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    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.”

    The Day Just Got A Whole Lot More Crappy

    | PA, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Movies & TV

    (A very popular family film has just opened, and a lot of parents are bringing in young children and babies. It’s causing a lot of problems, as the parents and children are leaving enormous messes in the theaters, including popcorn all over the floors, spilled drinks everywhere and even dirty diapers on the seats, which means the entire surrounding area must be sanitized for health reasons. As a result, most theaters aren’t clean enough to let other customers in until less than five minutes before the next scheduled show time. I’m working as an usher, tearing tickets and letting people into the theaters. I’m still waiting on the theater showing the family film to be clean enough to let people in. A huge family with about six young children, including a baby, is among the group waiting to be let in. Finally, I’m given the go-ahead to let people in. The father of the family confronts me as I tear his ticket.)

    Father: “That took too long! I’m half-tempted to demand a refund!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but there have been a lot of young families leaving messes that need to be cleaned up. They just had to thoroughly sanitize half the theater, because several people left dirty diapers sitting on the seats.”

    Father: “Wait… so you’ll clean up if I leave my son’s diaper in the theater?”

    Me: *furious but trying to retain composure* “Please… don’t. I swear to god, don’t do it.”

    Acting Completely Out Of Line

    | San Diego, CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Movies & TV

    (I am the cinema manager for a nonprofit theatre. We are tiny (less than 50 seats), and we usually allow guests to congregate in the lounge. However, we have just opened a controversial film that was pulled due to threats right before its release, so we are handling massive demand on the opening weekend. I’m working at the front desk when this happens, about 30 minutes before show-time, and about five to eight minutes before opening the theatre for seating. A customer comes to the desk.)

    Customer #1: “Can we go in now?”

    Me: “No, I’m sorry. The previous show is still running. We’ll open up the auditorium about 20 to 25 minutes before show-time. In the meantime, you can join the ticket holders line.”

    (I gesture outside; it’s winter in south California and a sunny 65 degrees.)

    Customer #1: *looking around* “Where is the line?”

    Me: “Right outside.”

    (I gesture again; our lobby windows are glass, and you can clearly see the line stretching along the sidewalk.)

    Customer #1: “It’s outside? I’m not going to wait outside.”

    Me: “Well, you are free to wait in the lounge, but we will be seating from the line. If you’d like to wait inside, you can join the end of the line as it goes in.”

    Customer #1: “So if I wait inside I’ll lose my place in line? That’s unacceptable. I’m waiting right here.”

    Me: “Ma’am, you are free to wait inside, but the line will seat first. We’ve had other guests waiting there for an hour or more.”

    (The customer’s husband walks up and offers to wait in the line for them, but she cuts him off.)

    Customer #1: “This is ridiculous! It’s the middle of winter! It’s too cold to wait outside!”

    Me: “I understand your frustration, and we would absolutely accommodate our patrons in case of severe weather. However, again, many guests have stood outside for a very long time, and it wouldn’t be fair to allow you to skip the line. It looks like we’ll be ready for seating in a few minutes. You won’t be outside long at all.”

    Customer #1: “Well, I’m going to wait right here, and I’m going in first.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but if you wait inside, you won’t be allowed into the theatre until we have let the guests in line enter. Again, it’s only a few minutes.”

    Customer #1: “You should move the line inside! You know what? I’m going to move the line inside.”

    (I watch, stunned, as she steps outside and makes an announcement. The line starts moving through the door. I jump up.)

    Me: “I’m so sorry, everyone, but we aren’t quite ready to seat yet. It should be less than five minutes.”

    Customer #2: “But SHE told us to move inside!”

    Me: “I apologize, but she doesn’t work here. If you guys will be patient for a few more minutes, we are almost ready to seat. It should be less than five minutes. Thanks for your patience.”

    (I gave a brief summary to those patient guests waiting for an hour at the front of the line that had come in at her urging, and I guess that it spread, because there were quite a few guests offering sympathies from at least the first part of the queue.)

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