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He’s Sure Not A Fun Uncle

, | Related | November 28, 2023

I have an uncle who I’ll call “Uncle Bob”. He’s generally a nice person who does some legitimately good work for the world. However, he has a habit of making unilateral decisions about almost everything without asking others’ opinions, and he frequently ignores the opinions given unprompted. He doesn’t do it out of malice; it just doesn’t seem to enter his mind that other people may wish to provide their input or may not want to do everything he does. (I have my theories about why he thinks this way, but they aren’t really relevant here.) Regardless, it means that he makes for a pretty terrible guest.

Uncle Bob sends me an email one day with the flight confirmation information showing that he is planning to visit me for four days in the upcoming summer, less than two months after I move to a new city. Since I haven’t seen him in nearly ten years and generally enjoyed his company in the past, I decide to shrug it off. How much inconvenience can four days be, really?

Fast forward to about two weeks before his arrival, and I get really sick with a “stomach bug”, later determined to be long [contagious illness]. After several days of seeing if I will recover, I call up Uncle Bob and explain the situation, with the intention of suggesting that we reschedule the visit. But before I can bring up the suggestion, he interrupts.

Uncle Bob: “Don’t worry about that. I’ll fly up, and I can accommodate whatever it is that you need.” *Click*

Once again, I shrug it off. His visit to me is just one in a series of visits he’s making across the US, and I don’t really want whoever he’s staying with before or after me to get stuck with him for too long. And besides, how inconvenient can four days be, really?

Quite inconvenient, it turns out. I won’t recount the entire play-by-play, but suffice it to say the only real accommodation provided by him is a single afternoon off when I truly feel too ill to do anything (although I never feel well during his visit). Other highlights include him asking invasive questions about “what the doctor said to me”, him monologuing over many drinks (for him, not me) for three hours about subjects of his choosing, and his polite but obvious disinterest in all of the activities and tourist sightseeing I arranged for us to do. So, by the afternoon of day four, I am ready to send him on his way.

While I’m driving him from our last sightseeing spot toward the airport, he receives an email saying his flight has been delayed by six hours.

Uncle Bob: “Let’s go see a movie. I don’t want to wait around in the terminal forever.”

Okay, this could work for me. Last week was the dual release of two highly anticipated films, both of which I want to see, so I agree. He scrolls through his phone for movie times, and I drive to the theater.

Uncle Bob: “Let’s go see [Action Spy Movie]. The rest of these look stupid.”

No shade on anyone who likes action spy movies, but extended car chases and trains falling off exploded bridges have never been my cup of tea. And I was less than impressed by the movie I ended up watching while nursing long [contagious illness] symptoms and waiting to drop off a guest who had overstayed his welcome. Although, apparently, he had the same opinion of the film as I did; during a climactic moment, he leaned over and said:

Uncle Bob: “This is ridiculous.”

We Spy A Super Cute Origin Story Here…

, , , , , , | Right | November 26, 2023

I see a dad and his young son leaving a theater where an “Avengers” movie has just finished. The kid is very excited and runs up to me.

Kid: *Politely* “Thank you very much for the movie, sir!”

Me: “You’re very welcome! Most customers don’t thank me for the movie, so that’s very nice of you!”

Kid: “I need to be nice like the Avengers! I also need to go home and train now for the Avengers.”

The kid’s dad has finally caught up with him.

Dad: “I don’t think they’re accepting new members, kiddo.”

Kid: “No, I’m going to beat them.”

Not All Heroes Wear Capes

, , , , , , | Right | November 23, 2023

“Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse” has just come out in theaters, and our venue is PACKED. There are a lot of little kiddies dressed up as Spider-Man or other comic book heroes coming to the screenings, and they’re all adorable.

A mother comes up with two little boys dressed up as Spider-Man. They’re so excited they’re practically jumping up and down. I scan her tickets, and I get a little red beep. I scan again, and the same thing.

Me: “Hmm… Can I get a closer look at your tickets?”

Mom: “Is something wrong?”

Me: “I hope not! Let’s see.”

Straight away, I can tell this woman has made a mistake booking her tickets. She’s booked online at our location with a similar name but in an entirely different state. I explain this to her, and her face goes pale.

Mom: “Do… do you have any replacement tickets I could buy?”

She said, “Buy”. She wants to pay for her mistake, not make us do it.

Me: “I’m afraid we’re mostly sold out for the rest of the day. We don’t have any seats left until later this evening.”

Mom: “I need to get them back before then. We drove into the city to be here today, so…”

We both look at the two boys, both blissfully oblivious to our discussion.

Mom: “I can’t believe I did that! They’re going to be soooo upset.”

Me: “Let me see if there’s anything I can do.”

I radio my manager and tell him what’s happened. Our theater will sometimes keep some seats empty, even in a sold-out theater. Sometimes this is for seats that are easier to access for disabled moviegoers, such as seats near the front. Apparently, we do have plenty of those seats left! I explain this to the mom.

Me: “If you don’t mind being in the front row, we can put you there.”

Mom: “Are you kidding?! Anything is better than my boys having their favorite superhero snatched away from them by their stupid mom’s mistake.”

Me: “Please stop being so hard on yourself! It’s an easy mistake to make! Let me get you settled with your new tickets.”

I escorted them to a ticket machine and got the replacement tickets printed for them. I also swung some popcorn for the boys with Spider-Man-themed packaging that they gushed, “Wow!” and, “Cool!” over.

After the movie, the mom and her boys found me again, and the mom was almost in tears. She thanked me again and explained that the boys came into the city to visit their dad who was in a long-term hospital situation, and this excursion was badly needed for them.

I was happy to try to be a hero that day, even if it wasn’t Spider-Man!

The Petty Revenge Game Is Afoot

, , , , , | Friendly | CREDIT: deliasen | November 14, 2023

I am out to a movie with my friends. We go and sit down, and I realize pretty soon that this girl in the row behind us has her feet up on [Friend]’s seat. She’s there with one of her friends. [Friend] turns around.

Friend: “Uh, do you think you could put your feet down?”

And I think they say something in response, but I don’t hear it. The feet don’t go down. A few minutes later…

Friend: “Hey, will you get your feet off my chair? It’s extremely rude.”

And they still don’t budge.

I tell [Friend] that he should go find an employee and get them to talk to this girl. He does exactly that, and after a couple of minutes, an employee comes and talks to this girl. She is obviously pretty peeved but begrudgingly agrees to put her feet down.

After the employee leaves, she puts her feet right back up.

At this point, I’m pissed off. Why is it so important to you that you have your feet up on someone’s chair? You’re just being a brat.

So, I get out of my seat, walk up two rows, and sit down in the seat directly behind this girl. I stick my feet on the back of her chair and push it forward. Both girls turn around and try to say something to me, but I can’t really hear them since the movie has started by this point.

Me: “Just watch the movie.”

I kept my feet up there the entire movie. It felt like I had done wall sits for two hours, but I’m glad I did it.

Anger Increases Seven-Fold

, , , | Right | November 10, 2023

Me: *Gesturing directly behind me.* “You’re in theater number four. It’s the one right there, directly behind me.”

Customer: “Thanks.”

Twenty minutes later, I hear swearing down the hall… I turn and see the customer walking out of theater seven, which is all the way down the hall.

Customer: *Absolute fury.* “You told me the wrong theater, jack-a**!”

Me: “Uh, sir… I said it’s the theater number four, right there behind me.”

Customer: “You sent me to this theater!”

Me: “No sir, I didn’t. I pointed directly at this theater behind me.”

Customer: “Well I thought you meant this one!”

Me: “Why would I gesture to theater four if I was trying to send you to theater seven?”

Customer: *Reaching theater four.* “Do your job right next time, ***hole!”

He came out and demanded a refund after the movie because he missed the first ten minutes. I had told my manager about what happened. He did not get a refund.