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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Final Sale But Not The Final Word

, , , | Right | January 1, 2021

I’m working as a volunteer at a summer stock theater this summer. We don’t have high-quality, Broadway-level performances, but we’re far from community theater.

Some people are paid staff, but most of us are volunteers — students looking to boost college applications, like me, or retirees looking to keep busy.

Occasionally, the management will have sales to boost attendance at performances that, for whatever reason, aren’t selling well — just after a long weekend or a big event in the area, for example.

I show up for my time answering phone calls. Yesterday, we had a big sale offering tickets for 50% off.

First caller of the day:

Me: “Good morning, my name is [My Name] at [Theater]. How may I assist you?”

Caller: “I need to cancel my tickets.”

All sales are final. Sometimes we can exchange tickets for a different day under specific circumstances. The recent sale was final, no exceptions.

Me: “Do you have your confirmation number?”

Caller: *Loud sigh* “I have to get that.”

Me: “Okay. I’ll wait.”

The computer automatically searches by caller’s number for any active orders, so I’m already looking at her order. I want to verify to be certain. The numbers match.

Me: “I’m sorry, but those tickets were bought with yesterday’s 50% offer—”

Caller: *Interrupts* “Yes, I know.”

Me: “That offer is final sale. No returns. No exceptions.”

Caller: “But I don’t want them. The website didn’t say anything about them being final sale! You are holding my money hostage!”

The website reminds buyers four times that it’s a final sale offer, including a screen you have to agree to to move forward.

Me: “I’m sorry. But the website and all emails said final sale. Sometimes management might let people move to another day. I could go ask…”

My manager is sitting next to me shaking her head no.

Caller: “Just give me my money! I don’t want any tickets! It was such a good price, but this morning my neighbor said the lead actress is very whiny. I don’t want to see that!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, but the tickets are final sale.”

Caller: “This is terrible customer service! I can’t believe they pay you to be so rude!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m a volunteer.”

Caller: “I can’t believe you won’t give me my money back! This is larceny! I’m going to the police!” *Hangs up*

I wrote an incident report and attached it to the order file.

Later that day, her husband came in and tried to return the tickets. She had told him that we said we could only give money back in person. He was very embarrassed and upset (at her), when my manager explained what had happened on the phone and showed him the multiple places it said “Final Sale” on the website. He left… with the tickets.

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Catching A Winer In The Act

, , , | Right | October 13, 2020

I work in a theater where guests get a free drink with their entrance ticket. If there is a break in the play, people can get their free drink then, which means we have to get a couple of hundred guests their drink within a short period of time.

Up comes this guy who immediately has a rude tone. 

Guest: “What kind of red wines do you have?”

Me: “We actually have this one really good w—”

Guest: “Just one? What is this place?”

The group he is with already has this look that says, “Here he goes again.”

Me: “We’re just a small theatre, but I can assure you that the wine is really good! If you’d like anything else we also have—”

Guest: “Just give me the red wine, quick. I bet it’s not even that good.”

I proceed to give him his wine and help the rest of his group, who are being really kind. 

The break usually takes about twenty minutes, and toward the end, this guy comes back with a sour — pun intended — look on his face. The rest of his group are behind him, wanting to get back to their seats. He puts the empty glass on my bar. 

Guest: “I knew this wine was going to be bad. It tasted like cork and even had cork in it!”

Me: “Sorry to hear that, but are you sure, sir?”

Guest: “Excuse me?! I know my wines and this had cork in it!”

Me: “Well, that’s odd—” *grabs the bottle* “—because our bottles have a screw cap.”

The look on his face was priceless as he stormed off, whilst his friends were laughing it up! Everything lined up perfectly, and after work, my colleagues and I had a good laugh about it.

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