Les Petits Contes

About life's little observations, which matter. About hilarious situations, which illuminate. About stories which offer immense possibilities, open endings, different interpretations and perspectives.

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Location: Singapore

A nature lover; sun-worshipper, manic book-collector, dessert-devourer and a magnet for hazards

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cathay Cineplex Perplexes

I am still reeling from disbelief, and wonder if I had been a victim of a nasty prank by a bored employee. (My typical JL moment – to ‘’kenna’’ such pranks)

Yesterday, I was at the Cathay Cineplex box office downstairs (street level near entrance) at 6.30 pm wanting to buy tickets for the Israel Film Festival. I told the woman at the counter, and even showed her a print out of the programme as listed on their website.

She went, ‘’huh, huh?’’ a few times. Then, given the print out but without bothering to take a look, she replied, ‘’It’s not out yet.’’ I told her the event starts next Friday at the Picturehouse and it’s publicized (including posters at their premises!) that tickets were on sale since last week. ‘’No, it’s not on sale here. You can try getting them at Cineleisure’’. I was dumbfounded. Thinking that there could have been a printing error on the website about the screening venue, I told her I used to be able to get Cineleisure tickets even at the Cineplex and asked if I could buy my tickets there.

From then on the conversation degenerated into the most ‘’brilliant’’ ad lib attempts and lies that I have ever witnessed in my life:

She: Sometimes you can get Cineleisure tickets here but not always. Depends.

Me: Depends on what?

She: Depends on what shows. If you want you can go the box office upstairs and see if you can tickets there; here downstairs, we don’t sell. (She did not even bother to check her computer system about the shows, preferring to check with her colleague at the next booth, who happily ad libbed and lied her way throughout too)

So I went to the box office upstairs and bought my tickets, not without lots of delays though, just to get two tickets. The woman also parroted, ‘’It’s not out yet the minute I mentioned the Festival. I insisted that she checked. She had to ask her colleague for each and every move, including asking if they sell the tickets to the shows I wanted. It was useless even to give her the print out of movies for reference. She was absolutely clueless how to sell tickets, and her colleague was using me as part of her training programme. ( I am a paying customer, not their guinea pig)
While she was taking my orders, she managed to erase everything on the system and her colleague had to re do the whole thing, in super slow motion, and holding up a long queue behind me. All this while the clueless woman was silent and sullen, and stuck the tickets into my face at the end of the whole transaction as if made to work at gunpoint.

How did Cathay survive 75 years (brazenly celebrating its anniversary now) with this kind of staff, who are insolent, lack initiative, lazy, has zero training and knowledge, sullen and dishonest. But they take the world’s top prize for ingenious ad libbing and lying. Actually they provide me great fun and joy to tell this marvelous story to all my movie going friends, not to mention a fantastic conversation starter for my twitter and facebook posts!!!!!!!!


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