My first job the year before out of Mission College was at a college bookstore which had been one of the longest tenure jobs up to that point that I had. It’s what I mostly knew as a worker still trying to establish himself. It felt like a disaster.
The store manager that hired me briefed us newbies on how the customers at a local community college had a sense of entitlement as the government gave them the money for books. However they treat government aid as if it’s their money and as if they’re paying customers. I’ve always known students to be very dutiful as far as getting their books and as always they could be the worst customers. I should understand I had been one and it’s rarely good if you don’t have your materials for class.
There is a twist though my experience at college bookstores is usually during back to school rush. This time around I was responsible for textbook buy back and this could be a pain in the butt that the manager pulled me aside for. Either way I was getting paid while I waited for The Show to give me a call back with regards to my interview in October. Basically I met with them during a job fair for that company at a local college campus which I saw a lot of people there that I will be working with. I’m including both mgmt and regular workers.
I did new hire paperwork after I did my shift at the bookstore one night at another theater that company owned. As I recall later when doing new hire paperwork for the national theater chain years ago it was a nightmare. The man I would later know as our House Manager just handed me a phone with someone on the other end of the line asking me questions for that company’s tax purposes things I would usually skip over on a job application. I did the best possible, however, HM became a jack@$$ for some of his behavior that night. In a strange fit of reading people I know this was one man I needed to watch out for.
It seemed that company was a tad disorganized as far as orientation, new hire paperwork, or even training (though I have the least complaints about training). I hated having to go into an unfamiliar part of town at night by bus & train during the fall/winter. It was a while before I would actually get to see the facility I actually would be working in. When I did training at The Show itself one person actually quit on the spot already grumbling that there were other opportunities she needed to pursue and the theater job wasn’t it.
For the record the only training I missed out on was concession. For most of my roughly five years there I basically learned it as I went. Yours truly didn’t do such a bad job learning concession and had some wonderful people helping me out along the way. Of course as I learned as time went on there will be those who provided the headaches.
All the same the end of my time at the bookstore came when I got my actual work schedule for the theater and it overlapped the time I would’ve been at the store. It wast that time though I indicated that I could still work. The manager thanked me for the help and kind of demurred when suggesting that it would be OK if they needed me in the future. So while I showed up somewhat late for my shift it was actually my last day there forever.
Time for the excitement of working the job I should’ve had either during my high school years or even in college. The first night I worked was a sneak preview as it was invite only and set up for a party. There were screenings for older movies throughout the theater and it all lead up to midnight showings of movies to be released such as Avatar.
I even manned box office for a bit and was sort of uncomfortable and management sent me to the VIP balcony to help. Remained for the rest of the night until it was time for me to punch out.
Struggled somewhat behind concessions on Christmas Eve and incurred the wrath of the immature young women who thought they knew everything. Little did I know different iterations of such characters would continue to be a thorn in my side. All the same I did alright and if anyone though I’d be short on a register fear not it didn’t happen.
I had to work New Years Eve and missed the countdown that I like to catch with Dick Clark’s Rockin New Years’ Eve. Thankfully it wasn’t long after that when I could go home. Even wished one of the managers a happy new years on the way out the door.
Interesting first few weeks on my new job and so many lessons learned over the years. Those lessons had to be mostly social as far as how to conduct myself at work. What I needed to learn at The Show – a place I grew to refer to as $H!tplace – is what informs me on how to conduct myself on the job. Believe it or not I’m still learning however I’m light years away from where I was at the start of the last decade. Believe it or not as much as I would say I could live without this experience perhaps it was necessary. Is it possible to blow a good situation if I just didn’t know how to conduct myself?
Still, working at a theater even with a college degree from a prestigious liberal arts degree was only the beginning and definitely not the end. It still enabled me to truly pursue other future opportunities, better opportunities in the long run.