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Usher Stories

Welcome to the story section for ushers to share interesting stories of ushering. These are things like your favorite bust, and what you do to goof off, the strangest thing you ever saw in a theater. As a former theater employee I know that there is plenty of stuff that goes on at a theater that everyone would love to hear about so if you would like to tell the world about it please e-mail me. I will be adding my contribution to this section soon but for now I will post up stuff that visitors have sent me.

My Favorite Stories
water balloons The first night I was working at the theater I was stuck scrubbing the popcorn machine just like every other new guy. Anyway the guy was washing things in the back and little did I know he was also filling up water balloons. After things had died down we went up to the roof and start throwing water balloons at the few people that were left on the street that late at night. It was one hell of a first night and loads of fun.

MILF At the secondary snack bar the dispenser for fruit punch was broken and it put out syrup instead of the punch. Anyway it gets boring at times working the snack bar so Dave and me decided to start taking shots of the stuff. That got us going and we were able to clean up in no time. This got old after a while so we decided to make a game of it. If we had two identical consecutive orders you take a shot, if someone has exact change you take a shot, if you help a MILF (mom I'd like to uh well you can guess the rest) take a shot, it went on and on but we had a great time.

Anyway, ways to slack off if you are an usher:
1. Ask management if you can check/replace the light bulbs. It's actually a pretty fun job, especially if there are a bunch of light bulbs. The more bulbs the more likely they're out. Anyway, it keeps you out of there view for hours so you can just go walk around. Take your time replacing them, you don't want them to break, of course. Also, you may pretend that bulbs need to rest for a few minutes after you unscrew them. Or perhaps the socket does. During this time, walk around, chew gum, watch a bit of a movie. The next best part is throwing the bulbs away. The best is if you have fluorescent tubes and a big dumpster: These are great for javelin practice.
2. Check the theaters for talkers. Sometimes it is necessary to sit down in the chair and relax a bit to coax people into talking. Bring a soda. Again, you're just doing your job. Although actual reprimanding is optional depending on how much fortitude you have.
3. Throw out the trash. If you're lucky, the dumpster is very far away. Dawdling is critical here.
As far as scams, well, I only did it once, but here is what other folks did:
1. The most profitable, but perhaps difficult scam requires a concerted group effort. The ushers who clean the theaters should pick up all of the dropped stubs in the theater. They give these to the ushers that rip the tickets. Then, when a customer comes up with an unripped ticket for that theater the usher will palm the unripped one and give them one of the stubs from the floor. Try to make sure they are clean and stuff, by the by. Finally, after the usher has collected a number of unripped tickets, give those to the box office folks. Box office people will then sell these unripped tickets to the customers, and pocket the cash. At the end of the shift the various parties involved split the profits, which can be astonishingly high. A couple of guys at my theater split $600 one Saturday (that's $50/hr). It is best to do this during crowded features when there's a lot of chaos and people won't examine their tickets very much.
2. An old classic is to go out and buy a bunch of the same concessions that you sell in the theater. Since these are obviously much cheaper than the ones sold through the counter, one may pocket the difference. Just be sure you have your quantities right (most especially if your theater keeps inventory), and obviously, don't ring up your candy that you sell. It helps to memorize all the prices beforehand so that you can say "Large Coke and Goobers...$4.50". By the way, this works the absolute best if you're one of the folks who push around a candy-cart with drinks on it--no register.
Finally, a tip to the concessions people: Flavor-Sol, the imitation butter salt contains MSG--a product to which your body adapts. It is very tempting to add Flavor-Sol to the popcorn because it tastes dull. However, you will eventually add so much (because you've built up a tolerance) that no one else will be able to eat it. Eventually the customers will complain.
That first scam sounds great, I know that we would have to sell tickets to people without ringing them up when someone would make a mistake and make too many tickets and the customers never minded one bit. Good tip on the Flavor-Sol too, I know some of my fellow workers would use it instead of salt for things.

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