Doesn’t Like The Pay Part Of “Payphone”

, , , , | Right | September 24, 2019

(I work in a small family cinema on the west coast of Scotland. The afternoon matinee has just finished and it’s a couple of hours before the early evening shows, so I am looking after the box office while the staff go for lunch.)

Kids: “Hi, can we use your phone to call a taxi home?”

Me: “Sorry, this phone is internal only, but if you go next door to the bingo hall, they have some payphones there you can use.”

Kids: “Thanks.”

Me: “No problem.”

(Ten minutes later, an angry man rushes in and stands in front of me.)

Me: “Hi. What can I do for you?”

Angry Man: “Are you the one who threw my kids out onto the street?”

Me: “I haven’t thrown anyone out today. Did they say why they were ejected?”

Angry Man: “Don’t lie to me. They asked if they could use your phone to call for a ride home and you told them to get out. “

Me: “No, that didn’t happen. Two of our younger customers asked to use the box office phone to call a taxi, and I advised them that the phone was internal only and that they could use the payphones in the building next door.”

Angry Man: “Don’t give me that! Why didn’t you let them use that phone?” *points to the internal phone*

Me: “Sir, that phone is internal only; it will only connect to the manager’s office, the concession stand, and the projection room. It can’t get an outside line.”

Angry Man: “That’s bulls***; you should have let them use the office phone.”

Me: “The office is strictly for staff only for security reasons, sir.”

Angry Man: “What do you think the owners of the bingo hall would say if I told them you were sending people into use their phones?”

Me: “I don’t know. ‘Thanks,’ probably, since they are spending money on the payphones there.”

Angry Man: “You should have a payphone for your customers here!”

Me: “We did have a payphone. It used to sit on the counter over there, but it was vandalized twice, and then it was stolen.”

Angry Man: “Then you should have replaced it. It’s a service your customers want and you should give your customers what they want. Are you too stupid to understand how business works?”

Me: “It was costing us more money to keep it working than it took in in revenue. It’s not good business to run at a loss.”

Angry Man: *grabs the magazine that describes upcoming features and features a lot of local ads and begins to flick through it* “I’m going to see if any of my friends advertise in here and tell them not to advertise in such a shoddy business’s publication.”

Me: “Go ahead. The magazine rep was in here the other day gloating about how advertisers were queuing up to get published in there.”

Angry Man: *slams magazine down hard and starts yelling* “THAT’S IT! I DEMAND TO SPEAK TO THE MANAGER!”

Me: “Actually, sir, I am the manager.”

Angry Man: “WELL, I DEMAND TO SEE SOMEONE HIGHER THAN YOU!”

Me: “Okay, if you go out the doors and turn left, cross the street, and take the third right, you’ll find a church; in there you can talk to a person higher up than me, but I can’t guarantee he’ll answer you.”

Angry Man: “I’M GOING TO GET YOU FIRED! YOU’LL NEVER WORK AGAIN IN YOUR LIFE!

(He attempted to storm out, pushed hard on the door clearly marked “Pull,” and bounced off the door. My loud snigger probably didn’t help his temper. I told the owner about it later. His reply was, “Good for you.”)

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