Clear your schedule...
This is a run-down of my bosses at one Movie Theatre job that lasted about two weeks. It's a story of Murder, Malice, Misbehavior, and MINUMUM WAGE. And yes, there really is a murder in it.1.) Stephanie - The Goddess
She was the one that hired me. Beautiful, redhead, awesome. She hired me because she liked my beard. That rules.
She'd have the staff call her "Mistress Stephanie", and openly made fun of the films. This was around the release of Titanic, so every time she'd walk by the Titanic poster, she'd stop, stare up at it dreamily, clasp her hands together, and sarcastically swoon. "*gasp!* Oh. Leonaaardooooo!"
She was a rebel... and the other bosses ate her alive
She was, within the two weeks of me working there
, accused of selling tickets off the books and pocketing the money. She was also accused of leaving the store safe unlocked, which lead to the entire bag of loot being stolen.
She was fired.
For more on that, stay tuned...2.) Tammy - The Knife in Your Back
Tammy was a young mother and newlywed, very meek and mild-mannered... but with a passive-aggressive side. She was the type that would say she understood how hard it is to be on time to work when you have a family emergency, and would then slink off to her office and write you up without telling you.
I clashed with her a couple times.
First, I told her I would not, under any circumstances, work nights. This was a stipulation of my hiring, under Stephanie. It was made clear from the application to the approval process that "Nights" was not a box I had checked. I took every opportunity to mention this before I was hired.
However, under threat of firing, she did force me to work one night. Someone had an emergency, and I simply "had to" pick up their shift. It was the moral thing to do, etc. etc. etc.
While on this shift, the sneak started training me on all the night shift stuff I wouldn't be doing. Things that didn't need to be done that night, but would need to be done on future night shifts.
I flat out told her I didn't know why I was learning what it took to work a future night shift I had expressly rejected, and that, once again, I was only working this night due to an emergency and heaps of begging.
Write-up #1, for insubordination. I wasn't told about it.
Not so bad. One write-up immediately after the person who hired me, a disliked manager, was fired. Coincidence.
Next, there was a night when the cash didn't add up on one of the female employees' registers. She was going nuts counting, re-counting, and counting again.
My shift was over, and it was time for me to leave. As I'm leaving, Tammy asks me to count the female employee's money for her and see if it magically comes up right this time.
I gracefully decline, as I have to catch my ride home which is idling right outside. (In my teens at the time.)
She insists I actually miss my ride in order to resolve someone else's problem, rather than do it herself, etc. I suppose she expected me to sleep on the sidewalk until opening time the next day.
I said something to the effect of: "Heh, no I really can't do that." and left.
Write-up #2, for "leaving early" at a the end of my shift
. I was not told about it.
The final strike...
During a hectic time, a customer recieved his change and said to me: "I gave you a $20, this is change for a $10." I checked the register, and the top bill was a $20. There were no $10 bills to be seen.
I gave him his change and apologized.
Then my register came up $20 short! The customer must have been lying! I was a sap! A sucker! A fool! AAAAAAAAARRGH! (Not really. Keep reading.)
The next day, I came into work.
I cleaned the counters.
I restocked concessions.
I cleaned the floors.
I started the popcorn.
Tammy calls me into her office. "By the way, you have three strikes. You're fired, and won't be paid for this morning."
Me: "Hi, Mom. I just got fired, sorry, you're going to have to come out and pick me up."
Boy, did ol' Mom (remember: teenager) go ballistic on Tammy, to which she replied: "Well, then you don't have to come to this theatre anymore."
Pfft. Way to hit us where it hurts!3.) Patrick - The Monster
The minute I saw Patrick, I knew that I had seen him before, but I couldn't place it.
He was a doughy "everybody loves me" kind of guy. You know, the kind that's completely wrong about what people think of him.
To give you an accurate picture of Patrick, I'll give you one scenerio...
When a local woman named Peggy Carr went missing, her friends and family made a huge effort to find her. They papered the city with fliers, went on local TV, etc.
Eventually Ms. Carr was found murdered in the woods.
One morning, her friends/family came by the theatre and asked to put a flier up in the window. Tammy, to her credit, agreed and let them tape it up.
They leave, and Patrick shows up.
Patrick gets right on his cell phone to Mr. Banda, the BIG BOSS. (Read on.) "Hello, Mr. Banda? They want to put a paper flier in the window, but that's against the rules. Should I take it down? Okay. Alright. Yes, Mr. Banda."
Patrick walks over to the window and carefully peels the flier down.
"I killed that bitch," he cleverly quips, "Hit her in the head with a hammer and dumped the body in a swamp."
He laughs. Nobody else does. He doesn't notice.
Flash forward to the chaotic day where I was $20 short. Crowds of people. Huge lines. My usually nimble, rude little hands are having trouble keeping up.
Patrick undulates over and opens the second register. What a hero!!
He takes half the money in my register to do it.
The customer I mentioned earlier tells me: "I gave you a $20." You know the rest, but as this happens, I catch sight of Patrick's face out of the corner of my eye. He arches his eyebrow and looks at my register.
At the end of the day, after Patrick gives me back the cash, I'm $20 short.
Exactly $20... Not the $10 that would've been missing if the customer had scammed me.
THAT DOESN'T EVEN MAKE SENSE. Patrick didn't even know how to steal properly.
A few days later I remembered where I had first met Patrick. We were both extras in a Civil War movie, and he was picked to be the guy loading Union soldiers into a boxcar. When it was my turn, he shoved me into the wooden doorframe and bashed my head open.
I feel like this putz will resurface some day and finally end my life.4.) Mr. Banda - THE BIG BOSS, BABY
Mr. Banda, the lovable-looking rolly-poly little theatre owner. Aww.
We were supposed to throw away the movie posters after their time on the wall, as per rules... but good old Mr. Banda... gossip around the threatre was that he liked to keep them and hang them up at home.
You know, because he just loves the business of movies so much.
Then he tried to frame Stephanie for stealing the store's money.
I came in to work one day to find Stephanie going crazy, crying, nearly pulling her hair out as she paced the building. The police were there.
I found out from another employee that Stephanie had left the store's safe unlocked, and somehow somebody got into the building, made a bee-line for the safe, and stole all the money.
She swore she didn't leave it unlocked, and there were no signs of forced entry into the building. Not a window broken, not a door unlocked.
This craziness went on for a while. It looked more and more like Stephanie was going to cut her wrists and bleed out on the sticky purple carpet.
Then Mr. Banda showed up.
Mr. Banda walked up to the police, reached into his pockets, and pulled out all of the store's money.
He had come in at night, unlocked the front door, went to the safe, took the money out, and left, locking the door behind him.
"To steal it?", you ask?
NOPE! To teach Stephanie a lesson about leaving the safe unlocked
How would he... why... how could he have known.... but... what if... I....
Yeah, no. He tried to steal the store's money, then chickened out and came up with a story to tell the police.
Shortly afterward, Stephane, who insisted she locked the safe, was fired for "selling tickets off the books". So many coincidences, you guys!
After I was fired, I went to Mr. Banda in his off-site office. I gave him the rundown. Every time he said: "But you were warned for X." I replied "That's because Y."
It's natural for someone in my position to THINK they're right even if they aren't, but when you can say "Check my application. I wrote in 'no nights' and was still hired", it can't be just me.
At the end he shrugged and said, "Well... it's up to my managers. I'm sorry."
A couple years later I worked at a comic shop. When I asked how they got theatre posters from recent movies, my co-worker informed me that Mr. Banda sold them to the shop out of the back of his van.
Turns out he wasn't hanging them up in his house, after all.
Long, long after these events, I would once again run into Mr. Banda as he was working the desk in a video rental store. When I walked in, he did a visible double-take.
It's like the old proverb... sit by the river long enough, and the bodies of your enemies will float by.
Or... go to random video stores long enough, and some guy who slighted you one time will duck behind his desk.
I could go on... like how employees could see one free movie a week, but when I showed up, Tammy decided on the spot that I had to either pay for a ticket or buy a large everything from concessions to get in free like all other employees. There was also the time I took a break and one of the managers clocked me out so I wouldn't get paid for the rest of the day.
Some of the other employees were no great shakes, either... like the young lady who called in sick, then during a lunch run I bumped into her and her boyfriend right outside the damned theatre
By the way, you may have heard of this theatre chain. It's where an employee was arrested for saying he put his Aunt's ashes in the popcorn
No, it wasn't me.