When you work as hard as I do in the tech sector, you can sometimes get the reputation of being a nerd, a geek or a gearhead who’s totally devoid of any desire to have a good time. Last year, I decided to prove my family wrong by using Stubhub to program entertainment as the only gift I’d give. And to have maximum impact, I decided I’d actually show up and “enjoy” the events with each target – I mean person. I’ll admit to feeling a little anxious about the size of some of the crowds that would be at these events. The range of interest in my immediate circle of family and friends is not large, but does vary greatly. From stadiums full of screaming fans of Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars in North Carolina, to the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago I would find myself in situations that would be uncomfortable at best, and impossible to comprehend at worse. (I’m not a big fan of opera, but my mom loves the stuff.)
Still, I carefully entered the data into a spreadsheet, calculated the distance I’d have to travel to attend these events, the approximate amount of time I’d need to spend with each person to experience the maximum enjoyment of each visit and of course, the price of it all. Once all the data had been entered, I proceeded to notify them of the intended gifts which would be spread out over the course of the next three to six months depending on the variables of weather, availability and suitability of each intended unit – I mean, gift. I carefully constructed a searchable database that linked each person to the time and place their event would take place and calculated that I’d spend 2.5 days with each one, with a maximum stay time that varied based on the mode of transportation used to get there and back. In the end, my calculations were pretty accurate except for the amount of money I saved when I took my mom’s advice and used Groupons to buy the tickets on Stubhub. Without her advice I would have spent approximately 28.5% more on average, which would have resulted in a significant overage in the budget. She’s really glad I listened and saved so much money. I’ve promised I’d use some of it to move out of her basement by the end of next year.