Ah, Cineworld my dear old friend. We meet again.
If you’ve read my last post concerning this hallowed establishment of moviedom, you’ll know I frequent Cineworld often. Unless you somehow missed the sarcasm*, you’ll also know that I think the staff at my local branch are inept, perhaps bordering on grossly negligent of being actual human beings. Even between them, and there’s an army of them, they seem unable to muster an ounce of good service.** But I digress.
On my latest trip to the cinema, I was met with an entirely new level of idiocy. Approaching the condiment counter, I asked for a cup of tea, black. What I was handed was hot enough to burn the sun, let alone the rather sensitive flesh of my baby-soft hands.
‘Do you have one of those sleeve things?’ I asked.
‘No.’ the staff member, lets call him Dave, answered.
All fine and well, I thought, not everywhere does. I mean there’s probably an argument that they should invest in thicker cups but again, I digress.
‘Can I have another cup to sit this one inside?’
‘No,’ repeated Dave, shaking his head like a grumpy horse.
Dave stared at me.
‘Is there some sort of global paper-cup shortage? Should I alert the media?’
By now there was a sizeable queue behind me.
‘Can I help?’ another staff member, lets call him Big Dave, leap to Dave’s rescue.
‘This is too hot to hold, can I have another cup to put it inside?’
‘Our stock would be off,’ said Big Dave.
It was my turn to stare.
‘We count the cups at the end of the night to see how many we’ve sold.’
Two things struck me then: one, I wonder who they employ to do the counting. I had certainly never met a Cineworld staffer up to the task; and two, that’s the stupidest stock management system in the world. Ever.
‘Why don’t you just count the tea bags?’ I asked.
Big Dave looked past me to the queue. ‘Why don’t you wrap a napkin around it?’
I looked to the napkins and then back to Big Dave. ‘No.’
At this point a third staffer appeared, lets call him Walkie-talkie Dave as he had a walkie-talkie. ‘What about a pic-n-mix cup?’ He asked. ‘You can have one of those?’
‘But how will you know how many sweets you’ve sold?’ I replied.
The Dave’s looked at me.
‘Besides, it’s the wrong size.’
‘Look I’ll carry it for you,’ said Big Dave reaching for some napkins.
It seemed like a fine plan, and was at least a reasonable stab at good service but Big Dave seemed to have missed the obvious flaw. Luckily, I was there to help.
‘What about during the movie, when I want a drink? Will you sit next to me?’
‘No,’ he answered shaking his head.
‘Ah, we’re back here,’ I said.
‘Wha-’ one of the Dave’s began.
‘Never mind I said,’ leaving the tea on the counter and my money in my wallet. ‘I’ll go to Starbucks.’
So this week I’m on a mission to see how many free cups I can blag from other local establishments. A quick survey if you will, to find out which other places are under the dumbass assumption that hoarding paper cups will lead to long term wealth.
I’ll let you know how I get on. In the meantime, don’t forget to go check out my new Flesh Tearers audio drama, Blood in the Machine, that I forgot to tell you about last month.
*You didn’t miss it, did you? I mean, if that’s true, you’re not only blind but are also wearing a set of extra thick dark glasses over an eye patch, and an oversized cowboy hat thats drooping because you spent too long in the rain looking for a bus.
**So why do I keep going to Cineworld? I like movies. It’s close to my house and has good parking. And, shush you.
***Now, I know what you’re thinking – I’m being harsh, unfair even. It’s not the staff’s fault. They just work there and don’t make the rules. Nonsense. It’s their responsibility to challenge daft rules or work hard, get promoted and change said rules. Failing that, how hard would it be to fill out a from saying there was one cup too few in the last delivery. The big boys stole it, is a classic excuse for a reason.