Cold Hearted

28 Jan

Greetings from downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, where upon our arrival last night, the wind chill was -26°F! Never in my life have I felt cold like this, except for maybe when we were doing Junie B. Jones in Oskaloosa, Iowa, where the windchill was supposedly -30°. The diesel fuel in our van froze and we weren’t able to go anywhere. Someone had left an unopened can of Diet Coke in the backseat which froze and exploded soda slush all over the inside of the van. It was a good time.

It was -11°F (-26°F wind chill) when we arrived in Minneapolis, MN last night!

It was -11°F (-26°F wind chill) when we arrived in Minneapolis, MN last night!

So here we are at the Orpheum Theatre, halfway through opening night. Surprisingly, we had a really good turnout tonight despite the cold weather, but no one really seems interested in buying any merchandise. I did have one rather interesting interaction with a patron, though, which left me scratching my head.

ME (to a PATRON and HER DAUGHTER after THEY bought a cast recording): Thank you very much! I hope you enjoy the show!
PATRON: Well, now that you’ve broke [sic] the bank…
ME (teasing): Oh…now, I didn’t make you buy it!
PATRON: Yes, you did.
ME (still thinking we were teasing): Noo…you chose to do that!
PATRON: Oh, shut up!
(SHE walks away)

This is somewhat similar to an encounter I had when I was working at Shrek the Musical on Broadway, too. I had just sold a Gingy hand puppet to a patron during intermission…

ME (walking away): Thank you so much! Enjoy the rest of the show!
PATRON: Don’t tell me what to do.

People are weird. I don’t understand them. And apparently someone on Facebook – a ‘friend’ – seems to think that I am the problem…that I have anger management issues and am not cut out to work with the public. While I will agree that I’m maybe not cut out for public service – and for the record, I never claimed to be…I have two degrees in musical theatre performance, not social service, for goodness’ sake! – I do try to do my job well and to be professional with patrons. It’s what my employer has entrusted me to do. What I choose to write on Facebook or here on my blog is my outlet because some of the things I would like to say, I can’t, so I write them instead. With my former employer, I most certainly would have been fired for writing what I have, and I definitely took a risk when I started writing blurbs on Facebook months ago during Flashdance.  As far as I know, I haven’t crossed any lines with my current employer and I know that he and I have the kind of relationship that would keep the door of communication open if I had. He would tell me.

I try to stay away from writing anything negative about the shows or the performers or crew or even the venues in which I work. Believe me – there are lots of people and things that I could write about that I haven’t, and maybe someday I will, but I’m trying to maintain a semblance of professionalism here. Just the other day I wrote something to which a cast member of this show took offense – he thought that I was making fun of the show, which was not at all my intention, but I deleted it from Facebook because I didn’t want anyone else to misinterpret what I’d written. I’m not a total jackass.

I don’t really consider what I write to be terribly important or life-altering, but I do consider what I write. Meaning I give it a lot of thought. It’s an extension of me, and honestly, some of it is pretty funny and it’s always honest. I don’t “publish” things willy-nilly. My writing is not intended to be hurtful or to imply that I’m better or smarter than anyone else. It’s an outlet and, perhaps, it’s also a learning opportunity. Or not. I don’t know. I mean…I don’t even know if anyone even reads this stuff most of the time, let alone takes it to heart. But if there’s anything you should take away from this blog, it’s this: Never, ever tell someone who’s serving or served you to “shut up” unless you have a very good reason. We’re people, too, and deserve to be treated as such. And if you treat us badly, don’t be surprised if you find your story on Facebook or Twitter or WordPress or Buzzfeed.

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5 Responses to “Cold Hearted”

  1. downstairsgirl January 28, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    What really struck me was your mentioning two degrees. TWO DEGREES yet people treat you like crap because of what they perceive you to be. The degrees don’t entitle you to anything per se, but… I don’t know. Maybe I’m projecting my own angst!

    • jasonhbratton76 January 28, 2014 at 10:45 pm #

      Yeah. I don’t throw around the fact that I have a Masters degree, but…well…I DO. Just because I’m behind a counter selling t-shirts doesn’t mean that I should get any less respect than anyone else. But it also doesn’t mean that I’m better than anyone else, either.

  2. Susan Williams January 29, 2014 at 1:26 am #

    There’s a feeling of self-entitlement prevalent today that just blows me away. Any job where you meet the public has these moments. I work for a plastic surgeon, and this is my favorite:

    Patient: I need to see the doctor next Tuesday at 2:00.
    Me: I’m sorry, there are no openings Tuesday afternoon, how about–
    Patient: Then I need you to call the patient with the 2:00 appointment and move them.
    Me: I won’t do that to her, just like I wouldn’t do that to you.
    Patient: I’m going to tell the doctor about this…you’re so rude!

    I read your blog all the time…keep up the good work and stay warm!

    • jasonhbratton76 January 29, 2014 at 1:29 am #

      I’m very flattered that you read my blog. Thank you for that. And yes…I agree – there’s such an outrageous sense of entitlement now. Manners seem to be going the way of the dodo. :-\

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. R-E-S-P-E-C-T | Confessions of a Merch Whore - January 29, 2014

    […] I wrote an entry about an encounter I had with a female patron who, for no real reason, told me to shut up.  Maybe she was having a bad night. Maybe she was just very cold. I don’t know. In the post, […]

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