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  • Bigotry Is Not On The Menu
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  • Has You Running Around Like Busy Little Bees

    | London, England, UK | Crazy Requests, Movies & TV

    (I work in a small independent arts cinema. The theatre is known locally for its wealthy and demanding senior clientele. A fashionable elderly customer, clutching a large expensive handbag, approaches me and a coworker at the box office.)

    Customer: “Are you brave?”

    Me: *smiling politely* “Umm, I guess so.”

    Customer: “Well, a large bee or hornet just fell from your ceiling into my handbag and I want somebody to fish it out.”

    Me: “Oh, okay. Are you sure it was a bee or hornet?”

    (This is early January in suburban London, in a building that in four years I’ve never seen any bee buzz about in… let alone a hornet!)

    Customer: *suddenly angry* “YES, I’M SURE! I don’t know what to do; can’t you reach in and get rid of it!”

    Me: “Sorry but I’m not going to reach into the bag Why don’t you tip the contents out carefully onto one of the seats behind you?”

    Customer: “Yes, you do that for me.”

    Me: “Well, I have no space behind the box office to do that and I wouldn’t want to be at fault if I damaged any of the contents when I shook the bag out. Sorry. Why don’t you try emptying the bag into one of the large popcorn boxes?”

    Customer: “Ugh, is that all you can offer me?! A popcorn box…? Well, you’ve been absolutely no help at all.”

    (She stomps away… and I go back to serving customers. 30 minutes later I go to check on the cafe within the cinema building and see the handbag wrapped in two layers of clear recycling bags just dumped in a corner. The cafe owner sees me staring at the bag dumbfounded.)

    Cafe Coworker: *laughing* “Some woman made me wrap her handbag up because she is terrified about the hornet that got stuck inside, so I’m suffocating it for her. Oh and she told me you and the box office staff were no help and she is going to complain tomorrow.”

    (She never did complain.)

    Life Is Stupider Than Fiction

    | PA, USA | Extra Stupid, Movies & TV

    (In my time working at a movie theater, I’ve recognized one major, recurring issue for customers: theater satisfaction surveys. They are explicit and clear that the customers are supposed to be rating ONLY their experience with our theater and staff, our cleanliness, how courteous we were, etc. The forms clearly state that they are NOT for rating the movies customers saw. Yet, many customers are oblivious, and will give our theater and staff low ratings because they saw a film they didn’t end up liking. It’s a serious issue, as corporate assumes the low scores are due to staff and theater issues, and they will often cause employees to be denied raises, etc. They can even cause employees to be fired. One day, a customer has just approached me.)

    Me: “Hi! What can I do for you?”

    Customer: “Can I get a customer satisfaction survey to take?”

    Me: “Sure thing! Was something wrong with the theater or our staff?”

    Customer: “No. The theater was lovely and the staff is great.”

    Me: “Fantastic. One second, and I’ll get you a survey!”

    (I hand him a satisfaction survey and a pen, and am shocked to see he is rating our staff, theater, cleanliness, etc. ‘Highly Unsatisfactory’ – the lowest rating.)

    Me: “Sir. Why are you giving us bad grades on the survey? You said everything was good.”

    Customer: “Oh. Everything was good. I just didn’t like the movie. It was confusing.”

    Me: “Sir, the surveys are not for the film itself. They’re for the theater and our staff.”

    Customer: “Oh, but I want the studios to know I didn’t like the movie.”

    Me: “That’s not how these surveys work. We don’t make the films; we just show them. The surveys are for customers to give feedback on how we performed. It’s a common mistake people make, but I’m going to strongly encourage you not to submit that survey.”

    Customer: “Why not?”

    Me: “Because corporate will take one look at a survey like that, and assume it was something wrong we did.”

    Customer: “But you guys were great.”

    Me: “I understand. But the forms clearly state that they are only for the theater and staff, not the movie. So, by filling out and signing it, you’re essentially telling our corporate HQ that we did a poor job. Sending that in could get people fired.”

    Customer: “…but how else can I let the studios know I didn’t like the film? I don’t want people to get fired, but I want the studio to know I didn’t like the movie.”

    Me: “Those forms don’t go to the studios. They go to our theater’s corporate HQ. As I said, we don’t make the movies. I could recommend you go to a movie website and write a negative review, instead of giving us poor ratings.”

    Customer: “I’ll just take my chances with this, thanks. I think the studios will get the idea.”

    Me: “Those forms don’t go to the studios, but I can’t stop you. I will just strongly advise you not to send it in.”

    (He did send it in. And people were ALMOST fired, as it wasn’t the first time someone was oblivious and sent in terrible grades for not liking the film. Corporate HAS to process the grades, whether or not you note that it was just the film you didn’t like. Thankfully, nobody lost their jobs, but it caused some issues with a few employees who were supposed to get raises in the near future. PLEASE READ THE FORMS, PEOPLE!)

    Putting The Prices Into Perspective

    | Newport, KY, USA | At The Checkout, Health & Body

    Customer: “How do you sleep at night charging this much for popcorn?”

    Me: *completely fed up with this crap* “I lie awake at night thinking about my mother’s cancer treatments.”

    (No response from Customer, and awed shock from coworkers.)

    A Colorful Outburst

    | Newport, KY, USA | Bigotry, Movies & TV

    (At the box office, cashiers are required to repeat the name of the movie to the customer. This policy is now defunct because of the following exchange:)

    Customer: “I want two for For Colored Girls.”

    Me: *ringing it in* “All right, that’s two for For Colored Girls.”

    (The customer then exploded into a twenty-minute tirade about how I, a white man, used the word ‘colored’ in front of her.)

    Rated ‘R You Serious?’

    | Ashland, KY, USA | Movies & TV, Underaged

    Customer: “I want two tickets to [Movie].”

    Me: “The movie is rated R. May I ask how old you are?”

    Customer: “17.”

    Me: “May I see your ID, please?”

    Customer: “Sure!”

    (I was happy to get someone not fighting me for once, but then…)

    Me: “Umm… no offense but your ID says you’re 15.”

    Customer: “Oh, they just printed it wrong.”

    Me: “I am sorry but I have to go by the year on the ID and according to this you are 14.”

    Customer: “Just sell me the ticket.”

    Me: “I am sorry; I can’t. You can pick out another—”

    (The customer huffs off. Five minutes later:)

    Customer #2: “I need THREE tickets for [R-rated Movie].”

    (The customer is slightly older but I see the first person over behind a pole and peeking around.)

    Me: “The move is rated R. May I ask how old everyone is?”

    Customer #2: “Well I am 19 and she is 18. And I am not sure how old the other person is.”

    Me: “May see all the IDs, please?”

    (The customer gives me both his and other girl’s ID and they are the right age.)

    Me: “May I see the last ID?”

    Customer #2: “He didn’t give it to me, but he is right behind that pole. Let me get him really quick.”

    (Customer #2 then tries to go over to Customer #1, who promptly runs off.)

    Customer #2: “Weird… He gave the money and everything.”

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