This Kid’s Showing Contains Violence And Strong Language

, , , , , , | Right | April 8, 2019

(I work at a popular movie theater in a mall. This is my first job and throughout eight years, I have made my way up the chain, getting trained in all the different departments, then getting trained as a manager in all the departments. It is my first weekend in charge of a certain department and I am already nervous because I want to do a good job and impress my boss. It is opening weekend for a popular kids’ movie and is now our busiest time of the day. Almost every showtime for this kids’ movie is sold out, so every auditorium is at about maximum capacity. I get a call on my walkie-talkie from an employee about five minutes after we start seating for a sold-out showtime for the kids’ movie.)

Employee: “Hey, Mr. [My Last Name], I have a customer concern in theater nine. Can you please come down here?”

Me: “Sure, I’ll be right there.”

(I arrive in the theater and find the employee and the customer.)

Me: “Hi. How can I help you?”

Customer #1: “Yes, hi. I was one of the first people here, and I and my kids all sat down and took up five seats. I had my husband and one of my sons wait here in the theater while I and my other son and daughter went to the bathroom and to get some snacks. We left our coats on the seats that we were saving and told my husband to make sure no one took them. While we were gone, a man came over with his wife and daughter and took our seats. My husband tried to tell them they were saved, but they threw our coats on the floor and sat down, anyway. I came back in a few seconds later and saw what happened. I asked nicely if the man would move and he refused. I told him I was going to get the manager if he didn’t move and he flipped me off.”

(I know this woman is in the right. Even if their coats hadn’t been on the seats, she is allowed to save them until the movie starts, which is still in previews. I have her lead me up to where she was sitting and where her husband is still waiting, and I address the family that took the seats.)

Me: “Hi there. My name’s [My Name], and I’m the manager here. I was informed you took this family’s seats. I’m going to have to ask you to—“

Customer #2: “I’m not going anywhere. That b**** is lying. We were here first, and I’m not moving just because she doesn’t want to sit front row!”

(I’m looking around at other customers who are making gestures, like shaking their heads and doing the “get him out” gesture, which informs me that this man is obviously lying. Plus, huge hole in his story: the other family’s coats are still on the ground by this man and his family’s feet.)

Me: “But sir, are these your family’s coats or—“

Customer #2: “Look, man. I’m not moving. I don’t care what that b**** told you. I was here first. Goodbye.”

(I can see that he isn’t going to budge. I grab the coats, make my way out of the middle of the aisle, and tell the husband to join me as it looks like he might try to fight this guy if I leave them both alone. I take them outside the entrance of the theater.)

Me: “Look. If you guys want him to move, I will make him move. I know you’re telling the truth. Or I can refund your tickets, let you in free to see the next show time in 45 minutes, and refill your popcorn and drinks at that time so they’re fresh for you.”

Customer #1’s Husband: “We got here early so that we could sit in our favorite seats, and this guy has the nerve to take them! If we go to the next show, he’ll just pull this crap with someone else next time he comes to the show. I say kick him out.”

(Every weekend, Friday and Saturday night, we have a police officer stationed near the lobby of the theater. This is done in case of emergencies, and we have needed to utilize the officer on a couple of occasions. I go get him and lead him to the theater. I have him wait outside the theater and tell him I am going to calmly ask the customer to leave and hope that he won’t cause a scene. I go back up to the customer.)

Me: “Hello, sir, I apologize, but I’m going to have to escort you outside the theater. I know the other group was here first and you took their seats. I can refund your tickets and concessions.”

Customer #2: “I already told you I’m not leaving. I’ve given this theater a lot of money over the years.”

Me: “And we appreciate that, sir. If you’re willing to work with me, I can see if there’s another place in the theater where we can seat you.”

Customer #2: “Where? There’s nowhere left to sit.”

(I take a quick look around the theater.)

Me: “There are three seats together in the front row.”

Customer #2: “I’m not sitting in the front row.”

Me: “Well, the only other option is for you to split up. I can seat two of you in those two empty seats about halfway down. There’s another seat directly behind those where I can seat the third person.”

Customer #2: “F*** that! For the last time, I. AM. NOT. MOVING. You can’t make me, so just save your breath and go.”

Me: “Sir, I’ve tried to reason with you, but you’ve left me no other choice. If you do not leave right now, I’m going to get security.”

Customer #2: “I f****** dare you to bring them in here. If you do—“

Me: “Okay. Be right back.”

(I go grab the cop and bring him into the theater and point out the customer to him. The customer sees the cop and goes into a fit of rage, screaming and swearing at the top his lungs. Mind you, this is a KIDS’ MOVIE and the theater is SOLD OUT. All these parents and kids are having to listen to this guy.)

Customer #1: *pops us behind me* “Okay, this is ridiculous. We can just get our money back and leave. I don’t want him to cause more of a scene.”

Me: “No, ma’am. I promised you I would get those seats for you, and I will. He does not deserve to watch this movie, not after what he did. Please just give us another minute and you will be sitting down watching the movie when it starts.”

(The cop tried to escort the customer out of the theater but the customer threw his popcorn bucket at the cop and ran, leaving his wife and daughter behind. The customer and cop ran past me. The wife and daughter followed soon after. I got the original five customers situated back in their seats and told them I would be waiting outside the theater after the movie to give them some free passes to make up for all the headache. I then went out to the lobby and saw the cop, along with three mall security guards, on top of the customer holding him down. The customer was screaming that he didn’t do anything wrong. I found out that he’d actually punched the cop in the jaw. His wife was at the box office getting their tickets refunded while his little daughter was sitting on the ground crying. He left the theater in handcuffs. I found out that he was booked into jail that night. A few months later, he sent an apology letter to us. And to top it all off, this story was in the newspaper the next day. Fun training weekend for me! My boss was very happy with how I handled the situation.)

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