I'm a vet tech student nowadays but I worked for ehhh...almost 12 years in different customer service jobs and boy to I have some stories!!
Theater Writer reminded me a bit of one my stint at a movie theater. I did everything but projectionist at this place- ticket sales, concession, doorperson, and most importantly to this story, customer service person. You know if you have an issue at the theater and you go to the front and say "Hey, some kid won't shut the eff up!" and the person says "Oh, I'll just go right in and take care of that!"
Well, I was that person.
Thing is, I was also 16 years old and 5 foot 4. *lol* Not exactly an imposing figure! Still, years of drama and show choir stood me in good stead and I got pretty good at holding my own against the various psychos, NATS (and boy, do I have stories of THEM!), and crustys.
My FAVORITE story though, by far, is the story of the diet lady.
It was late afternoon, well into the 'rush' period at a theater, when people are getting off work/school and ready to come in and see a show. I was working customer service desk and studying for a test- a common thing for me to do, because I was set higher than the floor and my desk had one of those overhang things where people couldn't see what was on the desk in front of me.
So, I hear one of the doorguys start raising his voice to someone and, like a good slave, I go over to see what's going on. (Well, tbh, I'm nudged by one of the assistant managers cause none of them want to do it, but that's a different story.)
As I make my way out, straightening my vest, bow-tie, and tuxedo shirt (oh yeah, I ROCKED that tux shirt too. >.<) I see Diet Lady-mid-40s, well-dressed woman with a bag full of Carl's Jr. and a huge cup of soda.
Now, Carl's Jr. is a fast-food joint that was right across the street from the theater. We'd sometimes have folks come in with their food, but usually they sat in our little dining area and ate, then went into their movies with no problem.
Well! This lady was having none of that! She was SCREAMING at the top of her voice about how we couldn't discriminate against her, that she HAD to have her food, that we couldn't keep her out of her movie, that she'd paid her money, etc, etc, etc.
When I got over she was trying to dodge her way past the doorguy, who was about 6'2" of big dude. He kept stopping her, being polite about it the whole time. I stepped up, gave the whole, how can I help you schpeel, and she turned to me and snarled:
"I am on a very strict diet. I cannot go without my food. You are discriminating against me by not letting me take my food into the theater."
I explained to her that she could eat it in our dining area, she said no, that she was going to watch her movie. I offered to give her a later showing, she got even angrier and said something again about being on a strict diet and that we were harming her by not letting her eat her food at her show.
Finally, when my manager came up behind me as I said she would have to either eat outside or throw her food away, she SHRIEKED "FINE!! I GUESS I'LL JUST STARVE AND DIE THEN!"
And threw the food and soda at me.
Luckily for me, I have good reflexes. She was escorted out of the theater by our security guards (who were desperately trying not to laugh!) and I caught the bag of food while the soda went flying past my head.
My manager looked at me and asked with the most deadpan voice, "So, what was her diet?"
"Uhh, a cheeseburger and french fries?"
"You had lunch yet?"
"Guess you got lucky then."
At which point she walked away and I trotted off to my lunch break with my Carl's Jr. cheeseburger and french fries.
All in all, I count it as a win. I got free lunch and a great story out of it.
I will always wonder if that lady ended up starving and dying out of spite though....