As a teenager working customer service, you expect things to be rough. Greedy patrons, impatient guests, disrespectful customers, it’s all there. I barely made enough to care most days, but thank god for that moral compass and introverted side of me that veers from confrontation.
As an usher, I saw the complete and utter disasters people would leave in their wake after a show. I know the general school of thought tends to be “Just leave a mess, they’ll get it. It’s what they get paid for.”
While this is technically true, we had so much more than just that one mess to get. Not to mention that when everyone follows that mindset, the mess becomes a monstrosity. Food for thought for the next time you go out. Take pity on the poor staff.
Bigger premieres such as Marvel movies or anything Star Wars would be sold-out and pack quite the punch, not to mention striking fear in the hearts of the staff scheduled. But show after show, the usher crew would gang up on the emptying theater and take on the filth row by row.
• Pro tip 1: If you see the theater is still being cleaned, kindly walk out and wait. If you insist on coming in for your seat and it hasn’t been cleaned yet, you lose all rights to complain about the mess.
• Pro tip 2: Try to keep your drink and food in the container it came in. I completely get that accidents happen and jumpscares can get you good. But remember: popcorn is not a projectile.
• Pro tip 3: Don’t be afraid to leave a little change behind. At least with my theater, we could keep any money we found as long as it was under a certain amount. If it was over, we turned it into management in case anyone came to claim it. The time I found 75 cents on an armrest was a high I’m still trying to feel again.
A “keep the change” on seven bucks for a six dollar and 99 cent amount really adds up after three or four or ten times, too.
Maybe it’s because I was raised to think that you should clean up after yourself because that’s just what a decent human does, but since that job, I am so conscious of what I leave behind. I hope y’all are learning from, and hopefully enjoying, these tales from your friendly neighborhood formerly overworked and underpaid theater worker. See you next week!