Disciplined At A Stroke

, , , , , | Working | August 24, 2017

CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

(It’s summer at the theater, and we’ve easily got over a hundred people in line for concessions at any point during seating. Fortunately, we’ve got about an hour between rushes to clean and restock, so it’s less stressful than it sounds. However…)

Coworker: *looks up from sweeping behind the stand* “Hey, [My Name], how long’s that woman been in the lobby?”

Me: *looks up from restocking candy to see an older woman walking around and looking at our trailers, frowning a little* “Not sure. Maybe she came in from the mall and is just looking around. I’ll ask.”

(I come out from behind the counter, and the woman doesn’t notice me right away.)

Me: “Pardon me, ma’am. Is there something I can help you with?”

Woman: “Oh! Don’t mind me, I’m here for the next showing of [Film that’s decades old]. How much longer is it?”

Me: “Please have a seat while I go check the box office.” *I flag my coworker who comes to help seat her, then I quickly run over to the box office* “Did we have a visit from [Retirement Community] scheduled?”

Cashier: “No, why?”

Me: “Call the manager. We may have a problem.” *I return to the lobby* “Ma’am, I’m sorry, we’re not showing that movie. Is there someone you can call?”

Woman: “Oh, yes, my daughter dropped me off. Her cell number is [rattles off over fifteen digits]. Thank you.” *I exchange glances with my coworker, who pulls out a notepad*

Coworker: “I’m sorry, you caught us a little unprepared. What was that number again?”

Woman: “Oh, I don’t mind, you’re such sweeties.” *rattles off a different set of numbers*

Me: “Thanks, ma’am, we’ll put in a call. Just a moment.”

(My coworker and I step aside as the manager approaches. The woman watches the trailers again.)

Manager: *once caught up* “So?”

Coworker: “I’m only a few months into pre-med, but this sounds bad.”

Manager: “Not our problem. See if you can get her out of here.”

Coworker: *appalled* “Sir, this could be a stroke. We should call her an ambulance.”

Manager: “And if it’s not, we get charged for a fake call! No, get her out of here on your own.”

Me: “Bill me.” *calls 911*

(My manager drew me up disciplinary measures while my coworker assisted the woman. I described the situation before handing the phone over to my coworker, who started taking instructions from their on-call nurse. After a few minutes, the ambulance arrived and checked her in, all before the new rush. While I wasn’t fired for this action, it did prevent my promotion to manager, while the manager responsible got transferred. The woman’s daughter eventually showed up to reassure us she was fine and getting treatment.)

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