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.”


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.”


(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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