Saturday, March 25, 2006

A call for manners

There is a press agent out there who has always wanted me to have a “theater police” column where I report on all the shady/crappy things that go on in the industry. But, you know me, I’m all about harmony, so I never wanted to. Well, actually, I never had the forum. Now I do! So for you readers out there, let me tell you something that really aggravates me.

I like to believe that when one goes to the theater, one is in for a pleasant evening. People spend a lot of money to enter a Broadway house—the staff at the house should be nice to those people. Recently though, I’ve overheard many box office staff members speaking in a rude manner to patrons. Then, this week, it happened to me.

I was set to interview a member of the WELL cast on Friday and thus was going to show on Thursday in preparation for the interview. My tickets were not at the box office as they should have been. After telling me my tickets were not there, a gray-haired man at the Longacre box office got on the phone for 4 minutes (while an entire line was waiting) and I assumed he was calling the press agent. Then he got back and said: "You're still here? I don't have your tickets." I explained to him that I was interviewing one of the stars first thing in the morning and that the tickets were confirmed by the press agent. I asked him nicely to call one of the press agents and he refused, saying: "You can talk to them tomorrow and come back another day." Again I explained that I could not do that and I requested he please make a call. His reply was: "I cannot do that. I have to get all these people in the theater right now. Do you think you are more important than the other people here?" I was in shock. Really. And I wasn’t moving, so he said to some woman back there, "You have to deal with this girl." Soon enough the guy pushed me over tickets. So why am I upset?

My point to this story is—box office personnel should be polite. Of course I think everyone should be polite, but these people should be at their best behavior more than someone who, say, works at Duane Read. Box office staff members are paid well, they aren’t making minimum wage. And, let’s face it, they are not working plowing fields. Plus they are dealing with people who spent hundreds of dollars so they could have a rockin’ evening. Someone should remind them of all this. Sensitivity training maybe? Anyone?

No comments: