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Some People Are Just Trash

, , , , , | Right | May 31, 2022

I’m ushering one night. We’re the ones who clean the theaters after every show and do other cleaning and maintenance work. I decide to go into a theater and wait with my broom and sanitizing spray while the movie finishes up. Like most theaters, we have garbage cans in the back of the auditorium and outside for people to dispose of their garbage.

The movie ends, the lights go up, and the hundred-and-fifty or so people begin to file out, throwing out their trash as they walk by. I’m giving them friendly nods and saying, “Have a nice night!” as they walk by.

Suddenly, one guy looks at me, looks down at the popcorn and drink he’s carrying… and simply tosses them on the floor next to me, spilling popcorn and soda everywhere. I’m dumbfounded. He walks by without saying a word, chuckling to himself.

The person behind him who saw what he did looks at me and then down at the spilled popcorn and drink, and then he shrugs and tosses his garbage on top of them.

Me: “Um, please do not do that! There are garbage cans right behind me.”

The second person walks by without making eye contact. The next person behind them who witnessed this then does the exact same thing.

I address the crowd and try to remain friendly.

Me: “All right, everyone! Please do not throw your trash on a pile next to me! There are garbage cans right behind me!”

It doesn’t work. Person after person begins to throw their trash into the pile next to me, with me telling each of them to not do it… and them just sort of doing it. Within seconds, popcorn is piled high and soda is saturating the entire carpet next to me.

Becoming increasingly angry, I address the crowd again.

Me: “Everyone! Please stop throwing your trash in this pile! DO NOT DO IT! There are garbage cans literally right behind me!”

It continues. I’ve had enough, so I physically walk in front of the pile in an attempt to stop it. And people respond by starting a second pile next to me.

Me: *Furious* “EVERYONE, STOP THROWING GARBAGE ON THE FLOOR! DO NOT DO IT! I HAVE TO CLEAN THIS THEATER FOR THE NEXT SHOW!”

People didn’t listen and continued. I was practically begging each person to stop, and they just wouldn’t listen. By the time everyone was out, there were popcorn buckets and spilled popcorn piled up to my knees, several dozen soda and slushy cups spilled all over the carpet, crunched up nachos and pretzels, and basically every other snack we sell. I had never been so angry in my life.

It ended up taking an extra twenty minutes to clean it all up since I had to sanitize and soak up all the spilled drinks and methodically sweep up all the popcorn, on top of the fifteen minutes it took to clean the rest of the theater. People weren’t able to go into the next screening until less than five minutes before the showtime… by which point, of course, there was a huge crowd of people who were very angry they couldn’t go in.

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