This Interaction Is Longer Than The Movie

, , , , | Right | June 24, 2018

(I’m working concession one day. Our theater is in a large plaza with other businesses. I live in a fairly well-known college town, so I often help guests who are foreign and have come to the US for schooling. I’m approached one day by a timid young man who speaks in broken English.)

Customer: “I… uh… Chinese buffet that used to be in the plaza?”

Me: “Oh, they closed about six months back, sorry.”

Customer: “Oh… any… others in area?”

Me: “There is one about two miles down the road. You turn out of the left side of the parking lot, and it’s pretty much a straight shot down the road.”

Customer: *friendly* “Okay, okay! Thanks!”

(He leaves. About ten minutes later, he wanders back inside and walks right up to me.)

Customer: “Too cold to walk!”

Me: “I’m sorry.”

Customer: “When does the bus come?”

Me: “Oh, I think there’s one like every half-hour. You can catch it at the stop a few stores down.”

Customer: “I must wait a half-hour?”

Me: “Yeah, you’ll probably have to.”

Customer: *slightly annoyed* “Okay, thanks.”

(He again leaves. About 20 minutes later, he walks back in, and walks right up to me.)

Customer: “You didn’t say I have to pay for bus!”

Me: “I’m… sorry?”

Customer: “Where again is buffet? I walk.”

(I explain again, and he leaves… about 45 minutes later, you guessed it! He returns.)

Customer: “Too cold to walk!”

Me: *annoyed by this point* “Look, sir, I’m sorry, but I don’t know what else to say.”

Customer: “You sell food, right?”

Me: “Yes, this is a movie theater, so we do offer concessions. Would you like something?”

Customer: “Chicken?”

Me: “We have chicken tenders, yes. Would you like some?”

Customer: “Okay.”

Me: “Would you like a drink with that?”

Customer: “Okay, coke.”

(I set his tenders to cook, and fetch him his coke.)

Me: “That will be $12.”

Customer: “No, shouldn’t be that much.”

Me: “Sir, this is a movie theater. Our concessions are expensive.”

Customer: *angry* “Fine! Fine!”

(He pays without protest. I hand him his drink.)

Customer: “Straws?”

Me: “They will be at the condiment counter in the corner.”

Customer: *shouting* “Oh. Pay a lot; I should get straw from you!”

(He wanders over to get his straw. In the meantime, his chicken finishes, so I hand it to him as he returns with his straw.)

Customer: “Very good! Knife and fork?”

Me: “Sir, this is a movie theater. Our foods are meant to be finger foods. We don’t have knives and forks.”

Customer: “This is very bad place! I don’t understand this place! Napkins?”

Me: *about to scream* “They’re back at the condiment counter, right next to the straws, sir. You were just in front of them.”

Customer: *annoyed* “This is very strange service for restaurant! I don’t agree! No knives? No forks? I must get my own napkin! This is very strange service! You‘re a bad man!”

Me: *annoyed* “Sir, this is not a restaurant! This is a movie theater! You’ve been coming in for over an hour now. You’ll need to leave if you keep coming up to me and delaying me from helping other guests without even buying a ticket.”

Customer: “Strange service!”

(I watched him sit for nearly an hour, slowly eating his chicken, before he finally left. I saw him about an hour later when my shift ended, still walking around nonsensically at the plaza, and he was still there when I got on my bus 15 minutes later.)

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