A Very Quick Performance

| Vienna, Austria | Bizarre, Time

(I work in a big theatre where a lot of rich obnoxious people come to watch the performance. No one is allowed entrance into the auditorium after the performance has started. I am working entrance when a woman in her fifties shows up ten minutes late.)

Me: “Good evening, madam. I am very sorry, but the performance has already started; you can take a seat in the lobby. There is a live screen where you can watch until intermission.”

Woman: “So, I am not allowed in?”

Me: “No. I am very sorry, but nobody is allowed in after the music has started.”

Woman: *very understanding* “I get that. But, you see, my mother, she is 90 years old; it takes her a while to get ready, so maybe you could make an exception?”

Me: “I really couldn’t, I’m sorry.”

(The last two sentences are repeated 3-4 times. At that moment sure enough, a very old lady enters the area with her walking stick and stands quietly next to the original woman.)

Woman: *more unsettled* “Look, we’ve paid a lot of money for these tickets! I want you to let us in NOW!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I can’t do it.”

(I look over to my colleague and sign him to get our supervisor.)

Woman: “You are going to let us in THIS SECOND or you’re going to be in BIG TROUBLE!”

Me: “I’m very sorry, but once the performance has started, there is no getting in. it says so on your ti—”

(I stop talking at that moment, because the 90-year old woman, that takes so long to get ready and walk, suddenly starts running towards the door to the auditorium. I’m baffled, but since she is 90 years old and I am in my early 20s, the one-second head-start she gets until I believe what’s happening is not enough for her to reach the doors before me, so I stop her and escort her back to her daughter.)

Me: “As I was saying, it says on your ticket, that once the performance has starte—”

(Again, the 90-year-old lady starts running towards the auditorium and I stop her and bring her back. Finally, my supervisor shows up.)

Supervisor: “What seems to be the problem?”

Woman: *switching back to her fake polite tone* “We were late, but look, my mother, she is 90 years old, she’s not that fast anymore…”

(My supervisor continues to give her the exact same information I gave her two minutes earlier. While she gets more unnerved again, the old lady tries running off once more and I stop her again to bring her back.)

Supervisor: *raising his eyebrow* “Well, if she had been that quick while getting ready, you wouldn’t be in this situation in the first place!”

(The woman gave up and took a seat at the monitor.)

At War With ‘Z’

| WA, USA | Extra Stupid, Funny Names

(All of our patron and ticket data is stored in a database. We generally print the tickets two hours before a show, but patrons can pick up their tickets early provided they give us the name it was purchased under. When we pull up their file, we are instructed to read off their address to confirm that we have the right person as we do have multiple people with the same name.)

Patron: “Hi, I’m here to pick up tickets for Melissa [Last Name] for [date].”

(I search her name. There is only one result but I read the address anyway.)

Me: “Sure. Melissa at [Address #1]?”

Patron: “That’s me!”

Me: *opening her account* “I don’t see any tickets here. Were they maybe purchased under someone else’s name?”

Patron: “No, they should be under mine. Melissa [Last Name] for [date].”

Me: “Sorry, I don’t have anything here.”

Patron: “But they’re for [date]! I purchased them!” *getting upset*

Me: “Do you remember what seats you bought? Even the general area?”

Patron: “Oh… I think they were in row E… somewhere in the middle.”

(I open up our seating chart for her date and looking over the purchased seats, I find what I believe are hers…)

Me: “Er… Would that be Meliza? With a ‘Z’?”

Patron: “Oh! Yes!”

Me: *pulling up her ACTUAL file; it has a completely different address* “And you’re at [Address #2]?”

Patron: “Correct.”

Me: “So not [Address #1]?”

Patron: “What? No. [Address #2]. I’ve never lived at [Address #1]!”

Me: “Good to know. All right, then.” *I print out her tickets and give them to her* “You’re all set! Have a good one!”

(She left and I waited until she’s gone before I face-palmed. Seriously, if you have an unusual spelling please mention it. And don’t just tune employees out when they’re confirming your information. This happens WAY too often.)

Needs To Get Some Private Understanding

| CA, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid

Customer: “I see that [Specific Time] on [Specific Day] is reserved for a private party. How can I buy tickets for that time?”

Employee: “That time is reserved for a private party and tickets are not available to the public.”

Customer: “So how do I buy tickets to the private party?”

Employee: “Unfortunately, you have to be on the host’s guest list to have access to the event.”

Customer: “Okay, I would like to add my name to the list.”

Employee: “It is a private event, so we cannot add your name to the list.”

Customer: “Okay, so I can just show up, then?”

Maybe Her Brain Fell Out Too

| New Orleans, LA, USA | Awesome Customers, Food & Drink

(I work as a house manager for a big theatre during a concert. I am standing at one of the bars chatting with a friend when a woman comes up to the bar.)

Woman: “Hi! You remember I came in tonight with a hair tie and flower in my hair?”

(I’d never seen her before that moment, so I say nothing.)

Woman: “I seemed to have lost them both.”

Me: “Would you like for me to go search the seating area for you?”

Woman: “No, that’s okay. I don’t want you to interrupt everyone’s enjoyment of the concert.”

Me: “Well, if you’re sure, then I won’t.”

Woman: “I don’t know. What do you think? I mean I just bought it at the store for like $5.”

Me: “I can go look if you want. I mean it’s part of my job.”

(She waffled on about me going or not going into the seating area where the concert was still going on for like five minutes. At this point I realise she’s a bit drunk.)

Me: “Look, I’ll go in there and have a look around and I promise not to disturb anyone.”

Woman: “Okay, but I wasn’t in my seat the whole time. I was kinda over here.” *she points to an area above us which I know is flat and where she could dance*

Me: “Okay, I’ll be right back.”

(I hear her calling me back, but I wasn’t going to stand around while she waffled again so I ignore her. I grab a small flashlight from an usher and proceed to look in the general area of where I thought she’d been and even beyond that area. I find nothing, so I go back out to let her know.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I was unable to find a hair tie or clip anywhere in there.”

Woman: “Wow. That’s really weird. I mean who would steal something like that?”

Me: *thinking she lost it before she arrived* “I really don’t know.”

Woman: “Okay, I guess I’ll go.”

Me: “Do you have a ride?”

Woman: “I’ll just take a taxi.”

Me: “Okay, then, just go out the front of the theatre and you’ll be able to find one quickly.”

Woman: “Thanks for your help!” *she gives me a hug* “And this is for you!” *she pushes a glass of champagne in my direction and wanders off*

(Once she was gone, the bartender informed me that the woman asked her if she thought I was really looking for her stuff or if I’d just gone in to enjoy the concert a bit and would lie about searching. She also assured me that the woman hadn’t touched the champagne nor had she paid for it.)

Don’t Burst Their Entitlement Bubble

| Australia | Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Popular

(I’m a supervisor for a high-traffic box office during a yearly theatre festival. It is a busy spell on a Saturday during closing weekend. A woman runs up to the counter yelling for help, carrying her large child – I’d say around eight years old – cradled in her arms. He is hysterical and I immediately approach her thinking some horrible accident has happened.)

Me: “Are you okay?! What’s happened?”

Lady: “MY CHILD HAS JUST HAD BUBBLES BLOWN INTO HIS EYES! I WANT A FULL REFUND!”

Me: *trying sooooo hard not to smile* “Oh, no! First, can I help your son wash his eyes? We have a tap around the back of—”

Lady: *not moving* “He blew them directly into his eyes. This is absolutely disgusting.”

Me: “Okay, what show did you just see and where was the venue?”

Lady: “We saw Mr. Bubbleman and he was trying to blow his bubbles into the children’s eyes! We even sat at the back of the audience because I had a feeling this was going to happen and now look! I want a full refund and I don’t care about your ‘no refund policy’!”

Me: “I’m so sorry this has happened and while I can’t authorize a refund, I can quickly go speak to the producer of the show about what’s happened and he could possibly refund you directly?”

Lady: “I can’t believe this!” *she’s still holding her giant child* “This service is terrible. Why won’t you help my son? Mr. Bubbleman will lie! He’ll tell you he didn’t do it but he did! If he acts dumb, just you tell him that I’m going to have to go straight to hospital because of him!”

(Her bratty child isn’t even crying anymore and seems to be bored of the situation – trying to wiggle out his mum’s arms.)

Me: “Look, on behalf of the festival, I really apologise. If you stay here, I’ll run over and quickly speak to the producer.”

(I sprint to the venue and grab the producer and start to explain the situation, trying to be careful not to escalate the situation more. Before I even finish, he jumps in and just looks really sad.)

Producer: *sighs* “Yeah, refund her…”

Me: “Really? I mean, that’s total bull-s***! She’s accusing you of deliberately blowing bubbles in the children’s eyes?! I mean, that’s crazy! Your show is a bubble show; wouldn’t you assess the ‘risks’ before you even bought tickets?”

Producer: “Of course I know it’s complete bull-s***, but I learnt quickly in this business not to argue with over-bearing mothers with screaming, spoilt children.”

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