Monday, March 29, 2010

How to Befriend the Show Office Staff

There is a very good reason why you should be nice to the show office staff, besides basic politeness. If you try to make their lives easier, chances are that they will try to make yours easier, too. They can do everything from helping you do your adds more quickly, to contacting others at the horse show for you, to taking your word for it when corrections need to be made to your bill at the end of the show.

So what can you do to put yourself in their good books?
  • Be polite and friendly: You might be having a bad day, but put on a smile and say 'please' and 'thank you' when you're in the show office. In a sea of rushed and stressed-out competitors, a friendly face is a welcome sight.
  • Be patient: There can be a lot of waiting around at the busier times of the day, and pushing ahead in the line or getting upset about having to wait won't do anyone any good.
  • Have your memberships completed before the horse show: Doing it through the office makes for extra work for the office staff.
  • Get your entries in on time: There's a reason for the entry deadline, and sending your entries in late produces more unexpected work right before the show than they had planned for.
  • Provide all of the necessary paperwork (passports, memberships, Coggins test, etc.) and fill out your entries and stall order forms completely: There is a reason why everything is asked for and making the office do research or chase after you is extra work!
  • Be ready to pay at any time: Most shows require either payment up front or an open cheque before your numbers will be issued. Don't make the office staff's lives difficult by forgetting your cheque and expecting for them to make an exception for you (never expect to be given special treatment; just appreciate it when you are!).
  • Have all of the necessary information with you to do entries: If you don't know show names or exhibitor numbers, how will they? Don't make them search for information that you should already know.
  • Try to do your entries, bill payments and hay/shavings orders at quiet times: The show office is usually busiest at the end of the afternoon, as the classes are finishing or finished. On the last day, try to pay your bill in the morning if you don't have any afternoon classes.
Above all, be understanding. The office staff deal with hundreds of people every day and they do their best to get everything done efficiently and accurately. Mistakes are bound to happen and when they do, remember that the staff are only human. Most of us wouldn't last five minutes in their shoes when the office is at its busiest!

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