Not A Good Uniform Response

| FL, USA | Bad Behavior, Bizarre

(I work at a movie theater, where the dress code calls for black work pants, black sneakers, and our uniform-polo shirt that everyone wears.)

Me: “Hello, ma’am, how are you doing tonight?”

Customer: *dramatically feigning surprise* “Oh, what was that? I’m sorry; I was distracted by your disgustingly revealing clothing.”

Me: “Uh…”

Customer: “You know, I see this more and more with young ladies today. You’re at work for God’s sake; you’re not here to recruit some ‘johns’ for your night-job!”

Me: “Excuse me, but that is totally uncalled for. I’m wearing the same uniform as everyone else here.”

Customer: “Your attitude is disgusting too, of course.”

Me: *trying to smile* “Your theater is to the left. Enjoy your movie.”

Customer: “I’m going to talk to your manager about you before I leave!”

Me: “Yes, thank you, ma’am.”

Customer: “And lose the attitude!”

Me: “Yes, thank you, ma’am.”

(She did end up writing a letter to corporate, saying I was ‘a rude strumpet, and completely offensive.’ Luckily, my managers and I had a good laugh over it and printed out. It’s still tacked up in the employee room to remind us that the customer isn’t ALWAYS right.)

Needs A Military Rescue

| NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Military

(I work at a movie theater. It’s a Monday morning and I’m serving a young man in line.)

Customer: “Do you offer military discounts?”

Me: “The current policy is that we do not offer military discounts on weekdays, but we do on weekends. Since weekday prices are already so much cheaper, especially for matinees, we really can’t add additional discounts on top of it.”

Customer: *firmly* “Well, lemme ask you this: Do you believe the minimum wage should be raised?”

Me: *confused* “Um… well, yes. Yes, I do. A little over $8 an hour is hard to live off of, especially in this economy.”

Customer: “Well, that’s bull-s***. You don’t deserve more money. I just got back from being stationed in Iraq. How about you? I fought for your freedom, kid. The same freedom that you’re exercising now to tell me that my sacrifices won’t even get me a discount! You minimum wage drones don’t deserve more money.”

Me: *absolutely shocked* “I’m… I’m sorry, sir. I truly thank you for your service…”

Customer: “I want you to know I have no respect for you whatsoever. You obviously weren’t in the military, and you don’t understand the meaning of sacrifice. It’s unbelievable that after I chose to fight for your freedom, you deny me the basic dignity of recognition with a discount. Do you understand that I don’t respect you?”

Me: “I… I guess?”

Customer: “No, you tell me that you absolutely understand that I don’t respect you.”

Me: *going pale* “I understand.”

Customer: “Good.”

(He buys his tickets and goes into the theater. I’m left shocked by the exchange. An older man who was behind him in line approaches me. He gives me a warm smile.)

Old Man: “Wow. I’m sorry you had to put up with that. You know… I was in the military. Fought in Vietnam. Put up with a lot in my life. But I want to tell you… I thank YOU for YOUR service. And I have nothing but respect for you and every other person out there trying to make ends meet while being a good employee, despite dealing with a low minimum wage. Not everyone is cut out to be a soldier. But that doesn’t mean jerks like him are better than you. People like you… doing your hardest and trying to make ends meet, all while having to put up with the self-righteous people like that… you deserve as much admiration as anyone else. This world needs people of all types. We’re all in this together. We’re all heroes in our own way. So thank you. Because of you, I get to have a nice day seeing movies. You’re helping to give me happiness for a few hours. And that means a lot.”

(I was almost crying for the rest of the day. Thank you for restoring my faith in humanity after the last person nearly destroyed it!)

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.)

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