Tales of a former cinema employee: The day time shift

Tales of a former cinema employee: The day time shift

Welcome back to another couple of stories from working in a cinema! Please have a look back at the previous posts about drunk customersthe foodturning away customers and of course when customers get a little too close... Today we are going to chat about the joys of the midweek day shift and how it is the holy grave of shifts if you work in a cinema. No, really it is. Shall we?

If you get 100 customers it’s a busy day

I am really not kidding, in my first cinema job it was a rare occurrence to get into the early shift (we’ll get into why later) but wow, once you were in, you never wanted to leave! Double figures in a screen was also a rarity the four staff on would just look at each other and before you knew it it was 1pm and the 1-9 person comes in and you are happy to see them because they might be the first person in for 30 minutes to come in through the doors.

Who wants to go home early?

The six most blessed words from a manager in a cinema. Usually, this comes out around 2 hours before your shift is due to end and you know some time saving is required. You snap that up right away! You even forget that you needed the hours because that carrot dangle is just so beautiful! This increases all the more during a lovely summer’s day and you are stuck looking at everyone walking about enjoying the good weather. If you are the unlucky person not to be there when the question is asked and the first thing you see upon returning to the lobby is a staff member skipping out into the sunlight, a level of hate rises up in you that is only reserved for the most annoying of customers.

Games had to be had

In the big cinema chain I worked for in Belfast we had to occupy ourselves somehow as there would be too many staff on but because of fire regulations, we were lawfully required to keep a certain amount of staff on at a time, so certain games were invented that we presented as subject knowledge training. One of the most common was picking an actor or director and then in a certain time frame writing down as many films they were in as possible. Try it out, it is a great game and it will present you a few surprises amongst your friends and family. One such instance was I believe a Tom Cruise list and we were all working away on it and when the films were tallied the most unsuspecting person won! Even better is when the manager comes out to check on everything and they join in on it too. Good times!

All change when you are a supervisor or manager

With all that fun and early finishes comes the bad part of the day shift… If you are a supervisor or a manager then your day time is filled with paperwork, health and safety checks, programming of films and making sure the staff (who you know want to do as little as possible as you were one) are “busy”. This could be cleaning, popping boxes, tidying the place and the worst task… Making them deep clean seats and the toilets. This was made worse as at one point in one of the cinemas I worked for we got rid of the cleaners (who knows god damn why) and the staff had to come in and do the cleaning job. The only perk to this was that we got to then do the day shift and if you were in from 8 or 9 that meant you were away home by five. Almost like a “real” job! But yeah, all the fun was removed when you went further up that totem pole of responsibility.

You get the regulars for good or bad

One great thing about these day shifts was that you would always get the regulars who would be happy every day, I never understood it, but they would be the happiest of customers that you would see all week. It would get to the point that when you saw them approaching the retail sections you would have their order made up for them before they even got to say hello. They were the easiest and most importantly the nicest customers to get. They just liked the cinema and would talk for a good while about it. We would even worry if they hadn’t been in for a couple of weeks. Especially the older “guests”.

Some though, some were hateful. I will not mention which cinema, but those who know will know. But some customers had cards that gave them extra discount and because they had bought this nonsense of a card they thought we owed them and if a new staff member was not fully caught up on the inner workings of the cinema, they would damn well make it known to you in the rudest most ridiculous of ways and also make sure that you knew that they were “right”. No one cares luvvie, not one sinner on this planet cares that because there have been some slight changes to how the cinema works how it upsets you. You are one little customer and the cinema will cope without your business that you keep threatening to leave with. Bye now.

That’s all for today if you are in working during the day time in a cinema, enjoy the day! Try and get out early if you can!

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