Working at a movie theatre does have it’s advantages. It’s relatively easy work with the benefit of seeing movies at the cinema free of charge. However, at my cinema, I put up with so much shit, the free movies can sometimes seem like small compensation!! (Note: this is a rant based on my own experiences- I am not saying it is like this at every cinema)
Boys usher, girls serve at candy bar and ticket box. My workplace claimed it is because the ushering work involves heavy lifting of standees and various boxes, but I don’t buy it. God forbid a girl works on the floor! God forbid a boy sells popcorn! In the four years I have worked there, my ushering shifts can be counted on one hand- and I was only used as a last resort when someone was sick. It sucks because I love ushering- less dealing with annoying people and more watching previews and parts of movies. Plus you have an excuse to get away from the boss, should they be in a crap mood.
2. The uniforms
The cinema I work at is at lease 70 years old; a heritage building with old fashioned furnishings and decor. So naturally, my uniform involves a shirt, a vest, a long brown skirt and a silk scarf. This vintage statement is not so bad in winter, but try scooping choctops in a hot non-air conditioned room in that get-up in the middle of summer! Patrons may comment on how lovely and cool cinemas are- allow me to inform you that they only air-condition the public areas. Staff areas on the other hand? Fat chance.
Not only do we have to scoop trays of these little suckers, we have to dip them and bag them and sell them at crazy prices. The room we make them in is stifling, and the process is mind numbingly boring. Also my right bicep is now way bigger than my left thanks to scooping the too-hard icecream from metal tubs for hours on end. Sexy.
I don’t make the prices… I’m just a working pleb. And yet people insist on whining to me about them at every opportunity. I am always trying to find the cheapest options for customers, but some of them just don’t get it- want a large coke but regular popcorn? It’s actually CHEAPER to get the large popcorn with the large coke, as it then becomes a combo. So I will suggest it, but will often get “no, that’s okay” as a response. Hello? You are getting less product at a greater expense!! WHY WOULD YOU CHOOSE THAT???
When I first started this gig, I hated vouchers because there are so many different types; it’s really hard to remember all the different deals and how to put them through the till. Now, I love vouchers- I really WANT people to get the best deal they can (and therefore whine less about movie prices). However, the thing with vouchers is that you have to make sure you read the terms and conditions. For example, many cinemas won’t accept ‘complementary’ ticket vouchers after a certain time on a Saturday night- the film industry’s busiest night. Try explaining that to a customer who comes in at 7pm on a Saturday night with one of these vouchers. They act as if you just ran over their dog or something. It’s not my fault you didn’t read the terms and conditions; can you please stop being a dick?
There are lots of them, particularly in the situation I described above. I am often directed to ‘fetch the manager’. Dude, they are going to tell you the exact same thing I just did, and then we are going to roll our eyes at each other when you leave. Is that what you want?
This is a problem everywhere – managers can be complete dicks sometimes. Most of the managers I work with are lovely, but there’s a couple that make every minute of your shift with them feel like hours. One lady I work for in particular is awful, but only to a select few (myself included). She’s sweet as pie to everyone else, which makes it way worse. WHAT DID I EVER DO TO YOU, LADY?
I am perfectly happy to answer your questions, but when that requires me to tell you every single movie that’s playing, a detailed synopsis of each, and all the session times, my patience wears thin. Particularly when you ask me to repeat myself more than once. You looked up the phone number for the cinema didn’t you? I’m sure you have the capacity to find that information yourself.
Customers who order tickets or food while on their mobiles can fuck off. Customers who interrupt me, or even ignore me when I say hello, can fuck off. Customers who leave rubbish all over the place can fuck off. Customers who wait in line for ages but haven’t decided what to order when they get to the counter, can fuck off. Customers who complain about the prices/service/cinema rudely and right in front of me, can fuck off. People who ignore wet floor signs can fuck off. Parents who don’t control their kids can fuck off. Basically, any jerks can fuck off.
Oh hey, the films only been going for 20 minutes, let’s disturb all the people who were on time so you can sit in that one seat you like. Oh you want to buy something too, even though we are closing for the night? Sure, let me turn on the soda machine again just for you. Just walk on over that wet floor I just mopped, to get to the till I was just closing, thanks!