Saturday, July 07, 2007

Just how smart are TRIBE "TLC" Smart Cards

So I came home last night to meet this letter from TRIBE in my inbox. So Tribe's Loyalty Card gives loyal masqueraders (those who play every year) the opportunity to register before all the masses who have never played with them before. Now last year this was both good and bad. Good because I was pretty well assured a costume in the band. Bad because I STILL had to get up early to make sure my friends got into the section of choice.Being the smart men (and women) Trinis are , they still managed to find loopholes to getting and using the cards to register with priority. Not that it really made a difference overall since the band never really sold out. It is a fact that certain people who NEVER played with Tribe and were there 1st day of registration. Others loaned their cards cause they knew they were going with Island People( or wherever) for sure but wanted to keep one foot in Tribe for the long run . Of course others just sold it outright.

The email took me a little while to process cause I had 3 mojitos in my head. But from what I gather, if you registered and did NOT play you got kicked to the curb cause its all who actually PLAYED who get TLC cards. How they going to figure that out I would love to know. I know that if you sold a costume, they were supposed to update the TLC card with the new name. But on the same hand I could have sold the costume and given you a authorisation letter to collect it and the database will still show its my name.Suppose I paid and picked up the costume and then sold it? Still my name!....and I did not play.I would still get a TLC card this year. And if you played with them before and NOT in 2007 you can now "apply' for a card on a priority basis. I would love to see the official ranking.

As a 'loyal' masquerader I have played in Tribe since their inception as their own band. I never played with them in Poison cause i used to get a free floor costume but we all knew that was the best liming spot.But that doh make a difference at this point anyway. We talking about Tribe as a band now.Now being that I got into my section of choice with no stress, I never really made a big issue out of it. Best believe if I hadn't gotten my section it would have been a very different story. If i play EVERY year for 3 years and I signing up FIRST DAY of registration too, no way in hell anybody who now reach should be getting a costume before me. I should have my own registration day for being there that long. Even with this new system I not seeing how it really going to give me an advantage over someone who played this year for the first time. On the other hand, as such a super loyal masquerader should I not have at least one guest who I can pull in with me for early registration? I have family who live abroad and have not played in 4 years who want to come for 2008.For argument sake, if I want to buy two costumes, one for Monday and one for Tuesday, will I be allowed to? I actually had the experience last year of having one of my bottom pieces deleted from my registration cause somebody decided that I could not possibly wear 3 bottom pieces for two days.I signed up for all three because I can never make up my mind what I feel like wearing until Carnival Monday morning and I like options. But it is just as possible that I may have been anticipating getting my period or getting a thong ban from my b/f. Note that I am paying for this and did the same thing the two years before. Yet I was told that I could only get two.I did not fuss cause between registration and collection I got something else for Monday but I was a bit peeved that somebody else decided I like a boy short better than a thong. Anybody who knows me knows I am definitely a thong person.

When I actually went to the site to register for my card. I got a (bigger) headache. Why are the info boxes a yellow background with white lettering? I could barely see what I was typing. When I hit submit they eh even ask me to preview it before submitting so I had to hope that what I was typing and could not read was correct. They say this card is for long term use. I eh know what to think about THAT. Its good for the environment recycling and all but really..... its a good chance people will lose it. And who paying for that? Me? I saw a comment by Saucy that said that we are all big people and if you treat it responsibly like a credit card or license that you will keep it safe. THAT is EXACTLY what I worried about. You can't tell me you you NEVER misplace your license or credit card. I am not a careless person but it HAS happened at least once. A time I came out my car and my license fell out from the door. I noticed with a few hours it was misssing and turned everywhere upside down. I stall for a whole week before i make up my mind I had to pay and go through the hassle to replace it (and I damn vex cause it was 3 months from expiry). Only to have the mail man drop it home for me cause he pardner from a next route find it. One thing I am famous for is I losing my car keys on a daily basis.Well ok, more like forgetting which part of the house I rest it cause it eh really gone for good. So much so that I have taken to using a clip on my hand bag.The TLC card has no monetary value so subconsciously you may not be as viligent with it. Now I have the responsibility to make sure to keep it safe from now till next year and make sure I doh get too tight in the band launch and lose it cause like its my launch ticket too.

I really appreciate the fact that Tribe is leading the way in modernising the Carnival process and introducing new technology to make it more efficient. Insert applause here.However,there are certainly a lot more arguments that can be made for the whole definition of 'loyalty'. In addition to which technology is not without its problems. Registering online still has not been ironed out. They still have problems with the database on registration day and at times had to revert to hand registration. I just hoping for the best cause up till last registration day I was STILL having flashbacks and anxiety attacks from that awful day in 2005 when we the whole world was trying to get in Angel Fish and Nylon Pool. That has somewhat been alleviated since the process was very painless last year. However everytime they decide to try something 'new' i get concerned.

Allyuh realisin we in JULY and talking about band launch month end?WTF!


saucydiva said...

Well you know I too have my concerns on this whole TLC business since I did not really like getting up so early last year to be first in line only to be met by a posse of 6 other like minded people. I too was burned by the massive fiasco of 2005... trying to register online then when that crashed flying down to the mas camp and skipping the line too booth.

I just hope that registration is as smooth as last year AND that get the section I want :)

D Trini in Me said...

I think the smart cards should work once the people behind the idea smart enough to make it an easy transition.

My only question is why do they require your Date of Birth to register to get the smart card. I see no reason for mas bands to have your DOB on file to register to play mas with them. Some ppl may have priority, not only because they play with them 3 yrs, but they might (not saying they doing it) give priority to age w/o you even knowing it. I am planing on calling them to ask why is age required to register? Then again they might tell me I have the choice not to play with them if I do not like their rules.

Carnival Jumbie said...

trini yuh know that never even occured to me...maybe they did needed a form of identification which was not as sensitive as an id number.Be sure to let me know what happens with that. Its funny that they have been accused of size discrimination in the past and now this lolol.

skyedc said...

on anotehr note i hope allyuh realise tribe ain't talk bout cost of smart card. they feel they smart. dem thing dos cost real $ so i sure we go see expensive a$$ costume cuz they go bill us for that in d price of d costume. chinee man ain't giving nothin complimentary.

D Trini in Me said...

CJ - so I email Tribe asking them re: DOB on registration form and they reply.
I posted it on my blog -

Tr|n|gYa| said...


This was my first year with Tribe.

so if you were a loophole-ite like me :) and get to register early because you knew someone who was in Tribe and was leaving to go to IP (or wherever)...then you should have been a SMART loophole-ite like me and MAKE SURE THEY UPDATE THAT INFORMATION ON THE TLC FILE! Tribe DID offer this option...they didnt at first because it would have been too confusing for them to take in their loyalists AND the ppl who just had the luxury card...but they DID have this option right before costume-pickup time...remember how they were asking for authorization letters and all that? Yep...that's what they were for, kinda like proof of switching. If i could have done it without the help of an inside link...ANYONE could have.

Hard luck for dem ppl gonna be madness this year for them..but I just putting my experience out there for others.