I want to write down what I experienced this weekend about booking a bus. A computer programming contest will be held on a campus of USST, which is in the northeast of Shanghai, at 9 a.m. and many JI students are willing to take part in it and thus it is decided to book a bus for students to come there. I was assigned to book the bus of SJTU’s logistics department.
At first, I think it would be a piece of cake. However, it is actually more complex than I expected.
The first thing was to survey the demand. After a day, the result showed that around 30 people needed the bus.
Since it is a contest and the path is long, time is both important and hard to forecast, I first use a map app to find the time. It told me that the time would be around three quarters. Then I called SJTU’s logistics department to book the bus. When I told the officer the place I need to go to, he told me that it would need an hour. I was not relieved so I added another half hour. Finally, we confirm that a bus would wait at Jingjingtang Square and depart at 7:30 a.m.
After that, I thought that what I need to do is to wait for the contest day. I was wrong. Since the contest will last about 4 hours and the bus would take us back to SJTU, the bus needed someplace to park. So one day later, I received a message on how the bus could park in USST.
How can I know it? Ask my classmates in USST? No. None of my senior high school classmates went to USST. So I had to ask my junior high school classmates who were in USST for help. But after several years, the relationship between us is thin. What’s more, as a SJTU student, I do not know the related rules of SJTU, so probably my classmates do not know the related rules. Besides, USST have many campuses and I did not know where they are, it would be complex. Finally, I found the phone number of the security office of USST and knowing that due to the Covid-19, an invitation code is needed to go into the campus.
Now my mission was to get the invitation code. This code should be given by any department of USST which is responsible for the visitors (i.e. us) and the security office could not help me. How can I know which department is responsible for the contest and how can I contact them? I contact the JI teacher who is responsible for it and the person in my exam attendance ticket for contacting and found that I could not get the code. So finally the bus driver had to drive back to the Xuhui campus of SJTU for parking.
Everything was managed after several days.
The contest day finally came but there is still something to deal with. First, some people want some time to have lunch before leaving USST, so the time of leaving the USST delayed by 40 minutes. Second, at 7:30 a.m., there were still some students be on the way to Jingjingtang Square, so the departure time delayed by 10 minutes. Third, because both the driver and me did not go to the campus and there are more than one campuses of USST in that area, it took some time to arrive at the place we needed.
Luckily, we successfully arrived just several minutes before the contest. ( I really thank past me for adding 30 minutes.)
The worry of the invitation code was actually redundant. The bus successfully parked in USST.
The last challenge came after the contest when we found that the cafeteria was not open and I did not think that there would be restaurants around the campus based on what I saw on the way to find the campus. And many other students also came to the bus just after the ending of the contest. But is there any student who found a place to eat? I was not sure. If we left now, they would not have the chance to take the bus. After sending message many times and waited for a while, we left USST. Luckily, I did not receive a message telling me that I abandoned someone in USST.
That is my experience of booking a bus. Something may be easy at first glance, but it could be far more complex than one first imagined.