Hard to believe I worked at Cinemark 10 for over 6 months. Last Saturday was my last day. It is rather bittersweet, I’m glad it is over but at the same time I will miss the job the whole crew and the customers.
After awhile, you get to know some of the customers. Some come every weekend. Some of them spend the whole day seeing several movies. I have already started doing a few things at the park for this coming Winter season. Our Halloween Party is this Saturday, so it is time for start focusing back here at the park.
When I first walked in the first day, I didn’t know if I would fit in. I walked in and seen everyone was so young. I could be their “Grandma”…..lol…Even the managers were young. I was going to work the Box Office. The only other person who was older also worked the Box Office. She is a P.E teacher. She only works every other Sunday. So Becky trained me that day, and I had several other girls with me before I was cut loose on my own. Now the Box Office itself was pretty nice.
I was just me, and I could even control my own thermostat. I kept it anywhere from 67-70. It sounds cold but it wasn’t really, cause all that glass in front of you brought in the heat. This was the first time I had used a cash register in years. I had forgotten I had worked at Pizza Hut and Swiss Colony, back in the early 70s. That would be Pre-Children days as I call it. I don’t even remember what it was like, but I’m sure it was very manual. That’s almost 45 years ago.
The one at the theater is all touch screen. It is really easy to operate. Just punch the movie, and how many tickets, put in the amount they give you, it tells you how much change to give back and…..Presto…..Out come the tickets. The only thing I had a problem with was REFUNDS. Now that I have learned, I really don’t know why it was such a big deal, but it seemed to be difficult. Its all computerized so you just have to find the right keys. Finally I learned that too…..When it is slow, they have Box inside and sell tickets at the Concession Stand. On weekends it is busier and they move it out to the Box Office. I only worked in Box. It was the easiest for me to do. During the summer, they thought it would be busier so they had Box outside all week. I worked lots of week day times then. But now it was back to weekends.
It turned out all these managers and kids were so nice. They were patient with me and encouraged me to ask questions anytime. You really had to find a rhythm. You were also expected to answer the phone. You were also the switchboard. So calls went to managers or up to the office. Most were people calling about the movies. Most were nice but then their were others. Some of the dumbest questions ever. Then I had one that wanted to know what all 10 movies were and all the times the played that day. Now they can play up to 4 times a day. Now that one I politely told her I didn’t have time. Pick one and Ill tell you about that one only. Meanwhile the people are watching you through the window and staring. They want to buy their tickets. I had one lady get upset and complain inside. I apologized to her because I was on the phone with a customer. You know what she said???? “Well I’m a customer too” The phone rang before she even came up to the window. You really have to bite your tongue and take a deep breath. Another lady had bought tickets the week before and came in for a refund. Now it was only $2.92 a ticket. I told her we couldn’t. Policy is refunds only before 30 minutes after the movies starts. She asked for the supervisor. Of course she was told the same thing. She took our names down and threatened to call home office……lol…..No Problem…go ahead and do it….
When school started, of course my hours were only weekends because the Box was brought inside to Concession during the week. So I thought, maybe I could be an Usher. All they do is stand at Podium, take tickets and direct the people. Then you clean the theaters after each show. That shouldn’t be bad should it?……So I was scheduled for a Saturday 2pm-8pm.
So it started off easy enough. Finally the first theaters started letting out. We went in and turned on the lights. She explained you pick up all the big stuff first and then sweep the rest including the spilled popcorn. I couldn’t believe what pigs people are. They could have picked up somewhat after themselves but don’t. Popcorn containers, soda cups, hotdog wrappers, candy, cookie wrappers, 3-d glasses and wrappers. Plus the soda and popcorn weren’t empty. Popcorn all over the floor. They even sneak in things like soda bottles, candy, chips. Clarissa said they have even found beer. They have to get their kids booster seats in the hall, but they can’t even put them back. Another thing she said was, “If you bend over by a seat to pick up something, hold your breath. You will smell butt“……EEeeeeeeeuuuuu……Yuck…..So I did. Now do the math, their are 10 theaters that show a movie up to 4 times a day. That is 40 cleanings. Ohhhhh Nooooo…..I was so exhausted after 2. You only have about 10 minutes, sometimes less as they are programed to begin again. People are now waiting to go in and sit down.
Now that is not all. You have to clean the restrooms every hour. Clean the sink area, and check the toilet paper. Sweep if needed. Also your responsible for the lobby. If their is a soda spill, you get the mop and bucket. If popcorn is spilled, sweep it up. Then run the little push vac down the carpeted hall and keep that popcorn sweeped up. People spill it everywhere.
Next we had to push the 32 gallon garbage cans to the dumpster. Fortunately they were on wheels. Always takes 2 people, so that wasn’t bad. Now every shift has extras to do on the check off list. Ours were to take 3 of the 32 gallon cans into the back of Concession and clean them. We pushed them in, took out the bags, put on gloves hosed them down inside, put disinfectant inside and scrubbed with a scrubby pad. Clarissa was down on her hands and knees half way in the can. ……OMG……I can’t get down their…..By this time my knees were hurting so so bad. The twisting and turning constantly was not a good thing. Then they showed me if I were to work the close shift, what has to be done. The office is upstairs. So go up their. Clean out the garbage from the office and break room. Get out the vacuum and vac the break room. Next sweep the stairs. Go get the mop and bucket and mop all the stairs. I was sure I wasn’t going to be able to do this job. I was on the schedule for Monday also. I figured I would do that and that’s all. Finally at 8pm I went home. I could barely climb the stairs in the motorhome. My feet and knees hurt so bad. Next day was sunday. I was better but still sore. I decided…….NOPE……I’m not even doing Monday…..I don’t have too….I tried, but I can’t, so I won’t…..So what did I write on my paper as to why I couldn’t ?…..”.I’m Too Old”…..Miss Ramos laughed. They all understood. At least I tried. So when you go to the movies…..Please clean up after yourselves……Remember those Ushers work harder than you realize.
During this 6 months I actually got 2 evaluations…..Now that is a first on a job…..They both turned out excellent. I got high marks and I also got 2 raises. I didn’t amount to much, but its the principle of it all. They do follow through with what they say…..
I also was voted by the managers for Employee of the Month. Now how cool is that. I was shocked.
I received a $50 Gift Card for this honor….
I also had my name entered on the Employee of the Month plaque that hangs in the Break Room….. I really felt that was quite an Honor. It is voted on by the managers. They really are a nice group of people….
They are all very professional. They believe in what they are doing. If your managers have good work ethics, it makes it easier for you to follow also.
Now I’ve never really mentioned the General Manager. He actually lives here in the park. That’s actually how I got this job. He believes in his crew. I attended a Spring meeting that he had for the employees. He doesn’t want them to stay and stagnate at Cinemark. He wants them to learn and continue on in life. So many skills can be learned at the theater and then applied as you find your niche in life. Its true. All the things they learn at Cinemark are really the basic life skills at jobs. I know many of them will. He is really an Exceptional General Manager. A one of a Kind…..
So it has been a good 6 months. I’ve done another different job, and succeeded….Its been fun. Dealing with the public has been a hoot. I could tell so many stories on the customers. I really enjoyed getting to know many of them. So many of them speak broken English. Their kids order the tickets and interpret. I’ve also been told on the phone that I shouldn’t be working Box. They should have a Spanish speaking person…..Well I said, “You got Me”……
The biggest complaint was the ticket prices. At one time many years ago, they were $1. Now the most expensive regular price now is $2.92…..They complain and say, I thought it was a Dollar Theater…..Tell me where your going to by a ticket this cheap. So many complain. They also make remarks about the odd price…..They don’t seem to understand theirs tax on things.
I decided last week to post the prices and the shows at the park. Many of the Winter Texans do go. So now they can see what’s playing and decide which day to go. They are considered a Discount 2nd run theater. But if you don’t mind waiting several months you can save a lot of money going to our Cinemark 10 in Harlingen…..
So those of you who are reading this from the theater, It has been a great time getting to meet and know some of you. You were all a pleasure to work with and I felt so welcome. You made me feel like one of the crew. I actually thought about staying, but I knew I couldn’t do that with my duty’s here at the park. But I will be back. Maybe Ill come to see a Movie……..Isn’t it a shame, or would you call it “Stupid”. All that time I could have seen free movies……Did I go????……….lol….NO…..Not even once……..Such a Waste….