Adventures Of The Disappointed Man

, , , , , | Right | October 16, 2019

(A new superhero movie about a certain character who can crawl up walls opened a few weeks ago. As a promotion, the studio sent us a limited supply of mini-figurines of the titular hero to give out to customers who come to see the movie. Naturally, given how popular the film is, we run out of figurines by the end of the opening weekend. As with any promotional freebee, any reference to them specifically notes they are a “while supplies last” and first-come-first-serve deal. It’s about three weeks later. I’m not a manager, but I’m alone inside the manager’s office doing a required quiz about fire safety when a guy who looks to be in his mid- to late-20s saunters up to the open door.)

Customer: “You a manager?”

Me: “No, the manager is out for a few minutes but should be back shortly. Is there something I can help you with, though?”

Customer: “I saw online a few weeks back you had those figures to give out for [Movie]. But the guy said you didn’t have any left. It’s just… really disappointing to me.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. Yeah, unfortunately, those things are usually first-come-first-serve, and the studio only sends us a limited supply.”

Customer: “Yeah… it’s disappointing.”

Me: “Yeah.”

Customer: “I’m just… so disappointed.”

Me: “I’m sorry.”

(The customer stands there and gives out an elongated, exaggerated sigh like he’s incredibly sad.)

Me: “Is… is there anything I can help you with?”

Customer: “Well… I’m disappointed. I really wanted one of those figures. It’s disappointing.”

Me: “I’m sorry. Do you want me to get a manager?”

Customer: “I just feel like I shouldn’t have to come into a theater just to be disappointed. I wish there was a way… to make me less disappointed…”

Me: *about to lose my mind if he says “disappointed” one more time* “Uh… let me radio the manager. There’s, unfortunately, nothing I can really do.”

(I radio the manager to come to the office. The instant she arrives, I can see her rolling her eyes… clearly, she’s dealt with this guy before. She tells me to finish the quiz later and sends me back to my register. I watch her stand there talking to the man for no less than ten straight minutes, shaking her head “no” every time he speaks. The man finally gives one last exaggerated sigh, using his whole body to illustrate the point, and walks away out the front door. My manager walks up to me at my register.)

Manager: “Yeah, if you see that guy again… do not engage. Just get me.”

Me: “I kind of figured that out. He was trying to get free tickets, wasn‘t he?”

Manager: “Yeah… He literally only comes in whenever there’s a free promotional item like the figures. But he’ll wait a few weeks until we’ve run out, and then he’ll show up saying he’s ‘disappointed’ and try to ask for free tickets so we can ‘make it up to him.’ This is at least the tenth time he’s done it in the past few years.”

Me: “Has it ever worked for him?”

Manager: “That’s the weird thing. No, it hasn’t. Every time, we tell him that we can’t give him free tickets just because we ran out of a free promotional item. But he keeps trying. He’s tenacious, I’ll give him that.”

(And that was my introduction to “The Disappointed Man.” I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him come in and get shot down about once every six or so months ever since.)

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