In celebration of the miracle survival of my two years of work at my local cinema, I decided to share some joyous moments I had the pleasure of experiencing. Whilst I do acknowledge that my audience is approximately zero (except for that one guy who followed my blog at 3am the other day – thank you by the way) I am also ever so slightly concerned of my boss finding evidence of non-compliance… and so for the sake of these few quick stories I shall call him Lick.
For my first magic trick I will demonstrate how Lick manages to pull a two star health star rating out of a gigantic mess! Here’s how he did it.
To begin this magical tale of deception and sheer creativity, I should first mention to you that our quaint little cinema is old – very old. Old enough for the fire alarms to have developed a personality of their own, and to have the will to call the fire brigade whenever they feel like it. Although I think they tend to find the busy times the most fun to set them off; more hassle to watch I guess. Now, combine this with a popcorn machine that plain and simply hates his job and has attempted suicide more times than I care to count, and has been begrudgingly resuscitated equally as many times. Not a great mix to say the least.
And so Lick, in all his mighty glory may or may not have found the SUPER creative way of avoiding the fines that came along with his magic mix; just tape a paper cup over the sensors! Instant results!
To improve his method’s he has also introduced walkie-talkies that all staff are required to wear in case we find ourselves in a position of a surprise health and safety check.
When the lovely lady comes around to check that we are in fact safe for business – which we are not – I can’t help but feel bad for her. Lick follows her every move. He watches to see what she’s looking at and will tell her of all the glorious cleaning routines that he somehow forgot to mention to any one other than himself.
For example, the cutlery we have out back has never seen a bigger clean than a quick rinse down under the tap and maybe the occasional drying with a paper towel. This is the stuff we use to pick ice off the insides of the freezer with, the things we use to defrost the barrels of pop corn oil, and also the things that we just plain use because they’re one of our very few kitchen utensils back there. However, Lick will have you believe we clean them in boiling soapy water twice every day.
Naturally, when there is so little attention to detail problems arise involving some very small critters doing their bit to remind us how lucky we are to be working where we are. I’m talking maggots, cockroaches, moths, lizards, and everything in between.
I remember one time when Lick had decided to bulk order in bags upon bags of popcorn kernels. Seems like an innocent thing to do, right? So, so wrong. The kernels he ordered were the cheapest ones on the market and turned out to come with its own little colony of maggots. And so, here we are, with the largest supply of kernels I have ever seen, and each individual bag has it’s own maggot metropolis. What did Lick decide to do? He whipped out his creativity.
I spent more shifts than I care to mention sitting on the ground with three buckets. One for the infested kernels, one for the “clean” kernels and another for the maggots to be dumped in. Those days all I was asked to do was chuck on some gloves, pick up about 20 kernels, flick the little maggots in to their bucket and then tip the left over kernels in to the “clean” bucket where they were then whisked away to the popcorn machine without so much as a rinse under the sink. These kernels were covered in maggot excrement and had been burrowed in to and had eggs laid in them.
What can I say, I really loved those days.
My next point of call for a fun tale of my wild workplace is more or less a reoccurring one; Lick’s hiring techniques. But first, allow me to paint a picture for you; Lick is an ex body-builder and the son of a successful businessman. He inherited the cinema he runs today, and didn’t so much as finish his high school education, or obtain any real feesable skills other than his business creativity which that I mentioned before. In saying this, I really should cut him some slack and at least mention that our workplace is at the top of the ladder in terms of the corporation.
ANYWAY! His employment method is simple, effective, and very very prejudiced. First of all, when you drop in your resume to the candy bar, the first thing in Licks criteria is a photo of yourself. He needs to know you have the potential to be pretty enough to sell. He even states this in bold in the “Workers Needed” posters he puts up… in the girls bathroom. Which leads me to my next point, if you’re a FEMALE looking for employment with us (and you most probably are) you will be filtered in one of three categories; pretty and tall and if so, you’ll find yourself selling at the candy bar, or pretty but just a little bit too short or talk just a little too loud, then you will most likely be assigned to box office for ticket sales, and then lastly if you’re any thing else, not quite pretty enough or funny enough, then welcome to the world of cleaning cinemas and scooping choc tops out the back.
There are exceptions, however. Like the slight possibility of Lick deciding to hire a MALE. If you find this to be yourself then I am genuinely so interested in your resume, it’s got to be brilliant for him to even consider that. All the girls are rooting for you to succeed by the way! Of the 2 years I’ve been involved with this cinema I’ve seen maybe two males manage to gain employment with this man, in case you were wondering. The most memorable of the two was a guy who was a really good friend of mine but turned out to be sexually harassing over half of the female employees on more than just one occasion.
He didn’t last more than a month.
Speaking of sexual harassment, due to the large numbers of female employees who tend to all wear full faces of makeup to impress our boss, it’s not uncommon for the delivery guys to stare at things other than your face. One of my best friends in the workplace works this one shift consistently, every week. This is the same time we get ice cream deliveries in. And so, one things has led to another and this gross 30-40 year old man with a mullet and a lip piercing takes that delivery order every week, specifically to see her. He has asked her out enough times (keeping in mind this girl is 25) for her greeting to him to be something along the lines of “Hi, yes right this way, you know where to go. I have some paperwork to do” before she runs off and hides in the bathroom.
He hasn’t just singled out this one girl though, oh no, he is a serial creep who we all have had our run-ins with, including myself.
In case you are unaware, I am sixteen years old, and I look my age too – I’m the sort of person who has never heard the “Oh really?! You look so much older” crap. Instead I get asked what grade I’m in even though I have graduated high school. My point is, is this guy knows I’m very young. And yet, I’ve been winked at, asked out for drinks (where he has specifically told me he would buy them for me, I presume because he knows I am underage) and have been asked to walk in front of him rather than behind because that’s where he gets the best look at my bum.
Oh, what fun it is to work.
If you’re reading this then I really do want to thank you, my writing is nothing special but it gives me a massive boost when I get notifications for people clicking the ‘like’ button. Don’t be a stranger, let me know you’re here because I have so many things running around this brain of mine and I’d love to share anything and everything I can!
Ps. There will almost definitely be a part 2 of this; I have barely scratched the surface of what goes on behind closed doors where I work.