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Hah! I Told You So, Didn’t I?

September 15, 2010

PLINKY PROMPT: Describe a “Hah! I told you so” moment you had recently.

Keep in mind, this kind of thing happens at my job about once every day.

I work in a movie theater, and people are always leaving their jackets and umbrellas and sunglasses around. We always take things and dutifully put them in the lost and found. A couple of days ago we had a couple of sold out shows and it was crazy.

I walk into the concession area to find a woman SCREAMING at all of my co-workers. They all immediately told her to talk to me (I’m a supervisor – and often deal with the complaints). She insisted that she left her jacket in theater 6 and she’s been waiting for 20 minutes for somebody to look for it. (This wasn’t true since her movie had gotten out only 10 minutes ago and I observed my co-workers interrupting their tasks to help her).

She was the kind of woman who was IMMEDIATELY turned off the moment I tried to calmly help her. Some people are just like that. I couldn’t get 5 words out before she whipped around on her heels and started yelling at somebody else. I spoke to her sternly at this point and got her to focus on me so my co-workers could get back to their tasks.

“Ma’am, I don’t see your jacket in the theater or in our lost and found, so unfortunately there’s nothing else we can do for you at this point.”

“BUT IT’S YOUR JOB TO HELP ME. THAT GUY WHO CLEANED THE THEATER STOOOOLLLLLLE MY JACKET! IT’S A $100 JACKET!!!”

I take a deep breath.

“Ma’am, I understand that you’re frustrated about losing your jacket, but the theater is not responsible for lost or stolen items. I assure you that if your jacket had been in the theater when it was cleaned, it would be in the lost and found right now.”

The woman continues to scream. At this point every customer in the area has gotten quiet to watch the scene unfold. Then, quietly – so that the screaming woman doesn’t even notice at first – another woman meekly approaches with a cheap looking zip-up hoodie in her hand.

“Ma’am… is this yours?…”

The screaming bitch SNATCHES it from her. “….um.. YES!”

“You… left it in the bathroom…”

No response. The woman looks at me. I drill a burning gaze deep into her eyes. She says nothing.

“Thank you very much for your patience… Ma’am.” I quip.

The woman scurries away without a word, and a couple of random customers congratulate me on handling her so well.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 16, 2010 11:19 am

    Hah! I love it!

    Reminds me of one particular customer I had, out of the thousands of people I served as a waitress during my first few years in NYC. A woman came in for lunch with her perhaps 18 year old daughter. This woman was determined to have a bad time and to make it my fault. She refused dishes for reasons she should have expressed up front such as “no butter”. The coffee (straight out of the coffee pot) was “cold.” The table was too small. Her water should have no ice. On and on. Her poor daughter became increasingly mortified. I just kept my cool and politely did everything the woman demanded. I knew she would stiff me and made up my mind to not care.

    When it came time to pay, I picked up her signed charge slip off the table and saw that, yep, a $1.00 tip just to let me know she did not forget to tip altogether or was not a European tourist who did not know about tipping here. The daughter tried to put some cash on the table for me and the mother yelled “don’t do that” and picked up the cash. The poor daughter by this point was literally hiding her face in her hands.

    I touched the daughter’s shoulder and said to her, pointedly acting like the mother wasn’t there, “Don’t worry, I don’t identify you with your mother’s behavior. Take the cash back from her and save it so you can move out of the house sooner.”

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