“The Babysitters Club” Is A Movie, Not The Venue

, , , | Right | April 16, 2018

(I work at a big cinema with two floors and twelve screens. “Black Panther” is still doing really well, so it’s still quite busy. It’s my day off but I’ve come in to watch a film. When I get to the upper floor, I see a little boy, probably seven years old, stood in the upper foyer in tears. Everybody seems to be walking past him, and kids sometimes wander out to the toilet and forget what screen they’re in, so I decide to help.)

Me: “Hey there. Are you lost?”

Kid: *in tears* “I don’t know where my daddy is.”

Me: “Well, where did you last see him?”

Kid: “I don’t know. I don’t know where he is.”

(We check the toilets but can’t find him there. Worried I have an abandoned kid on my hands, I decide to try and calm him down.)

Me: *noticing he’s wearing Black Panther sleeves with claws* “Hey, those look really cool. Are you here to see Black Panther?”

Kid: *nods* “Uh-huh.”

Me: “You like superheroes, then?”

Kid: *nods more*

Me: “Who’s your favourite?”

Kid: “Spider-Man.”

Me: “Me, too! How about we go see if your dad is downstairs? Maybe he went to grab a drink.”

Kid: *significantly calmer* “Okay.”

(We head downstairs and the kid starts bouncing up and down on the escalator.)

Kid: “There he is! I can see him! I see him!”

(He doesn’t rush off when we get downstairs, waiting for me to walk with him, and when we approach, the kid rushes forward and wraps his arms around his dad’s legs.)

Dad: “[Kid]? What are you doing here?”

Me: “I found him in tears upstairs. He was really scared that he couldn’t find you.”

(Whereas most parents would be relieved that their child is okay and somebody was helping them out, [Dad] instead gets angry.)

Dad: *to kid* “For f***’s sake! I’ve been five minutes! You should’ve just waited!”

(I’ve been with the kid for ten minutes, so it’s not like the kid is being over-dramatic, especially given how young he seems and that he didn’t know where his dad was.)

Kid: “You were gone a really long time.”

Dad: “There was a staff member there. They were looking after you.”

Me: “There was no one up there when I walked past.”

Dad: *angrily* “Well, they should have been looking after him! What are they paid for, if not to help customers?!”

(We’ve frequently had to chase after parents in the past who just dump young children in our films and expect us to be responsible for them while they get some shopping done or go for a drink or do whatever. I once had to chase a woman half way down the street after dumping twelve 10- to 11-year-olds in a movie, expecting us to look after them. Since I’m not wearing my uniform and this man doesn’t know I work here, I decide to speak up.)

Me: “With all due respect, the staff are paid to serve you when you arrive and clean the screens when you leave. Nowhere in their job description does it include the word ‘babysitter.’ You can’t expect them to just drop what they’re doing to help you out, especially when it gets busy like this.”

(The kid’s dad looked like he had a few more choice words to say to me, but he just grumbled out a reluctant thank-you for looking after his kid and the two of them walked off.)

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