I recently got arrested for stopping a latecomer from entering a Theatre. This is my story.
I don’t draw happiness from stopping people who’ve paid good money to watch live theatre. I don’t even judge them. I mean if you’re late doesn’t necessarily mean you’re arrogant or you care less about the performers who’ve put their heart and soul on stage.
If you arrive late at the Theatre, and if I’m around I’ll try to make you laugh. 3 possible outcomes to this. 1. You walk away from my jokes unharmed. 2. You walk away missing the play and thinking I’m unfunny. 3 You walk away thinking Oh I missed the play but that guy isn’t too bad.
In fact when I find someone who’s late and if there’s an interval, I give them the synopsis of the first half dramatically, or as dramatic as I can get, and try to make them laugh for a bit so that they get to go in during the interval and try to catch on. That’s for normal people.
This one time a latecomer was stopped and he began to rather yell is what I heard. When I was called to deal with him, (sometimes I take a break from handling latecomers), he told me that he did not read the terms and it wasn’t clear and that we owe him a refund and an apology. I informed him about the rules and how and why latecomers are not allowed. I was being patient. Trust me the last thing you want to do is lose your cool when you’re handling a latecomer.
At one point he told me he was going to take this up with the ticketing portal giant authorities and I acknowledged that he is entitled to talk to ticketing vendor however he sees fit although I stressed on the fact that all the factors and the clauses are mentioned multiple times on the Ticketing Vendor’s website, the notification of SMS, and email. No Latecomers, No Refunds, No Transfers. He asked me write this down for him which I gracefully denied, because why would I write something down when it’s online, on SMS, on Email even on the ticket, which he could have seen if he wasn’t late.
He called the cops. He told them he was cheated and upon payment for tickets, he isn’t being allowed inside.
The cops arrived a while later, by which time the man and his wife and child who walked away to the restaurant nearby, came back.
When the question came of who was in charge, I stepped up. I notified the Directors of the Theatre about the situation which I’ve only done twice in over 2 years. Not knowing the local language fluently enough to converse about what happened, I was asked to sit in the Police jeep. I was asked if I had consumed alcohol which I denied because I don’t consume alcohol (stop judging me, I’m still pretty cool.)
My interpretation of my image in your head when you read, I don’t drink.
I sat in the jeep. I removed the stud from my ear. While all this was going on, the Directors came down. They spoke the cops. They shamed the man who looked like an educated, cultured man for not understanding the reason for the rules and being adamant about the money that he lost upon his carelessness (Again I’m not judging him for being late.)
I sat there for 45 minutes when the fact that I should be released was being argued upon. The man and his family drove off. I was released. I came back to the office unharmed. Almost.
Why did I feel insecure all over again?
Why was I shaken up?
Why did the fact that I just sat in a Jeep and was asked to get out bother me so much?
Why did I keep thinking about it for days after this happened?
All questions aside the main question is Why did I remove the stud I was wearing? (Fades away into the distance….)