Their Mess Is Your Problem

, , , | Right | November 13, 2018

(I work at a large and fairly popular movie theater in my area, mostly in the middle of the week and the entire weekend. This particular weekend is the opening of the popular children’s movie “Storks,” and large crowds of parents and their children come to see it. Naturally, this means that the auditoriums showing the film are disaster areas. It’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m working as the lead usher, where I make sure that my team is quickly and properly cleaning the theaters and that trash is being taken care of. We’re cleaning up our largest theater, which holds nearly 500 people at full capacity. There’s popcorn, candy, and trash everywhere, and every trash can is overflowing. I’m forced to call a manager to assist us with cleaning. A large group of people waiting for the next showing has gathered outside, and they are impatient.)

Manager: *over his radio* “Could we get an extra set of hands in this theater? We’re not going to get this done in time.”

Supervisor: *over her radio* “Yeah, I’m on my way now.”

(As my supervisor steps through the doors to the theater, I can hear the guests whining and complaining outside.)

Me: “Don’t we have a hold-out line for this theater? I hate listening to these people.”

Supervisor: “We were supposed to, but no one told the greeter, so he didn’t direct them towards it.”

Me: “Great.”

(We frantically try to finish cleaning the theater. At this point, we’re not as thorough about it as we usually are; we just need to get it done. I finish cleaning my area and head to the trash cans so I can change them. Unfortunately, the guests standing by the doors can see me through the windows. One of them, a middle-aged gentleman, steps into the theater.)

Guest: *yelling* “Are you guys done yet?”

Me: “We’re still trying to finish up in here. I’m so sorry about the wait, sir, but it’s very messy and we’re going as fast as we can.”

Guest: *walking further into the theater and still yelling* “Can’t you go any faster?”

(Before I can respond, my manager walks towards us, looking extremely frustrated.)

Manager: “Sir, if you could please go back outside and wait, we are almost finished in here.”

(The man grumbles and steps back outside, and my manager helps me change out the trash. I start to get a little nervous watching the people outside get more and more frustrated, but we finish after that and begin walking out of the theater. As we step out, the crowd starts clapping and walking into the theater before my ushers, the manager, the supervisor, and I have exited. I frown at everyone as they walk by and listen to them grumble.)

Guest: “They always take so long to clean the theater; it’s so annoying.”

Guest’s Friend: “I know; I wish they would go faster.”

(My ushers and I wait for everybody to enter the theater before moving on to the next one.)

Me: “God, did you see how they clapped for us? That was so frustrating.”

Usher: “It was so messy in there; it was ridiculous.”

Me: “I know. You’d think people would keep it clean so we don’t take so long and make everyone angry.”

(An hour and a half later, we returned to the theater to find it just as messy as it was earlier. People never learn.)

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