It Wasn’t An Act

, , | | Right | August 16, 2019

(I work in the box office of a theater. It’s about five minutes before curtain and one of the actors comes racing up to the box office in costume: nice pants, a white shirt, and an elegant vest.)

Actor: “Hi! Uh, real quick here. My wife just left our infant son with [Intern] and is on her way here.”

(A group of patrons enters behind him making a lot of noise and I mishear what he said.)

Me: “Left him alone?!

Actor: *chuckling* “No! No, with [Intern].”

Me: *laughing* “Oh! Sorry. I’m caught up now.”

(The group of patrons begins to move around him, all but shoving him away from the window.)

Customer #1: “We need our tickets?”

Me: “Sure, just a moment please.”

(I look at the actor but he’s sort of shuffled to the side to make room for them.)

Customer #2: *stepping rudely around the actor* “Yeah, we need to pick up tickets for this show.”

Me: *thinking it’ll be quicker to just hand over the tickets* “What name are they under?”

(Everyone in the groups starts giving me different names. It’s six tickets under four different names. The actor winces, realizing this will take more time than he has. He steps forward again.)

Actor: “Sorry, but I have to be on stage in five minutes.”

([Customer #2] steps back in surprise.)

Me: *relieved* “Right. So, she’s on her way?”

Actor: “She is, but she may still be a few minutes late.”

Me: “I’ll let the house manager know.”

Actor: “Thank you!” *dashes off*

Customer #1: *sniffs and mumbles* “I thought he was just some volunteer.”

Me: *smiling* “So, what names were those under?”

Promo Code Breakers

, , , | | Right | August 5, 2019

(We send out promotional emails for our comedy club through our ticketing system. After the body of the email, which we can edit, the system auto-populates a list of our upcoming shows with each comic’s photo and a brief description of their show. One month, we have two comedians named Joe performing, so to push their sales, we send out an email with a discount code for their shows. I get a call three weeks after the email was sent out.)

Customer: “I got this email saying that your tickets are $5 off, and when I put in the promo code, it doesn’t work.”

Me: “Do you mean for Joe [Last Name]’s shows this weekend? That’s strange. I can see that people have used that code today, so it’s definitely still working.”

Customer: “No, I don’t want to see him. I want to see [Different Comedian] next week.” 

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am, but as the email says, that promo code was only good for Joe [Other Last Name]’s shows at the beginning of the month and Joe [Last Name]’s show this weekend. That’s why the code is ‘joesshows.’”

Customer: “But you have [Different Comedian]’s show in your email! Why can’t I use the code on that one?”

Me: “Because the code is only good for specific shows. Our ticketing service automatically lists all of our upcoming shows in our emails, whether they have to do with what’s in the body of the email or not. As you can see, the body of the email very clearly states what shows that promo code is good for.”

(She grumbles something at me and hangs up. About five minutes later, she calls back)

Customer: “Yeah, I just talked to you about [Different Comedian]’s show next week. My friend told me there was a different promo code for that show which you didn’t even bother to tell me about! “

Me: “Well, ma’am, that–”

Customer: “I tried to use that one, but that one didn’t work, either! Your website isn’t working!”

Me: “As I was about to say, I didn’t tell you about that promo code because it’s expired. It was an ‘early bird’ promotion and it expired several weeks ago.” 

(She abruptly hangs up on me again. A few minutes later, she calls back.)

Customer: “Yeah, you said that promo code is expired, but it’s in your email! It says, ‘buy one, get one free,’ for that show!”

Me: “Yes, the promo code for that show is listed in the description of the show, so it shows up in the email. As you can see, the description very clearly lists the promotion, the code to use, and then the expiration date.” 

Customer: “But it’s in your email! This is false advertising!”

Me: “Well, ma’am, we sent that email out almost a month ago. Even if we had been actively advertising that promotion in the email, it was still active at that time, so it’s not false advertising.”

Customer: “But I just saw this email now!”

Me: “That doesn’t change the fact that the promotion has expired. If you got an email from a store listing their Black Friday sales but didn’t open it until January, that wouldn’t mean that you could still buy things at the sale price just because you hadn’t opened the email until then.”  

(She can’t think of what to say for a moment, then explodes.)

Customer: “I’M NEVER BUYING TICKETS FROM YOU AGAIN! I FEEL MISLED AND CHEATED AND DUPED!” *hangs up*

A Performance Fit For The Stage

, , , , , | | Right | July 29, 2019

(I work at a box office for a theatre that tapes a Bravo television series. The phone rings.)

Me: “[Theater] box office! This is [My Name]. May I help you?”

Patron: “Hi, is this where I can find out the taping schedule for [TV Show]? I have [Actor]’s personal cell phone number but didn’t feel like bothering him today. By the way, have you seen [Actor’s First Name] lately? I was wondering how he’s doing. We haven’t caught up in a long time. What’s he been doing to keep busy? I don’t really notice a lot of new episodes coming out on Bravo, what with all that awful reality crap and the housewives and all the cooking. Do you think you can tell the powers that be that there are viewers out there that actually want quality programming? I want fewer housewives and more [TV Show].”

Me: “Um… well… I just work in the box office here at [University], so I don’t actually know Mr. [Actor] or anyone at Bravo.”

Patron: “Well, that’s too bad. Am I still on your mailing list?”

Me: “Were you notified about the [Other Actor] taping?”

Patron: “Yes!”

Me: “Then you are still on our mailing list.”

Patron: “Can you check, please? I want to be sure.”

Me: “What’s your email address?”

Patron: “I don’t remember.”

Me: “You don’t remember?”

Patron: “I don’t use it a lot and I forgot the password.”

Me: “Then how are you going to see our email notifications?”

Patron: “You have a point. I’ll just drop by your box office the next time I’m in New York. I don’t know when I’m getting there next. I live in Oregon, you know. Have a nice day and say hi to Mr. [Actor] for me.”

The Greatest Anthem Is The One Sung Together

, , , , | | Hopeless | July 18, 2019

For the past ten months, I have participated in a volunteer program at an educational non-profit. At the end of our term of service, we have a graduation ceremony with our families, alumni, sponsors, and several high-profile government figures including the mayor and a senator. Two of our members are going to sing the national anthem before the ceremony begins. They sound amazing during rehearsal, but of course, that changes when the theater is full of people.

They start out really strong, but about halfway through, one of the members loses her pitch. The other keeps going and she tries to regain her footing, but it’s obvious that she’s getting flustered.

A few people let out supportive cheers. Then suddenly, someone in the audience begins to sing along. Soon, everyone else in the theater joins in singing the national anthem, and the member finishes the song on a perfect note.

Everyone in the room bursts into applause. Many of my fellow members are crying or holding back tears because we are so moved. 

It had been a lengthy and difficult year of service which tested many of us in ways we’d never imagined, and it can feel incredibly draining to work so hard for the betterment of your community when you can’t necessarily see the results of all your work. But seeing how all these strangers came together to lift up one of our volunteers, even in a small way, reminded us of what an amazing community we belong to.

 

Not Too Chicken To Make Yourself Known

, , , , | | Working | July 12, 2019

(I have been a supervisor at a theater, but I am starting a job at a chicken chain known for excellent customer service. It is my last day at the theater, and as a way of saying goodbye, I have brought a tray of chicken strips from my new job. This chicken chain is still relatively new to our state and is quite new to our area, so many of my coworkers have never tasted it before. My boss takes a few strips and goes to sit down. A minute later, he bellows my name from halfway across the lobby. He doesn’t usually use that tone of voice unless he urgently needs my help, so I hurry over to see what he needs.)

Boss: “This chicken is amazing! This is the best employee-quitting ever!”

(It was one of the highlights of my last shift there, and I’m still laughing about it.)

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