Fun little story...about trying to get behind the scenes!

Jan 6, 2003
Lol, this is just a little story that basically shows how life can be so such a pain once in a while over the dumbest things...just venting, but its fun to read.

A few months ago I got to go behind the scenes to feed the Giant Pacific Octopus which was at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ. It was their adult GPO and they also had a smaller male GPO which was not on was only a back-up when the female dies. However, I got to feed and touch the one ON exhibit which was the grown up female GPO. The biologist which I had called told me I was aloud to do this by going to the Information Desk and asking if anyones available and if they are, they would do it. Unfortunately I did not have a camera or cam-corder or anything to capture the great moment so the biologist "Amy" told me I could call the aquarium if ever wanting to do it again w/ a camera. Generally they dont do it more than once.

Now, a few days ago I went to the aquarium and asked to go behind the scenes by doing the same thing...went to the Info Desk. The lady told me you MUST schedule an appointment for behind the scenes, however...I told her last time I did it, it did not need to be scheduled...only needed someone available to take you. But my excuse failed and I didn't get to go behind the scenes under their terms...little did I know the female GPO had died 2 days prior to me visiting and they NOW had the male GPO which was not on exhibit on exhibit. It's name is George and it currently un-social and shy.

As soon as I got home I got on the phone w/ the aquarium because I would be going again on Friday...8/25/06...b4 I went Tuesday, but started doing business on Wednesday. After getting no answers on the phone Tuesday...just recorded voice messages, I called the next day of course and got in touch w/ a husbandry girl. I told her my situation and she sent me to this guy working in husbandry. I told the guy my situation and he told me all he could...the GPO is NOT an animal listed as a general "behind the scenes program" and cannot schedule an appointment. So I said, ok...that means the Information lady was wrong. So I said should I pay instead to do it again if not schedule it? But he told me since its not listed in the behind the scenes programs of animals such as Sharks, Hippo's, Stingrays and ect...he could not give me a price or charge me simply because it is not listed in their computer either, lol.

He sent me to another husbandry guy named Mark. I called Mark and he tells me that in my situation...since I am doing this for the 2nd time, I HAVE to pay because it is not a regular program to take regular people spontaniously behind the scenes and since he doesn't want this becoming a "hobby" or regular day-to-day thing, hes going to charge me. So I ask how much, and he sends me to another guy...the sales manager. Woopie.

So I call the sales manager named Mike Perrez. He doesnt answer so I leave him a message and I get a call back 5 minutes later from a women named Allissa. I explain my situation to her and she tells me that from this point on...and this was when the aquarium was about to close when I was on the phone, she could not give me any price or make me pay or charge me because of the same reason...its not an animal priced behind the scenes. So she tells me she'll call Mike Perrezz to call me so he does 10 minutes later. I explain my situation to Mike and he tells me that my situation he's going to force me to pay. Lol, so im juggling back and forth but this sales manager is the head of all the sales so HE makes the final decision. Unfortunately he makes me pay the limited amount of money for any behind the scenes listed on the 'regular' animals...and that comes to $130. DAMN, right? You think its worth it???

So he tells me in order to pay...I HAVE to pay by credit card over the phone by 5:30 PM OR first thing in the morning tomarrow which is when the aquarium opens at 9:30 AM. I choose to do it first thing in the morning cuz...I dont have no damn credit card on me. I have the money though so I ask him if I could just pay front desk w/ the cash. He says no simply because by telling them I will give them cash...and say if I DONT show up, that messes the husbandry staffs schedule and they get screwed over. Why? Because Mike also scheduled me to go behind the scenes AT 10:30 AM sharp which he assigned under my name. But wait...their's more complications...

Right now im typing this at 1:09 AM lol...the day im going and I do not have a credit card nor does my any family members w/ 130 bucks on im left w/ plan B and thats going against the rules and paying them 130 bucks ON the table FIRST thing in the morning...however, isn't it the SAME THING? Mike specifically told me I could pay w/ credit card 5:30 PM or 9:30 AM...what difference does it make if I pay 9:30 phone, or pay 9:30 cash when im going to be their before the damn thing opens? The husbandry staffs schedule wont be screwed why? Because by paying the confirming my behind the scenes tour 1 hour b4 actually going according to assigned schedule. So boo-hoo.

2 things are for sure. If they dont accept the 130 bucks on terms, their dumb losers. And number 2...if I only get to spend 20 minutes w/ the octopus for that amount of cash which EQUIVALENTS to the hippo's behind the scenes tour of 130 bucks, then im getting ripped off big time. The least they can do is let me stay their for a few hours which is relevant to the rest of the animals.

***wish me all the luck guys cuz ill be filming this and taking a gazzillion pics and if so...ill definately post all my media on this site***
Just wanted to say I had BLESSED LUCK...and got to go behind the scenes for a full hour with the octopus plus I got to see the top of the Sharks tank as well...which had a 550,000 gallon tank w/ numerous grey sharks, and sand tigers.

I took a lot of pictures and will definately post them up on Monday, so check them out.
Can't wait to see them! But man, long story, eh!? I went behind the scenes at the Atlanta Aquarium, and got to see the top of there 6.2 Milliong tank, and saw the whale sharks up close. Point is, it was one of the best times of my life after i got into SW aquariums. But i never got to see the GPO, because I wasn't as into them as i am now. But I bet you had a GREAT time playing with the GPO for an hour! Post
Glad to read all your perseverance paid off. Look forward to seeing your pictures, by goodness you deserved them!

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