was also when we stumbled across the company’s apparent constant state of confusion.
Let me throw a little background up here for the sake of your sanity. During the summer, they have two possible ways you can get up here from Rochester, usually. You can either go through Buffalo and then Toronto–the usual way, or they occasionally run a shorter route that goes through Syracuse. Usually by now, the Syracuse route is canceled and you’re just left with the Buffalo route. That route does take roughly twice as long, but it’s usually almost always running, so we tend to lean more towards that one for obvious reasons.
Now, back to yesterday being what it was. I’d intended to look it up and throw the money at a bus ticket while she was at work. So I poked around the site–which, just for the record, is somehow even more of a disorganized cluster fuck than it used to be, and came up with a single solitary bus route. That being the route through Syracuse. Now, me being as observant as I sometimes am, that sets off at least one alarm in the brain–don’t tell me we’re going to have to do this dance again. So I punched up the Canadian answer to Greyhound’s website, ran the trip as if I was going to book it–of course, it won’t let me purchase it on the Canadian side but at this point, I don’t need it to. And wouldn’t you know, the various Buffalo routes I expected to see on the US site are listed right there before my very eyes–er, ears. And no Syracuse route. Well now, isn’t this just peachy.
So clearly, one of the two sites is lying to me. I call up the US number for the line down there, and have a very informative conversation with their customer service monkey. And by informative, I mean they see exactly what I see on their website and know pretty much exactly what I know re: why they’re seeing it. Yeah, colour me educated. So at this point, I’ve got two different versions of the same company’s info telling me two different things, and no actual way to smash the two of them together and form some kind of coherent idea as to what the options for this thing actually are. So instead, we created our own.
Jess ended up buying the ticket to come up through Syracuse, simply because it was there. And because I have a sneaking suspicion doing anything different would require a trip in person to the station–and while it’s not much in the way of cab fare, it’s enough when you’re going to be doing it again in a week anyway. Either the route’s running, and she’ll get here a hell of a lot earlier than usual–which means she can be back here and somewhat rested by mid-afternoon for the first time since the first trip she took up here, or she’ll get to drop kick a customer service monkey in person, and I’ll get to drop kick one over the phone, until such time as her ticket ends up changed to reflect a route that *is* running, at no cost, and she’ll get here no later–well, minus Greyhound’s repeating its earlier failure–than she usually does. She does have a ticket, at either case. the question of for which bus, well, we’ll sort that out when it gets around to being time.
In the meantime, a small little tiny note to Greyhound. Please, for the love of everything relatively sane, stop with the failing. Now-ish. I’d appreciate it immensely.