|The unused Mardi Gras mask with
materials carefully selected by yours truly
for this event
I laud RunRio for its noble cause—giving back to runners and recognizing their achievements in a ceremony prepared solely for them. But no matter how small or grand an awarding ceremony is, missing out a small detail such as a name of an awardee, is sacrilege. There’s no excuse for such a mistake. Imagine if this thing happens to you in big events? Here you are all geared up only to be informed your name is nowhere to be found. Faced with this dilemma, you’d rather wish a sinkhole would swallow you in than experience embarrassment.
What’s the problem? Here’s the problem. My name is not on the list. Boo for me! If only the organizer knew of the lengths I had to go through prior to this event. It is just too disappointing not finding your name when you most expected it. Apparently, the committee, if ever there was one, tasked to purge the list and supposedly present an ACCURATE list, did not do its job. How hard really is it to purge a file? At least, my name’s in the guest list though. But I came not as a guest (blogger) but as an awardee. I was told by the staff that the initial list was published in their web site. So if your name is not found, you need to contact them. I didn\’t know this. I wouldn’t have known of the event until I received the e-invite just a few days back. I thought everything was in order. I deduced it was sent to me as awardee and not as guest blogger.
While the staff in control of the computer database, let’s call him Staff D, was nowhere yet at the Registration Counter upon my arrival, another staff, let’s call him Staff X assigned at the P to Z lane commented, after not seeing my name said, “Hindi pala kayo runner, e (You’re not a runner).” What a way to add insult to injury! Honestly, I had mixed feelings on how to react and what things to say to him without losing my head. I must have looked at him incredulously. I thought of replying a very good expletive rejoinder but tried not to.
I asked a returning Staff D, “What happened? Why is my name not included? He said, “You indicated only your first name in one leg while in another leg you used your two names.” I tried to process this information in my mind. I further asked, “How many surnames the same as mine in your database?” He answered, “One.” There you go. Common sense dictates that information in those names should have been further evaluated and verified. Checking, for example, the e-mail addresses, birthdays, home addresses among others. Why do awardees have to do this when supposedly it’s the organizer’s job in the first place? What’s the purpose of having those databases? What’s the use of technology if utilized for naught?
Staff D asked Staff X to add me in the list. Just the same, I was asked to write my name manually in another paper. Mediocrity is so easy. I was not alone in this predicament. There was another runner at the counter “trying to establish he is an awardee”.
“There’s no reason for me stay here after all,” I said to Staff D. He only replied, “Kayo po (up to you).” Now, this is what I call customer service at its finest (a sarcastic thought, of course). I literally walked away. Then, decided to go home even before the ceremony started.
I finished the trilogy 21Km-21Km-32Km in 2010 and another trilogy in 2012 21Km-21Km-32Km including the 42Km dubbed as 1st Run United Philippine Marathon. I blogged my running experiences and even promoted these events. To top it off, officially finishing those and completing the series, per Staff X statement, this made me NOT a runner. What the … !
I bet, Staff X, couldn’t even finish a one-kilometer run without huffing and puffing.
On my way home, thoughts played in my mind. What kind of preparation is this? Is this their way of raising the bar? If it’s so, I will take no part in it. This is not raising the bar; this is taking it many notches lower!
To me, this year’s Runrio Awards, is a total disappointment … big time!