I think I need a new job

Let me tell you about a week last Saturday. I was in work (as usual for a Saturday afternoon. Life’s hard when you’re a cinema-monkey…) and was meant to be running the bar for the day. As I waited to pick up my float, the trouble began. A guy with hearing aids in both ears approached the box-office and started telling one of the guys something. Problem was, he couldn’t talk very well; he had that sort of loosely-formed honking way of talking that some lifelong deaf people have. Obviously this made some people rather reluctant to deal with him (and I ashamed to say even I took an “I’m not working on the box today, it’s nothing to do with me,” attitude). So the concessions manager was duly called. The last thing I heard about this was that they deaf guy was watching Phantom of the Opera and someone was coughing in there so (obviously) he couldn’t hear.

A while later, the guy is sitting on the bench in the foyer and beckons me over. I asked him what was up. It took me a while to tune in to the way he spoke, but I eventually gathered that he had had the problem in the screen and then he started telling me how he had lost his ticket on the floor in the auditorium. I asked him if the manager had sorted the problem and the deaf guy replied that the manager didn’t understand him.

“Are you satisfied that I understand you?” I asked. He replied in the affirmative so I called the concessions manager over again and related what had been told to me. Brian, the concessions manager, then offered to let the guy in to the next showing and told me to make sure he gets through.


In between that and the next start, the guy keeps telling me, one of the supervisors and any of the (unfortunately few) people who could be bothered to listen that he had lost his ticket. “It’s fine,” we kept trying to explain. “You don’t need the ticket.” But still it went on. It got to the point where I started trying to avoid him (although in the politest possible way – try it; it’s bloody difficult). Then 1.45 rolled around and I went over to offer to take him back upstairs to see the next film.


“I don’t want to see the film. Fuck the film,” he said. “I’ve lost my ticket.”


Ah, I began to think. Was he after a refund all along? So I called Brian and explained the situation. Brian offered the guy a complimentary pass. “I don’t want it,” came the reply. “I’ve lost my ticket.”


“This is a ticket,” said Brian.


Finally, the guy said, “I want my money back.”


So we gave him the refund and sent him on his way. The thing is, I wasn’t about to give him his money back straight off because he never said that, and I wasn’t going to patronise him by giving him things he hadn’t asked for. If he’d have just said in the first place, rather than going on about his bloody ticket, this whole mess could have been avoided and he’d have been less stressed by the end of it. I know he was disabled, but I find it hard to have any sympathy for him, simply because the agro from that afternoon was entirely in his hands.

Call me callus, if you like, but imagine if he’d been dealing with one of the many staff who don’t have my reserves of patience…


~ by Scary Rob on 21 December, 2004.

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