Based on my recent experiences in trying to sign up for a COVID vaccination, I am convinced that the Marquis de Sade is alive and working in Howard County. Indeed, I am sure that he has signed a contract to develop software for the Howard County Health Department and Giant Foodstore Pharmacies.
For almost two weeks I have attempted to register to receive the COVID vaccine.
Some fifty years ago I was classified as a Computer Scientist, but I now realize that I was an absolute neophyte. These modern day producers of user interface software have achieved heights of obscurantism that puts necromancers to shame. The marquis and his band have developed an apparently impenetrable veil that has defied all my efforts to sign up for inoculation.
And they are truly sadistic about it. You finally find a website and register for a vaccine and are promised that you will be contacted. There is no receipt. There is no contact. Many days pass. You wonder if the recipient of you registration has emigrated to Mars? You register again. Still no sign of life. Then you call a Howard County Health Department information number and discover that person has also emigrated. A voice message refers you back to the Martian website.
Finally, today, Tuesday, January 26, I thought I had reached paydirt. For a week or so I had searched the Giant Foodstore website for information on COVID shots. Yesterday there was a glimmer of hope. I found a Giant site where you supposedly could sign up for the vaccine. I attempted to sign up with them but saw a message that no appointments were available that day, but try again later.
I spent much of today on the Giant website. Four times I signed into the Giant COVID que. Their interface has a timer on it, and you are informed how long you will be in the que before you can register for the vaccination. The first time I got into the que a message soon appeared (after a half-hour or so) saying that no more appointments were available. My second venture ended even more quickly when I somehow lost my connection. The third time things appeared more promising. It was a 2 hour que, but when I was down to about 30 minutes a message appeared indicating that no more appointments were available. I stayed on until the end just in case, but it was to no avail. The fourth time appeared to be the charm. I got in the que with a supposed 50 minute wait time. No more messages. Finally, I reached the front of the que and was directed to another site to make an appointment. The only appointment said to be available was on Saturday. January 30th in Largo. I immediately jumped for it, but the usual message appeared saying that no appointments were available. I felt a bit like Charlie Brown when Lucy moves the ball away at the last second.
P.S. It is now Wednesday morning. I got in the Giant que at 8:15 a.m. There were no messages, and I was filled with hope. I reached the front of the que at 8:57 and was directed to the registration site. On that site was a big message – NO APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE.
Yes, the Marquis de Sade is alive and well.