Making No Concessions For The Sign

, , , , | Right | April 30, 2018

(At our theater, the concession stand is a round structure in the lobby with several registers on either side and a food pick-up area in the back for special orders. Depending on the volume of traffic, we usually only have one side of the stand open, and leave the other side closed with signs directing guests to go to the other side. One night, I’m on the right side of stand, when I hear someone repeatedly clearing their throat loudly trying to get attention. I cannot see them anywhere on my side of stand, so I ignore it, assuming it is a guest somewhere else trying to signal someone. Several minutes later…)

Guest: *very annoyed tone; but I cannot see them* “This is insane! Where is the staff?!”

(I walk around to the closed side of stand and see a guest and his family waiting at one of the closed registers, standing literally right in front of a sign that reads “This side of concession is CLOSED. Please proceed to the other side for assistance.”)

Me: “Um, sir… That side of concession is closed. We can help you over on the other side, if you’d like.”

Guest: “But I’ve been waiting here for almost five minutes!”

Me: “I understand, sir. We can help you on the other side.”

Guest: “How in the flying f*** is this side of concession supposedly ‘closed’? That doesn’t make any sense!”

Me: “Well, sir, we have that side clearly marked as closed.”

Guest: “No, you don’t!”

Me: “Sir, you’re waiting at a closed register with no staff nearby, standing in front of a sign that says that side of concession is closed and to proceed to the other side of stand. I am unable to assist you on that side, as the registers are not open or operational, and all of our inventory on that side is locked. We can assist you on the other side, if you’d like.”

Guest: “I didn’t realize this sign was for this side of concession! How was I supposed to know that the sign was for this side of concession!”

Me: “I really don’t know how to answer that question, sir, as nobody is on that side, and the signs clearly state that that side is closed.”

Guest: “But I didn’t think the sign was right!”

Me: “Why would the sign not be right?”

Guest: *clearly straining* “Because… because… I should get free popcorn! This is too confusing! How was I supposed to know the sign here was for these registers?! You’re just trying to confuse me!”

(It took almost another full two minutes to convince the guest to come around to the right side of stand.)

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