We managed a short trip to Muleshoe South, a.k.a. Kingsland, Texas, at Lake LBJ last week. Colten and I went to a neighboring town to see “The Karate Kid” one night. The show was good, but the concession stand was a story in itself. We made the decision to go too late to make the 6:45 feature, so we ran some errands and waited around for the one at 9:30 and basically had the place to ourselves.
The first thing wrong was the big sign in the ticket booth instructing us to buy our tickets at the concession stand inside. So the manager must have cut out one job to save on overhead. Then we decided to buy refreshments, which I usually don’t like to do since everything is so ridiculously overpriced. But we wanted some sort of diversion till the movie started since we had not managed to kill enough time browsing in Wal-Mart next door. Colten asked for Milk Duds and was told all they had left were the three kinds of candy displayed on top of the counter. So instead we ordered a small popcorn, to which the girl replied they were out of small bags and would we take a medium? Later I wondered why someone didn’t suggest just half-filling a medium bag, but none of us thought of it, so we took a medium bag of popcorn which would have fed Spain’s World Cup soccer team. You can’t have popcorn without something to drink, of course, so we decided to split a large Coke. As the girl puts ice in the cup, she asks if would we take something else since they were out of Coke. Out of Coke? Is she serious? So I had no choice but to ask, “Are you going out of business or what?”
“Last weekend was our big Twilight weekend, and we sort of ran out of everything,” she says as if that should make it okay. “Our supplies come in on Thursday.”
And of course this was Wednesday night. Apparently they have never heard of Sam’s or Wal-Mart where one can buy candy and popcorn bags and such all on their own. Or what about calling their supplier and asking for an early order?
Then this girl asks in her best concession-stand trained manner, “Would you like anything else?”
Anything else? Gee, let’s see. What else do you not have?
So off we go, pausing at the butter dispenser, which happens to be almost empty-big surprise-and go into the theater, which we wound up sharing with four other people to watch the movie.
As I said, the movie was entertaining, but by the time little Will Smith was doing a right nice Rocky imitation and winning the kung-fu tournament against all realistic odds, we were freezing to death and shivering in our seats. That’s how the manager could cut some of his overhead: adjust the blinkin’ air conditioner to warmer than needed for hanging meat.
No wonder businesses go under these days. No one knows how to manage.