First Day at Work for John


John has started his first job! I’m SO excited for him! “Seventeen?!” you’re thinking. “Why not earlier?” Well, let me tell you. I worked full-time in the summer starting at age twelve either for my mom or my dad. I could file things for my mom at a construction company, or I could delivery things from one place to another on the University of Kentucky’s campus for my Dad. This was before fax machines or personal computers, so there were a lot of things to be filed and delivered. And Ag Engineers do not care what their employees wear, so my short-shorts and T-shirts escaped notice. I can’t remember, but I suspect I had to dress appropriately for my mom’s office or risk frostbite.

But John’s life has been different. He did enough community theater when he was young that I sometimes slept in the tiny backseat of my Saturn when he’d have late practices. Then came high school marching band, which he enjoyed most of the time, but which made it impossible for him to go to any school functions or to date anyone who wasn’t part of the band and had the same weird schedule. With only one day off a week and practices often lasting until nine at night, with schedules changing on less than twenty-four hours’ notice, it was impossible for him to have a job. In fact, if I’d still been working there were days I’d have had to pick him up at 3 a.m. and rush to get him dropped off at home and myself to work on time Sunday morning.

So when he decided not to take band class his Senior year (OK, when he was told he would not be allowed to take band class unless he marched) he immediately applied for a job at a local cinema! He got the job, and two of his band friends work there as well. It will be a very small band next year. Here’s a re-cap of the things he learned on just his first day of work (the ones he would let me post, anyway):

It was a very slow day at the movies, since it was Oaks Day here in Louisville. The Kentucky Derby is the first Saturday in May, and Oaks Day is the Friday before. As long as I’ve lived here schools have closed and businesses have shut down for Oaks Day, as it was Louisville’s day at the track. All the celebrities just came for Derby. But now the celebrities come for Oaks as well, and the best your average local will be able to get is a ticket to the races on Thursday – now known as Thur-by.

Anyway, even with Captain America – Civil War (or something like that) opening, it was a slow night. So John was able to take time to admire the skills of a six-year-old boy as he bopped down the wide hallway, executing a perfect flip over the cardboard Angry Birds Movie display. After punching the air after his precise landing the kid strolled on down the hall, but dropped his water bottle along the way. He did a spin that would have made Michael Jackson proud, scooped his water up with a graceful one-armed move, and spun again before continuing to his movie of choice. John said he felt sad for a moment, knowing he would never be as cool as that six-year-old.

John’s starting out as an usher, which I think means he does everything except handle money. He informed me that kids’ movies are the worst to clean up after (no surprise there). What they found during clean-up was a surprise, though – one I can’t get out of my head. Poop in a cup. This raises many questions about parenting decisions, the hygiene in that particular home, and what the people around them thought. After that John said he had to stop himself from personally thanking each and every person who carried their own trash out and dropped it in the trash bins.

But then there were the findings after another movie audience that was all adults – or at least of age to vote. There was a couple “twerking” in line for tickets that was pointed out to the manager, but since their behavior was not on the cinema’s property he couldn’t ask them to leave. John was the one to find the condom wrapper after the movie was done. Personally, I’m just glad they didn’t leave the condom itself.

Restroom cleaning is evidently the responsibility of the ushers, too, which surprises me. I have yet to meet a male under the age of twenty-five who can clean a bathroom. And this particular chain of cinemas always has exceptionally clean bathrooms. John told me the men’s room was much cleaner than the women’s room, which surprised me. Then he said, “period blood”. I was immediately assaulted with memories of my two years in college dorms. Ick.

Oh, and one last tip: Don’t buy popcorn if you’re going to an early showing. They leave the popcorn overnight and just pop a little fresh to make it smell good and then mix it all together. Seriously, what’s the food cost on popcorn kernels?

Stay tuned for the continuing adventures of . . . Cinema-Guy!


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