“Come see Broadway in the Desert! Imagine your favorite musicals performed on an outdoor stage surrounded by 1500 foot cliffs of beautiful red rock – a magnificent experience you will not soon forget! This summer and fall, come see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and, back by popular demand, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat! Call the Box Office at 1-800-746-9882 for more information about tickets.”
…And more information about anything else, really. As a box office employee, I should be able to tell you at any moment, without the slightest hesitation, the rates at all the hotels in the area within a fifty mile radius, book your flight to Southern Utah, give you dating advice and tell you the weather forecast for the next three months. Thus, I will be personally responsible if it rains on the day I said it wouldn’t, if the hotel is full the day you booked your tickets, if your boyfriend breaks up with you, and if your plane crashes. I might even be able to pull a few strings and take care of the funeral arrangements. As a Sales Representative and Assistant Manager of the box office, I can do just about anything short of walk on water. But, with the special effects available to me at the outdoor amphitheater I work at, I might even be able to do that.
I love talking on the phone with you, especially when you shout at me, complain to me, interrupt me, put me on hold to answer another call, and eat lasagna in my ear. My favorite is when you let me know that you are unable to write down your confirmation number because you are in the bathroom. I have no concept of too much information, because I am a Box Office Sales Associate. By all means, don’t have your credit card handy when you call to order tickets: I love to wait for five minutes while you track it down.
I am definitely sympathetic when you call to get tickets for tomorrow night, which has been sold out for two weeks, and expect to get tickets on the front row. And yes, it does make a difference if you are from Red Mountain Spa. I will personally kick the other paying customers out of their seats for you: no, really, I will. You’re very welcome. It’s all part of the job.
Yes, I completely understand your expectations of cheap ticket prices and a Broadway-quality show at the same time. I feel your pain in my soul when your sale total comes to a hefty $500, and I shed a hypothetical tear when you exclaim “oh my butt!” after I tell you the ticket prices. I do not receive the slightest satisfaction when the board of directors raises ticket prices, because I know how it aggravates your already-festering ulcers. Of course I’ll give you a handsome discount: just not over the phone.
When you call and want to get tickets for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on a night that Beauty and the Beast plays, I will, of course, make a few calls to the director, stage manager, and actors, and we will be happy to cooperate with you on a show change, completely disregarding the other 1900 people that have tickets on the same night. YOU are my most important customer. In fact, when you ask for tickets to “Joseph and the Electrical Dreamcoat,” “Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Overcoat,” “Joseph and His Amazing Dream Boat,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technology,” or even “Jose and his Colored Garments,” I won’t laugh at you, and I even might call up Andrew Lloyd Webber myself to ask him the reason why he didn’t simply call it “Joseph,” just for your sake. Just so you wouldn’t be embarrassed when you ask to see “Joseph Smith and His Coat.”
When you come to my window at intermission, shocked and ready to protest because of the offensive Potiphar’s wife scene, I will be prepared with the run-of-the-mill apology. I wouldn’t dream of telling you that the Potiphar’s wife seduction scene is in the bible, and Andrew Lloyd Webber wasn’t making it up. Have you ever read Genesis? Chapter 39. Good stuff. In fact, your scene may be the inspiration of a new policy: no refunds on content.
Since our productions are performed in an outdoor venue, I will try to explain to you that rain is very unpredictable in Southern Utah, so if it’s raining at 8 in the morning, chances are, it won’t be raining at 8 pm. We won’t be canceling the play because it started sprinkling twelve hours before showtime. I sincerely hope that doesn’t ruin your day. If, however, it is raining at showtime, I will understand you banging on my window for an immediate refund, along with the other two thousand people here. I am sorry, truly, deeply sorry that if the show is canceled because of rain, you have to fill out a “cancellation form” in order to receive a refund. But not as sorry as I am that your wife’s perm was ruined standing in the rain while you filled it out. Of course we will pay for your flight, your hotel, and your meals for the next three days as penance because of the rain. Yes, our computers are capable of giving you a refund if you don’t have the tickets, don’t have your credit card, don’t know who ordered the tickets, and don’t even know your own name. I am a box office employee, equipped with special detective skills, and I can decipher any information about you, from your birthday, social security number, and the name of your oldest child, just from looking at you. No, really, I can.
So walk away from my window, or hang up your phone, feeling good about yourself. I may be the Box Office Sales Representative that can do anything short of walk on water, but it’s okay for you to walk all over me. That’s what I’m here for. It’s okay.
Or is it?
Anyway, have a nice day.