8 Lessons I Learned From Being Movie Theater Employee

8 Lessons I Learned From Being Movie Theater Employee

Because we want you to have a good experience, but so do we.
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Working at the movie theater is harder work than most people would realize. Depending on the type of job you do, it starts a minimum wage with some room for improvement. We work for five to nine hours each day and we are there (like most jobs) with small times to sit. As a theater employee, there are some rules or lessons its seems some moviegoers overlook whenever they come.

Here are some ways to help make the movie theater a better place:

1. Have respect.

As employees, we try our hardest to keep the utmost respect for our customers. Sometimes we encounter customers who do not show us the same courtesy as we show them. We do realize that you are the main reason we have our jobs, but sometimes it feels like we don not exist. A simple "hello" when we rip your tickets or "thank you" when we hold the door would make us feel like we do our job better.

2. Be patient.

We realize you have places to be and people to see. We also know sometimes we cannot rush what we're doing. Whenever you buy your tickets, half of the job relies on a computer that may or may not work promptly. At concessions, a machine could be malfunctioning, and everyone is using one slushie machine for hundreds of people. Humans will be humans. We all make mistakes every once in a while; they might just be in front of a customer.

3. Please know what you want when you get in line.

We see hundreds, maybe close to a thousand people every day depending on the day of the week and the theater. With this being said, it becomes harder to serve everyone in a suitable manner when we have to wait five minutes to get your correct concessions order or purchase the right tickets. Not only is it easier on us as an employee, but it also helps fellow customers get to where they need to be on time too.

4. If you have an opinion about what we're promoting, please do not throw it in our faces.

As a company, places like AMC and Cinemark send the required setup for the theaters, and we build and set out what they give us. We do not get to choose what we put on display. I repeat, we do not get to choose what we put on display. We would love to hear what you have to say about your day or how your movie was, but please do not tell us what we're promoting is wrong.

5. We cannot change the company policies.

Many times, people will go up to an employee and ask why we can or cannot do something. When we tell them it's company policy, most of them seem to huffy and mad. As a minimum wage (or maybe a little more) paid employee, we are not allowed to traipse around the theater and follow or change rules as we see fit. We follow a set of guidelines just like any other place of business. If you have a problem with how we run it, our managers are always happy to speak to you and see if changes can be made.

6. If you are under 17, please don't try to sneak into the movie theater.

As an employee, we hate having to I.D. everyone just as much as you hate being I.D.'ed. If you are under 17, we will catch you. Where I work, on opening night we can have as many as four checkpoints to look at your I.D. We look when you buy your ticket, when we rip your ticket at the front podium, when you go to side podium to make sure you're on the right side of the theater, and then we have one more person standing in front of the theater for the beginning of the showing. Again, we will catch you if we see you sneak in.

7. We don't make the prices.

When you come to the movie theater, please don't outrightly complain about how much your movie costs to us. As employees, we do not set the prices for how much your movie will cost, if fact, no one in our theater does. Our company gives us the price we have to sell our tickets at and we sell them. It is also the same with concessions. We have no power over how much you spend at the movies.

8. When you leave the theater, take your trash!

I know your mothers raised you better than that. We understand when you accidentally spill your popcorn or drink as you sit down. I'll be the first person to admit I am the clumsiest person in my family when we go to the movies. What we do not get is the people who purposely leave their trash on the floor because the "maid service" comes behind you to pick it up. Especially the people who bring outside food. Please don't leave your Chick-Fil-A bag on the floor after the movie is over because it's one more thing to carry. Ushers need to be cherished because you should see what theaters look like after opening day of a kids movie. I believe it closely resembles this:

The only difference is this is one of the 20 to 30 rows in each theater, and they all look the same.

Even though some days are tough, I do love my job. I've made some friends and have a job to come back to during breaks and vacations. Also, I'm pretty sure free movies and half-off concessions were never negative things.

Cover Image Credit: USA Fire Arm Training

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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The Last Day Of Winter Break Feels Nothing Like The Last Day Of Summer Break

The last day of winter break is as heartbreaking as the last day of summer break, but they bring about two different types of sadness that are difficult to decipher but easy to feel.

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Compared to summer break, winter break was extremely productive.

This is still a relative comparison, meaning I was also unproductive during winter break. Just... not as unproductive. Whatever sleep I had completely lost during the last few weeks of first semester I was able to make up over break. In fact, I couldn't recall the last time I had slept so much until I realized that summer break existed.

And as the days have gone by and winter break has come to a close, I've realized that the sadness that comes with the end of winter break is much different than the blues that come with the end of summer.

Within literature, we are often taught that summer represents rebirth while winter represents death, and while I understand the interpretation to a great extent, both summer and winter can represent both birth and death. In a less philosophical statement, for me, what sets the two apart from one another are the memories that make up each, whether these are clear-cut, classic examples or reasons why each season stands out.

The last day of summer means jumping headfirst into a pool full of books and deadlines. It means giving up combating humid weather for staying inside, reading and writing as the weather transitions from warmth to freezing cold. The weight of sadness on that last morning before school begins can almost be considered dull. Yes, it tugs with that everlasting reminder that nothing lasts forever, but it's not sobering.

SEE ALSO: What The Last Day Of Summer Break Feels Like

You're stuck in a haze of brushing your teeth, double-checking your backpack to make sure you still have everything you need, and then going back to watch TV. It hits you that school is starting, but it doesn't wake you up from the cycle you've instilled in your brain in the past two months. Which is why the next morning, when you wake up at 7 a.m. (and the sky is still dark outside), you're confused at how you got there. How your last two months sped by in a flash.

And when you think back to that last day of summer break a few months later, you remember absolutely nothing. It's as if the day is meant to be forgotten.

Could this state of being forgotten parallel with the fear of being forgotten after death? Maybe summer is widely considered a time of rebirth, but do you not feel more in despair at the end of summer than excited at the thought of having had time to rebuild yourself?

Fast forward from August (or September) to December, and semester one is finally over. Midterms are thrown in the back of one's mind as every single study session is out of memory, no longer necessary to remember now that break has begun.

Winter break for me (and even the midterms season right before it) is my favorite time of the year. It's cold outside, coffee shops become hot spots for study groups and everyone seems happier. Plus, the holiday season is well underway, so the holiday spirit is still hanging in the air.

Which is what seems to make that one week of studying, stressing and test-taking so memorable. I spend entire nights cramming for midterms but walk in the next morning seeing everyone holding bags with presents in them or holiday cards to give to their friends. There's this feeling of contentment hanging around that makes the late nights worth it. It's a wonderland disguised as a week of pain, which is one of the most fascinating things to me.

So once midterms are finished, all that's left for the year is break. The first time in four to five months that school is truly out. The memories of winter break are always so fresh in my mind because by this time, everyone's minds are racing with activity — ideas and plans for meeting up with friends and packing for vacations, among other things.

But once New Year's Day is over, the happiness vanishes. It's sobering.

You're slapped with the realization that whatever dream you've been in for the past two weeks is over, and it's time to prepare for second semester. The morning you wake up and realize it's the last day of winter break, your heart sinks. You can't watch anything on TV that day because you're thinking about the next day and the entire semester that comes with it.

You can't really think about much besides school starting again because you're not ready to jump back into the pool of books and deadlines. With the new year, you've told yourself you'll be a new and better person, but now that you're confronted with an opportunity to improve yourself, you're not willing to change.

The rebirth that you're forced to undergo as part of the end of winter break is the one thing that prepares you for the new semester. The sinking of your heart in your chest is only a side reminder that it's time to get back to work.

And as you compare the end of your summer break to the end of your winter break, you realize there's not much to take from the end of summer besides the cartoons playing on TV those final mornings. But the end of winter break? You remember everything that has somehow prepared you to dive back into the deep end of the now-frozen pool.

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