Taking things into their own hands…

September 12, 2008 by Joe 

Dealing with angry guests can be a very stressful thing. Working in a movie theatre, it’s something that I pride myself on doing well, but not something that I look forward to doing. However, I recognize that it’s an important part of my job, so I will do it without complaining… much. In any case, I’ve had some experiences where guests try to take things into their own hands. This, in my opinion, is where things get really complicated, and myself or one of my coworkers is stuck in a situation where we are in the middle, trying to mediate.

Let’s try to set this up with an example. Say there is a guest that is talking to his/her companion during a movie. They’re being loud, but don’t realize it. The guest in the row in front of them turns around, and yells at them to be quiet, instead of asking for someone to come ask them to be quiet. Instead of listening to them, they continue to talk, now just trying to annoy those in front of them. One party goes to complain, and they both end up outside the theatre, screaming at each other.

Ok… yay! One of my favorites. Usually at this point, they’re practically at each others throats, screaming and threatening each other. To make it a little more realistic, we’ll make one group teenagers, and the others adults. (We’ll say the adults were the ones telling the kids to shut up). Now we have one guy saying:

If you don’t do anything to them, I will!

And the others saying:

He can’t talk to me like that, if I want to talk during a movie I’ll talk!

Could this situation have been avoided by finding an employee to address the two that were talking? Maybe… but you can never be sure. What I want to know is, in this type of situation, do you think a guest should take things into their own hands? What makes this most difficult for us (employees), is that we have to try to keep both sides happy…

For some reason, I find that trying to take things into your own hands is not always the best solution. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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