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Better Organization needed for distributing Compostelas!

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Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Yesterday we got Compostelas. I don’t usually get one anymore, but we were walking for sick friends and wanted them to have them.

Before I relate my experience, I want to communicate that I deeply appreciate the efforts all of the volunteers make on behalf of the pilgrims. Thank you very much. I relate this experience in the hopes that folks organizing the distribution may consider alternate ways of organizing the process, and actually make it easier for the volunteers.

So, whether you preregistered, the day before or not (which we did) all of us with a QR code, upon entrance to the building, were required to walking straight across ( in the middle of the hallway through and past the hallway, dividing the line, forming to go into the actual room to get the compostela! However, we subsequently, went straight outside on the patio area, and downstairs, turned left went inside, to get a number to tell us our call number for the Compostela. Then we went back upstairs, passing people going downstairs. When we got upstairs again, on the patio again, and there the process really broke down. There was no immediate direction?? Now what do I do? Some people sat outside somewhere…, others went back in and got on the back of the line waiting for their number to be called. No immediate direction there either? Many of us who got on the back of the indoor line had no idea that we were supposed to be on 6ft spacing marks (little foot prints) that we were supposed to use because there were way too many of us to even see the floor! It was like being on a subway when it's crowded….heads only. Then someone came and told about 30 of us that we had to backup because the people who stayed in the patio area might need space when their number was called?!! We still couldn’t see the floor markers. Who knew that there were floor markers? As we went to the back of the line, we tried to ordinally organize ourselves by numbers…but it was chaotic. It wasn’t an English queue 😆🤪.
Oh yes, and remember Omicron?

Seriously, a grade school teacher is needed to organize the process. If there are maybe 20 footprints which they want people to stand on. Then organize it so there are a number of holding areas for groups on the patio, or hold more pilgrims outside the building longer.

Or better, yet, when you pre register on-line, why not allow pilgrims to register for a specific time then? It would eliminate an additional step? We had to wait for approximately 90 pilgrims ahead of us when we got our numbers inside. And remember, while we were waiting on line, (others kept passing in the middle of the line to go downstairs. And then people from the patio were suddenly darting in and trying to get up the front quickly because there number was just about to be called? Some pilgrims may have left?

Another aide might be, on nice days, to put an obvious multilingual sign on the patio saying that you need to remain on the patio until you are within 15 numbers of your call number.


Again, this is not a criticism of the volunteers, but of the general organization.
 
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Albertinho

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2022
Yesterday we got Compostelas. I don’t usually get one anymore, but we were walking for sick friends and wanted them to have them.

Before I relate my experience, I want to communicate that I deeply appreciate the efforts all of the volunteers make on behalf of the pilgrims. Thank you very much. I relate this experience in the hopes that folks organizing the distribution may consider alternate ways of organizing the process, and actually make it easier for the volunteers.

So, whether you preregistered, the day before or not (which we did) all of us with a QR code, upon entrance to the building, were required to walking straight across ( in the middle of the hallway through and past the hallway, dividing the line, forming to go into the actual room to get the compostela! However, we subsequently, went straight outside on the patio area, and downstairs, turned left went inside, to get a number to tell us our call number for the Compostela. Then we went back upstairs, passing people going downstairs. When we got upstairs again, on the patio again, and there the process really broke down. There was no immediate direction?? Now what do I do? Some people sat outside somewhere…, others went back in and got on the back of the line waiting for their number to be called. No immediate direction there either? Many of us who got on the back of the indoor line had no idea that we were supposed to be on 6ft spacing marks (little foot prints) that we were supposed to use because there were way too many of us to even see the floor! It was like being on a subway when it's crowded….heads only. Then someone came and told about 30 of us that we had to backup because the people who stayed in the patio area might need space when their number was called?!! We still couldn’t see the floor markers. Who knew that there were floor markers? As we went to the back of the line, we tried to do ordinally organize ourselves by numbers…but it was chaotic. It wasn’t an English queue 😆🤪.
Oh yes, and remember Omicron?

Seriously, a grade school teacher is needed to organize the process. If there are maybe 20 footprints which they want people to stand on. Then organize it so there are a number of holding areas for groups on the patio, or hold more pilgrims outside the building longer.

Or better, yet, when you pre register on-line, why not allow pilgrims to register for a specific time then? It would eliminate an additional step? We had to wait for approximately 90 pilgrims ahead of us when we got our numbers inside. And remember, while we were waiting on line, (others kept passing in the middle of the line to go downstairs. And then people from the patio were suddenly darting in and trying to get up the front quickly because there number was just about to be called? Some pilgrims may have left?

Another aide might be be, on nice days, to put an obvious multilingual sign on the patio saying that you need to remain on the patio until you are within 15 numbers of your call number.


Again, this is not a criticism of the volunteers, but of the general organization.
As a former volunteer the other day at the Pilgrims Office in Santiago , I read what you have written but I do not think this forum is the place to complain about something you did not like because nobody of the forum members nor forum readers can do anything with your information. Tomorrow is an other day and can be totaly different.

Better is to send an email to the Acogido Cristiana en los Peregrinos de Santiago de Compostela http://acogidacristianaenloscaminosdesantiago.org/ and leave your constructive criticism there .So they can do something with it
There is a small professional staff . There is no way to expand this team , reason there are coming volunteers from all over the world on their own costs to please you by handing out a free Compostela and to your fellow peregrinos.
There is no other place so close to the Cathedral to receive so many pilgrims so this is the utmost they can do.
From mid January 2023 you can apply for volunteer by email Then if you should do this , you can see with your own eyes what an organisation it is to hand over a Compostela to about 300.000 pilgrims a year
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I happen to be headed to Santiago this coming week, though only as a tourigrino - to see friends and get my "Santiago fix." However, I will print this and take it with me.

One of my expected stops will be to see my friends at the Pilgrim Office. I offered to be a drop in volunteer if they need an extra hands for a few days. My planned two-week volunteer stint is not until the last half of August this year.

Anyway, I will observe and compare the account above. I will speak to those with the wherewithal to make changes.

Stay tuned!

Tom
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
As a former volunteer the other day at the Pilgrims Office in Santiago , I read what you have written but I do not think this forum is the place to complain about something you did not like because nobody of the forum members nor forum readers can do anything with your information. Tomorrow is an other day and can be totaly different.

Better is to send an email to the Acogido Cristiana en los Peregrinos de Santiago de Compostela http://acogidacristianaenloscaminosdesantiago.org/ and leave your constructive criticism there .So they can do something with it
There is a small professional staff . There is no way to expand this team , reason there are coming volunteers from all over the world on their own costs to please you by handing out a free Compostela and to your fellow peregrinos.
There is no other place so close to the Cathedral to receive so many pilgrims so this is the utmost they can do.
From mid January 2023 you can apply for volunteer by email Then if you should do this , you can see with your own eyes what an organisation it is to hand over a Compostela to about 300.000 pilgrims a year
Thank You AlbertIno. I welcome your suggestion. i will, indeed, forward my observations and suggestions to http://acogidacristianaenloscaminosdesantiago.org/

Based upon my observations the amount of help (volunteers) available did not appear to me, to be the problem…it is the gaps in organization. Allowing pilgrims to choose fixed/scheduled scheduled appointment times when obtaining their QR codes would streamline the process and cutdown on the bottlenecking or convergence of pilgrims at the pilgrim office at particular times.
Thankyou!
 
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Katherine Radeka

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2022 after failed attempt in 2018)
Thank You AlbertIno. I welcome your suggestion. i will, indeed, forward my observations and suggestions to http://acogidacristianaenloscaminosdesantiago.org/

Based upon my observations the amount of help (volunteers) available did not appear to me, to be the problem…it is the gaps in organization. Allowing pilgrims to choose fixed/scheduled scheduled appointment times when obtaining their QR codes would streamline the process and cutdown on the bottlenecking or convergence of pilgrims at the pilgrim office at particular times.
Thankyou!

Just one quick thing please remember that the people who designed the system were doing the best they can with what they had to work with.

It’s actually not easy to do an online scheduling app - not one that’s reliable and robust, accounts for all the weird days that have special hours, And can adjust capacity based on the number of people available to help. And doesn’t lock out people who don’t have smart phones or left them at home.

An expert in queuing theory could probably come up with a lot of improvements to make things flow more smoothly. It sounds like better signage would definitely help.

As a consultant who gets paid to solve problems exactly like this it is extremely frustrating to encounter a system that is not well designed or confusing. I get that. I have to bite my tongue every time I fly!

And they may welcome the feedback about the problems you saw — but probably not a solution that they didn’t come up with themselves.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Just one quick thing please remember that the people who designed the system were doing the best they can with what they had to work with.
I agree! No judgements….on intent…


It’s actually not easy to do an online scheduling app - not one that’s reliable and robust, accounts for all the weird days that have special hours, And can adjust capacity based on the number of people available to help. And doesn’t lock out people who don’t have smart phones or left them at home.

An expert in queuing theory could probably come up with a lot of improvements to make things flow more smoothly. It sounds like better signage would definitely help.

As a consultant who gets paid to solve problems exactly like this it is extremely frustrating to encounter a system that is not well designed or confusing. I get that. I have to bite my tongue every time I fly!

And they may welcome the feedback about the problems you saw — but probably not a solution that they didn’t come up with themselves.

Thank you for your response. While I was frustrated with the process, I raised the need for better organization for the pilgrim office in SdC because I thought that there might be people on this website who do have connections with the pilgrim office in SdC, and who might be in a position to influence those who are in a position to review what is and isn’t happening. I myself will likely never need to set foot in that office in the future.

I can’t speak to specific issues regarding the software program that would be needed, but do believe it is worth development. If funding would be an issue, then when pilgrims get there QR code and their appointment, a nominal, several euro fee/donation could be requested. This would help offset the cost over time. If I asked most people who were online with me, I am confident that they gladly would have paid this small amount to have an expedited process. And yes, of course, allowances would need to be made for non-cell phone users…but those slots could be easily built in.
 

Flog

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
There have been some glitches with the ticketing system in recent weeks, resulting in pilgrims being redirected etc. Hopefully this will be ironed out before long. Please be patient, it can be stressful for all, not just the pilgrims.

The advice given about directing your concerns to the ACC is quite valid. It should also be noted, that despite the impression that may be given on here from time to time, volunteers have no real influence on how things are run at the pilgrim's office. They are there to lessen the workload and are primarily assigned to the task of writing compostelas and are occasionally called on to help with Manual tasks. The volunteers in the rooms upstairs are there to reach out and listen to pilgrims who feel the need to share.
If you have an issue, grievience or indeed a positive suggestion, you should send it directly to the email address that was provided earlier.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/Frances 2021
Future- del Norte 2022
I run a production facility and our systems need to evolve with the amount of work we are doing. The systems we used, even two years ago, are antiquated. It is hard in a volunteer environment to bring about change. I think this is a perfect forum to bring up issues of efficiency and coordination because it mobilizes many to help solve a problem. I am sure changes will come and in two years or three years....they will need to be changed again.
Let's remember that we are travelling a route that is steeped in tradition and history. I was surprised when I went to the office and scanned a code with my phone. I remember thinking, that must have been hard to implement!! I can just imagine the board room meetings!!
Things are complex and it takes time to change. I am reminded of a famous economist who said "there are no solutions, just tradeoffs" even in Santiago.
 
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gheggie

CF Sept 2018
Past OR future Camino
Sept 2018
Yesterday we got Compostelas. I don’t usually get one anymore, but we were walking for sick friends and wanted them to have them.

Before I relate my experience, I want to communicate that I deeply appreciate the efforts all of the volunteers make on behalf of the pilgrims. Thank you very much. I relate this experience in the hopes that folks organizing the distribution may consider alternate ways of organizing the process, and actually make it easier for the volunteers.

So, whether you preregistered, the day before or not (which we did) all of us with a QR code, upon entrance to the building, were required to walking straight across ( in the middle of the hallway through and past the hallway, dividing the line, forming to go into the actual room to get the compostela! However, we subsequently, went straight outside on the patio area, and downstairs, turned left went inside, to get a number to tell us our call number for the Compostela. Then we went back upstairs, passing people going downstairs. When we got upstairs again, on the patio again, and there the process really broke down. There was no immediate direction?? Now what do I do? Some people sat outside somewhere…, others went back in and got on the back of the line waiting for their number to be called. No immediate direction there either? Many of us who got on the back of the indoor line had no idea that we were supposed to be on 6ft spacing marks (little foot prints) that we were supposed to use because there were way too many of us to even see the floor! It was like being on a subway when it's crowded….heads only. Then someone came and told about 30 of us that we had to backup because the people who stayed in the patio area might need space when their number was called?!! We still couldn’t see the floor markers. Who knew that there were floor markers? As we went to the back of the line, we tried to ordinally organize ourselves by numbers…but it was chaotic. It wasn’t an English queue 😆🤪.
Oh yes, and remember Omicron?

Seriously, a grade school teacher is needed to organize the process. If there are maybe 20 footprints which they want people to stand on. Then organize it so there are a number of holding areas for groups on the patio, or hold more pilgrims outside the building longer.

Or better, yet, when you pre register on-line, why not allow pilgrims to register for a specific time then? It would eliminate an additional step? We had to wait for approximately 90 pilgrims ahead of us when we got our numbers inside. And remember, while we were waiting on line, (others kept passing in the middle of the line to go downstairs. And then people from the patio were suddenly darting in and trying to get up the front quickly because there number was just about to be called? Some pilgrims may have left?

Another aide might be, on nice days, to put an obvious multilingual sign on the patio saying that you need to remain on the patio until you are within 15 numbers of your call number.


Again, this is not a criticism of the volunteers, but of the general organization.
Hear, hear. Pretty chaotic when I was there too. The volunteers were doing there best but a clearer process is needed before reaching the marked 'footprints' and without the need for Pilgrims to cross lines to get there.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
i think this is a perfect forum to bring up issues of efficiency and coordination because it mobilizes many to help solve a problem. I am sure changes will come and in two years or three years....they will need to be changed again.
I agree! I am not connected with any other Camino Forum and this is usually the only place I raise issues about the camino. I did send a lengthy email to
http://acogidacristianaenloscaminosdesantiago.org/ which I would not have done ,if not for posting my experience here!
 

Dennis Pack

Member since 2017
Past OR future Camino
Camino de Santiago Norte 2018
Sometimes, maybe all that's needed is for people to accept the ways different cultures do things, and be patient and flexible ... and stop expecting the world to cater for their "needs".
I'd hate to travel halfway around the world only to find nothing different ... like Starbucks and MacDonalds on every corner 😪
 

Rolotom

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino frances
Thank You AlbertIno. I welcome your suggestion. i will, indeed, forward my observations and suggestions to http://acogidacristianaenloscaminosdesantiago.org/

Based upon my observations the amount of help (volunteers) available did not appear to me, to be the problem…it is the gaps in organization. Allowing pilgrims to choose fixed/scheduled scheduled appointment times when obtaining their QR codes would streamline the process and cutdown on the bottlenecking or convergence of pilgrims at the pilgrim office at particular times.
Thankyou!
Can't you watch for when your number is getting close and come back? Pretty sure we went for coffee while we waited. Seems like a great system to me.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Sometimes, maybe all that's needed is for people to accept the ways different cultures do things, and be patient and flexible ... and stop expecting the world to cater for their "needs".
I'd hate to travel halfway around the world only to find nothing different ... like Starbucks and MacDonalds on every corner 😪
Sometimes, yes, but not in this case!
 
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Peter Fransiscus

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I agree! No judgements….on intent…




Thank you for your response. While I was frustrated with the process, I raised the need for better organization for the pilgrim office in SdC because I thought that there might be people on this website who do have connections with the pilgrim office in SdC, and who might be in a position to influence those who are in a position to review what is and isn’t happening. I myself will likely never need to set foot in that office in the future.

I can’t speak to specific issues regarding the software program that would be needed, but do believe it is worth development. If funding would be an issue, then when pilgrims get there QR code and their appointment, a nominal, several euro fee/donation could be requested. This would help offset the cost over time. If I asked most people who were online with me, I am confident that they gladly would have paid this small amount to have an expedited process. And yes, of course, allowances would need to be made for non-cell phone users…but those slots could be easily built in.
There is too much talking allkind off thinks. There may be problems and yesterday there were over 2000 Pilgrims and when it is busier it will be more difficult to keep Pilgrims in line. Then you also have the so-called Pilgrims who yelled at one of the Sisters that she discriminates (what is this about) and that the police must come because Pilgrims did not want to put on a mask. If everyone just behaves themselves and does what the guards ask of them, things will go a lot better.🙏🏻
 

Audax

New Member
The problem was that the pilgrims spent a lot of time waiting in line at the pilgrim office, which they could have used to see the city. The number system certainly helps, even if it opens up other difficulties. Because not everyone has a smartphone. But the previous states had become unsustainable, so something had to be done. In addition, the pilgrim office was chronically understaffed last year. It's gotten better this year.
 

Lydia Gillen

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2007/8/9, 2011 , 2012/13/14. C.F 2015
Camino Portugues 2017,2018,2019
volunteering
Having been a volunteer in the pilgrim's office for the past 3 weeks I can empathise with the comments being made. A big part of the problem is, (I think) the design of the building. Last time I was a pilgrim |I remember we came in a gate around the corner into the back garden, and then up the stone steps and in through the doorway outside the Tourist office. When we got our Compostelas, free, gratis, and without any charge to us we could go back out the same gate This meant that that those coming in did not have to pass through the queue. I do not know why the system has changed.

I witnessed the woman who was angry about what she thought was discrimination, she had a go at me also, saying that I was, by volunteering, also co-operating in this 'discrimination'. She was deeply distressed, and one could only listen with compassion.

I also was aware of the Spanish lady who would not wear a mask, and a episode like that changes the whole atmosphere of the place.

The PQ system is working. At one very busy time I took note of the number being called and the time , and I noted that 25 pilgrims came out the door of the office in 9 minutes. that is pretty good. It would have meant however that the 75th in the queue (who had just come in) would have a wait of about 30 minutes. Remember that most of those behind the computers had given up a few weeks of their own holidays.

So I would ask all pilgrims to be a bit patient and to give a helping hand to anyone who is having difficulty with the QR code, as you would have helped a pilgrim along the Camino.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Having been a volunteer in the pilgrim's office for the past 3 weeks I can empathise with the comments being made. A big part of the problem is, (I think) the design of the building. Last time I was a pilgrim |I remember we came in a gate around the corner into the back garden, and then up the stone steps and in through the doorway outside the Tourist office. When we got our Compostelas, free, gratis, and without any charge to us we could go back out the same gate This meant that that those coming in did not have to pass through the queue. I do not know why the system has changed.

I witnessed the woman who was angry about what she thought was discrimination, she had a go at me also, saying that I was, by volunteering, also co-operating in this 'discrimination'. She was deeply distressed, and one could only listen with compassion.

I also was aware of the Spanish lady who would not wear a mask, and a episode like that changes the whole atmosphere of the place.

The PQ system is working. At one very busy time I took note of the number being called and the time , and I noted that 25 pilgrims came out the door of the office in 9 minutes. that is pretty good. It would have meant however that the 75th in the queue (who had just come in) would have a wait of about 30 minutes. Remember that most of those behind the computers had given up a few weeks of their own holidays.

So I would ask all pilgrims to be a bit patient and to give a helping hand to anyone who is having difficulty with the QR code, as you would have helped a pilgrim along the Camino.
Thank you so much for volunteering! God bless you for your service. Your observations based upon the past 3 weeks of volunteering and interaction with pilgrims is most helpful. I admire you and all who volunteer at the various facilities along the camino. I see it as a calling. Truly, no one should ever have to endure abuse, especially from someone seeking a Compostela! Think about it? One gets a Compostela for Religious or Spiritual reasons but abuses God’s servants!!?
My observations and suggestions are meant to promote awareness, and non-defensive dialogue. Are there concrete improvements or changes that could be made to improve the system without requiring a larger facility. Thank you again for your observations.
 

pepi

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Last: 2021, next: ???
As a former volunteer the other day at the Pilgrims Office in Santiago , I read what you have written but I do not think this forum is the place to complain about something you did not like because nobody of the forum members nor forum readers can do anything with your information. Tomorrow is an other day and can be totaly different.

Better is to send an email to the Acogido Cristiana en los Peregrinos de Santiago de Compostela http://acogidacristianaenloscaminosdesantiago.org/ and leave your constructive criticism there .So they can do something with it
There is a small professional staff . There is no way to expand this team , reason there are coming volunteers from all over the world on their own costs to please you by handing out a free Compostela and to your fellow peregrinos.
There is no other place so close to the Cathedral to receive so many pilgrims so this is the utmost they can do.
From mid January 2023 you can apply for volunteer by email Then if you should do this , you can see with your own eyes what an organisation it is to hand over a Compostela to about 300.000 pilgrims a year
No one here denies the extraordinary work of the many volunteers and all the arriving Peregrinos accept their sacrifice with great gratitude.
But this does not mean that one simply dismisses justified and constructive criticism of the organization. The reference to the Acogido Cristiana is certainly helpful, but that the subject should not be discussed in this forum is a strange opinion; where else should this be done better than in a community of active pilgrims? And just because a service is voluntary and free does not make it sacrosanct. Instead of sulkily refusing to accept any criticism, it should be in the volunteers' own highest interest that the efficiency of their invaluable services be improved. As a "six-timer" I have always observed the chaos at the Pilgrims Office with a large dose of fatalism and humor.
Ivar's idea is excellent and worth pursuing, but the problem, in my opinion, would have to be addressed at the root. And not by the volunteers, but by the people in charge, of course.
It does not seem impossible to me to get the problem under control with a diligent organization.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Ivar's idea is excellent and worth pursuing, but the problem, in my opinion, would have to be addressed at the root. And not by the volunteers, but by the people in charge, of course.
DId i miss this, one Pepi? Thanks for your post! I couldn’t agree more!
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Past OR future Camino
2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022
Ahhhh the Compostela crush. I made the appearance to the Pilgrim's Office every time I walked and each time, though the location and system were different, there was one phenomena that I observed and it had little to do with the system or the set up...Pilgrims. Pilgrims running on adrenaline or emotion or too much wine or disregard for others were deliberately not respecting the system. We saw pilgrims in long lines before even getting any number, allowing every friend and passerby they recognized cut in the line in front of those who had been waiting hours. ( in 2019 after walking the Ingles, we were in line in the dark at 5:45am in front of the Pilgrim's office. I counted 71 people in front of us, and by the time we were finally let in, I was assigned a number double that ) We saw pilgrims who had numbers and chose to go out and eat or sightsee then returned in a frantic entitlement to now get in front of the line and disrupt the number system. We saw many, that either by cultural norms of their place of origin, or confusion or miscommunication, refused to actually stand in a queue, weaving in and out.
Systems are only as good as those willing to follow them. I don't think my soul would allow me to stand in line and silently watch all of the rule breakers anymore. I'm growing weary. I do wish there was an option of submitting copies of credentials with dates etc and having the Compostela mailed to my home. I'd be willing to pay the postage and admin fee and avoid the anxiety of the in person appearance.

I know...it sounds blunt and harsh, but it has been my personal experience.
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
I feel something of the frustration that @KJFSophie expressed. I've also grown unhappy with the whole Compostela business itself. I enjoyed my visits to the pilgrim office at the end of my first two Caminos. Relaxed conversations about my experience of the pilgrimage with people offering a warm interested welcome. Very little focus on distances walked, counting sellos or questioning starting points and routes. These days the issuing of a Compostela seems to have become a very pedantic and bureaucratic box-ticking exercise that holds no attraction for me. At the end of my most recent Camino I simply requested a final sello instead. I do not want my arrival in Santiago to be spoiled by hours spent in an irritable scrum or in argument over a missing sello or a minor deviation from an authorized Camino route. Far better ways to spend time in town!
 
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The days of relaxed conversations are long gone, except maybe in the dead of winter. If we think those fond memories should the norm, we're in for some suffering - which isn't the fault of the Pilgrim's office; that's our addition onto the experience. The process could maybe more streamlined, but the P.O. keeps up with the crowded times as best as they can.

And our experiences can be so variable. The last time I was there in June 2019, I waited for all of about 5 minutes. It was a pleasant surprise.
 

Marbe2

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Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Ahhhh the Compostela crush. I made the appearance to the Pilgrim's Office every time I walked and each time, though the location and system were different, there was one phenomena that I observed and it had little to do with the system or the set up...Pilgrims. Pilgrims running on adrenaline or emotion or too much wine or disregard for others were deliberately not respecting the system. We saw pilgrims in long lines before even getting any number, allowing every friend and passerby they recognized cut in the line in front of those who had been waiting hours. ( in 2019 after walking the Ingles, we were in line in the dark at 5:45am in front of the Pilgrim's office. I counted 71 people in front of us, and by the time we were finally let in, I was assigned a number double that ) We saw pilgrims who had numbers and chose to go out and eat or sightsee then returned in a frantic entitlement to now get in front of the line and disrupt the number system. We saw many, that either by cultural norms of their place of origin, or confusion or miscommunication, refused to actually stand in a queue, weaving in and out.
Systems are only as good as those willing to follow them. I don't think my soul would allow me to stand in line and silently watch all of the rule breakers anymore. I'm growing weary. I do wish there was an option of submitting copies of credentials with dates etc and having the Compostela mailed to my home. I'd be willing to pay the postage and admin fee and avoid the anxiety of the in person appearance.

I know...it sounds blunt and harsh, but it has been my personal experience.
If each pilgrim could choose an appointment time when getting their QR code on-line while submitting their information/registering, then much of what you describe..like returning late from their coffee break and expecting to jump to the front of everyone, or letting in their amigos wouldn’t exist. If one is late and misses their time, they would not be able to hold the line up, but have to apply for another appointment time! That could be made clear when making their appointment online.

Of course,the system would then depend upon timely processing of the Compostela.
But if appointments were spread out equally over a 12 hour period?it would lessen the pressure at peak hours! So on peak days with 2000 compostelas being issued.
That would be circa 167 compostelas per hour.

I am not sure that Lydia Gillen’s projection of 25 compostela’s in 9 minutes could be extrapolated for consistently issuing compostelas. But if this rate could consistently be accomplished, then based upon her observations 165 people per hour could be accommodated with a similar staff/ volunteers on duty. Spreading out the appointment times, reduces, crowding, eliminates need to wait on line. Pilgrims would only need to be allowed in 15 minutes before their appointment time, and no need for a number on site which would eliminate an additional step.

Designate a different location for pilgrims without appointments. Indicate that without an appointment the time one can only obtain thecompostela during the last hour of the day. I do not travel with an IPhone, but an IPad. Given the extent of WI-FI at almost every location I wonder how many people really couldn’t arrange an appointment and QR code? Surely the number is small. And perhaps with such a process, some who leave their smartphones home, might bring them?
 
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jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
I personally had thought it would be nice to have more of the "number" displays - outside the front of the building and in the courtyard and signage to say when they reach about 20 numbers before you - then you should enter the lines. And yes - being directed back and forth across the line from the outside to the interior courtyard was very confusing. I would have preferred to receive a number outside and never be told to enter the building until my number was close to being called. Of course - that leads to too many people outside the building so not necessarily a good solution either. I do concur - the building wasn't built for hosting 1000/2000+ pilgrims a day. I would be curious to look at the floor plans to the building to see if there was a way they could add another entrance/exit somewhere to assist with traffic flow (Yes - I know - added cost for the free service!). The process was definitely confusing for many. Anyhow - always grateful to the Pilgrims office staff and volunteers! But for me I think more number displays and maybe an Spanish/English video loop explaining the process outside (haha... I am thinking of something you might see while waiting in line at a theme park!). Yep... it costs money tough.
 
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t2andreo

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I personally had thought it would be nice to have more of the "number" displays - outside the front of the building and in the courtyard and signage to say when they reach about 20 numbers before you - then you should enter the lines. And yes - being directed back and forth across the line from the outside to the interior courtyard was very confusing. I would have preferred to receive a number outside and never be told to enter the building until my number was close to being called. Of course - that leads to too many people outside the building so not necessarily a good solution either. I do concur - the building wasn't built for hosting 1000/2000+ pilgrims a day. I would be curious to look at the floor plans to the building to see if there was a way they could add another entrance/exit somewhere to assist with traffic flow (Yes - I know - added cost for the free service!). The process was definitely confusing for many. Anyhow - always grateful to the Pilgrims office staff and volunteers! But for me I think more number displays and maybe an Spanish/English video loop explaining the process outside (haha... I am thinking of something you might see while waiting in line at a theme park!). Yep... it costs money tough.
They have tried several different signage approaches outside the building to Improve education and better manage expectations. The concello (city government) typically rejects all of them on esthetic grounds.

It is true that the building is not laid out to handle the CURRENT process. However, when the architect designed the 2015-2016 renovations, the building had an excellent process flow. It was never implemented.

Originally, pilgrims would queue around the corner, down the side street to be vetted and enter via the large vehicle door. But health and safety rules prevented large numbers of pilgrims milling about the rear, lower garden area while the building renovation was ongoing and large construction vehicles were driving in and out the rear gate. The original group office just inside the lower side entrance to the left. This has come to be used as the left luggage room.

After the outer construction was finished, someone came up with the QR and number scheme in August 2019 to replace the age-old FIFO one queue scheme. This did ameliorate the wait times. But I was there when this untested system went live. It was NOT pretty to watch.

In late 2019 and into 2020, COVID radically changed how the work could be done. To their credit, and even though the volunteer program was halted for 2020, the Pilgrim Office DID manage to remain open throughout the pandemic. Pilgrims DID arrive, albeit at much lower numbers.

My personal opinion is that the original 2015-2016 process flow, combined with the QR system could be the ideal process solution. It is right in front of management. Only the will is needed.

While I have NO official standing, the staff DO respect my input. I hope to start a dialog when I visit over the coming week.

I plan to return in August for a several week volunteer stint, as is my usual summer practice.

Hope this helps. There IS cause for hope.

Tom
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
They have tried several different signage approaches outside the building to Improve education and better manage expectations. The concello (city government) typically rejects all of them on esthetic grounds.

It is true that the building is not laid out to handle the CURRENT process. However, when the architect designed the 2015-2016 renovations, the building had an excellent process flow. It was never implemented.

Originally, pilgrims would queue around the corner, down the side street to be vetted and enter via the large vehicle door. But health and safety rules prevented large numbers of pilgrims milling about the rear, lower garden area while the building renovation was ongoing and large construction vehicles were driving in and out the rear gate. The original group office just inside the lower side entrance to the left. This has come to be used as the left luggage room.

After the outer construction was finished, someone came up with the QR and number scheme in August 2019 to replace the age-old FIFO one queue scheme. This did ameliorate the wait times. But I was there when this untested system went live. It was NOT pretty to watch.

In late 2019 and into 2020, COVID radically changed how the work could be done. To their credit, and even though the volunteer program was halted for 2020, the Pilgrim Office DID manage to remain open throughout the pandemic. Pilgrims DID arrive, albeit at much lower numbers.

My personal opinion is that the original 2015-2016 process flow, combined with the QR system could be the ideal process solution. It is right in front of management. Only the will is needed.

While I have NO official standing, the staff DO respect my input. I hope to start a dialog when I visit over the coming week.

I plan to return in August for a several week volunteer stint, as is my usual summer practice.

Hope this helps. There IS cause for hope.

Tom

Tom, how would this system prevent pilgrims from overwhelming the office, and causing backups at peak hours? Sounds like your plan might decrease the confusion, however. But does it decrease the numbers arriving at peak hours,which causes backup. If,indeed, about 165 pilgrims can be processed per hour (?) but 300 show up at peak times, then significant backups will remain?
 

Peter Fransiscus

Be a Rainbow in someone else's cloud.
Past OR future Camino
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
Tom, how would this system prevent pilgrims from overwhelming the office, and causing backups at peak hours? Sounds like your plan might decrease the confusion, however. But does it decrease the numbers arriving at peak hours,which causes backup. If,indeed, about 165 pilgrims can be processed per hour (?) but 300 show up at peak times, then significant backups will remain?
As already said before, this discussion doesn't belong on the forum. It's going anywhere. 🤔🥱
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Tom, how would this system prevent pilgrims from overwhelming the office, and causing backups at peak hours? Sounds like your plan might decrease the confusion, however. But does it decrease the numbers arriving at peak hours,which causes backup. If,indeed, about 165 pilgrims can be processed per hour (?) but 300 show up at peak times, then significant backups will remain?
Pilgrims will come. You cannot stop them. COVID did not stop them. The number of peregrinos arriving cannot be known. There are many factors that affect the actual number of pilgrims who present themselves on any given day.

This is not a function of “build it and they will come.” They WILL come, no matter what. The trick is to be ready to receive and process them. Historical patterns provide only one input. There are many other variables that contribute to determine arrival rates and volumes.

Pilgrim Office management have the duty to build a efficient and effective process - that is scaleable - then staff the scaled process with paid staff or volunteers. That is the best they, or anyone else, can do.

I am ay Santiago as a tourigrino this week and next. I just returned from observing Pilgrim Office operations for two, 45-minute periods. I am making informed assessments based on my direct experiences. But I am not prepared to share my overall thoughts just yet.

I intend to further enhance these observations by going to work as a volunteer when it is very busy over this weekend. Then, I will be looking at this from the inside out.

More later.

Tom
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
As already said before, this discussion doesn't belong on the forum. It's going anywhere. 🤔🥱
Actually - you never know when you might reach someone who is willing to look at the situation and re-evaluate and come up with a plan to attempt to improve things. Obviously Tom is thinking about it. Can he help make a positive change happen? Maybe. Maybe not. But those of us who have waiting in long lines are always grateful when someone is willing to try to improve the process.

Anyhow - grateful for the work the Pilgrim's office staff and volunteers do - despite the challenge of so many pilgrims going through their office every day.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
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2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Pilgrims will come. You cannot stop them. COVID did not stop them. The number of peregrinos arriving cannot be known. There are many factors that affect the actual number of pilgrims who present themselves on any given day.

This is not a function of “build it and they will come.” They WILL come, no matter what. The trick is to be ready to receive and process them. Historical patterns provide only one input. There are many other variables that contribute to determine arrival rates and volumes.

Pilgrim Office management have the duty to build a efficient and effective process - that is scaleable - then staff the scaled process with paid staff or volunteers. That is the best they, or anyone else, can do.

I am ay Santiago as a tourigrino this week and next. I just returned from observing Pilgrim Office operations for two, 45-minute periods. I am making informed assessments based on my direct experiences. But I am not prepared to share my overall thoughts just yet.

I intend to further enhance these observations by going to work as a volunteer when it is very busy over this weekend. Then, I will be looking at this from the inside out.

More later.

Tom
Tom, I am not sure you understand what I am trying to communicate. Obviously, even with historical patterns one can not know precisely how many pilgrims will come. And yes, pilgrims will come. But a computer could offer appointments, on a first come first serve basis, when pilgrims get their QR code, online a few days or the day before their arrival. Appointments would be spread out over the entire day, and pilgrims could pick based upon availability. If there are likely to be 2000 pilgrims than 167 appointments could be scheduled each hour (based upon A12 hr. Day).
 

Peter Fransiscus

Be a Rainbow in someone else's cloud.
Past OR future Camino
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
Actually - you never know when you might reach someone who is willing to look at the situation and re-evaluate and come up with a plan to attempt to improve things. Obviously Tom is thinking about it. Can he help make a positive change happen? Maybe. Maybe not. But those of us who have waiting in long lines are always grateful when someone is willing to try to improve the process.

Anyhow - grateful for the work the Pilgrim's office staff and volunteers do - despite the challenge of so many pilgrims going through their office every day.
I know, I've been there.
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Past OR future Camino
2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022
Tom, I am not sure you understand what I am trying to communicate. Obviously, even with historical patterns one can not know precisely how many pilgrims will come. And yes, pilgrims will come. But a computer could offer appointments, on a first come first serve basis, when pilgrims get their QR code, online a few days or the day before their arrival. Appointments would be spread out over the entire day, and pilgrims could pick based upon availability. If there are likely to be 2000 pilgrims than 167 appointments could be scheduled each hour (based upon A12 hr. Day).
I'm sure your computer appointment suggestion sounds quite reasonable to some, but to a big big handful of pilgrims technology is not their thing. Your assumption is that pilgrims will bring along technology, and know how to use it, and have the knowledge that it is available, and should complete the process a day or two beforehand in order to secure an appointment on their day of arrival to Santiago. Though this forum has a generous roster of pilgrims and info seekers, not all walkers are even aware there is a forum. It's likely one would not know anything about the tech process before arriving in Santiago. It's not always likely that one could wait a day or two in Santiago once they arrive to secure an appointment for the next day. Personally, this year because of obligations at home, I must leave Santiago within a day of arrival. Your system sounds workable only if there are numerous slots for exceptions for those traveling without technology, unable to use technology, unaware of process, or very limited time with zero appointments left once they have arrived. I'm a big fan of solution seekers, so there is no intent here to dismiss your view, just broaden it a bit.
I might suggest, too, that if any ideas are brought forward to the admin at the pilgrims office from this forum, that a late night shift be available if volunteers are willing during high volume seasons. I'll be walking a 30K day to enter Santiago , some maybe more. The task of checking in to accommodations and getting nourished along with the emotional component that comes with arrival adds a lot of stress to the task of queuing up for hours to get the Compostela. It might encourage a more relaxed encounter if it could be done late night after resting a bit. Just my unsolicited two cents :)
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Though this forum has a generous roster of pilgrims and info seekers, not all walkers are even aware there is a forum. It's likely one would not know anything about the tech process before arriving in Santiago. It's not always likely that one could wait a day or two in Santiago once they arrive to secure an appointment for the next day. Personally, this year because of obligations at home, I must leave Santiago within a day of arrival. Your system sounds workable only if there are numerous slots for exceptions for those traveling without technology, unable to use technology, unaware of process, or very limited time with zero appointments left once they have arrived. I'm a big fan of solution seekers, so there is no intent here to dismiss your view, just broaden it a bit.
Thank you! You make some great points. I agree, with changing over to a computerized sytem there would be a transition period needed. To make pilgrims aware of a computerized system, the pilgrims office in SJPdP, and other camino organizations could, assist, by placing an insert in the compostela’s explaning the new process when issuing them. Tour companies could inform their customers. Btw there were lots of poeple who came into SdC this past month who still needed a to a QR code to enter the building and were snapping pictures at the pilgrim center. So changing over to any new innovations will take time. I myself was unaware of change over to a QR requirement until I read a post on this forum a few weeks ago.

I wonder actually, how many people do not have a a smartphone or iPad when they do the Camino. Or, perhaps do not have access to a computer along the way. How is it, they manage to get a QR code to fly? I really respect your point, that there are some who do not have this technology. Just not sure regarding the percentage of pilgrims without. The number is less and less each each. Nevertheless, slots could be scheduled for these pilgrims at specific times.

If most are already able to get a QR code before entering the building then negotiating an appointment time would be a logical, next step.

I might suggest, too, that if any ideas are brought forward to the admin at the pilgrims office from this forum, that a late night shift be available if volunteers are willing during high volume seasons. I'll be walking a 30K day to enter Santiago , some maybe more. The task of checking in to accommodations and getting nourished along with the emotional component that comes with arrival adds a lot of stress to the task of queuing up for hours to get the Compostela. It might encourage a more relaxed encounter if it could be done late night after resting a bit. Just my unsolicited two cents :)

Setting up an appointment system, eventually, could alleviate the stress of pilgrims having to queue up for hours.

Thank you again for broadening the discussion.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
If most are already able to get a QR code before entering the building then negotiating an appointment time would be a logical, next step.
Just to be clear again, so as not to confuse people: Right now no-one needs a QR code to get into the building. Just an alphanumeric code, that you can write on your credencial. Please stop propagating misinformation.
 
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Marbe2

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2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Just to be clear again, so as not to confuse people: Right now no-one needs a QR code to get into the building. Just an alphanumeric code, that you can write on your credencial. Please stop propagating misinformation.
@VNwalking, well when I entered the building I was asked to show what I and many others refer to as a QR code??
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/bravo-to-the-pilgrims-office.74950/#post-1031900
I do not know what those who did not have such technology did. Nor did I say that? My point was that there were many with technology that did not know they could have registered previously for a code and they were taking pictures outside the office and then lining up.
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
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some and then more. see my signature.
I wonder actually, how many people do not have a a smartphone or iPad when they do the Camino. Or, perhaps do not have access to a computer along the way. How is it, they manage to get a QR code to fly? I really respect your point, that there are some who do not have this technology. Just not sure regarding the percentage of pilgrims without. The number is less and less each each. Nevertheless, slots could be scheduled for these pilgrims at specific times.

With all respect but the number of people who are still living a relatively digital free life is not that small.
Couple of weeks ago, when I attended a concert, I noticed how many people ( old and young ) are still using a printout on paper instead of a QR thing on their cellphone.

I also used, aside from the app on my phone, the QR code of my Covidvaccines on a paper. Depending on who I had to show it I used one of the versions.

With the younger generations I see a mentality shift : they are much more aware of the impact of ( social ) media and are swapping their new smartphones for good old fashioned Nokias.

Now, regarding the Oficina de Peregrinos : I really think the old school approach is very charming.
Afterall what is a couple of hours waiting when you have finished a glorious Camino.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I
With all respect but the number of people who are still living a relatively digital free life is not that small.
Couple of weeks ago, when I attended a concert, I noticed how many people ( old and young ) are still using a printout on paper instead of a QR thing on their cellphone.

I also used, aside from the app on my phone, the QR code of my Covidvaccines on a paper. Depending on who I had to show it I used one of the versions.

With the younger generations I see a mentality shift : they are much more aware of the impact of ( social ) media and are swapping their new smartphones for good old fashioned Nokias.

Now, regarding the Oficina de Peregrinos : I really think the old school approach is very charming.
Afterall what is a couple of hours waiting when you have finished a glorious Camino.
We are seniors and barely high tech. We carry an orange phone for telephone, which are more and more difficult to get in Spain btw. Hadto goto several stores to find a new one. I do not have a I phone. But my sister does. I carry an Ipad mini. We have no internet except at albergues, hotels, etc. I too print out the QR codes for entering Spain, as well as the QR and test results for the airport. Better to have backup!

I was at the pilgrims office in March of 2017, when it first opened in the morning. It was a charming experience andI loved it! But what I experienced a week ago was anything but charming, more of a nightmare. And while old school really appeals to me, I would opt for a sanitized orderly approach to chaos and confusion.
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
I

We are seniors and barely high tech. We carry an orange phone for telephone, which are more and more difficult to get in Spain btw. Hadto goto several stores to find a new one. I do not have a I phone. But my sister does. I carry an Ipad mini. We have no internet except at albergues, hotels, etc. I too print out the QR codes for entering Spain, as well as the QR and test results for the airport. Better to have backup!

I was at the pilgrims office in March of 2017, when it first opened in the morning. It was a charming experience andI loved it! But what I experienced a week ago was anything but charming, more of a nightmare. And while old school really appeals to me, I would opt for a sanitized orderly approach to chaos and confusion.


Well, it is as it is.

For what it is worth : Some days on my Caminos were sometimes also filled with chaos and confusion. So I don't expect the Oficina being any different.
Camino = the good , the bad & the ugly...
My approach is trying to be compassionate , tolerant and mindful when having to wait in line for a Compostela. Still a much nicer experience though than getting stuck in traffic during rush hour in a city you don't know... ;)
It is all really very relative....
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
@VNwalking, well when I entered the building I was asked to show what I and many others refer to as a QR code??

I do not know what those who did not have such technology did. Nor did I say that? My point was that there were many with technology that did not know they could have registered previously for a code and they were taking pictures outside the office and then lining up.
You and others call it a QR code but that is not what you have to show and this terminology confuses people. What you have to show is your registration code which could be a QR code or a code consisting of letters and numbers only. So this talk of QR codes confuses people. What you actually show depends on how IT savvy you are and whether you registered online a long time ago and in which form you saved your registration code or whether you register outside of the Pilgrim Office and hold up your smartphone to the guard as soon as you had pressed the equivalent of "Submit".

The reason why people are lining up in the street has to do with the fact that they are trying to keep the number of people inside the building low because of ongoing Covid-19 restrictions that they have chosen to implement for their building.
 
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SioCamino

Active Member
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CF 2015, CPo 2016, VDLP[Sev-Các] 2017, VDLP[Các-Sal] 2018
I was at the pilgrims office in March of 2017, when it first opened in the morning. It was a charming experience andI loved it! But what I experienced a week ago was anything but charming, more of a nightmare. And while old school really appeals to me, I would opt for a sanitized orderly approach to chaos and confusion.

There is a BIG difference between March and May in any year at the Pilgrim's Office. I'm pretty sure pilgrims presenting at the office this March found it quiet and easy to navigate... Same system but probably quadruple the number of pilgrims....
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I was at the pilgrims office in March of 2017, when it first opened in the morning. It was a charming experience andI loved it! But what I experienced a week ago was anything but charming
In order to form a meaningful opinion, as a mere user, whether the current system is better or worse than a previous system it would be useful to compare May 2017 with May 2022 and not March 2017 with May 2022. Every year, there is a huge difference in the number of pilgrims passing through the Pilgrim Office to get a Compostela between the month of March and the month of May.

PS: @SioCamino, we posted at the same time! ☺️
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Reality check: In March, numbers of pilgrims going to the Pilgrims Office for a Compostela are around 200-300 daily, with a peak of 600 this year in March. In May, numbers of pilgrims going to the Pilgrims Office for a Compostela are around 1300-1500 daily, with a peak of 2000 this year in May (so far).

Perhaps, in order to develop useful suggestions for improvements, as a user, one ought have a good grasp of ALL users' experience and not only on one's own limited personal experience. In my humble opinion.

I guess a U/X person could do a useful job on this, and surely there are pilgrims with solid professional experience in this area. It is a pity that the Cathedral/PO does not or cannot tap into this reservoir of skills out there.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Well, it is as it is.

For what it is worth : Some days on my Caminos were sometimes also filled with chaos and confusion. So I don't expect the Oficina being any different.
Camino = the good , the bad & the ugly...
My approach is trying to be compassionate , tolerant and mindful when having to wait in line for a Compostela. Still a much nicer experience though than getting stuck in traffic during rush hour in a city you don't know... ;)
It is all really very relative....
Agree. One should be kind and have patience when dealing with chaos, and even try to deescalate situations, when in stressful situations…or vote with one’s feet, when possible…or try to provide feedback to improve the circumstances for the future.
 
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@VNwalking, well when I entered the building I was asked to show what I and many others refer to as a QR code??
That is what is confusing to one and all.
It's just a alphanumeric registration code that you actually need at the moment, not one of the scannable black and white QR codes:
and others call it a QR code but that is not what you have to show and this terminology confuses people. What you have to show is your registration code which could be a QR code or a code consisting of letters and numbers only. So this talk of QR codes confuses people.

or try to provide feedback to improve the circumstances for the future.
No doubt the PO is aware of what is happening, and are dealing with it as best as they can. Our suggestions from a place of not knowing are not likely of much assistance.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Reality check: In March, numbers of pilgrims going to the Pilgrims Office for a Compostela are around 200-300 daily, with a peak of 600 this year in March. In May, numbers of pilgrims going to the Pilgrims Office for a Compostela are around 1300-1500 daily, with a peak of 2000 this year in May (so far).

Perhaps, in order to develop useful suggestions for improvements, as a user, one ought have a good grasp of ALL users' experience and not only on one's own limited personal experience. In my humble opinion.

I guess a U/X person could do a useful job on this, and surely there are pilgrims with solid professional experience in this area. It is a pity that the Cathedral/PO does not or cannot tap into this reservoir of skills out there.
@Katharina I have not been walking the camino for as long as many of you, but I think after walking the CF 10 times, I do know the difference in the numbers between March and May? Why do you think I often wallk in March?

I do humbly agree with you that the pilgrims office would benefit from the expertise of U/X or other professionals to assist them in improving the process. That is why I started the thread.
 

peregrina2000

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I think this thread has degenerated into some back and forth that isn’t helpful to the original post. @Marbe has made some suggestions for improving the process at the PO. And has also, at the suggestion of a forum member, sent the observations/suggestions on to the office itself. Mission accomplished!! From that point on, though, the conversation has on several occasions gotten close to hostile. I don‘t think there is much more to be gained from this back and forth, so I’ll close this thread. It’s not that I think that this topic is off-limits, just that I think we have milked this one enough. I’m sure there will be more threads as we charge into high season at the PO.
 
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