November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

Seating Takes A Beating

| AZ, USA | Crazy Requests, Movies & TV

(This is when “Frozen” is still in theaters. My family and I go to see it a week after it comes out, so the theater is packed with people who have heard that it is the best thing since sliced bread. There are no assigned seats, so we wait in line for almost an hour to get good ones, and they fill up fast. While we are waiting for the movie to start, a family come in about five minutes before the movie starts and sees that they will have to split up. Rather than do that, the dad goes up to another other family of five — a mom and her four children, the youngest maybe three.)

Dad: “Excuse me, but could we have these seats? We want to all sit together.”

Young Mom: “…What?”

Dad: “Well, we’re all here as a family and we want to sit together, but there are no more seats together. Would you mind giving up yours so we can enjoy this movie as a family?”

Young Mom: “I’m here with my family, too.”

Dad: “Yeah, but we rarely get to do things as a family and we’d really like to sit together.”

Young Mom: *kind of laughing in disbelief* “Sorry but my kids are really young. I can’t just send them off on their own to sit next to strangers.”

Dad: “But they’re small, so they won’t be as bothered to sit with people they don’t know. They’ll have plenty of space.”

(At this point, half the theater is just gaping at them. Since seating has already been a problem with other people, an usher is there trying to manage things. He goes up to the dad.)

Usher: “Excuse me, is there a problem?”

Dad: “Yeah, this woman won’t give up her seats for us!”

Usher: “…I’m sorry. Why would she?”

Dad: “Because I have my whole family here and we all want to sit together but there aren’t enough seats left!”

Usher: “Sorry, sir, but there’s no assigned seating. If she got here first then she has every right to sit here.”

Dad: “Well, can we get compensated or something? We expected to get to sit together and now our family night is ruined!”

Usher: “Sir, there are seats available for you, not together, but there are enough, and it’s not the theater’s fault that you can’t sit together. The seating is not assigned. You should have gotten here earlier if you wanted them to all be together.”

(This went on for about ten minutes, with the dad demanding that some other family split up so his could sit together. It wasn’t until the previews started playing that they finally gave in and went to whatever seats were open. He was not happy about it, and never seemed to understand the ridiculousness of his request. Afterwards I saw him talking to the front desk about getting free tickets after such an unpleasant experience.)

Needs To Make A Clean Break

| Atlanta, GA, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Movies & TV

(I’m trying to clean out a theater between shows, when the crowd waiting for the next show decide to come in and have a seat.)

Me: “Excuse me, but could everyone please give me a few minutes before you come in? I’m trying to clean up before the next show.”

(Everyone ignores me and continues to find a seat.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m trying to finish cleaning. Could you wait a few me a few more minutes?”

(People still keep coming in, and the theater is beginning to get crowded.)

Me: “Uh… I need to finish cleaning in here.”

(More people keep coming, and I finally give up and head back out to the lobby. A few minutes later one of the customers storms back out.)

Customer: “Excuse me, sir. That theater is a mess! Why doesn’t somebody go in there and clean it?”

Me: *face-palm*

Just Popped Their Corn Bubble

| NY, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Movies & TV

(I’m working concession when I hear the following exchange between two customers standing about 10 feet in front of me looking at the menu-display we have above stand.)

Customer #1: “I think I’m gonna go for the medium popcorn.”

Customer #2: “Don’t do that! That’s just silly! Don’t you know movie-theater popcorn isn’t freshly made! It’s made days and days ahead of time and then shipped in from out-of-town, in big plastic garbage bags! You could be eating week-old popcorn if you get it at the movies!”

(I smirk and chuckle to myself, because we make fresh popcorn all day, every day with fresh and fairly expensive ingredients and most certainly don’t import week-old popcorn in garbage-bags. Our poppers are even visible in the back of concession if guests look hard enough.)

Customer #1: “That’s not true, is it?”

Customer #2: “It is! It’s part of their scam! This guy here knows it, and he doesn‘t care because he gets a cut of the big money they make from selling old food to innocent customers. It‘s highway robbery at it‘s finest.”

(I chuckle again considering I definitely haven’t gotten a cut of this non-existent “scam money” and am living check to check on minimum wage. I decide to have a little fun with the customers. I radio my manager, speaking just loud enough so that the customers can hear me.)

Me: *into radio* “Hey, I just wanted to double-check… Do you think I should make an extra batch of popcorn this morning just in case the next showtime sells out? I wanna make sure we have enough fresh popcorn ready.”

(Customer #2 hears and looks at Customer #1 with a scowl.)

Manager: *over radio* “If you think you should, go ahead. Nothing wrong with making another fresh batch just in case.”

(I turn and go into the back of concession while the two customers watch and put in fresh kernels and oil into the popper and start it, before turning it on.)

Customer #2: *quietly to her friend* “You see what he just did. It’s just special effects! We’re at the movies, after all. They pretend to make fresh popcorn, but all they sell is the cheap, old stuff!”

Customer #1: “Really? That’s just disgraceful. I’m going to call their corporate office and complain about this. It’s not right to scam their loyal customers like this!”

(They stormed off. I guess some people just HAVE to believe that they’re getting ripped off, even when they aren’t.)

Rated-R For Responsible

| NY, USA | Crazy Requests, Movies & TV

(A man bursts out of the theater playing an R-rated movie about 20 minutes into it, with a five- to seven-year-old kid.)

Customer: “I was just inside watching [Movie] and was shocked at what I saw on the screen. This is not appropriate for a young child!”

(I look at the little boy in tow and am somewhat surprised that they were allowed in by the staff, but also know we can’t keep some people out if they’re not disruptive.)

Me: “You took a young boy in to see [Movie]?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “So you know these are violent movies?!”

Customer: “You should have a sign or something on the poster warning people of the violence.”

Me: “I assure you, sir, we do!”

(He looks at me funny and I tell him to follow me. I take him to the lobby, bring him over to the poster, and point out the R-rating posted on the poster.)

Me: “There it is, right there, sir! “Not recommended for audiences under 17.” There’s your warning.”

(He sputters and his face gets even more red than it already was.)

Customer: “That’s not enough! You should personally make another, larger sign of warning and place it next to the poster!”

Me: “I’m not going to do that. Consider yourself an educated customer, for you learned something today about personal responsibility. See that you never forget it.”

(I fully expected him to demand a refund, which I would have given him, but he sputtered again angrily and left the lobby in a huff. It still amazes me how some parents expect strangers to protect their kids from certain things when the parents themselves aren’t willing to step up.)

His Corn Hasn’t Quite Popped Yet

| NH, USA | Bizarre, Food & Drink

(I pick up the phone at my work.)

Me: “Hello, thank you for calling [Local Movie Theater]. This is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, yes, I was wondering if you guys had a concession stand at your theater?”

Me: “Of course we do.”

Customer: “Well, do you guys sell popcorn there?”

Me: “Y- Yes…?”

Customer: “Okay, thank you. Have a good day.”

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