Unfiltered Story #204379

, , , , | Unfiltered | August 10, 2020

It’s a quietish night and there are about four or five tabs in my theater and I’ve gone to drop off the bills 45 minutes before the movie ends as per training. After about ten minutes I go pick up most of the tabs and all but two of the groups have left cards or cash to pay as i silently make a round to close the tabs and leave change, all while trying not to disturb the movie. Its understandable that sometimes people are so absorbed into the film they don’t want to stop and dig through their wallet in the dark to pay. Anyway I have two tabs left to close out and when dropping off the completed checks I do a quick round while ducked down out of view to see if any of the other guests are ready to pay. The second to last tab is ready and I close it out. I get a really nasty look from my final table as I pass by to check on them but say nothing and still squat when i walk to stay out of the view of the movie. After closing the second to last tab I drop it back off and once again check on my final table one last time, not even bothering to go into the row but just sort of nose raising and squinting from the aisle to see if they were ready. I got more nasty glances.
As per rule, I never go back more than three times to check on a payment. Its rude to interrupt more than that and at that point I can also assume some people prefer to wait until the movie ends and/or the lights come up to read the bill. Usually I have no problems at all and people are generally thankful I am willing to wait on them after the fact or offer my flashlight if they need it to see. But this family seemed to feel differently about it.
I had no other duties at the time so I stood on the other side of the ramp divider that led up to the seats out of sight and silently watched the tale end of the film. None of the guests could see I was there until they began to leave and I bid them farewell.
Well, my final group stands up and hastily tries to make a break for the emergency exit instead of the regular door where I stood. They didn’t see me but I could see them trying to walk out on the tab. I kindly called to them and said the fire exit was for emergencies only and directed them to the correct exit. I inquired about their bill and they said that they left the money on the table. I ran to check but it was obvious they were lying. I tried to play along and ask if it could have fallen and took my flashlight out to look around. Not beating around the bush, they scoffed and just handed me the actual payment in exact change. (no tip-surprise surprise!) I closed them out and the whole time kept a smile on my face. Livid, the lead lady of the group asked to speak to my manager. I obliged but overheard every word from my server station as she yelled that I was racist to black people, ran and checked on them “like twelve times”, I ruined the entire movie by getting in the way, and I needed to be fired. Extreme emphasis was on her racism argument. My manager apologized and simply assured them I was not racist in any way whatsoever and he was sure of it. The whole time I had to hide my face and avoid snickering. The group left unhappy.
My manager then approached me and heard my side of the story. I told him I only checked on them three times like I always do, they tried to run out on a triple dollar figure tab though the fire exit, and I stopped them kindly and made them pay. He just nodded, told me I did a good job and walked away.
The reason my manager knew I wasn’t racist?
My husband is black. I bring him around all the time and the whole company knows. Besides, Ive always prided myself on treating all my guest in the same, kind manner. At least two other tables in the theater were black as well and had already complimented my service and tipped well.