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His Wife Is The Best Actor Of The Bunch

, , , | Right | February 28, 2021

During my summer vacation, I volunteer at the box office of a local theater where two shows happen on alternating nights. This year, we have a play and a musical.

Occasionally, the people in charge will have sales to sell a few more tickets to days that need a bit of a boost.

A sale like this is currently happening for 50% off tickets to the play; a few weeks ago, there was another sale for the musical at 30% off. All sale tickets are final sale — we can exchange to a new show for non-sale tickets — and musicals are a bit more money than plays.

I answer the phone.

Me: “Good morning! This is [Theater] and my name is [My Name]. How—”

Caller: *Cutting me off* “I want that deal I saw in the paper today.”

Me: “The 50% off?”

I start the process of bringing up her account and the availability of the performance.

Caller: “No. I already have tickets. But I want to get them refunded for the deal.”

I am looking at her orders for that year.

Me: “I see you bought tickets to [Musical] using the 30%-off deal.”

Caller: “Yes, I want a refund on those so I can buy this new deal. It’ll be cheaper.”

Me: “I understand that, but your tickets to [Musical] were bought using the 30%-off limited sale and those are final sale.”

Caller: “You are not understanding me! I want a refund and to buy the cheaper tickets!”

Me: “Your tickets to [Musical] are marked final sale. I can’t give you a refund.”

Caller: “Check with your supervisor.”

Me: “Okay.”

I put her on hold. I explain to the box office manager what the caller wants. The manager agrees with me that it’s not in the policies and won’t give in to the caller. I get back on the phone and explain to the caller again why we can’t honor her request.

Caller: “What if I came into the theater?”

Me: “The same policy applies.”

Caller: “My ticket money pays your paycheck, young lady! Do your job.”

Me: “I am a volunteer.”

The caller hangs up. I leave a log of the call on her order file and shake my head. A few hours later, I am getting programs ready for the performance that night and a man walks in.

Coworker: “Good afternoon.”

Customer: “Hi. My wife said she was told on the phone we had to bring in our tickets to move them to something else. I have all the information.”

Coworker: “Okay. Let me look up the order… Oh, your tickets are marked final sale.”

Customer: “Yes. But she said the lady on the phone said it was okay.”

My coworker brings up the order file; I can see my note on the screen.

Coworker: “Yes. She did call in. But she was told by both our volunteer and the manager because these are final sale tickets, they are not refundable. She got upset at our volunteer and hung up.”

Customer: *Upset* “I should’ve known [Wife] would try something like this!”

He stormed out, leaving the original tickets on the counter. My coworker and I just looked at each other and sighed, and I continued getting the programs ready as my coworker added to my call log.

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Fighting Tooth And Nail To Keep A Cast Together

, , , , | Learning | February 23, 2021

It’s the first week of classes in my first week at university away from home when one of my wisdom teeth literally shatters in the middle of lunch. After a bit of calling around, I discover that since I’m not registered with a dentist in my new city yet, my only option to get the remaining jagged shards removed is the emergency after-hours clinic at the hospital. Since any movement of my jaw slices my cheek into ribbons, I don’t have much choice.

I’ve managed to get myself cast in the theatre society’s next play and the first read-through is this evening, so my next call is to the director. It’s relevant that this play is a satire with some VERY adult themes.

Me: “I’m really sorry, [Director], but I can’t make it tonight.”

[Director] gives a long, despairing groan.

Director: “I will make any changes to the script you want, but I’m begging you not to drop out on me.”

Me: “What? No! I’m not dropping out. I have a dental emergency, and even if I’m not in the chair during rehearsal, I won’t be able to speak.”

Director: “You’re sure? You’ve read the script. You’re okay with it?”

Me: “Yeah. I won’t be inviting my granny to see it, but I think it’s pretty funny.”

Director: “Oh, thank God. My lead actress and both parts of the double-act dropped out as soon as they saw the script. The lead actor is wavering, too. I couldn’t take another dropout.”

I got my tooth out — which was a disaster — and made the second rehearsal. The play went great and I’m still friends with some of my fellow cast members nearly twenty years later.

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The Need To Manscape Does Not Make You A Man

, , , , , , | Right | February 18, 2021

A group of teenagers is in the theatre to see the show. Three of them approach the bar; two order Cokes and one orders a beer.

Me: “Sure, could I just see your ID for the beer?”

Boy: “Oh, I’m eighteen.”

Me: “Okay, I will still need to see your ID before I can give you the beer.”

He pulls down the neck of his T-shirt.

Boy: “But I have chest hair!”

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This Teacher Is Pure Theater!

, , , , | Right | February 3, 2021

I work for a university’s fine arts department. Our theater department is hosting a free matinee event for area elementary, junior high, and high school students. We’re thrilled to welcome hundreds of students to the event. I’m tasked with getting all of these students off their buses and escorted into the auditorium in an organized fashion.

Due to an error during pre-registration for this event, an elementary school is not recorded as attending. They show up with over 150 students. This is not a major problem at the moment, however, as the auditorium is more than able to accommodate this many extra people. We simply open the balcony, as the main floor is full.

We have intentionally left part of an entire row on the main floor open for random community members or parents who decide to come, people with mobility issues, etc.

While we’re opening the balcony, a high school group is escorted by a volunteer usher into the auditorium on the main floor but quickly sees we are short on seats. The usher tells the teachers and chaperones in the group that we need to redirect them up to the balcony and escorts them up the stairs.  

The following exchange happens a couple of minutes later. I’m on the main floor, watching for any problems with latecomers, “stragglers” in the lobby, etc. 

Teacher: “Ex-cuse me! Where is the elevator?”

Me: “Oh, ma’am, I’m sorry for any hassle, but this building actually doesn’t have an elevator yet…”

They are fundraising for a massive renovation project to fix this issue currently.

Me:  “…but we do have seating in—”

Teacher: *Interrupting and huffing condescendingly* “Well, my students were just sent to the balcony. I have lung disease and cannot do those stairs!”

I see the school logo on her shirt and know instantly to which students she is referring.

Me: “Of course! We would be very glad to get you a seat on the main floor; we have—”

The teacher interrupts again with a huff, a head jiggle, and an eye roll.

Teacher:If there are any seats left!

She must be having a whopper of a day to have so much attitude.

I wave over a volunteer usher.

Me: “Yes, ma’am, we do have a few seats available on the main floor, and this lovely person would be glad to show y—”

Teacher: “I was in the bathroom for two minutes and my class got sent up to the balcony without my knowledge!”

I know she is not the only teacher with these students, and I choose not to rise to the bait of the intended argument.

Me: “Ah, well, sounds like it was a case of poor timing, then.” *Friendly laugh* “But let’s get you to a seat before the show st—”

Teacher: “I just hope my students won’t cause problems!”

I again remember the other teachers who are with this group and our experienced volunteer ushers who will be monitoring the auditorium during the performance.

Me: “Do you have a concern about your students? Because we would be glad to—”

Teacher: “No, they won’t cause problems!”

She huffs loudly and walks off with the volunteer usher.

Me: “What was that?!

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This Happens From Showtime To Time

, , , , | Right | January 12, 2021

I work at a historic theater owned by my college. Like almost all historic theaters, it was built in the vaudeville age and then converted to a movie theater in the 1950s. It went out of business, closed, and was then purchased by a local college. Since then, it has been used for a variety of live events, but it has not shown movies to the public in over fifty years.

Our website says verbatim that the theater is a live show venue that hosts “operas, plays, musicals, ballets, and concerts.” Nowhere on the website or in any of our advertising material are movies mentioned.

My boss walks in one day to an angry voicemail from a man demanding to know our movie showtimes because they are “not listed anywhere on our site.”

I still wonder if he was old and remembered seeing movies at the theater in his youth, or if he was just plain ignorant.

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