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Friday, August 24, 2007

We Have a Serious Problem Here.

ShowHype: hype it up!
This one's for you Karen. I love it when people come up to me and this is the first thing they say. I realize that going to the movies, a pleasant experience is expected. Trust me, people who work at the movies know this. So when something goes wrong, you as a guest definitely has a right to complain. We will do our best to make sure your problem is solved.

So let's set the scene. It's roughly 8pm. We've switched back to fall hours, so it's getting close to closing time. I'm at the customer service counter when an older woman approaches me and says "We have a serious problem here." Now, I took this literally and thought something was really wrong.

What did she say though?

"You're playing Underdog where you're supposed to be playing Hairspray."

"OH CRAP" I thought. But wait, let me check her ticket! Sure enough, what had happened was she went into the wrong theatre. It was my first suspicion since we change posters on Thursday to prepare for our Friday openings. (We use posters at the auditorium entrance, as well as a mylar on top of the auditorium to indicate which movie is currently playing.) We did change them a bit early since we were not busy, making sure to tell every guest twice where they REALLY needed to go. Once when they bought their ticket, and again when their tickets were torn. Of course it's not always obvious to check your ticket, so.....

I could tell she was pretty upset about this though, so I offered her a refund. I was even going to say that she could go in and watch the remainder of Hairspray or whatever movie she wanted. But I got cut off first. "This is infuriating" she fumed at me. I understand its frustrating, but I'm trying to help her out here. Turns out she went to the theatre she was told to go to, saw a different poster, and went to go find the right poster, and thus, the right theatre to go into. She didn't check her ticket or ask anyone. OK, I can still understand where she would be mad though.

At this point, there's nothing I can do. I had already given her her money back for the inconvenience, and gave her a tip to look at her ticket or ask if she was unsure, and we would be glad to direct her in the right direction. Of course, this is not good enough. She wants to escalate it. She wants to talk to my boss. I try to convince her that it's not his fault, and that we do this every Thursday, but she has none of that. She continues to yell at me instead. It's really frustrating when you try to be nice and you get screamed at. I just had to take it. My staff is staring over at me, watching me take this. Not the most pleasant experience. They've often asked me how I can continue to take the verbal abuse some people like to dish. The answer is, its not easy.

Now, her husband or boyfriend or whatever, was extremely nice. I find that often one half of the group will be nice to you. Usually because they're embarrassed. Another group who had the same thing happen and had come out with this lady actually admitted it was their fault and that they had been told where to go, but assumed that we were wrong. They got their money back as well and went on their merry way. Like I said, we try, but sometimes no matter what you do, you're gonna end up with the jerk who decides they need to scream at you. Yes I understand you're angry, but if you scream at me, it's not going to help.

Can't we all just get along?

16 Comments Posted!:

The Bimbo said...

oh man tough job. it was that's lady's fault...

It's All Good...Gossip! said...

My husband's grandmother believes that young people enjoy taking advantage of "the old people" (as she said) and do it every chance they get.

So when something goes wrong (even the smallest little thing) she thinks someone is out to get her... Poor Gram... Hopefully that won't be me when I'm old and gray. LOL

Sorry about your crazy night!

whatagem said...

Joen05, you work at a movie theater, right? What sort of Simpsons stuff do y'all have? (has it been claimed yet?)

Paper Fan Club said...

I think the lady could've cut you some slack... considering it was really her fault. Sheesh!

We saw Mr. Bean yesterday. In a word, don't.

Skittle said...

I deal with this a lot in my job also, but since I am the manager I often get the worst of it! You did all you could & some people are just generally unhappy people.

Last night I went to Applebees, my pasta was like rubber. I showed my server & asked for another serving. The second serving was no better. I explained to my server that I understood this wasn't his fault, asked if he could just remove it from my ticket and bring out the most delightful Triple Chocolate Meltdown, which I had every intention of paying for. The pasta was removed from my ticket, I was happy & no one yelled...And that ladies & gentlemen is how to handle a less than perfect problem!

Jenn said...

i really want to see my brother in action one day. comeonnnnn. angry guests? people with PH.Ds? bring itttt. :)

p.s: how's that poster of superbad coming along?

Prin said...

Aww, it definitely isn't any fun getting yelled at and no matter how hard you try, it still gets through sometimes. :(

(hugs)

MandyPoo said...

Old people are the worst when they complain because they really, really want you to understand just how terrible whatever they are going through is...and it doesn't matter how much you agree with them. They'll continue to tell you about it! And that is why I'm glad I don't work in retail (although I get my fair share as a Paralegal)...

joen05 said...

It looks like you guys have had your fair share of experiences..Skittle I like the way you handled it! That's the way to do it. Trust me, you get a lot more being nice than not.

joen05 said...

@Whatagem I'll check what we have tomorrow, though I may use it for a contest, I'll let you know!

whatagem said...

Customer service? Our theater don't have no customer service!! btw, my husband is the screamer; I'm the nice one. And yes, I AM embarassed. I used to work retail. I've been screamed at before. Problem is, I like to scream back. (Joen---the Silver Surfer display is going for $300 on eBay. We discussed stealing it when we saw FF4 but it didn't fit in my purse like a soda and candy! HA HA!)

Daszzle said...

I'd be pretty upset if I walked into Underdog expecting Hairspray too. I mean really Underdog has got nothing on that glorious musical ;) J/K sorry you got bitched at.

joen05 said...

I get that she's upset but she almost got a free movie AND her money back for another time! Have a bit of patience and you'll get a lot more, lol.

Kay said...

Ack, that's awful. I'm sorry that happened! You were so nice about it -- I don't understand what more you could have done. What was she expecting, a foot massage and a free shopping spree?

MandyPoo said...

Kay - I'm not so sure I want a foot massage from the guy working at my local movie theater...lol!

joen05 said...

Hey I could give great massages! Butter is a good moisturizer. Just kidding, you're probably right about that one Mandypoo!