Maybe It Was REALLY Long Distance

, , | Right | May 5, 2021

A man walks up to me at the box office. We have a more or less normal transaction, and we get to the point where I ask if he has a rewards card.

Me: “Do you have a rewards card with us?”

Customer: “Yeah, but I don’t have it on me. Can I give you a phone number?”

Me: “Sure, whenever you’re ready.”

Customer: “Okay, it’s 6-0-7…”

Me: *Repeating back* “6-0-7…”

The customer suddenly gets a vacant look in his eyes.

Customer: “2… 3…”

Me: “2-3…”

Suddenly, he goes completely robotic and begins to unleash a slew of numbers rapidly.

Customer: “2-3-1-5-7-8-9-8-7-4-2-3-1-5-9-8-0-8-0-7-2-3-3-3-4-7-5-6-9-9…”

Me: *Confused* “Um…”

Customer: *Eyes going wide.* “2-1-5-9-6-7-4-0-0-1-2-3-4-6-3-4-2-1-2-2-2-1-8-7-6-5!”

Me: “I… uh…”

His eyes narrow like he’s furious.

Customer: “2-3-1-1-1-5-9-4-3-2-3-1-3-2-4!”

Me: “Sir… uh… are you all right?”

Customer: “4-2-3-1-3-5-2!”

I don’t know what to do at this point.

Customer: “3-1-4-4-2-4-3!”

Me: *Not knowing what to say* “That’s too many numbers, sir!”

Customer: “Oh.”

Without another word, the customer simply turns and walks away without paying. I void the transaction and stand there for a moment, completely confused, before I motion the next customer up. About fifteen minutes later, the customer returns to the line with a woman by his side. He gets up to the register, and again, we get to the point where I ask if he has a rewards card.

Customer: “Oh, yeah, can I give you a phone number?”

Me: *Concerned* “Uh… sure.”

The customer then proceeds to give me his number without incident and we finish the transaction. As they walk away, the woman he’s with turns and shoots me a nasty glance.

Woman: “Why didn’t you sell him tickets the first time?! He said you wouldn’t take his phone number! We had to come all the way through the line again!”

I just shrugged with a weak smile, thoroughly confused. The woman scoffed and walked away with the man. I still don’t know what happened that day. The best I can figure is that he had the brain fart to end all brain farts.

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The Force Sure As Heck Ain’t With Him

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | May 4, 2021

In high school, a group of eight friends and I speak a lot of languages, and we have been translating a certain catchphrase about “being someone’s father” into every language we know together during a free period at school. We decide that we should make a group outing of it to go to see “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” in theaters, and we decide to go back to my parents’ house to hang out afterward. We are all fifteen, so my parents are driving us from the theater to our house.

My mom drives [Friend #1] who is sitting in the front seat and [Friend #2] who sits behind [Friend #1].

Friend #1: “I mean, I knew he was gonna make the transition to full-on bad guy, but I didn’t expect him to be so whiny about it. It was a fun movie, but he got on my nerves.”

Me: “Well, the emperor was messing with his head pretty hardcore, and he’s always been emotional. [Friend #2], what did you think?”

Friend #2: “I didn’t get it at all. Is there gonna be a sequel?”  

“Star Wars” was released as episodes four, five, and six in the 1970s and ‘80s, and then episodes one, two, and three in the 1990s and 2000s.

[Friend #1] unbuckles his seatbelt and gets on his knees to look directly into [Friend #2]’s face.

Friend #1: “What. Did you just say?”

Friend #2: “Is there gonna be a sequel?”

My mom is laughing so hard she pulls into a parking lot to let the laughter subside before she can drive further. Once we get to the house, [Friend #1] and I tell [Friend #2]’s twin sister what he said. She looks at her brother like he’s grown a second head.

Twin Sister: “[Friend #2’s Full Name], we watched all five movies last weekend just so we would know what is going on! Don’t you remember?!”

Friend #2: “Oh, was that what those were? I was trying to figure out how to beat [Friend #3] in the chess game we have going on. I wasn’t paying attention.”

A month or two later, we are all hanging out at [Friend #1]’s house. His younger brother puts on a Darth Vader mask and pops out from behind things to startle us. 

After the surprised yelps and laughter die down, [Friend #2] utters this.

Friend #2: “What was he supposed to be, some kind of robot?”

His twin sister smacks him on the back of the head. 

Twin Sister: “I’m sorry, everyone. I have tried so hard with him, but I’m giving it up as a lost cause. If it’s not chess, math, Torah studies, or a musical, he just won’t pay attention.”

[Friend #2] never did figure out what the “robot mask” was.

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Munchies Versus Upselling

, , , , | Right | April 28, 2021

The biggest thing we as employees have to do is upsell. Two guys come in, clearly stoned, and I can smell pot coming from them as soon as they walk in.

They look at the menu board and talk to each other for about five minutes before coming up to me.

Customer #1: “Can we get a small popcorn?”

Me: “Okay, one small popcorn. Just so you know, you can upgrade to a large for two dollars more and you get free refills on it.”

The two guys look at me for a few seconds and then at each other. 

Customer #2: “We’ll take two larges.”

My manager, who heard the whole thing, comes over to me with his jaw dropped.

Manager: “How the h*** did you do that?!”

That was how I ended up training all new employees on how to upsell!

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One Popped Every Minute

, , , | Right | April 23, 2021

I work in a multiscreen cinema complex for several years. The last movie starts at 8:30 pm and we’re packing up the popcorn machines, etc. around 9:00 pm. At 9:15 pm, my coworker and I have finished emptying and cleaning the popcorn machines. The lights around the popcorn bar have been turned off and the signs have all been taken down. A customer exits a cinema and goes to the bathrooms. We think nothing of it and continue our cleaning. A few minutes later, I’m sweeping and hear a loud HUH-HUM.

Me: “OH! I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there. Can I help you with anything?”

Customer: *Rudely* “Large popcorn.”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, we’re actually closed now and don’t have any way to serve popcorn. I can sell you any bagged candy or bottled drinks.”

Customer: “LARGE… POPCORN!”

Me: “Ma’am, I—”

Customer: “Does that machine behind you work?”

Me: “Yes, but—”

Customer: “SO TURN IT ON!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but the machines have been turned off for an hour and would take at least fifteen minutes to heat up. I would then have to put through a pop cycle and then reclean the entire machine.”

Customer: *Staring* “And?”

Me: “I cannot serve popcorn.”

Customer: “Where is your supervisor?”

My supervisor tries to explain to the customer that the popcorn machines have been shut down and cleaned and we have no popcorn. Eventually, because she made so much of a scene, the supervisor pulls the popcorn bag from the back that has all the stale stuff in it and fills a large box with it. The rude customer smiles at me with a gross, smug smile.

Customer: *Barely audible* “I don’t know why places like this hire useless idiots.”

This woman PAID $10 for stale popcorn and missed at least twenty minutes of her movie. Who’s the idiot here?

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A Social Responsibility To Social Distancing

, , , , , | Right | April 19, 2021

We’re only allowed to sell our theaters to 25% capacity for social distance reasons. Once 25% is reached for a showtime, ticket sales are locked off in theater and online and no more tickets can be purchased for that showtime. Most people are very understanding since it’s the current law and the matter is entirely out of our hands. The phone rings.

Me: “You’ve reached [Theater]. This is [My Name] speaking; how may I help you?”

Customer: “I can’t buy tickets to the 7:30 Tom & Jerry! I’ve tried your website and [Theater Franchise Site] and neither of them is working! It keeps saying the theater is sold out even though I see there are still seats available on the seating chart!”

Me: “I’m sorry. If I had to guess, it’s probably because we’ve already reached 25% capacity for that showtime. That’s been a popular movie with families the past week.”

Customer: “What’s that?”

Me: “According to current state mandates, we’re only allowed to sell our theaters to 25% capacity due to the health crisis.”

Customer: *Confused* “But what does that mean?”

Me: “Once our movies hit 25% capacity, ticket sales are locked off and we’re not allowed to sell any more tickets. It’s a way to encourage social distancing.”

Customer: *Long pause* “Well, I don’t know about all that. That sounds fishy to me. But I see there’s plenty of seats available, so I should be able to buy tickets.”

Me: “Hmm… let me check that for you.”

I place the customer on hold and run over to a box office register. I check the seating chart and see that my suspicion was accurate. Our theaters have about 100 seats each, and twenty-five tickets have been sold for the showtime, so the system has locked off ticket sales. I go back to the phone.

Me: “I checked, and it looks like we’ve sold 25% for the 7:30 Tom & Jerry. So, unfortunately, we’re not able to sell any more tickets for that showtime.”

Customer: “But there are still seats left online! It just won’t let me buy them.”

Me: “I understand, sir. But due to current guidelines, we’re only allowed to sell our theaters to 25% capacity.”

Customer: “But that doesn’t mean anything to me. Why can’t I buy tickets?”

Me: “Because it’s currently the law that we can only sell to 25% capacity.”

Customer: “But I don’t think I buy that. That just sounds too fishy to me!”

Me: “Um… well, I’m sorry, but that’s the truth.”

Customer: “I don’t know that I believe you.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I guess?”

Customer: “Fine. Let’s say you’re telling the truth… How can I know you’ve actually sold 25%? I see the seats that are sold online, and I don’t buy that you’ve sold 25% because there are so many seats still available!”

Me: “Well, you can count the total number of seats and divide it by four, and that’ll give you 25%… and you’ll see that we’ve already sold 25%.”

Customer: “Yeah… I don’t buy it.”

Me: “You… don’t buy math?”

Customer: “Nope, I don’t believe you! There’re so many seats available, and I don’t think you’ve sold 25% yet! And I also don’t believe that you’re only allowed to sell 25%, either. It just sounds fishy to me. I don’t buy it. I think there’s just something wrong with the websites and you just won’t admit it.”

Me: “Well, sir, there’s nothing else I can do. My hands are unfortunately tied.”

Customer: “Can I come in and buy tickets?”

Me: “You’re certainly welcome to try, but you won’t be able to buy tickets for that showtime, as it’s already hit 25% capacity.”

Customer: “I don’t buy it! I’ll be there in an hour. I’ll show you that there are still seats available!”

The customer hung up. Unfortunately, I was on my lunch break when he came in, but I was told that he stood there arguing for a good five minutes because he “didn’t buy” that we couldn’t sell more tickets. I swear, I’ll die a happy man if I never hear the phrases “I don’t buy it” or “sounds fishy to me” ever again.

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