So Uncooperative You Need To Sit Down

, , | Right | October 18, 2018

(Our theater has had assigned seating for over five years. I’m just finishing up a transaction with a customer. Please note that during the duration of the conversation, she remains eerily calm and continuously chuckles and laughs just about every time she speaks.)

Me: “Just let me know where you’d like to sit. The screen in front of you will say which seats are open or not.”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “I’m sorry? I just need to know where you’d like to sit. If you look at the screen in front of you…”

Customer: *interrupting* “No.”

Me: “I don’t understand.”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Ma’am, we need to know where you’d like to sit.”

Customer: “No. I didn’t have to last time.”

Me: “Oh, did you come in before we started using assigned seating?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “We started this policy about five years ago when we upgraded to luxury recliner seating.”

Customer: “No, you didn’t. Don’t lie.”

Me: “Uh, yes, we did.”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Ma’am… yes, we did.”

Customer: “No, you didn’t.”

Me: “Ma’am. Yes, we did. It was hard-programmed into our systems five years ago.”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “I really can’t break this policy. I just need to know where you’d like to sit.”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Ma’am, I absolutely have to know where you’d like to sit. It’s against company policy to sell you tickets without selecting a seat.”

Customer: *with the smuggest grin you can imagine* “I think you know my answer.”

(I’m starting to think that maybe she came in recently and perhaps a new hire told her contradictory information. I flag down a recently-promoted supervisor, who comes over. I explain the situation.)

Supervisor: “Ma’am, we really do need you to pick a seat. Our systems all run on assigned seating.”

Customer: *sarcastic laugh* “No. I won’t.”

Supervisor: “Then we can’t sell you a ticket.”

Customer: *laughing louder* “Yes, you will. I didn’t have to pick a seat last time. And nobody has ever told me about this policy before.”

Supervisor: “Actually, yes, you were told about this policy. You were in here a month ago and tried to refuse to pick a seat then, too. And you were in here a few months prior and did the same thing. And you’ve done it in the past, as well. You might not remember, but I was still working box at that point, and each of those times I just mentioned, I was the one who helped you, and I explained our seating policy to you each time, and each time I had to call a supervisor to bend over backwards and accommodate you. No more of that. I’ve explained this to you probably a half-dozen times by now. You need to follow the rules.”

Customer: “No, I am not picking a seat!”

Supervisor: “Fine. You either pick a seat, or you leave. No games anymore. Simple as that.”

Customer: “FINE!”

(I am happy to report that not one time since this happened well over six months ago has she given us any more trouble. She finally learned she has to follow the rules, and each time she comes in, she picks a seat without complaint. Just more proof that sometimes, you have to be firm with unreasonable people rather than bending over backwards to the often-false “customer is always right” nonsense.)

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