Oh my heavens, little ones, do I have a story for you.
This is one of those happenings that as time passes by seems less and less realistic.
I’m sitting here thinking, did that really happen?
Well, yes my darlings. It did. It really, really did.
This is another work story:
after we close the doors and the show starts, a few of us line up by the staircase in order to easily escort people to the door outside of which they will be waiting. At this point we let them know that, due to the fact that the show has already begun (read: y’all’s asses are late as hell), we are going to need to wait until the current number has ended before we take them inside. I also generally add “this is per the artist’s request” in case they start getting riled up, which happens almost always.
In this particular instance, I was to escort a slightly-older-than middle aged gentleman and his female companion to the mezzanine by way of the elevator, but as the show had already been on for half an hour I was no longer holding any programs. I asked them to wait by the elevator and told them I was just going to go grab them programs. At this point they had already vocally expressed their displeasure at the fact that they would have to wait a few minutes and completely ignored what I had said. It was a scene from one of those 30 minute comedies, I swear. There I am, with my hand out in a placating stop following me you creeps gesture as I continued to walk further and further from the elevator, and there they were tenaciously repeating themselves and utterly disdainful of anything I was asking them to do. Finally, I gave up and walked to the patron services desk trailing my unhappy little ducklings.
After I picked up two programs I turned right back around to go to the elevator, at which point the man demanded angrily, “Now just where are we going?!” I didn’t answer until we got back to the elevator, and as I was handing them their programs simply said, “this is why I asked you to wait here folks.”
Unfortunately this particular elevator has the attitude of a 93-year-old cat lady when it comes to speed, and that awful man told me over and over how he simply must go directly in, it was absolutely imperative he be allowed in, in fact the performer had called him personally and told him to go right in. “Well, that’s funny, I’ve been watching the show and I haven’t seen him use his cell phone yet!”
While not likely what I should have said, it did make him pause for a moment to collect his thoughts before he insisted he had made a mistake and it was the producer who had texted him. In fact, he was a dancer who knew the choreographer and he had to get in and see the dance numbers!
By this point, the doors of the elevator have opened and we were released to the waiting area of the mezzanine. Of course Mr. Important heads straight for the door telling me how he wasn’t going to wait. At this point he’s making me very frustrated as his antics get more and more ridiculous. I place myself between him and the door and told him he wasn’t getting in until the number had ended.
He looked me dead in the eye and begun convulsing theatrically. “I’m having an attack!”
There’s just no way to explain it, it was hilarious. He’s got his program in his hand so that’s flapping around and he hasn’t broken eye contact and his frown is so deeply etched I think it predated the grand canyon. I’m sure this looked a little concerning so one of the other ushers started over, but I just said “Oh, you’re welcome to take a seat while you wait if you need to sir.” He stopped shaking immediately and told me that he was NOT sitting down and he needed to get IN the theatre.
“How long has the show been going on?” By now his companion is looking at the ground so hard I don’t know that she was going to see much else the rest of the night. I told him that as the show started at 8:00, it had running for about half an hour. “But I need to leave at 8:30!” I’m not sure how I kept a blank face as I replied,
“Sir, we’d better go ahead and escort you out of here then, it is currently 8:30.”
Instead of replying, he just started shaking again, glaring at me. Finally, FINALLY, the number ended and I took him inside to his seat. I watched them edge over to where they were sitting and walked back out with a sigh of relief. About half a second later another usher came out from the other side and said,
“Some late patron just stood up right in front of the projector! His big head was projected across the screen!”
Ol’ big headed grumpy face. He stayed for the rest of the performance, too.