Land-Lording It Over You

, , , | Right | December 9, 2020

I am setting up the concessions stand before opening. There is a group of men working outside the building. [Manager #1] walks by and tells me that the man in a blue shirt with blonde hair is our landlord. I am too short to see over the box office and out the window, so I think nothing of it. A few hours later, a man with blonde hair wearing a blue shirt walks in just as the men outside are finishing up.

Man: “Hey, can I get a cup of water?”

Me: “Of course.”

I hand it to him and he starts asking me questions.

Man: “So, how do you like working here?”

Me: “Oh, I like it a lot.”

Man: “What’s your favorite part of working here?”

Me: “Oh, I like my managers and my coworkers. And the hours are pretty good.”

He keeps on asking me questions for fifteen minutes, each one making me more and more uncomfortable. Something about this man is… off. He’s asking me what my favorite movie is and when we close, and at one point, he even starts trying to guess how old I am. I keep on answering these questions even though I am visibly uncomfortable, thinking he’s the landlord and maybe just has an odd personality. Maybe he’s just trying to get to know the people who work in his buildings? He then realizes how uncomfortable I am.

Man: “Listen, I’m not trying to make you nervous.”

He repeats this several more times, and the way he says it just makes me more nervous. Finally, [Manager #2], who is not in her work uniform yet, comes in and is about to clock in when she sees what’s going on. She comes up and starts talking to me.

Manager #2: “Hey, how’s it been today?”

Me: “Oh, it’s been fine. Maintenance finally fixed the lights in auditorium one…”

I keep going on about the morning, wishing the man would just leave. He finally speaks up.

Man: “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m not trying to bother you guys.”

Manager #2: “Oh, it’s okay. I’m not buying anything.”

She then walks away, giving me a look that says, “Call for help if you need it.”

Man: “Did I get you in trouble?”

Me: “Oh, no, it’s fine.”

I now think that this is definitely the landlord, because he recognized [Manager #2] as my manager and not some other guest, even though she was in her plain clothes. He keeps asking questions and [Manager #2] returns, now in her uniform.

Manager #2: “Hey, can you do something for me?”

Before I can answer, the man interrupts.

Man: “Hey, are you the manager? I came in and bought a ticket earlier but I can’t find the d*** thing. Is there any way I can get a copy of it?”

I know he’s now lying because, one, I’ve been the only person here selling tickets all day and I don’t recognize him, and two, I can see that there are no pre-sold tickets to any of the later movie showings.

Manager #2: “Well, unfortunately, without proof of purchase, we are unable to verify that you bought the tickets.”

Man: “Oh, okay. Well, I’ll just go look in my truck.” *Looks at me* “Will you be working later?”

Me: *Lying* “Unfortunately, no.”

Man: “Well, maybe I’ll see you before you leave.” *Winks*

He finally leaves.

Me: “That wasn’t the landlord, was it?”

Manager #2: “No? He’s a regular. He always comes in and lingers around the concessions stand. He knows you guys can’t stop talking to him because he’s a guest. Just tell me if he comes back, okay?”

Luckily, he never came back.

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