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Word up, homies.

DISCLAIMER: If you came here expecting to find me badmouthing managers or coworkers, you're out of luck. There's none of that going on here. I LIKE my managers and coworkers, a whole fucking lot. Also, if you're looking to rat my complaining to the company (yes, some people are that psycho), you'll also find no complaints about them either. It's just customers. So there.


If you're looking for my personal journal, you've taken a wrong turn.
Click Here: pumpkin_queen16 and you've found the long-winded ramblings of the Pumpkin Lady. That journal has been around 2+ years.

This one, however is new.

Welcome to boxofficeblues.

[x] Eighteen-year-old female.
[x] Movie theatre employee for over a year now.
[x] Deserves a lot more money for the bullshit she puts up with.
[x] Created this journal to vent.
[x] Feel free to friend, read, comment & share!
[x] PUBLIC. A big deal when your personal journal has been "friends only" for two years.

Being old does not make you god.

I'm starting to get a little fed up with the elderly.

I don't mean the little old men and women who come to the movies, so excited to be out and about, polite as can be, who tip you a quarter because you're friendly.
They go in the category of "nice old people who put a smile on my face".

Sadly, this does not reflect the vast majority of the elderly I encounter on a daily basis at the movie theatre.

I'll never forget the woman who came up when we raised our prices to $5.95, many months ago. The price HAD been $5.75. A 20-cent jump after more than a year really isn't that big of a deal. But anyway, the woman comes up, starts bitching about the price, and then goes on a tangent of how the senior's coffee is no longer free at Burger King - they have to pay 50 cents. I was like, "Hmm, k, yeah, enjoy your movie," when this woman actually says:

"I shouldn't have to pay this much for coffee or a movie just to keep you kids employed."

My jaw just dropped.
Wait, so - my minimum wage job is the reason you have to pay for coffee?
Hey dearie, know that nice pension you're getting?

I actually get shaky from the feeling of rage everytime I think about that woman.

Since that price hike, the senior's price has gone up to $6.50.
A woman comes in tonight, hands me $5.75 (after I have said, "That'll be $6.50, please").
I repeat myself (ever-so-fake friendly and polite), "I'm sorry, I need another 75 cents please."
And she looks at me and goes, "Nice try, it's $5.75."
And I was like, "No, the price went up to $6.50 back in May, actually."
And she says, "I was here last weekend, it was $5.75."
But I had to keep my cool, "No, I can assure you it has been up at $6.50 since May, when the big movies like Pirates of the Carribbean came out."
She bitched for about 10 effing minutes (despite me having a massive line) about how seniors didn't have jobs, and how prices should never, ever go up for them and (and of course, this is what made me want to punch her saggy old face) how this would never happen if minimum wage hadn't gone up.

Excuse me, you old hag, but this would never happen if film distribution costs weren't so astronomically high! If actors didn't want millions of dollars per film, maybe you could see your movie for 5 bucks. It has nothing to do with the 16 and 17 year old kids trying to scrape enough cash to pay their cell phone bills.

Imagine what they'd say if we suddenly abolished the senior category, and they had to pay the full $10.50 that adults do.

Fuck them.
We get some EXTREMELY weird customers, let me tell you. So, here's the story of one I encountered yesterday.

So it's a Sunday afternoon, everything is pretty dead and I'm having a great shift (ushering). A coworker and I were in the hallway, discussing something, possibly the music in the credits of a movie. Suddenly, this little boy of about 11 approaches us. What follows left everyone involved extremely confused.

M = Me
CLB = Creepy Little Boy
IN = My coworker.

CLB: Hey, you know what?
M&IN: .. ?
CLB: You needa tell your guy, the guy selling food, you needa tell him not to fill pop so much, my pop was filled too much and it came out the top, and you needa tell your guy not to fill it so much 'cause when I was walking it got in my popcon and it ruined my popcorn and I already had seasoning on my popcorn and everything.
M&IN: ....
CLB: So yeah the guy, tell the guy he can't fill it up that much, the pop got on my popcorn, tell the guy not to fill it so much.
IN: Well, hey, you got another popcorn.
CLB: Yeah and I'll never eat this much it's so big but tell the guy to fill it up not so much like tell him maybe to only fill it up halfway right.
M: ... *still unable to speak*
IN: But then people would complain about it not being filled enough, right?
CLB: You need to tell the guy.

By this point, IN & myself just turned away, flabbergasted. When we looked back, the kid was trucking down the hall to his movie.

IN: ... What just happened here? Was that kid speaking German?
M: I honestly don't know how to react..

K, so, the kid was hyper as hell, speaking in a really fast, really weird voice, was not stopping to indicate sentences, and was making little-to-no sense. So, we figured he had mental problems. Whatev, that's fine.

But then we realize he isn't with a parent. Very not cool.

So, IN and I go about our business.
A little while later, IN comes up to me with the following story:

"I went into #9 to do my check, when THE KID comes up to me, asking me what movie Stone Cold was in. At first, I thought there was a movie called Stone Cold, so I told him we didn't have it. So, he was all, 'No, he's IN A MOVIE, and it IS HERE.' So he dragged me out of the theatre and pointed at the Live Free or Die Hard poster. He said 'Look, Stone Cold!' And I was like, 'No, that's not Stone Cold.' And he was all, 'YEAH it is! But people keep telling me it's some guy named Bruce' and I was like, 'Yeah, that would be Bruce Willis, not Stone Cold.' And then he said, 'Well are there any kids movies playing right now and I mean right now are there any kids movies playing right now?' And he just kept saying right now! And he eventually ended up in Evan Almighty."

We laughed a bit about that, and told a few of our coworkers about the kid. S, another coworker of ours had been working box office, and had this story to tell.

"THE KID came up to me and kept asking about a movie with Stone Cold, and all I could think of was The Condemned, which was here months ago. So I told him we didn't have a movie with Stone Cold. Then THE KID pointed to the Live Free or Die Hard standee and said, 'THAT MOVIE! THE ONE WITH STONE COLD!' And I explained that it was Bruce Willis, not Steve Austin, but he wouldn't listen, so I just sold him a ticket to that."

We thought we'd heard the last of the kid, when IN once again found me and told me the following:

"I was doing my check on #6 (Evan Almighty) and THE KID was sitting all by himself down front, and as I came in he actually yelled to me from across the theatre and was like, 'SIR, DO YOU NEED TO SEE MY TICKET!?' And I was like, 'No, it's okay.' But he insisted, and came over and shoved the ticket in my face... He's fucked."

IN suggested I do a check and see for myself, but I wasn't doing it.

Anyone ever see Smokin' Aces? Well, you know that absolutely ridiculous kid who lives with his grandmother and seems to think he's a ninja? He totally reminded me of that kid...

We're all pretty sure his parents just give him money and drop him off at the theatre, expecting us to babysit so they don't have to deal with him.
What they don't tell you when you're getting trained on box office is you're also becoming the theatre secretary. You have to become adept at waiting on hundreds of people while answering the phone. Sometimes, it's too busy and you just have to let it ring. But eventually, the sound of that phone drives you INSANE, especially when it will NOT STOP RINGING. So, you wait for a customer who's using debit, and answer it then.

Sometimes, the person on the other end will be asking to speak to a manager. Usually, this isn't much of a problem. When this person is calling around 9 PM, when a) you have a huge line-up in front of you at box and b) the managers are all in various theatres supervising the ushers as they clean - it becomes a huge problem. I'm sorry, I can't find them, may I take a message?

Now, aside from having to run around trying to find people, you also have to be psychic.
K, let's say in the run of a 10-hour box shift, I'll answer the phone 40 times (if it's a busy phone day). 80% of the conversations will play out a little like this:

M = me.
C = caller.

M: Studio 10, *myname* speaking.
C: Hello, yes, I was wondering if Transformers was sold out.
M: No, it hasn't sold out yet.
C: Will it?
M: I actually don't have any way of knowing. It's been very popular since it's opened, but that doesn't guarentee it will sell out.
C: Well, what time would be a good time to get tickets?
M: I'd suggest getting them as early as possible, seeing as it has been so popular.
C: So, like, quarter after 6?
M: Getiing tickets at quarter after 6 for a showing at 6:30 isn't advisable, seeing as we've sold 100 tickets already...

And so on. I'm sorry, but I have no fucking clue as to whether or not a movie is going to sell out. Last night, the 7:30 and 9:50 shows sold out, whereas the 6:30 didn't. How busy a movie is depends on many things, from how new it is to the reviews it's received to the weather. I can't give you a 100% yes or no as to whether it will sell out! And when I say "Get your ticket early," I fucking mean EARLY, not 15 minutes before, jackass. Before I worked for the theatre, I used to buy tickets for big movies a week or more in advance. And I'd show up to said movies an hour+ before.

And I always had amazing seats.

Also, apparently there are hundreds of people out there who don't have any sort of internet access. Another chunk of daily calls go a little something like this:

M: Studio 10, *myname* speaking.
C: Yes I was wondering what times you have *random movie, let's say... Harry Potter* playing.
M(this is just an example): 12:45, 3:00, 6:30, 8:30, and 10:00.
C: Okay, hang on, I need to write these down.
M: *repeats*
C: Okay, thanks.
M: Yes, and if you forget, all of our showtimes can be found on our website, EmpireTheatres.com.

This reaches it's absolute peak in terrible during toonie matinees.
But toonie matinees deserve an entry all their own...

Next most frequent call:

M: Studio 10, you know the drill.
C: Hey, are we getting *some movie*?
M (wanting to viciously beat my head off the counter): I'm sorry, but I don't know if we're getting that movie. We don't know what movies we're getting untill the Tuesday before.
C: Could a manager tell me?
M: I'm sorry, but we don't know what movies we're getting untill the Tuesday before.
C: So when is a good time to call back?
M(resisting the urge to hang up): We find out what movies we're getting the Tuesday before. So that would be a good time.

It's bad enough when people I know ask me what movies we're getting. But complete strangers... ugh.

Another call:

M: Please kill me now, OMG, JK! STUDIO 10, *MYNAME* SPEAKING!
C: I have a question.
M: Go for it.
C: Why is it that.. *some random complaint, for arguments sake, let's say someone was talking in their movie*?
M: I'm sorry, but had you brought that to the attention of someone, an usher or manager, they could have taken care of the problem.
M: You can get a refund if you come out of your movie within half an hour of it starting.
M(thinking, and you didn't tell anyone why?): I'm sorry, but even in an extreme case, you can only get a refund on the same day.
C: @#3236#@#!!*&&&! MANAGER!
M (very brightly, because it's out of my hands): Just one moment please : )

Only to have the managers explain what I just did. Kthxbye.

Random phone calls -

"I lost a wallet, is it around?"
"I'D LIKE TO BOOK A BIRTHDAY PARTY" *insert the Imperial March from StarWards here*
"What time is *movie* getting out?"
"IS THIS A MANAGER? NO? WELL, YES, GET ME ONE! I ASKED FOR ONE, DIDN'T I?" *I'm always very happy not to have to deal with these people long*
"What does "no passes" mean?" *I swear to god, we get 50 of these a day*

Oh, and something I've been fielding a LOT recently -

M: Welcome to the happiest place on earth that isn't Disneyland.
C: Yes, I was wondering how long *movie* will be here.
M: I'm sorry, we have absolutey no way of knowing that, it depends on how it does, how many people go, etc.
C: Well, I was thinking about taking *goes into some long-winded story about visiting relatives some date 2+ weeks from now* and I wanted to know if *movie* will still be here.
M: I'm sorry, but unless a movie is extremely popular, we really have no way of knowing how long it will be here.
C: Really.
M: Really really.

Peace out for now, kiddies.

Movie Cash

Movie Cash is pretty much the bane of my entire existance when working box office.

They say RIGHT ON THEM that they are good for ONE ADMISSION ONLY. And that's all they're good for. So I get lots of the following:

Me: That's $8.25 please.
Customer:*hands cheque*
Me: Here you go, enjoy your movie *hands ticket*.
Customer: That was $15, where's my change?
Me: It says here that it is $15 TOWARDS one movie admission.
Customer: Then why isn't it $8.25?
Me(getting EXTREMELY frustrated, since this is the 80 millionth time it's happened): Some theatres in Canada have an adult admission price of $15. This ensures that the cheque can be used anywhere in Canada.
Customer: But since it's cheap here, shouldn't I get change?
Me (and I only started saying this when I stopped being terrified of being fired): The cereal (or wherever they got the cheque) companies aren't just HANDING you $15, if that was the plan they'd put a five and a ten in the box.


Random Stories I Had on Facebook

Some random frustrations:

1. Yes, you MUST put $10 on a gift card, I'm sorry.
No, it won't swipe otherwise.
Yes, I am aware a child's admission is only $5.95, they can use the $4.05 balance to purchase concessions or towards another admission.
You'd like to speak to a manager? Sure thing, bub.

.. and the managers tell them the same thing.

2. I hate customers that are like ohhh well everytime I come here...

Like one night I was working concessions (shocker, I know haha) and these women ordered KidsPacks and were like, can we have the bar instead of the gummies? And I was like.. Unless you have a gelatin allergy, then no. And they were like, Well people switch it for us all the time. And I was like, "really now, I never sell food and even I know you're not allowed to do that. You must keep going to new people." And they kept arguing and FINALLY I was like, Look, would you like me to ask a manager? And they shut up really quick.

I HATE when they try to compare a previous visit so you do something you're not supposed to!

3. Don't you love when customers rag on you, you explain something to them, they demand to see a manager, and the manager tells them exactly what you did!

It makes my day.
Last weekend:

C= crappy customer
M= Me
MG = manager

C: It said in the paper there was an 8:30 show of Pirates!
M: I'm sorry, you must have read yesterday's paper. Our times change each weekend.
M: I'm sorry, but 7:45 was the last showing.
C: Why the hell would you have false advertising like that in the paper!?!?!
M: If TODAY'S paper said that Pirates was playing at 8:30, I'll bring it to the attention of a manager and it will be fixed.
M: (first time I've ever successfully kep my cool while dealing with an asshole, I think I'm getting immune) * to myself * no need to swear, asshole. *out loud* I'll get you a manager, just give me a moment please.
M: *knocks on door, explains wtf is going on*
They'll just be a second.
M: *thinking, and Friday isn't the weekend since when?* Yes, our week runs Friday to Thursday, and the times change each Friday.
MG: Is there a problem sir?
C: *flies off the handle, reiterating all he's just screamed at me*
MG: Well, we have today's paper right here and as you can see, our ad clearly states there are new times. In fact, our showtimes change every Friday, because our week runs Friday to Thursday.


More soon, these were just hanging around Facebook.