I was contacted recently by some people who work at an Irish theatre, sharing a few of their own tales of woe. They describe themselves as: “Purveyors of fine tickets and customer service par excellence” – and I am inclined to agree…
Customer: I would like two tickets for tonight please.
Me: Of course, could I take a name for the booking please.
Customer: Yes, it’s Sheehan
Me: And the first name?
Customer: *without hesitation* Mrs.
Me: Brilliant. So the name your good parents baptised you with is Mrs, eh?
Customer: I believe I have tickets to collect.
Me: Certainly, can I have your name please.
Customer: Quackenbush. Eric Quackenbush.
Me: *barely suppressed guffaws* There you are Mr… Sir. Enjoy!
Customer: Can I get two rooms for tonight?
Me: This is a theatre. Not a hotel. Get out.
Customer: *looking at screen in foyer where performance is being shown to latecomers* We’d better not look at that, we’re going to the half two showing.
Me: There is no half two showing, there’s only one at 2 p.m which is the show you’re looking at right now.
Customer: You what? We paid for the half two show.
Me: There’s no half two showing, this is a theatre. *Through gritted teeth* Can I see your tickets please. Yeah, you see here where it says show start time 2:00 p.m. Yeah you’re supposed to be in there now.
Customer: Oh, can we go in then?
Customer: Do you have tickets for tonight?
Me; No I’m afraid we’re completely sold out.
Customer: Not even one at the back?
Me: I’m afraid all seats for all performances are gone.
Customer: What about the matinee?
Me: *sigh* The matinee is also COMPLETELY SOLD OUT
Customer: But I’m only looking for one!
Me: Madam, we are not in the business to NOT sell tickets. If I had one I’d give it to you but I don’t so good bye.
Elderly customer in auditorium during a sold out performance starts to feel unwell. I go in to administer first aid. Customer rewards my endeavors by vomiting into my face and chest. As we exit the auditorium, he (feeling much better now) asks me for the score of the West Ham match.
The other week we had a bit of an incident whereby an undesirable walks into the theatre’s bar without the staff noticing and attempts to steal anything that isn’t nailed down. As he is exiting the theatre with a suitcase containing a valuable laptop in it, a staff member notices, stops him and takes the suitcase off him.
The Front of House manager arrives to escort him off the premises and is headbutted by this wannabe burgler full in the face, breaking his nose. The man is wrestled to the ground by some of the male members of staff, when the police promptly arrive to arrest him.
As they are questioning the staff members present about what happened, this man – handcuffed and waiting outside for the police to finish – casually and in a nonchalant, friendly manner asks the staff member, WHO IS WASHING HIS MANAGER’S BLOOD OFF THE PAVEMENT, for a smoke.
Slow clap, my friends. Slow clap.