Happy New Year's Eve! I will, of course, be working, so ya'll have a glass of champagne for me....
We had over a thousand patrons yesterday and except for not being able to pop corn fast enough to keep up with demand there were no major crises to document, thank heavens! All the projectors kept working, none of the movies broke, and only two of the employees had nervous breakdowns (but they were both pretty unstable to begin with, so that wasn't too surprising).
With Christmas behind us, the customers are mostly pleasant and laid back, and we've had very few unreasonable demands (one was a gentleman who ordered a small popcorn, asked for lots of extra butter, and then came back and said the popcorn was too greasy and he wanted candy instead. Sheesh.) The biggest problem was, once again, irresponsible parents, like the one who didn't seem to care that her four-year-old was wandering the lobby looking for her while she was in the theater watching her movie. Then there were the groups of thirteen-year-olds who kept trying to get into our lone "R" rated feature, including one cadre that argued with the cashier about it for ten minutes before finally buying tickets to another movie. This put all the employees on "sneak-alert." I'm pretty sure none of them got by us. Of course, if they did, one of their parents will call and yell at me for allowing their darling to see an "R" rated film.
What I don't understand is the parents who want to buy their kids tickets to the hack-'em-up while purchasing tickets to the drama for themselves. Is it really so difficult to understand "Under 17 must be accompanied by parent or guardian"? Is our educational system so pathetic that people don't understand the meaning of "accompany"? Or are the parents just so lax about what their kids see on cable that they figure an "R" rating doesn't matter? I've seen stuff in a PG-13 movie that I thought should have earned the movie an "R"!
Well, I get to go play in my hatchback now--one of my brake lights went out on my way home from work at midnight. It's always sumthin'....
Today is 50¢ day and I'm working noon-to-midnight, so I expect to be a basket case by 8pm. That may mean some good stories tomorrow, if I survive...
Did I mention that I didn't get any socks for Christmas? I really wanted some since my dryer seems to be particularly hungry for them lately (and oddly, it never seems to gain weight!) and it's getting to the point where I'm going to have to wear one green one and one blue one if I want both my feet decently covered.
Even if it wasn't winter I can't wear sandals to work--I have too much respect for my little toesies to expose them to the dangers of hot oil or suicidal projector parts. Plus, I think there's probably some law about naked feet in places that serve "food" since there seems to be some law about everything.
Now I have to go see if I can find a navy and a black sock that might be mistaken for a pair--as long as my legs aren't next to each other...
I'm only asking because that's when the kids go back to school and life will be somewhat less stressful. The sad thing is, it's not just the unsupervised children that create problems. The other day there were some grade-school aged girls shoving each other in the lobby, and when one pushed another into the concessions counter hard enough to knock over a trash can I asked them to settle down. A minute later a woman starts yelling at me for speaking to her children! She seemed to think that I should have first asked every adult in the concession line if those were their
brats darlings instead of putting a stop to the roughhousing. I believe I mentioned something about the little angels having no manners or respect for other people's property, but I suspect it went right over her head.
I'll just have to take out my memory of the mother who had her little boys write us an apology for knocking the masking off the bottom of the screen in one of the theaters, even though there was no real damage done, as a reminder that there is still hope for civilization....
And there is hope. One time there was a boy who wanted to buy candy but was twenty-five cents short so I gave him a quarter out of my pocket. A week later he came up to me and repaid the quarter. It took me a minute to realize who he was and why he was giving me money, but occasions like that (even though they are few and far-between) tend to make up for the rudeness, thoughtlessness and vandalism we encounter daily.
Completely off-topic, everyone should read Michael Crichton's latest book, State of Fear. I just hope if he sells the movie rights he retains script approval, otherwise Hollywood is going to twist his message 180°...
I can assure you that our marquee does not say Dollar Movies and Licensed Day Care Center, but that doesn't seem to dissuade parents from dropping off their children and driving away. Today's stellar examples actually purchased tickets for themselves and their six offspring for Seed of Chucky (rated R, so the parents have to buy the tickets) and then snuck out to go see a different movie at a first run movie theater. Of course, I didn't know that until the kids, aged 4 to probably 13, had been sitting in the lobby for over half an hour after their movie finished. They were still there when my Assistant relieved me, and I gave instructions for the police to be called when the waiting time hit the three hour mark. Naturally the parents showed up about ten minutes after the officer did. Maybe I need to reduce the amount of time before I consider the children abandoned since the folks always seem to miraculously appear shortly after the police arrive....
I keep thinking today's Monday. Well, it's Monday in Australia, so maybe that's it. What I don't get is why I feel like I have a hang-over today when I didn't drink anything yesterday because I had to work 8pm to midnight. I hope I'm not getting sick....
We had Christmas at one of my sisters' and it was great. I love watching the kids open their presents. Of course, the kids range from 5 months to 26 years old so some of their "toys" included zippo lighters and texts on teaching kids with learning disabilities, but there were enough Cabbage Patch dolls and X-Box games to induce childish squeals of delight (although now that I think of it, it was my sister who squealed in delight over the Cabbage Patch doll, not baby Megan...).
One of my presents was a pound bag of M&Ms, so I'm set for the stressful week ahead. We need a boatload of business to make up for Christmas being on a weekend...
Last year we closed after the first set of matinees on Christmas Eve, and opened on Christmas for the 7pm shows. This year, we will be showing everything through the 7:30 show (which means if anyone shows up for any of the three movies in the 7 set, I'm stuck there 'til 9pm) today, and opening tomorrow in time for the 2:45 matinee. I think I will just start calling the owner Ebeneezer and be done with it.
Of course, if my car won't start when I get done tonight, I may be waiting for Santa in the projection booth....
We got about 8", although it was probably 10" in a couple places.
Since yesterday was a 12-hour workday, most of it has blurred together so that all of the various "incidents" have melded into one large problem, the memory of which I have suppressed. In other news, the Post Office has finally decided to deliver some of my packages, so as of this moment I am only short three Christmas presents. If it weren't for that arctic front headed our way, I might be a happy camper....
* Gotta love George Carlin....
Yesterday's Make the Manager Delighted She Never Had Kids Award goes to two pre-teen girls who thought it would be hilariously funny to stuff the toilets in the ladies' rest room with not only toilet tissue and paper towels but also the plastic bag of hand soap from the soap dispenser.
Stay tuned--there's 13 days to go....
The countdown to Christmas is getting shorter, and I'm still waiting for some of my internet Christmas present purchases to get here. Remind me not to take everybody up on "super saver shipping" next year, because I'm getting too old to wait for the USPS to get around to delivering my packages. Then, of course, I have the worry of our paychecks being in those same reliable hands--I usually get the checks on Thursdays to hand out on Fridays; only, on at least four occasions in the past (it may even have been five) the Post Office didn't get the letter with the paychecks to me until Saturday. And guess what? Christmas is on Saturday! So that means we won't get our paychecks until Monday if the mail is slow....
What's that saying? The beatings will continue until morale improves? I never quite got that one--the beater's morale, or the beatee's? I should probably ask Harvey...only he's probably too busy writing more Christmas song lyrics to answer...
The bull's eye is actually on my workplace, the infamous dollar movie theater. You can see the strip mall to the south and east of us.
Thanks to the ever-inquistive Harvey for the pointer...
Yesterday we did 3 times as much business as we did on Friday, and it was still only about half as busy as it should have been (yes, Friday was pathetic). It also seems like more and more people are skipping concessions, which is very bad since that's what pays the rent (and the employees!). I know it's not because we have poor quality offerings--I snack on our popcorn and drink our pop and I've even tried our nachos and cotton candy, and they're all at least as good if not better than you get at a lot of other places. We even pop our own corn, which some theaters don't do any more.
Hmmm...I just had a scathingly brilliant idea. Perhaps I could try offering a free movie pass with the purchase of one of our big ticket items, say cotton candy or nachos. That's no money out of our pocket since the movie studios get the box office take anyway. I'd have to print up a different color pass, so I could keep track of how well it was working, but that would be easy peasy--I might even have some odd colored printer paper around here already, and if not, Office Depot is only a mile away.
This could work.....
Thanks, gang!!!!! I appreciate your letting me bounce ideas off of you!
I guess I'd better start looking for a new job.
Last night's business was pathetic, despite the fact we just got Shark Tale and The Forgotten. When the owner called (after I left, of course) to check the night's take, he told my Assistant that all his other "dollar houses" were raking in the dough, so obviously our management was at fault and he was thinking about closing us down.
Only we're not doing anything differently than we were a year ago. So if I was such a great manager then, how come I'm such a poor one now? I even have a much better crew than I had a year ago.
The only difference that I can see that might have affected our clientele is the fact that the new 13-screen dollar house on the other side of town has new seats, new equipment, and standard size screens. (When he divided our big theater into two, we ended up with two odd-sized screens. Cinemascope movies played in one of them cuts off the sides, and Flat--which are squarer--played in the other one have the top and bottom cut off.) I also suspect that some patrons have gotten tired of the projectors breaking down all the time, even though we give them a pass for another showing. Of course, if I point this out to the owner, he says I am just making excuses.
Due to a corporate screw-up about two months ago, we had no newspaper ad for two weeks, and many people thought we had gone out of business. It's probable a lot of people still think that, since our ad is a 2x2 square that appears only two days a week.
If I'm really doing such a terrible job managing, how come we've sold over 600 Gift Certificates in the last three weeks?
Maybe the owner needs to take some management classes--perhaps he'd realize that you get better results from praising people for what they did right than harping on what they've done wrong. He certainly managed to undermine my Assistant's morale with one phone call....
For the next two weeks you may imagine me beginnig every day with Bill Murray's mantra from What About Bob?: "I feel good... I feel great... I feel wonderful..."
Don't forget to imagine the temple-rubbing, either. That's an important part of the ritual....
Today is my last day off before the kids get out of school and two weeks of hell at work begins. Even if you don't hear a lot of whining from me about irresponsible parents who think movie theaters are a day care center and drop their kids off without any thought to the pick-pockets, pedophiles and perverts who are just as entitled to buy tickets as they are, the whines and rants are still there--it's just that I've said it so many times already that I'm getting tired of it myself.
I wish I could figure out if these so-called parents are irresponsible, stupid, or just don't care what happens to their children. I do know that very few of the abandoned children have been taught basic manners or respect for other people's property. I'd like to think that if I had been fortunate enough to have children of my own that they would be at least courteous, if not actually polite.
Ok, now I need to cheer myself up. Here is a picture of my youngest niece, Megan.
Comment Party at Pixy's! Harv, bring the slip-n-slide....
something given voluntarily or beyond obligation usually for some service...
The key words here are voluntarily and beyond obligation. So why why why is a 15% "gratuity" being forced upon me? Now, I can see restaurants doing it for big groups that require multiple servers and possibly even separate checks. There is a lot more work involved in getting the food to the table at about the same time, keeping everyone's water glass filled, and bussing the tables afterward. I don't think they should call it a "gratuity," though--maybe a service charge, since it's not voluntary--but that's not the point right now.
The point is that I am being charged a 15% [insert Dr. Evil-does-the-quotation-mark-finger-thing] gratuity [/Dr.Evil] for pizza delivery. Is it going to take multiple drivers to deliver four pizzas to the theater Christmas party? Probably not. Is the driver going to have to go farther to deliver 4 pizzas than if he delivered only one or two? I sincerely doubt it. At the time I courteously pre-ordered the pizzas, I was a little too stunned to argue when I was told about the [insert Dr. Evil-does-the-quotation-mark-finger-thing] gratuity [/Dr.Evil]. But I have been brooding over it all night, and by golly when the pizza place opens in a couple of hours I am going to call them and ask how few pizzas I need to order so as not to be socked with a [insert Dr. Evil-does-the-quotation-mark-finger-thing] gratuity [/Dr.Evil], because it really frosts my Frito's to be forced to do a voluntary anything. And if their answer is two, I'm going to cancel two of the four pizzas and order them from a different pizza place, because it's not like there aren't at least forty different companies that deliver pizza in my city.
Last night, while I was sitting in my office waiting patiently for the movies to finish,* three different people came up to the doors of a completely dark theater--I'm talking no marquee lights, no outside lights, no box office lights, no concession lights and no lobby lights except for a dim bulb above each of the rest room entrances, and yanked on the doors. I don't get it.
*A family of three showed up to see a movie at exactly start time. Since no one else had purchased tickets they were the only people watching that movie. They left after one hour. There is no rewind on a movie projector. Once it's started it has to play all the way through. So for one full hour the movie played to an empty house and I had to wait for it to get done before I could lock up and go home (the other two movies had finished much earlier). Grrrr....
Hurry over there and see who won Top Underpants Gnome and Top BlogGod--you won't be disappointed...
I've been thinking about my family, and how we are just ordinary folks like everybody else, except if I told somebody all about us they would think I was reciting the plot of a soap opera or that I'd been reading too much Weekly World News. I wonder if there is such a thing as a "normal" American family.
No, none of us has ever encountered Bigfoot (that I know of) or been abducted by aliens (although my father insists that my mother is from another planet), but if I went down a list point by point (which I'm not going to do because I'm hoping for big bucks from Hollywood) my veracity would be called into question.
So even though there are folks who might characterize us as one of those "dis-functional" families you hear about, the truth is we function as a family exceedingly well, despite all the "drama" that's gone on. I love my family very much, and they love me, which is all that matters, really.
And, so far, none of us has dated Bat Boy, so we've got that going for us....
[OK, has the excessive use of quotation marks annoyed you as much as it has me? I really need to find another way to emphasize stuff--you know, a written shortcut for Dr. Evil-does-the-quotation-mark-finger-thing...]
I got to the indoor decorations--well, the tree (a lovely artificial one) anyway. You can admire my decorating skill by clicking here. [Please remember that I have a genuine P.o.S. digital camera, which means that the quality of the photo leaves much to be desired.]
Of course, I have to work today, and, naturally, it finally stopped raining. So I still can't put up the outside lights. Maybe I'll just skip the outside this year...
My brother PK emails:
Today I called our computer helpdesk because nobody in my dept could get our electronic timecard program to open.
An "intern" later appeared at my cube. He poked around my computer for a while before informing me that he could not fix it, as "There must be something wrong with the program."
Via the Cheesemistress, whence all good quizzes come:
You are the tortured, nail-biting essence of
coffee. You see visions. You could change the
world if only you were up at the same time
everyone else. You have created a programming
language that throws errors if the code is not
written in iambic pentameter, and you are
infuriated by the typos in the new edition of
Ulysses. You practice sarcasm as a
form of tantric sex, and your cats have
doctorates. You believe in virgin sacrifice in
a good cause.
What kind of coffee are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
They say you can't keep a good blogger down. Well, apparently the same is true of a bad one.
Yep--Bloviating Inanities has moved to a better neighbohood.
Too bad Munuvia can't provide better content, too...
(I love ya, Bill--welcome back!)
The thing I hate about Christmas shopping isn't the shopping--although I thank Gore for the internet, because I never set foot in "The Mall" from October to February, and pre-Amazon.com I did most of my Christmas shopping at the corner Walgreen's--it's trying to figure out what to get for the nephews.
Well, I could get them guns, but then their moms would never speak to me again. Ditto knives, swords, cherry bombs and assorted other things that moms have nightmares about their ten-year-olds finding in trash cans.
My twenty-six-year-old nephew is easy; since he already purchased his own guns, knives and swords as soon as he moved out, I can just get him a six-pack of Michelob or a bottle of tequila and that's that. My sixteen-year-old nephew has two swords, but guns are out since he has a brand new baby sister and my sister would use it to kill me. I can't afford to buy him a car, which is the other thing he would like.
Then we have the fourteen-year-old and the nine-year-old. I don't have a clue. There's no point in asking my sisters or sister-in-law what to get them, because the answer is invariably sox or underwear. And while I'm sure their dads would have helpful suggestions like swimsuit models or a subscription to Penthouse, I want my sisters to still be speaking to me come Boxing Day.
So: a little help? What should a doting Auntie on a budget get for her 16, 14, and 9-year-old nephews for Christmas?
My paper's done, it's submitted, the class is now officially over ('though I still have to wait for a grade)--why don't I feel like a huge weight is off my shoulders?
Oh, yeah--now I have to start Christmas shopping.
Maybe there's another paper I need to do......
Still working on my paper. Why on earth did I ever think I wanted a Master's Degree????!!!?????
Supposed to be finishing my final paper for my second-to-last class, so I'm just going to keep my opinions to myself today.
However, if you've got some extra money burning a hole in your pocket, the Spirit of America could use some of it to help out in Iraq. There's the logo in my sidebar you can click on (under "Seasonal Linkage") to donate, and credit will go to The Alliance of Free Blogs in the Blogger Challenge. December 15th is the deadline for donations, so scrape together that pocket change and please give today.
I hate it when I can't sleep. St. Nicholas probably won't stop to fill my shoe with candy, just because I'm awake. On the other hand, coal is probably pretty difficult to get out of the toe area, and I hate gambling....
So vote, Dang you!
I blame Harvey. He's got those nice, muscular broad shoulders to carry it. It's his fault I don't have time to blog today. He plied me with beer and forced me to attend to my Alliance duties. Well, some of them, anyway. I forgot to update the "Current Assignments" typelist. Oh, well.
Ok, I had something but saving it kept timing out so I gave up.
This, of course, saves without difficulty. Sigh....
I know I haven't written to you in along time, but I've been kind of busy, what with work and school and everything. How is Mrs. Claus doing? I hope she wasn't taking Vioxx for her arthritis. I also hope Blitzen's ear infection is all cleared up--it must be difficult steering the sleigh when one of the reindeer is having equilibrium problems.
Well, down to business! As usual, I would like this year's "Holiday Barbie" and I need a new "Mystery Date" because the one you brought me in 1969 has finally worn out. (Poindexter was the only date left anyway!).
Since I don't want to be greedy, because there are a lot more good girls in the world than just me, any three of the following list will do fine in addition to the above:
A snub nosed .38 (blue finish if possible)
A pale pink satin negligee with spaghetti straps and Brandenburg lace trim
10 pounds of M&Ms
"Aladdin" on DVD (full screen is ok)
A diamond tennis bracelet
This year I will be leaving you bran muffins instead of cookies, since I'm worried about your cholesterol. I hope you like skim milk. Also, the neighbors have a new Doberman--just thought you'd want to know that.
I just slogged through my weekly chore of adding conscripts to the Alliance blogroll. What makes it a chore is how many applicants don't follow the easy-to-follow instructions. Then I have to email them to get with the program and to email me back when they have. *Sigh.*
Anyway, I had a bad day yesterday, even though it was my day off. I was supposed to meet the projector repairman (don't ask) at 1pm to let him in the theater--only it was 1:15 when a friend's phone call woke me. I'd slept for like 10 hours straight. I'm not saying I didn't need it, just that I had to fly out of the door unshowered in yesterday's clothes and drive to work on autopilot because I'd had no coffee. I hadn't set my alarm because I always wake up before noon. Guess I've learned my lesson....
Because I got such a late start, my whole day ran behind and I never did get to blog. I even skipped school! Bad Susie!
I'd planned on rooting through the attic for the Christmas lights and decorations, but never got that far. Of course, today is the first day it hasn't rained in about two weeks, so it would be a good one for playing with electricity and metal gutters, but the lights are not only unchecked, they are still attic-bound. Maybe I'll just stick a wreath on the front door this year and be done with it (Bah! Humbug!)...