It was summer in Atlanta in 1966 when I got my first job. I worked in the neighborhood theater, the Gordon Theater, for about a year when the bosses hired someone to relieve me from selling tickets while I helped out selling candy and popcorn. I did all three jobs and got used to problems that occurred with them. I know you think “what kinds of problems could there be selling tickets, popcorn and candy?” Well, many, I assure you.
As with any job there is loss or theft and personnel situations that you have to deal with. As I look back I really respect the owners of that theater company as all their employees were teenagers. The owners were not young either. Mr. Brown was surely in his fifties with his white hair and Mrs. Robinson was in her later years. She was a Vaudeville dancer in her youth. She was very elegant and kind.
What could go wrong?
Most of the employees were teenagers from the local high school down the street. Some liked to steal. On the way to the men’s room, there was a door on the right that led to the candy room, and then to one of the offices. People would run in and steal a bar while the cage doors were open during business hours.
Depending on who was selling tickets in the box office and who was tearing tickets at the door, money could be made by reselling tickets that were not torn.
Also, some folks would bring back their empty popcorn containers and get free popcorn from a friend that worked that post.
After this went on for a long time, the owners, sold the business.There was too much loss. People were dishonest and took advantage of the them and what they had to offer.
So the bosses hired a girl to help. I didn’t know much about orientation or anything so I did not think that I needed to do that as the bosses usually did it. I helped her as much as possible in finding things, telling her about how things worked, where things were, and training her for the box office. There was also Mrs. Steele who worked the box office all the time. She had worked there for ages and she also taught her about balancing nightly and what the bank needed for the deposit.
Everything was going well or so I thought when suddenly after an extremely busy day, she wanted to fight me, (as in physically fight me), because she couldn’t find some things in the box office and it made her look bad. I was extremely surprised with her actions and thoughts about it. It was so beyond me and really out there.
My boyfriend was there and saw the whole thing. He started laughing because I wouldn’t fight her. Huh?! During those times, there were fights at school between girls, as well as, boys. I never got into that mentality and stayed away from people that wanted to act like that. I am non-violent and that is all there is to it.
I was so confused. If memory serves me she quit the next day and I never saw her again, not even at school. I guess she couldn’t take the heat of learning a new skill. I bet her life has been rough since.
It was a small incident but so odd. I still don’t understand and I don’t understand why my boyfriend wouldn’t come to my rescue either.