Now Showing – Thoughts from a movie theater employee

February 24, 2014 Leave a comment

I work part time (in addition to my full time weekday job) at a small 8 screen movie theater in a mall. I mostly work in box office selling tickets. To maintain confidentiality, I cannot disclose any further specifics.
Here are some things I wish people knew and did when they come to the movies:
• Don’t verbally abuse the staff. Sadly, this is increasingly becoming a serious issue!! We are trying to work as efficiently as we can – under constraints you might not be aware of and often with minimal staffing. Yes, we have to give friendly customer service but I don’t believe that gives ANYONE the right to take out their bad mood and frustrations on those behind the counters. Your patience is always appreciated. The rank and file staff does not set pricing or policies in general. If you feel you have a legitimate complaint, you can always speak to a manager. Treat others the way you would wish to be treated if the situation were reversed. That one rule goes a long way to create a pleasant experience for everyone.
• Do a little prior research and have some idea of the movie you want to see as well as the correct show time you want tickets for before you approach the ticket counter. Yes, we can help you with suggestions and tell you what we have playing and when. However, when there is a long line it can really hold others up while you talk with the box office and are trying to decide.
• Don’t block access or cut in front of a ticket or concessions line. That isn’t fair to the other guests who have been waiting and is frankly, rude. This we have learned since Kindergarten.
• If you are looking up a theater and movie times via internet, please double check your search results for accuracy before making the trip to the theater. Sometimes people arrive expecting a movie or show time that simply isn’t at our specific venue. We hate to see customers disappointed this way!
• While you are waiting in line, please take the time to get out rewards cards, coupons, passes, etc. Have your form of payment ready. Small bills and/or exact change (when paying in cash) are greatly appreciated. Please make your cashier aware of any special considerations you have BEFORE they put through the transaction. That will speed everyone through a little faster and prevent delays.
• Please keep your little ones under your control, safe and secure at all times. We love your kids, but we are not a day care.
• Please be personally responsible and pick up after yourself a little when your movie is over (i.e. – throw out your own trash whenever possible). Make sure you aren’t about to leave any personal items behind. Ushers have very little time between shows to pick up the theaters and restrooms. You would not believe the horrible mess people leave behind often making it hard for us to give you a clean, comfortable movie going experience.
• Please give yourself plenty of time to get to the theater, park, and purchase your tickets as well as concessions. It will almost always take a little longer than you think, especially on opening weekend of a popular movie. You can usually count on about 10-15 minutes of ads and trailers prior to the feature starting. If coming with a very large group we always appreciate a call to give us a heads up so we can be ready to accommodate the crowd. I always suggest arriving 15 minutes PRIOR to show time so you can get your popcorn, don’t miss anything and can easily find a comfortable seat.
• The theater I work at is in a mall but that does not mean I am an expert on the mall or the stores. Please contact MALL guest services or MALL security for assistance.
• Don’t get offended if asked to show ID for R-rated movies. The theater chain I work for requires we card anyone who “looks” younger than 25 for R rated and has even been known to send “test” young people in to see if we are complying with that policy. We can actually be terminated on the spot if we don’t check and sell a ticket to someone who is too young. Also, it is an effort to make sure the appropriate audience member will be comfortable with the mature content of those types of films.
• Please make every effort NOT to be on your cell or other device when getting tickets and concessions. We actually need your attention to confirm your order and make sure everything is correct. It goes without saying but please silence your phone/device during the movie! Again – COURTESY for others.
• If you simply want to find out what movies are playing & when, most theater chains have established 800hotlines or an app dedicated to giving you that information. Please try those before calling the main theater number.
• If money is tight, the cheapest rates are usually matinees during the weekdays (M-TH) or the earliest show times on the weekend. Peak evening hours will almost always be more expensive. Keep in mind, 3D versions will cost you a bit more as well.
• I suggest if you have a theater chain reward card, always have the physical card with you. Yes, we should be able to look you up in the system, but at times that doesn’t work and can be time consuming. If you aren’t a rewards card member yet, please consider the benefits and sign up! They really are designed to give you the most bang for your buck and to thank you for your loyalty. Get everything you deserve.
• If you are given one, please take a few minutes and complete the Customer Satisfaction Survey (usually done online) about your movie going experience. It really is important to us and appreciated. We can only improve from the problems we hear about. We also love compliments and any suggestions. I can guarantee – corporate and management DO pay very close attention to these. They DO listen and care.

Come On 2014 – I think I’m ready for you!

December 30, 2013 Leave a comment

Here are my 2014 Goals and Resolutions (for lack of a better term): 

Daily Prayer need: wisdom and clarity of mind/heart.   As far as my personal responsibility in them, the majority of my problems/struggles in life stem from bad emotionally based decision making.   So this prayer is imperative.

Uninterrupted, undistracted devotional time every AM.  No compromise. This includes Bible reading/study, prayer and praise and worship music.

To make my coffee at home and take it in to work in a travel mug instead of spending more $ for it someplace.  Also buy everything in advance at the grocery store (soda, water, snacks, lunch for work, etc.) instead of fast food places or convenience stores – or God forgive me, vending machines.  In fact, the ONLY thing I can buy at a gas station – is gas for my car for all of 2014.  No fast food eating out for the entire year.   These are by far my personal biggest money and time wasters.  Admit this will be an adjustment for me at first and take discipline, budgeting better and time management. 

To find a better job that pays enough for me to live out on my own again and NOT have to work a 2nd part time job.  I am too old and exhausted for “roomies” and multiple jobs, frankly.  Target date May 31 when my initial lease with roommate(s) expires.   No later than a year (next Dec) for sure.

Dress much better and professionally for my current 9-5 job (not to mention if/when I get a better one) I am allowed to be very casual at my present work and have gotten lazy about this.   Remember to dress for the job I WANT not the one I have.   Along that line, build a real wardrobe.   Plan:  to put together one really quality outfit (for $100 or less including bag, shoes and any other accessories) every month.   Usually via EBay and/or 2nd hand stores.   Side benefit: it will help me feel better about myself and hopefully garner a little more respect from others.    Sadly many people DO judge you (harshly!) on outward appearance. 

To track every single penny I spend, create a real working budget and stick to it like superglue so I can spend it on things that really matter.

To plan & save for a small getaway NEXT holiday season.  I don’t have family to spend it with and every year I find myself sorely wishing I had done this.  Goal for next Christmas thru New Year:  current idea: Vegas for a few days, the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon (Never seen it!).  (I don’t gamble – just to see the sights and maybe a show or two in sin city).   Not undoable or terribly extravagant traveling from Colorado. 

Also NEXT Christmas: Do a 1 page “newsletter” and/or cards; do the tree, lights, decorations and music.  Do real Christmas shopping for people.   I didn’t really do much of anything this year for the Holiday due to a move and financial distress.  Need to rekindle the joy of the season for myself.

To go through every single thing I own.  Purge (sell or donate) what is not absolutely necessary, not being used and/or not really loved.  Index and organize what remains – a place for everything and everything in its place.   Same for anything and everything new I buy and bring in.

Get my car fully detailed by end of January and work to keep it maintained and clean all year!

Keep my living and work spaces immaculate:  tidy, picked up, disinfected, deodorized and 100% clean

As much as I hate it, take the bus to and from work daily to save maintenance and gas on vehicle.  I can get a free bus pass from work anyway.

Walk every day and a drink 20 oz. (min) of pure water daily.  Can put flavoring in water if necessary to build the habit.   So many of my physical issues are stemming from not doing this – especially mild dehydration.   Never been big on lots of water, so keeping it realistic – but my body is telling me it needs it.

Limit personal email and phone message checking to 2x day:  9 am and 3 pm.    Twitter and any other social networks only once a day (after I get home from work, while dinner is cooking) – then done.   This is aside from true emergencies or something honestly vital is happening that I have to monitor.   It can wait!  I need downtime away from people, the internet and to unplug.   Other personal internet browsing limited to ½ hour a day in the am before work while having breakfast/coffee – reserved for job hunting primarily.  Outside of that, I can’t think of anything in my personal life that would truly require a more immediate response or presence.  Absolutely NO personal internet at work!! 

NO donuts, chocolates, cookies, pastry (or any other sweet deserts/snacks in general) and NO alcohol in 2014 (yep, not even socially).  Just don’t need them in my life OR body.  They certainly won’t help with clarity of mind and heart.  Empty calories and empty money spent on them too. 

 How about you?  What do you want your life to be in 2014?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All I need is the air that I breathe…

March 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Just read about a Pennsylvania school asking students to cut back on body spray. Apparently another student had a severe allergic reaction.

There are flat out just too many heavily fragranced products being used today. Think about all that we expose ourselves to on a daily basis: Colognes, perfumes, cleaning products, candles and air “fresheners”, laundry detergents and dryer sheets, hair, bath and cosmetic items, etc. Isolated, just one probably wouldn’t be an issue. But we don’t do that. These items are used together – potentially toxic. Especially when you consider many are still primarily petroleum based.

I am chemically sensitive and allergic. While not as severe as this student, perfume and fragrances do indeed cause breathing problems and other health issues for me. Scoff if you will but I ask you to walk a mile in my shoes before ridiculing. Yes, even pleasant fragrance can have a negative effect on me.

These high school kids are probably influenced by the Axe commercial indicating you will be irresistible if you use it. So they bathe themselves in the stuff.

If you simply must use perfume or cologne in public, I implore you to go very light with it. Please take into consideration that others you come in contact with may be sensitive (not to mention may simply not share your taste your chosen fragrance). There is no need to drown yourself in a scent. Cologne or perfume is not a substitute for a proper shower, either. Neither is Febreeze a substitute for cleaning (despite what the ads try to show).

I do strongly feel there should be an injunction against wearing fragrance for someone who is working around food. In particular restaurants, convenience stores and grocery stores. Nothing is less appetizing than having perfume being served with your meal. It is difficult enough to navigate the supermarket (with my sensitivities) carefully avoiding the floral department, personal care aisle and household cleaning areas. Lately I am noticing more store employees doused in fragrance as well.

I just want to breath clean fresh air please.

Everything I Need to Know I Have Learned From Judge Judy

February 4, 2013 Leave a comment

Ok.  So my title is a little tongue n cheeky.

However I have come away with some good common sense basic principals from these tv judge shows.

1 -  Money.  Never ever ever lend or borrow money individually.  I don’t care who it is – bff, significant other,  roomate, relative, coworker.  Just don’t – no matter how much you trust them.  If it can’t be avoided : get something in writing that specifically states it is meant as a loan (not a gift).  Also the time frame in which it is expected to be paid back and the payment amount.   Keep that documentation – forever.   Never cosign a loan for anyone else either!

Also with any personal property (like a computer).   If you let someone else “borrow it” make sure there is documentation what the understanding is.   Likely you are not “giving” it to them – just letting them use it for a while.

2 – Vehicles.  Never ever ever let another individual borrow your car.   Never cosign a loan for another person for a car.  Just don’t.   Always maintain your license, registration and insurance in good standing and have those on you at all times.   You may think nothing will ever happen but it can and likely will.   The sale of a vehicle should always have some sort of written documentation.   Parties need to clear on any warranties (if applicable) and conditional issues.  It goes without saying, but never, ever drive under the influence.

3.  Contracts.  Never rely on a verbal agreement for goods or services.   Always always have some sort of written agreement.  As Judge Milian (People’s Court) has said – if you have to get it on toilet paper and written in crayon (paraphrasing) that is better than a verbal.

4.  Renters and Landlords:  First, know the laws in your area regarding evictions, security deposits, who is responsible for maintenance issues etc.   Always have some sort of written rental agreement, even if it is a very casual situation.   Take date and time stamped pictures of the rental property at move in and move out.   If you get into a dispute re: the security deposit or maintenance issue pictures will be worth 1000 words.   Roomates .   You don’t have to be Sheldon Cooper about it but I don’t think it is a bad idea to have a written “roomate agreement’ so there is an understanding how things will be taken care of and what is expected.  How will rent and other common expenses be split?  How will it  be handled if things go south and someone moves out?    And above all, make sure everyone living in the place gets their name on and signs the lease.

5.  Become OCD about documentation.   Take pictures.  Keep receipts and paperwork.  Keep track of names and dates.   I think that is what so much of this comes down to.    In civil court, the one who has sufficiently documented their side of things almost always gets the ruling in their favor.   These days it is better to have it and never need it, than vice versa.

6.  “Um”, “kind of” – vague responses are not an answer to a judge’s question.  If you don’t remember or don’t know – simply say so honestly.  Don’t waste a judges time.   Tell your story truthfully, factually and concisely.   Be prepared.  Dress appropriately.   Whether it is in an actual small claims situation or you get on one of these shows, don’t make a fool of yourself.

7.    Judge Milian pointed out recently that a sincere apology for something that happened is never followed by “but”.    I thought truer words were never spoken. (paraphrased)

8.   Pets - always keep your pet(s) secure and under your control.   It protects them and you.  No matter how sweet you think your furball is, things can happen.  Or something could happen to them.   You as the pet owner or caretaker are responsible for their safety and behavior.

I am sure there is far more to be said, so feel free to add your own tips!   I haven’t really addressed parents and kids.   I am single and never been a parent.   So don’t feel I should speak about what I don’t know first hand.

Final thought:  If people really practiced the golden rule, a lot of these small disputes could be totally avoided.

Obama’s Inauguration or The Emperor’s New Clothes. The real dream? Cast Aside.

January 22, 2013 Leave a comment
Yeah Right

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

My honest (very strong) feelings about the inauguration:  Not watched any of it on TV.
I keep thinking of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.  Oooh look how great it all is - when there is zero substance there.

And after four years, everyone knows it.  But they are simply pretending it doesn’t matter.

Obama is so full of himself, he will have taken the oath a record 4 times in separate gatherings.   To uphold a constitution
his actions clearly show he doesn’t care one wit about.   He tweeted about himself from church.

Perhaps my most tragic realization about today:  Barack Obama found a way to make this holiday all about Obama.
This takes the focus from honoring a truly great man and his legacy/dream (MLK Jr).

Lest we forget Dr. King  - 

This past week – job hunting experience – bad and good.

January 13, 2013 Leave a comment

I am looking very actively and hard for a different job.

First, the bad experience:

I applied with Alpine Access for a work at home customer service position. Alpine is a legit company that does outsourced customer service for various clients.This is probably the third time over the course of several years that I have tried to get on with them.
Feel like I was just put through the ringer with them and their ridiculous hiring process.
I realize they have to be careful about who they hire. However, I feel they make it as difficult as
possible – unnecessarily so IMO. I do not feel their hiring process really gives well qualified people a chance.  I applied.  Went through several assessments online (mostly touchy feely personality stuff
that has little to do with if you are qualified for the job). Asked to select a time for a phone “interview”   I  scheduled mine for Monday the 7th.
These are not real interviews. It is a group presentation about their requirements and positions.
We got less than an minute to describe our experience and why we would be a good fit.
They required 3 screen shots, which we had to do quickly while waiting for the presentation to begin.
That wasted a lot of time while everyone tried to get those done. So, this first interview lasted approx 1 hr 45 min.
I was put in another “chat room” with other candidates. We were to wait until our name popped up to call in to
to talk to a recruiter. Again, I thought this would be my chance to talk with someone one on one. Well, sort of. First there were nearly 50 people they had to get through. I waited patiently from approx 11:40 to 2:40 pm (yep – 3 hours!) for my name to finally get to top of queue and I called in. Then it was just a minute or so conversation to again schedule another group “interview”.   That session was Wednesday morning. I attended that thinking I would have a chance, being able to proceed. The “host” was quite abrupt and rude with everyone. After not being allowed to say anything or ask any questions, we were each given an assignment. After some mild technical difficulties, I completed my question and answered it (I thought) correctly from the information provided that they directed us to. Then was told I was being moved yet again into another “chat room”. I was not chosen because all that “chat room” told me that if they decided to move forward with me I would be contacted. According to what I read in my candidate profile today at least they decided not to select me. I have not been contacted directly and don’t expect to be. I honestly don’t know what kind of candidate they are looking for. I have 4+ years direct customer service experience. I am responsible, have a good home environment to work from home, solid work history, etc. I meet all their general requirements to apply. This was not my first time applying with them, but never even got this far along in the process before. It will however, be my last dealing with them. Whatever they are looking for, apparently I don’t have. I feel the cards are stacked against candidates and feel their hiring process leaves much to be desired. They say they only hire “the best of the best”. I saw other far less educated, less experienced candidates get hired ASAP by them. Is it because I am an middle age white female? Hmmm… I am officially done with trying to get on with Alpine Access. I am just chalking this time wasting grueling soul killing hiring process up to experience and moving on to potential employers who have an appreciation and respect for their candidates.

I want to make it clear, I am not just upset because I didn’t get hired by Alpine.  If I felt I had been given a shot, I could hold my head up high knowing I had given it my best effort.   The problem for me is that I don’t feel I was even given an real honest opportunity  due to the way everything was handled and their hiring practices.

On the positive front:

I had applied for administrative assistant position at a local medical facility.   Had a phone screening with an HR person.  Then late last week an interview with the office manager and HR person.  I am not going to name specifics so as not to jinx anything.  I felt the interview went very well.  However, I can be a poor judge at that.  The job would be a really good fit for me.  Thank you letters were emailed almost immediately after.   So really hoping I get the offer.  They said I should hear something early next week.    If not, at least they gave me a real chance, and that I was able to give it my best shot, opposed to my experience with Alpine.

Job hunting can be really difficult these days given the economy and other factors.

Update:  Sadly, I did not get the job at the medical facility.  I soldier on.  1/22/2013.

 

White Collar “Honor Among Thieves” Reflux (Season 4, Episode 5)

August 15, 2012 Leave a comment

 

I am having such a major negative reaction to this most recently aired episode.  Forgive me for a bit of rant here.

I enjoyed the first couple seasons of White Collar.  However, Neal’s shtick begins to wear thin after a while. Even those devilishly good looks aren’t enough to redeem him in my eyes.  I told myself when this newest season started, that Neal would have to prove himself to me.  He would have to be loyal to Peter and demonstrate by his actions he had indeed changed.  If I didn’t see that, I would stop tuning in to the show. I thought that was the direction Neal was headed when he helped Peter return to White Collar division.  How disappointed I am in the turn this seems to have taken.  Here we have Neal once again pulling a con and completely betraying Peter’s trust.  Once again, we see Peter pulling strings, having to bail him out to avoid jail. No honor to be found IMO.

Predictable Prediction: Now that Neal has the drive, he will find Sam and in turn, Ellen’s killer.  He will pursue them on his own, placing Neal in an extremely dangerous situation.  Peter will come to Neal’s rescue just in time and save him as he done several times before.

So, I have decided I am done watching White Collar.

Please alert me if Neal ever gets over himself, his daddy issues and his Peter (no pun intended) Pan complex.  Call me immediately if there is ever a Mozzie spin off (which I would die for.) Peter needs to stop enabling Neal!  I know Peter loves Neal like a son and as a partner. He doesn’t want anything bad to happen to him. Understandable.  Peter is such a wonderful stand up guy.  But maybe Peter needs to let Neal face the harsh consequences of his actions for once. Only way Neal will ever mature and change.  Or at least one would hope.

I’ve said my peace and counted to three.

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