When you go to the box office to buy your tickets there’s a sign hanging up above the movie times that says “No Outside Food Permitted in the Auditoriums”. And then when you walk through the doors, at eye level on the doors, in big writing it reads, “No Outside Food Permitted”. And then when you get to door where we rip your tickets, on the podium it says, “No Outside Food Permitted in the Theatre”. Yet it’s still a surprise.
Now what I don’t understand is how people think outside food is allowed, even without the signs? I’ve always known..I’m pretty sure since the day I was born 22 years ago that you can’t bring outside food and drink into Broadway theatres, sports stadiums, amusement parks and movie theatres. I thought this was common knowledge, known by all. I was wrong.
“You can’t deny me food that’s illegal!” “Where does it say that I can’t bring in food!” “What’s the big deal? I’ll throw it out when I’m done!” All of these and many more comments (usually with profanities) have been heard by my staff and I over and over and over again.
The other day this chick was trying to bring a Coldstone ice cream in. “It’s just a little ice cream!!!!” She shrieked at a tone only dogs can understand. Meanwhile it’s like a triple decker scooped extravaganza chilling on a cone; there was practically a ferris wheel at the top it was so big and intricate. She made sure to let me know what a bitch I was before walking away to finish her ice cream outside the doors.
But my personal favorite memory of outside food enforcement happened a few months ago. This guy was trying to not just walk in with some outside food. He had an opened, half eaten cheeseburger in one hand, a large coke in the other and was carrying a large fries in his mouth. Now I’m not gonna make problems for myself when not necessary. If you’re hiding the food, I ain’t searching bags or going out of my way to look for food. I don’t work on commission, therefore I don’t really care if concession makes that extra 4 bucks on candy or boneless wings (yes, we actually sell “boneless wings”)… But you’re literally flaunting it in my face and the faces of all the other customers and employees working, basically with a big neon sign over your head screaming that you’re gonna ignore everyone and bring in food.
“Sorry sir you can’t bring outside food in the theatre.” I say it nice, with my nice voice and with a nice, sympathizing smile that lets him know, I’m sorry, but there’s really nothing I can do about it.
“No. I’m bringing this food in.” And then he tries to go around me. I have to step in front of him and explain, once again, that as written on the 9,000 signs he passed to get to this point, there’s no outside food permitted in the theatres.
“You don’t want to do this. Trust me, you don’t want to do this.” Now maybe I was reading into his words and his tone a little much, but what I got from this was a big of a threat. “Why don’t I want to do this?” I wanted to ask but of course we can’t engage the douches of the world.
Once again I apologize…just doing my job…we don’t allow anyone to bring in outside food etc etc etc.
“If you make a problem for me, I’ll make a problem for you. Believe that. I will make a big problem for you.” And then he puffed his chest out and took a step closer with fire in his eyes.
LOL now what does one say to this? I’m basically getting physically threatened by a 40-something year old man (oh yes did I mention he was 40 years old..and although they weren’t with him at that exact moment, he also has 3 young boys with him that call him dad)…all because he can’t bring in his extra deluxe extra bacon quadruple stacked burger, larger than life coke and jumbo fries into a movie theatre where outside food hasn’t been allowed in since Jesus was a young boy.
I went on my walkie and decided that this was a job for my lovely General Manager. “[GM’s name..censored for anonymity purposes] I need your help because I have a douch I’m about to hit in the face.” I say it a bit loudly so I have to repeat it so it’s audible over a walkie talkie. The GM comes and basically states the same exact thing I just said.
“Listen jackass…this one right here (he points at me and puts his finger 2 inches from my nose) already has a problem with me she’s gonna regret. Do you want a problem for yourself too? I don’t want to give you a problem, but I will give you a problem if you give me a problem.” Yes to re-cap..this is a 40 year old something man with 3 kids.
My GM backs me up and explains the policy again. Because my GM is an older male and not a young girl (whose gorgeous and charismatic I might add :P) the jagoff…I mean customer…is a little bit more responsible. He rips the fries out of his mouth, spilling half the container on our floor. Of course he doesn’t pick these up. He slams the fries and burger into the garbage with force and drops the soda on the floor, right next to the garbage can and storms in cursing loudly as he walks by.
Of course if I ran the theatre I would eject him and ban him and his evil spawn for life from the establishment. But because of this reason, and many many many more..to much to count..I will never be offered a General Manager position at this theatre or any customer service job. We’d end up having about 16 customers left and a homicide rate in the town much higher than even the most dangerous of cities has ever seen.
I need someone overlooking what I’m doing, and someone to answer directly to in-house. The day I don’t have that…God help us all.