Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ticketing Experience at Lite Shipping Cebu

Let's start with this quote from a previous blog entry:
"Hah, so I scanned the pages of Sunstar and it actually looked like there were more trips from Cebu to this town than to Tagbilaran. Hmm, I wondered a bit… and the availability of various rides perked up my interest to go for it even more. Immediately on the same day, I found myself lining up for tickets at the offices of Lite Shipping Corporation over at a little street perpendicular to MJ Cuneco – an entirely new experience that tested my wits, patience and my stomach hehe. I now smile recalling this experience but am not actually really sure I am ready to do it again. Let me tell you more about it…" now!

On entry, a guard asks if you are getting tickets for ‘passengers only’ or ‘with vehicles’. The ‘atrevida’ in me asked ‘what’s the difference?’. She ‘educated’ me that the red numbers she was giving out were for those securing tickets for people only while the blue numbers were for people bringing vehicles – obviously, this was going to be a RORO ride, which, come to think of it, I have lately been interested in riding (remember my San Carlos to Toledo trip?). That was not “the difference” I wanted to hear. Anyway, I was given a red number (8), so I waited. And waited. There is a very long counter with many workstations or booths for their personnel to attend to us passengers. Some looked like they were Teller’s in a bank complete with glass walls, while to the left was just a long counter with workstations for 4 or 5 more of their personnel. And that was where we were told to wait, at seats just front of the counters.

There was just one un-uniformed man issuing tickets and he was alternating his calls between red and blue numbers. While I wondered what those uniformed women behind the glass booths were issuing tickets for, I thought all was fine and continuously flowing anyway. Every time I heard the man’s printer whirring, I could see another ticket or set of tickets handed out to passengers being served. That, until another un-uniformed man came behind him and said something. He looked at the time, I did too, and it was 1223H. Yes noontime. Without saying anything, he stood up and went away while the new man took his seat and started checking flipping things as if in search of something.

After some time, this new man went over to a table where the women from behind those glass booths were having their potluck lunch, bantering and just about enjoying their lunch break. What about us waiting to purchase tickets? We still waited as no one said anything to us, and I constantly watched the new man lounge around with those ladies, go back to the desk and slouch eating a banana, go back and banter with the women again and so on. Everyone knew he obviously has had his lunch and I thought I was losing my patience. Suddenly a man beside me stood up murmuring some vindictives then turned to me and offered to exchange numbers (his was 6 red, mine was 8 red, so I happily accepted). Then he proceeded to exit tossing the 8-red number to the guard with some more murmured vindictives.

The whole office smelt of food, stomach grumbling, I still waited and appeased the dear tummy that I will binge on a hefty lunch after this ‘ordeal’. At 1315H, with no sign of anyone about ready to issue tickets, I went over to the guard who was even drifting between sanity and a snooze. She awoke and stood when I said “excuse me”. I asked if there was a formal lunch break in this office and why it was not posted anywhere or why were we not informed there was going to be such a break. Followed that up with another question as to when this lunch break will be over and when will they start issuing tickets again. Her sleepy reply was “sir, nag-break tingali ang in-charge”. My response was a rather heated and loud “obviously, can’t you see no one is at their counters? My question is, unsa orasa sila mubalik as we also need to eat lunch you know”?!

I don’t have to guess that my voice must have been loud because it startled everyone and like the swiftest wind of a storm, all employees were ALL suddenly at their counters. At the very same time, the original ticket man was already back entering the office from obviously his lunch break. OMG, our banana-eating man in question started issuing tickets but manually. Yes, he wrote everything on a pad of tickets and was not using the computer just in front of him. When my turn came, he immediately told me that only 12NN, 7PM and 12MN trips for tomorrow are available. I said I’m taking the trip tonight. He was quick to reply that 7PM trip tonight was already full. But, I was just as quick to tell him I’m taking the midnight trip. Very quickly again he said “sitting na lang, sir” and I said “that’s what I want” and gave him P350.

As he wrote our tickets, I casually asked why he was not using the computer. He said it was not working. Trying myself very much not to sound offensive, I told him that the minute he came to replace the other man, that computer was working fine and he was using it to issue tickets. He did not answer, probably still thinking for an alibi. He instead gave me my tickets and the ten peso change. As he did so, I was still smiling and asked him “bago ka dito ano? Di mo pa alam gamitin yang computer di ba?” He also smiled though sheepishly and nodded.

When I was sure I was already holding my tickets and change, with much effort, I looked at him as wrathful as I could and my eyes glaring I imagined it must have been flaming. Then I hissed at him saying “Kabago-bago mo on this job and you have the nerve to laze around in front of our very eyes? You were supposed to issue tickets immediately after you replaced the previous guy here since you have already had your lunch break! Correct? You did not do so for almost an hour at naki-lunch break ka ulit dun sa mga babae. Kung anak ka ng diyos dito at walang takot maging tamad, mahiya ka man lang samin mga pasahero, we also need to eat lunch, alam mo ba yun? Punyitera kang unggoy ka ang kapal ng mukha mo magpalakad-lakad sa harap namin habang lumalamon ng saging! Tanungin mo boss mo kung ano ibig sabihin ng professional decorum”! Then I left him standing there dumbfounded. Ah well, I switched to Tagalog for this as my tutor has not taught me yet how to express my fiery tongue in Cebuano hehe.

No worries, I said that long sermon in the hushest voice I can muster. But I hope he learned a lesson. And for my foreign readers who can’t understand some of the things said above, don’t worry. You are not missing anything but my spiteful discourses hehe!


If you want to read the chronology of all stories on this tour, click the following:
01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34



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