July Theme Of The Month: Great Timing!

Moms Of Gall Street

| New Zealand | Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Family & Kids, Movies & TV

(I am a cinema attendant at a movie theatre. A woman and her clearly young teenaged kids approach me and hand over tickets for Wolf of Wall Street.)

Me: *looking at the two young kids* “Um, boys, do you have any ID?”

Woman: “Why do they need ID?”

Me: “Because it is an R18 restricted film, and they look far under age. Legally we have to ask.”

Woman: “I’m their mother, so it doesn’t matter. I give them permission to see this.”

Me: “Well, no, I can’t actually allow them to enter, ma’am. It’s law that unless they are over 18, with valid ID, they can’t actually go into the movie, parental consent or not.”

Woman: “Oh, my God, are you kidding me? I’m their mother, and I say they are over 18!”

Me: *not convinced* “I still need valid ID.”

Woman: “They are over 18. Don’t you believe their d*** mother?”

Me: *facing the kids again, as the woman is getting agitated* “Boys, what are your birthdates?”

(Both boys struggle for a while to remember when they are born, one answering at being 16 years old and the other at 23, most obviously NOT being 23.)

Me: “I’m sorry; I can’t let you into the movie, boys. You’re not 18, and it’s a pretty hard restriction.”

Woman: “I paid for these tickets, so you will let us into the movie theatre! They let us buy them downstairs without this bull-s***!”

Me: “These are pink Kiosk tickets from the machine. The machine clearly states the restriction, with a warning that you will be checked for ID upstairs. You can return downstairs to swap them for another movie.”

Woman: “I don’t want to f***ing swap to another movie! We want to watch this one!”

(At this point I’m about to use my walkie to contact my manager and let them know to come up to sort out the customer, when the another customer interjects.)

Customer: “Lady, I don’t know how this girl talked to you without throwing you out on your a**. What kind of a mother are you, letting your young boys in to watch a movie about sex, drugs, hookers and h*** knows what else?! Take your tickets, go watch something else, or just plain p*** off!”

(The woman was stunned for a while, before taking off to get her tickets changed. I called to the desk to let them know she was coming and what had happened. She tried to get a full refund and free tickets for the ‘terrible service and inconvenience.’ She was refused.)

Enough To Make You Almost Pop Your Corn

| NY, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

(I work at a movie theater. We are offering a special promotional coupon where customers can buy a large popcorn and drink combo, and get a second large drink for free. I am approached by an elderly couple.)

Husband: *handing me a coupon for the promotional deal* “I want two!”

Me: “All right, sir. Just to double-check, did you mean you wanted two combos, or the single combo with two drinks?”

Husband: *scoffs* “Do I stutter, kid? We want two of these combos!”

Me: “…Okay. What would you like for your four drinks?”

Wife: “Four drinks?! We only want one, you idiot!”

Me: “I apologize; I thought you wanted two of the combos.”

Husband: “We do!”

Me: “Two combos would mean you’d end up with four drinks… Each combo comes with one large popcorn and two large drinks.”

Wife: “But we only want one!”

Me: “Okay.”

Husband: “Yeah… two combos!”

Me: “I’m really not understanding… How many combos do you want?”

Husband: “Two combos!”

Me: “So, what would you like for the four drinks that come with the two combos?”

Wife: “Where are you getting four drinks from?! Just the two combos! What are you, dense?!”

Husband: “Stop wasting my time, you stupid idiot!”

Wife: “We want one!”

Me: “…So, you just want the one combo with the two drinks?”

Husband: “TWO COMBOS!”

Wife: “With the one!”

Husband: “Exactly, two combos!”

Me: *by this point, I’m just assuming they mean they want one combo with two drinks* “Okay… what would you like to drink?”

Wife: “I want one Coke!”

Me: “And what else?”

(Neither one answer for almost a full 30 seconds.)

Me: “Sir, what other soda would you like?”

(Neither answers for another 10 seconds.)

Husband: *suddenly* “Why aren’t you getting our two combos?!”

Me: “Sir, I need to know what else you’d like to drink.”

Husband: “MY WIFE WANTS COKE!”

Me: “Okay.”

(I get a large popcorn and large coke and bring them to the couple.)

Husband: “Where’s our second soda combo?!”

Me: “Sir, you only told me one drink.”

Husband: “But we got two combos!”

Me: “SIR. I. Need. To. Know. What. You. Want. Before. I. Can. Get. It. For. You. You only told me one soda.”

Husband: “Two f****** combos!”

(This back and forth continues for another 30 seconds, before I just decide to get them another large Coke to get it over with.)

Me: “That will be $14.”

Husband: “Is this two combos?”

Me: *lying to get the transaction done* “…Sure.”

Husband: “Fine. Took you long enough. Now, where’s our free soda?”

Me: “It’s right here, sir. I just gave it to you.”

Husband: “Oh.”

Me: “So, that’ll be $14.”

Husband: “But this is supposed to be special coupon! Why does it cost so much?”

Me: “Our popcorn and soda combo is $14. We gave you the second soda for free, as per the coupon. Without the coupon, the order would’ve been $19.”

Husband: “…Well, that’s too much. This only should cost me a few dollars!”

Me: “I don’t know what to tell you, sir. We need to have prices that high for the theater to make any money. We don’t get to keep much, if any, of ticket sales.”

Husband: *throws his credit card at me* “Fine!”

(I complete the transaction and they finally leave. Immediately after, a 20-something approaches me.)

New Customer: “…You know, I looked up how much it costs theaters to make popcorn. Popcorn should really only cost customers—”

Me: *interrupting* “Trust me… Today is NOT the day to complain to me about prices. Did you see that exchange that just happened with the couple who was just here?”

New Customer: “Yeah?”

Me: “That’s unfortunately not the first time something that prolonged and stupid that has happened to me today… not even the first time this hour. In fact, not even the first time in the past 10 minutes.”

New Customer: “…Oh.”

Me: “So if you’re only here to complain and not to buy something… please leave my line.”

(He left after seeing just how serious I was.)

Putting You In The Hot Seat

| Los Angeles, CA, USA | Family & Kids, Movies & TV

(I am working selling tickets at a movie theater, when an older gentleman and his teenage granddaughter come in.)

Customer: “I need two tickets for [Popular Movie].”

Me: “Of course. If you could please select your seats on the screen below?”

(I indicate the screen facing him showing the remaining seats for the movie. There are hardly any, because the movie is very popular.)

Customer: “No, no, no. These are not good seats. Give us two tickets for the next showing.”

Me: “Absolutely. We have the movie running in multiple theaters, because it is so popular, and the next showing is in a theater about half the size of the previous one, but lots of good seats still available.”

Customer: “What? No. No, no, no. This is too small. How do you have a theater this small? No. I will not watch a movie on a screen that small. Seat me in the IMAX.”

Me: “I’m sorry; we’re not an IMAX theater.”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous. How are you not IMAX?”

Me: “I suppose we don’t have the room.”

Customer: “What is your biggest theater?”

Me: “Um, that’d be about 300 seats.”

Customer: “That. Seat me in that.”

Me: “That’s our next showing, the first one you tried to get. It’s almost sold out.”

Customer: “No, no, no. That’s no good. There are no good seats there! What is your second biggest? Seat me there!”

Me: *checking* “Our next biggest theater is currently showing [Children’s Movie].”

Customer: “That’s not what I want to see! Why are you playing that in the big theater?”

Me: “Many people want to see that movie; it’s been doing quite well.”

Customer: “Ridiculous. What’s the next biggest? Seat me there!”

Me: “That theater is showing [Horror Movie].”

Customer: “Tch! No! I want to see [Popular Movie]! [Popular Movie]!”

Me: “What if we got you tickets for the next showing of [Popular Movie] in our largest theater?”

Customer: “Yes. Finally, some help! Do that!”

Me: *pulling up the seating chart for that movie, which is still mostly empty at this point* “All right. This showing is three hours from now, though.”

Customer: “What?! No! That’s too long to wait! This is ridiculous. Ridiculous! Give us two tickets to the next showing in the big theater!”

Me: “All right, but, again, you did not seem to like the available seats for that show time.”

Customer: “I don’t care; I won’t watch anything on a small screen!”

(I pull up the original seat selection screen. While he has been arguing, a number of seats have sold, and now, there are only single seats available.)

Me: “I’m sorry; we only have single seats available.”

Customer’s Granddaughter: *suddenly jumping in* “That’s fine! That’s fine. We don’t have to sit together. It’s fine!”

Customer: *smug look, as if he’s won something* “Yes, we will take these seats. In the big theater.”

(They ended up with two single seats near the very front of the theater. I don’t blame the granddaughter for not wanting to sit with him, though!)

Parental-Misguidance-13

| Barnstaple, England, UK | Family & Kids, Movies & TV, Underaged

(It is 1989, when Tim Burton’s first Batman movie hit the cinemas. The British Board of Film Classification (the UK version of the Motion Picture Association of America) has decided to create a new picture certificate, the 12-certificate, meaning only those over the age of 12 may be admitted. Batman is the very first movie in the UK to be given this certificate. The cinema where this occurs is a single screen, rural cinema that has only one film a week, showing once a day. Cinema-goers queue outside and must do so past two posters advertising that week’s presentation. Because of the newness of the 12-certificate the management have put bright yellow notices with the posters advising patrons of the film’s rating and what it means. Also at opening time cinema staff are policing the queue ensuring no one under 12 gains entry. Behind me are two grandparents and their eight year old grandchild. A cinema employee comes up to them.)

Employee: “Excuse me, sir, madam, how old is the child?”

Grandmother: “Eight.”

Employee: “I’m sorry, but this presentation has been rated ’12’ by the BBFC and as such, is unsuitable for the child.”

Grandmother: “But it’s Batman!”

Employee: “Yes, but the film has been rated certificate ’12’ due to its content.”

Grandfather: “’12’ certificate?”

Employee: “Yes, sir, it’s a new certificate, restricting the presentation to those to aged 12 or over. The newspaper did warn about this in our advert this week and there are signs outside the cinema saying the same thing.”

Grandfather: “But it’s his birthday and we promised him we’d take him to see Batman.”

Employee: “I understand but it is against the law for us to admit him.”

Grandmother: “But it’s Batman!”

Employee: “I’m sorry, madam you’ll have to leave. There’s nothing we can do.”

Grandmother: “But it’s Batman!”

Employee:Batman it may be; suitable for an eight year old, no, it isn’t. Now please leave. You’re holding up the queue.”

(The grandparents and grandchild leave the queue. Halfway up the street she turns and shouts to the queue.)

Grandmother: “This is so unfair! It’s Batman; it should be for kids!”

Martin Luther King Of Hollywood

| New Zealand | History, Movies & TV

(We have just begun screening before our movies the trailer to Selma, a movie based on the voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. Most people associate it as a Martin Luther King Junior movie. A young woman approaches me at the ticket counter inquiring about the movie.)

Woman: “Excuse, but I just watched this trailer before on my movie… I wondered if you could tell me more about it? It looks interesting.”

Me: “Sure! Which trailer was it?”

Woman: “I think it was a woman’s name… There were a lot of black guys and they were marching with a king?”

Me: “Oh… I think you must be talking about Selma. It’s based on the marches for voting rights back in the 60’s. One of the leading influences was Martin Luther King Jr.”

Woman: “Martin Luther King? I’ve never heard of him… What else does he star in?”

Me: “Um, he wasn’t an actor in the movie. He was involved in African-American rights movements before his assassination?”

Woman: *looking blank*

Me: “I have a dream?”

Woman: “Oh! That guy!”

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