My first job was working at a movie theater and while I didn't always look forward to going into work, it taught me a lot about the workforce and made me believe that everyone should have a customer service job at least once in their life. Sometimes, customers and managers will say things that you just do not want to hear. Here are ten things that will make any past or present movie theater employee cringe.
1. "Did you know that, per ounce, movie theater popcorn is more expensive than caviar?"
Yes. I do know. At least one person tells me every weekend, but I'll still fake a laugh and nod empathetically. I wish the popcorn was cheaper as well, but theaters only make about ten cents per movie ticket, so profit has to come from somewhere.
2. "I could buy this candy at the store for a dollar."
Possibly worse than the previous statement. I know you could, but you're choosing to buy it here!
3. "Did you give me a senior ticket?"
"No, sorry ma'am, but I'd be happy to exchange it for you." Employees aren't allowed to assume someone's age and give them a senior ticket because they would be offended if they weren't of senior age. So, even though I will repeat your order back to you emphasizing the "adult ticket" part, I can't give you the discounted rate unless you specifically ask. Please say you'd like a senior ticket before I process the order if you qualify.
4. "Could I please have an unsalted popcorn? Small?"
I understand if there's a health issue at play and I'm more than happy to make you a special batch. But, please, maybe order a larger size? And maybe not be impatient and rude when it takes five minutes to wait for an open popper to start a fresh batch?
5. "I can't hear you."
At my theater, the microphones in the box office never worked and there was nothing worse than spending an eight-hour shift trying to scream through the glass at customers. All theaters should put new microphones as number one on their list of renovations!
6. "Who wants to do bathroom checks?"
Time to look busy. I don't know what it is, but movie theater bathrooms are always disgusting. No matter how many times we clean them a shift, they always have trash on the floor, water on the counters, and smell terrible.
7. "Two tickets."
That's a great start. But which movie? What time? Adult, child, senior, or military? IMAX or regular? Please, especially if there's a long line, know which movie you're seeing before you get to the front. The only thing that is worse is asking for a "large".
8. "I have to stay the whole time?"
Yes, if you want your twelve-year-old son to see an R-rated movie, he can. However, you have to be in the theater with him the entire time. It's against the law for me to sell tickets to just him and his friends, even if you give permission.
9. "Moana just finished. Could you go clean it?"
Trust me, I love children. But cleaning a theater after a children's movie is the absolute worst. Especially in the summer when we show free morning movies. Popcorn trays are everywhere. Spilled soda drips down the stairs. Skittles are under every seat. It's a disaster and a challenge you do not want to face alone.
10. "You, too"
Honestly, this one just makes me laugh and actually brightens my day. At least four times a day, someone would respond with this after I'd tell them to enjoy the movie. I'm not seeing a movie, but thanks for the thoughtfulness!