As many 16 year olds, my parents had pushed me into getting a part time job. After plenty of arguments, I decided to give it a try and met a woman who has now been my manager for about four years. The store had just opened and my work was focused to a single theater IMAX screen where I was required to fulfill a few different positions. Some days I was placed behind concessions where I sold tickets and snacks, others I checked tickets and handed out stylish 3D glasses and sometimes I was inside the theater, helping people get seated and cleaning up after the show was over. I handled being in the theater quite easily but being outside in the usher and concession positions, I struggled with being overwhelmed and being a more patient person.
I found myself struggling with being patient and having people not understand the way things went because it is not a typical movie theater. Standing behind a register at concessions, there would be a line of people all the way to the carpet into the showrooms. I had trouble understanding how people could stand in line for ten minutes and still not know what they wanted, or they would get mad when I handed them plain M&Ms and not peanut even though they never specified that they had wanted peanut.
I had trouble dealing with people that showed up late for a completely sold out show and were upset that they couldn’t sit together or the only open seats were in the front row. I had gotten to my breaking point and eventually found that I didn’t enjoy working because I had no patience for people like this.
It wasn’t until we had our first Harry Potter release, when an angry guest decided to get up into one of my managers faces. The irate guest, dressed head to toe as a wizard, put her magic wand into my managers face. My manager stood there and smiled as the guest took her anger out on her. After the ordeal was over, you couldn’t even tell that she was just yelled at in front of 500 people. I stood there in awe as she brushed it off as though she had just had a pleasant conversation with a close friend.
I stepped into her office a few days later and had a conversation regarding the ordeal. I sat there as she explained that the only way to get through life is to be more patient. She had watched me since I had started and said I should really get this book called, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.”
I went out and bought the book that night, by sunrise the next day, I had it finished. Though I realized patience doesn’t come overnight, I definitely felt a lot better at work the next few months and at this point in time, I find work so much more enjoyable. I believe in patience and seeing the innocence in people. Having realized this, I no longer sweat the small stuff and I smile and ask whether a guest would like plain or peanut when they ask for M&Ms. Patience is truly a virtue.