Spilt Milk

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February 2013
It’s a busy opening night and I’m in the lobby herding the animals (customers).

LADY: “Hey You!”

Obviously I’m the “you” that the demon (customer) is referring to. I turn around to face the demon (customer).

ME: “Hi, how can I help you?”
LADY: “You can start by wiping that grin off your face!”

At that moment, I wonder if shoving my head in the popper will get me workers comp. Surely the third degree burns and singed flesh is better than the encounter I’m about to have.

ME: “What can I help you with?”
I make sure to suppress any hint of a kind smile.

She sits there, her eyes burning a hole into my flesh. She says nothing, just slowly tilts her head down and stares at her brown suede moccasins. I call them moccasins because it’s the closest word I can think of to sort of describe the abysmal contraptions on her feet.
I don’t speak “angry silent glare” so I look at her quizzically.

LADY: “Well look what you did!” She points to her shoes.
ME: (confused) “I’m sorry ma’am. I don’t understand. What happened?”
LADY: “ARE YOU BLIND?! My shoes are ruined! You’ve ruined my shoes!”

Relief floods over me. Thank God, she didn’t buy them this ugly.

ME: “What happened?”
LADY: “I’ll tell ya what happened!” (She slams her tub of popcorn into my chest.) “You put butter on this popcorn and when I went to sit down on your LOW seats, I fell too quickly and spilled popcorn all over my shoes!”
ME: “Did you not want butter on the popcorn?”
LADY: “YES! Of course I wanted butter on the popcorn but NOT on my shoes!”
ME: “So you spilled popcorn on your shoes? Did you trip on something on the floor?”
LADY: “No. I didn’t trip. While I sat down the bucket tipped. Your seats are much too low. I doubt they’re up to code.”

I make a mental note to have the chair inspector come in tomorrow to measure the distance from floor to seat to make sure we are indeed, “up to code.” I look down again at her shoes. The shoes look soaked.

ME: “That’s butter on your shoes?”
LADY: “No I put water on them to clean off the butter. They’re not supposed to get wet. Now they’re ruined!”

Confused are you? Yes, well let’s recap what we’ve learned so far shall we?

This dumb biddy ordered a tub of popcorn with butter, paid for a tub of popcorn with butter and was handed a tub of popcorn with butter. She then proceeded to walk into her theatre, tripping/slipping on nothing but while going to sit, she spills her popcorn on her ugly shoes. She then proceeds to walk into the bathroom with her shoes that “can’t get wet” and soaks them in water. After water-logging those puppies, she finds me and here we are. Knowing that none of this is possibly the theatre’s fault, I act oblivious to the whole situation. She doesn’t like that. Not. One. Bit.

ME: “Oh Ok. Sorry to hear that. I can refill this for you now and we’ll get an usher into your theatre to clean up all the popcorn you spilled on the floor. Which theatre were you in?”
LADY: “I DO NOT WANT A REFILL! YOU NEED TO PAY FOR MY SHOOOOES!!!!”
ME: “Huh?”
LADY: “My shoes are ruined! Get behind that counter. Open up the register and give me the $145 I paid for these shoes!!!”

Now to this day I still can’t decide which part of this story is more ridiculous. The fact that this lady wanted me to pay for the shoes she spilt popcorn on and then “ruined” with water, or the fact that she paid $145 for burlap sacks shaped as slippers.

ME: “I can’t take $145 out of the register to give you.”
LADY: “Well you get paid to work here right?”
ME: I nod yes. I’ll entertain her. I’m curious to see how far she’ll take this.
LADY: “Well then you’ll have to give me the $145! Somebody is paying for my shoes!”

#LOL

ME: “Ma’am. I can’t replace the shoes you ruined with butter and water.”
HER: “But YOU put butter on the popcorn!”
ME: “Which you asked for.”
HER: “But not on my shoes!”
ME: “I can refill the tub for you but I’m not going into the register, or my wallet, to give you $145 for shoes you ruined.”
HER: “Well then, lucky for me my husband’s best friends with the police commissioner. You’ll be hearing from me soon.”

She just sits there staring at me.

ME: “Is there anything else I can help you with?”
HER: “Ya. Refill my fuckin’ popcorn.”

I take a deep breath in, my hands shaking as the adrenaline courses through my veins. I walk back to concession and refill the popcorn and place it on the counter in front of her.

HER: “You forgot the butter.”

I don’t remember what happened next because my brain exploded. It took weeks for the concessionists to scrape my cerebral cortex off the counters.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

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Today I held the door for a woman walking behind me. She smiled at me and said “Thank You”. Normal right?
Not where I come from…

It’s the summer of 2010. One of those beautiful days where the sun is shining and a cool breeze is blowing. I jump in the whip, roll down the windows and hear Cher blaring from my stereo. I start my 5 minute commute to the theatre.

I roll into the parking lot and I’m not gonna lie…there’s a smile on my face as I hop out of the car, throw my string bag over my shoulder and start the walk to the town center doors.

Young, naive Margaret. You can’t even see what’s coming.

I get to the entrance (regular push/pull doors luckily. “I hate those revolving doors. One day somebody is gonna get hurt in one of those,” I think to myself). I see a man in a wheelchair struggling to open the doors. Seeing this I immediately go through the one next to him and start opening up his door from the other side.

Big Mistake. Big. Huge. (Name that movie)

“I DIDN’T HEAR MYSELF ASK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!”

Who said that and to whom, I wonder to myself. Surely it can’t be directed at me. I stand still with the door open.

“HELLO!? WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING? I DON’T NEED YOUR DAMN HELP!”

Now I see what’s going on. I see clearly. Its my punishment for being in a good mood. It’s what I get for walking in with a stupid smile on my stupid face. C’mon Marge you know better than that! #RookieMistake

“I’m sorry I was just trying to help—” I said it with true sincerity..but that kind of sincerity gets you know where at the theatre. “GET YOUR HAND OFF THAT DOOR! I CAN OPEN A DOOR!”

I let go of the door immediately, contemplating if a jump from the roof  could kill me…nope I’d break a leg at best…

I watch as the man gets through the door…eventually. I turn my head to see a nice little audience watching the show. With nothing coming to mind to say, I start heading towards the theatre. Thankfully there’s not far to go so I start walking…briskly…to safety.

“IT’S PEOPLE LIKE HER THAT TRY TO MAKE US INFERIOR TO THE REST OF YOU! THAT’S THE REASON WE’RE TREATED LIKE CHILDREN!! LOOK AT THAT DUMB BITCH! SHE WON’T EVEN FACE ME NOW! SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE DID!!!!”

The sound of his screams and profanities muffle away as I walk through the theatre doors. I’m safe.

I start thinking over what just happened. Did I really do something wrong? I didn’t huff and puff or roll my eyes about holding the door.
I had a residual smile on my face from my blissful car ride, so certainly I didn’t look aggravated..

But apparently in my act of opening a door for someone I was sticking my middle finger up at all people in wheelchairs, all across the land! Had it been an old lady, or a 30 year old handsome gentleman or an 8 year old bratty child walking in, I would have held the door open. It’s just what I was taught. It’s just how I was raised. So clearly there’s only one guilty party here.

Mother.

Thanks a lot mom for teaching me to hold doors for people and all about manners and saying stupid shit like “thank you”. Screw you ma for showing me to be nice to other people and to treat others how I’d like to be treated.

By your dumb logic I’m supposed to help someone in a wheelchair struggling to get through a door! You dumb biddy!! You haven’t prepared me for life and you certainly haven’t done your job. What else have you lied to me about?

You’re dead to me.