Friday, 7 January 2011
Ed is off to work now, with a smile on his face. And why not? He works at our local movie house. His job is to take tickets and make popcorn and smile. In the lulls between rushes -- and there are many such lulls -- he eats hot dogs, drinks pops, hangs out with several best friends who also his co -workers, and watches first run movies. What is not to like about this job? True, there are limited possibilities for advancement, and the pay is not much. But Ed has no desire to advance, and no expenses. How much money does a seventeen year old living at home need? Half of his budget would normally be spent going to the movies ...
Sam summed it up last week. Every other job you get is going to be a step down, he said to his little brother. CEOs have to go to awful meetings, and carry responsibility for the whole economy. Movie stars have to get up at five in the morning and work with a bunch of dorks. Drug dealers get shot. You have it made, bro.
The bane of all service jobs is usually dealing with the public, but there again the cinema employee is sitting pretty. No one complains to the usher if the line is too long, or the price is too high, or the movie sucks. Ed and his friends fly below the radar.
There are lots of tell-all books about the horrors of working in movies, but none about working in the movie theater. Those stories are usually about the wonder and fantasy of the place. They are tales of appreciation.
So what's playing this week? I ask Ed on his way out the door.
Who cares? he says.