This Choice Doesn’t Sit Well With Him

, , , , | Right | July 12, 2018

(I am selling tickets at a movie theater. Our location has reserved seating, and a customer has to choose a seat before the system will allow us to authorize a sale. I am the only one selling tickets at the moment, but between my register and the ticket kiosk machines, I manage to keep a line of no more than three customer groups at a time.)

Man: *older, and generally kindly* “All right! Front of the line! Let’s see, let’s see… Oh, right! My wife and I wanted to see [Movie] at [time]!”

Me: “Of course! That’s two for [Movie] at [time]. And where would you like to sit? You can see our seating chart here.” *I indicate the screen that’s just popped up* “Seats in white are available. Blue is taken. The back of the theater is here, and the screen is here.”

Man: “Oh, my. I’ve never had to choose my seats like this before!”

Me: “Yes, it’s a system not many theaters have. But I do need to know where you’d like to sit.”

Man: “Usually I just walk in, and decide from looking at things.”

Me: “Yes, I hear that a lot. We can always sell you tickets for where you’d like to sit, and you can head into the theater and check them. Then, if they’re not acceptable, I’d be happy to switch them out for you, right away.”

Man: “Yes… but how do I pick the seats I want?” *still smiling, still friendly*

Me: “Well, do you prefer to sit closer to the screen, or further back?”

Man: “Oh, I don’t know. I usually like to walk in, and see the layout first.”

Me: “I usually sit around here, in the middle. There’s a bar you can put your feet up on, and no seats in front of you here.”

Man: “Yes, yes… but what if I don’t like those seats?”

Me: *starting to get a bit worn* “I’d be happy to swap them out for different seats for you, then.”

Man: “Of course! Of course you would. But how to choose which seats I’d like… I usually walk in before deciding where I’ll sit.”

(This goes back and forth for almost ten minutes. A considerable line has formed behind him, and I’ve had to radio for assistance selling tickets, but no one has showed up yet.)

Me: “Sir, I have to tell the computer something to sell you a ticket. I’m just going to give you these seats, here—”

Man: “No, no, what if I don’t like them?”

Me: “Then we can switch them out for other seats.” *I gesture at the line behind him* “If you’d like some more time to think it over, would you mind if I took care of the line behind you?”

Man: *he turns, and regards the line that’s formed, before turning back to me, still all smiles, completely calm* “That’s okay. I’ll just pick my seats now. Now. Where would I like to sit? I usually pick my seats after I’m in the theater, you know.”

(I ended up having to work with him for about twenty minutes. Thankfully, a coworker eventually made it over to help with the line. He was so odd. He refused to pick a seat, but wasn’t belligerent or angry at any point in the transaction, and he never seemed like he was being passive-aggressive, or pranking me. His wife eventually joined us, and she picked their seats. She had been waiting for him by the ticket-taker. At least they still made their movie?)

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