The Adrenaline Was Flowing Over Movie Tickets

by on February 18, 2019 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach

The Old Broad Loses Her Cool

I have a birthday coming up in a few days. This is a BIG birthday and I have been trying to not think of it; just want the day to pass quietly without any attention being given to the day. Unfortunately that is not going to happen, in spite of two of my daughters on a trip to India and not being here to “commiserate” the day with me.

The remaining daughter has already asked me a dozen times where I want to go to celebrate; has asked me if there is anyone I would like to have join us, etc.  And not only that, she was planning a party for me – more about that in another column – and she inadvertently sent me the guest list.

When I asked her what my picture was doing on 40+ place cards she gave me some cock and bull story about bringing those cards to bunco, which I hosted, last week.  I told her I never remembered seeing my grandkids at bunco, but she told me it was her story and she was sticking to it.

However, yesterday Hugh came over to repair some things in the house, and I told him I would really like to see the movie “Upside” and asked him if he would like to go with me to see it – sort of a “unbirthday” celebration.  He said yes, and I went on line and reserved two tickets at the AMC in Fashion Valley for a 6:10pm showing.

Perhaps the first problem should have told me how the next 48 hours would go because my printer would not print the tickets.  Damn thing went “off-line” and to this minute I cannot get it back “on-line.” But I had the tickets on my cell phone so I figured we would be okay.

We left the house at 4:45pm because I told Hugh I had not been to the mall for almost 9 years – I am not, obviously, a shopper – and I thought it might be fun to walk around and see what was there. And even though I know when Fashion Valley Mall is I put on my GPS because I was not sure where the theaters were in the mall.

This should have been my second clue that things were not going to go well, because the GPS took us to Hotel Circle and when it told us to turn left on Fashion Valley Road the road was still closed because of flooding. I told Hugh to keep going; we would go in the back way, and that was what 5000 other people were doing.

We went over 24 signals –red – before we even got close to the mall.  And when we finally managed to get into the mall EVERY parking lot was full.  Every single one of them. And by this time it was 5:45pm – and we joked about missing the movie if we couldn’t park.

It was so very frustrating because people were rude; we were truly in a parking lot’s parking lot.  I told Hugh that I thought we should cancel our reservation. The instructions said that we could get a refund if we cancelled before the movie began.  We still had some time so as Hugh was still driving around to find parking I attempted to reach the AMC office.  When I managed to connect I was told that I could not cancel it because the picture had already started. However, I was informed, that if I wanted to talk to someone I could push “zero” and someone would help me.

I pushed zero once; nothing happened.  I pushed it again and I got a recording asking me if I wanted to listen to the instructions from the beginning. If not, “push zero.”  I pushed zero again. And Again.  And again.

Finally I received the message that “all our people are busy and your call will be answered by the next available representative.”  And then the worst music came on to let us know that we were on hold – or, as I said to Hugh, to hang up so we didn’t have to hear the music.  One half hour later, Hugh called the same number with his phone and after the “zero” instructions we were both on hold to see which one of us would be able to talk to a representative first.

One hour later, my phone was answered by “Kenny”, who told me that there was nothing that could be done because those are the rules. You miss the deadline you miss the refund.  What about passes for the $30+ I charged to my credit card.  “No”, he said, “those are not the rules.”

I have to admit that I lost my cool.  He was treating me so subserviently that I just wanted to gag. I used my best “Jr. High School” language, which he didn’t seem to understand because he kept telling me that “those are the rules”.

Hugh and I finally got out of the Fashion Valley parking lot and I decided I needed a drink. We had had a late lunch so neither of us were hungry so I suggested we go to Humphrey’s, listen to music, have a drink and  have some hors d’oeuvres. After all, it was only 6:30 pm so why not?

We found a parking space right in the backstage lot, and I said that maybe our luck was changing.  Went inside; got a table; ordered drinks and an order of flat bread, and realized there was no music. The group that was coming on at 9:00 was setting up.  What happened to the group that was supposed to play from 5:30 on?  Well – they sure as hell weren’t there.  No, we were stuck listening to some awful, piped in loud music, while we drank our drinks and ate our $30 flatbread.  Crap!!

Because there is a cover charge at the 9:00pm show, and because it was only 8:00pm, we decided to go home; I’d fix a wicked Irish Coffee, and we’d watch television, which is just what we did.

In the morning I was still stewing over the $30 that I had paid for the AMC tickets and no refund, so I called the theater and asked to talk to Abby – the manager.  She was so soothing, and so accommodating.

She asked for information that would identify me and then told me that she could not give me a refund, BUT she could send me passes for any AMC Theater anywhere, via US mail, or I could pick them up. She was so apologetic about what happened – she said that because of the flooding many of the parking facilities were not open and that may have caused the problem that Hugh and I had in finding a place to park.  She wished me a happy birthday; asked if there was anything else she could do for me, and we hung up.

There is no mail tomorrow and I do not expect to receive the free passes for several days. I do know that I probably will not redeem them at Fashion Valley; but I am also very thankful for Abby, because she put this birthday back on the right track. And next time? I will not be buying tickets in advance. If they don’t have room for me when I go to the theater, I don’t care to see the movie.

My daughter tells me that she will no longer go to a theater where she does not already have a reserved seat.  Well – we certainly will not be going together.  Nope. I used to get upset with my grandmother that would say, “in the good old days” – I find that I am parroting her, and I mean every bit of it!


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Catsmom February 19, 2019 at 4:27 pm

We haven’t been to a movie theater in years! So much better to rent them for about $6 and watch on large flatscreen tv at home. Pause whenever you want, replay, sit in your recliner and eat/drink whatever you want ?


embo February 19, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Why am I not surprised you let Abby know it was your birthday.


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