You Can’t Mask A Regular Scammer

, , , , | Right | October 13, 2020

This is the first day my theater has opened up after being closed for nearly six months due to the health crisis. We only have five people show up for one of our showings, one being a known problem customer.

Every time he comes, he finds something to complain about. Normally, it’s either that the theater is too cold or the movie is too loud. And while these are both valid complaints, the way he goes about filing them is the problem. Normally, he sits in the theater for about an hour before the movie starts, and then right as it starts, he gets out his phone to call the theater, disrupting all the other guests because he’s too lazy to get up and tell an employee. Also, whenever he does complain directly to employees, he’s incredibly abusive, even going as far as calling a black manager racist against white people for not letting him use his phone during a movie and calling a bartender a b**** because she wouldn’t change the channel on the TV in the lobby.

His behavior has gotten so ridiculous, he’s actually banned from our sister theater in the next town over. But, before the health crisis, our general manager decided that this behavior is okay and will even give him free movie passes when he makes his ridiculous phone complaints because of the “inconvenience.” When we reopen, three-quarters of our managers, including our general manager, decide not to return. This means the general manager from our sister theater is now our general manager, as well, and two other managers come from that theater to help us out. 

The day we reopen, the problem customer is the first person in the theater. As he is walking to the concession stand, he stops, turns away from me so I can’t see what he’s going, and starts messing with his mask. We are requiring masks in the lobby at all times and in the theaters when guests aren’t eating or drinking. At first, I think he’s just readjusting it, but when he turns back to me he says: 

Customer: “Oh, sorry, I couldn’t breathe.”

I realize he pulled his mask down, took a few breaths, and put it back on before turning back to me. I don’t say anything because I really don’t want to be yelled at today and I know my old general manager would’ve gotten mad at me for making him mad. I’m not used to my new general manager’s managing style.

The customer purchases his food and heads to his theater, and we don’t hear from him until the end of the movie. My coworker and I are heading to clean the theater he just exited when he stops us in the lobby. 

Customer: “The people in the theater with me weren’t wearing their masks! They were eating popcorn!”

Me: “Um, si, [Theater Company] is allowing guests to take their masks off while they are eating or drinking inside of the theaters.”

Customer: “But they were eating through the entire movie! They didn’t have their masks on at all! You didn’t enforce the mask rule with them!”

Me: “Well, unfortunately, because they were eating, there’s nothing I can do. They are allowed to have their mask off to eat.”

Customer: “Look! They even have their masks off now! You’re not doing anything about it!”

The guest he’s referring to have already left the building and are out in the parking lot, standing by their car. At this point, I know he’s not actually concerned about the rules or the safety of other people; he just wants free passes. 

Me: “Sir, they’re already out of the building. They wore their masks as they walked through the lobby and took them off once they got to their car. There’s nothing I can do about that.”

Customer: “Well, don’t worry. I’ll be calling [Old General Manager] tomorrow.”

He then stormed out of the theater before I had the chance to tell him that she no longer worked for the company. He did call my managers the next day, and they informed him about our change in management. He didn’t get any free passes and was probably incredibly disappointed that he would no longer be able to get away with his little scam.

The funny thing is, I went to the store that he worked at a few days later and he had his nose sticking out of his mask.

Also, I freaking love my new managers.

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