Hey, y'all! What's shakin'? This month's question from Michael is:
What was the best job you've ever had?
I’ve had three paying jobs: movie theater concession attendant (popcorn girl), zookeeper, and math professor. While the second has its share of unique tales, the first is actually my favorite.
I started working at Beaucatcher Cinemas the summer after my high school graduation. It wasn’t my idea. My beau at the time was quite the movie buff and it was his plan that we both get jobs there. Unfortunately, I got the gig and he didn’t. Poor guy ended up washing pots all summer in the kitchen of a low-end chain restaurant. The theater wasn’t living up to its name, at least, not yet.
Despite this little peccadillo, slinging overpriced popcorn was the perfect gig. First, there were the freebies. All the popcorn you could eat (with or without the butter-flavored diarrhetic). All the soda you could swill (with or without the ice). Plus—and here’s the best part—all the free movies you could watch provided you were off the clock. Pretty sweet deal, huh? We also got a stack of free tickets for friends and family.
Unlike other jobs, “movie week” starts on Friday. New films would come in Thursday afternoon. We’d have a private employee showing after the lobby closed Thursday night for the big ones like Terminator II and Total Recall. If the movies came in on a Wednesday, we could have a private show Thursday morning. This is how I saw Ghost and Steel Magnolias a day early.
While the freebies were great, hanging out with a bunch of high school/college age folk was even better. It was like living in a soap opera: who was crushing on whom, who was dating, who was breaking up. Drama, drama, drama. And yeah, I was part of all that. After drifting through high school as the quiet ghost who wrecked the curve, it was heaven. I’d finally joined “the cool kids”, which were often “the crazy kids”.
Some of the nuttiness was tame, like answering the concession stand phone with a snappy, “Frank’s Pizza Palace, how may I help you?” whenever the ushers called down from their station. Others were completely mad, like The Lost Boys Game.
The theater curtains moved from the floor up to the ceiling before the picture started. There was a heavy bar across the bottom and the idea was to grab the bar, hold on for dear life (literally) and ride that sucker up to the top. It looked a bit like flying, vampire-style, hence the name.
The worst part of this job? The video machine right smack by the concession stand playing the ditty “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Heroes on a Half Shell! Teenage Power!” over and over and over throughout the six-hour shift until I wanted to bring in a sledgehammer and show those terrapins on steriods some real power.
Somehow, I managed to resist the urge.
This is a blog hop, so please join the fun! You can find the linked list at A Life Examined. Thank you Michael for hosting this monthly event.