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This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: Smelly customers
Frank Cox
Film God

Posts: 2234
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 10-06-2014 12:49 AM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've had this issue before to some degree, but tonight was really extreme.

What do you folks do with a customer who hasn't taken a bath in the month or six prior to his attending a movie at your theatre?

He just about knocked me flat when I sold him his ticket, and throughout the show I was debating with myself as to whether I should throw him out. I ultimately took no action but I'm wondering if I made a mistake. When I was cleaning up after the show I could still tell where he had been sitting.

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Alan Plester
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 209
From: great yarmouth england
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 10-06-2014 08:54 AM      Profile for Alan Plester   Email Alan Plester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Been their a few times when working in the game, and now when on shift at the arcade here, we have 2 customers that are so bad, the staff pick straws who is going to serve them, but not sure if an answer exists on how to deal with it. [puke]

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5305
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 10-07-2014 01:50 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think you can deal with it the same way you would deal with anyone who can do something that would be offensive and disruptive to other patrons. He/she is detrimental to your business and you can refuse service under those extreme circumstances.

Other varients could come into play -- is the offender buying a ticket for a show that's got plenty of empty seats where he would be able to sit and others could keep their distance? Or is he buying for a big show on a Saturday night where you know others will be packed round him and not have a choice to move?

The reason smoking is not permitted in public places is because, among other things, it is offensive to a majority of people who have to come in contact with it. Same thing here -- this odor will certainly be as offensive to most people as second hand cigarette smoke. I've know one of the porters' BO was so pungent that just standing a few feet away from him literally made your eyes water. He was let go for that reason alone.

You also have to worry about what a person of such obviously questionable hygiene may also be bringing into your theatre. If you were in NYC, bed bugs would be the first thing that should come to mind.

I think refusal of service would be within a operator's right and it would be uphelded legally.

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Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2253
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 10-07-2014 02:34 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Usually a person with bad BO will only be offensive to those within a couple feet. The people who smoke pot in the car right before coming into the theatre can smell up the entire building. If you're going to take action against the person with BO, you certainly have to take action against the person who smells like pot.

For that matter, what about the person who showers themselves in perfume or cologne to the extent their fragrance walks in the door before they do? In reality, this one is more likely to be a health issue than someone who stinks of BO or who reeks of pot.

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5305
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 10-07-2014 03:17 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Agreed. But there again, it's the right of the theatre owner to make a decision on the spot if someone is doing something that will offend paying patrons -- smelling offensive, be it from an overpowering odor of pot or perfume or BO, or talking during the movie, kicking backs of chairs, etc., all come under the catagory of things that will prevent other patrons from enjoying the show. And bottom line, the proprietor is not required to sell someone a ticket should he determine that the person will, in fact, prevent other persons from enjoying the show. And you can revoke that license from anyone who is disruptive even after you've sold them a ticket. You can throw them out of the theatre (with a refund to avoid legal issues) and it's your call. I would caution to do that very judiciously, but you can make the decision. And when it is clear to you that someone in a packed theatre is going to force at least 4 or more other patrons around them to sit for 2+ hours with their eyes watering from BO or perfume or pot, you can certainly refuse to sell them a ticket.

Our ticket actually says just that in fine print on the back. I would have no problem taking someone aside and explaining the reason they are not going to be admitted and tell them you will be more than happy to sell them a ticket if they would come back for the next show after they've eliminate the offense -- I might even hand them a complimentary bottle of our concentrated industrial floor cleaner just to show my good faith and so there are no hard feelings.

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Louis Bornwasser
Film God

Posts: 4441
From: prospect ky usa
Registered: Mar 2005


 - posted 10-07-2014 04:24 PM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The cable guy once stank so bad that my cats marked the spot he sat on the floor. Good thing theatres typically don't have cats.

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Terry Lynn-Stevens
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1081
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Dec 2012


 - posted 10-07-2014 05:16 PM      Profile for Terry Lynn-Stevens   Email Terry Lynn-Stevens   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just give em' the boot.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 3357
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 10-07-2014 06:50 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Those are not really simple decisions, you never know how it turns out... Legally, you're probably in your full right to deny people with excessive BO service, as you're not really discriminating and you can ask for a certain basic level of hygiene, just like a basic level of "dress code".

Then there's the question whether you actually want to confront him with it or not and how you do it. This guy will probably offend other paying customers near him, so he's potentially hurting your business by giving those people a bad experience. They surely will know it's not your fault, but then again, a bad experience is hard to compensate.

I would say, confront him and tell him that it's unfortunately not acceptable. It's obviously quite an awkward situation and you never know how somebody reacts to such remarks. But I do think it's best, especially if you handle it calmly and professionally and maybe just give him back the money for the ticket, if it was already sold...

I've actually done this with a customer once. He smelled so bad, filthy clothes, his hair must have been a whole microcosm of unexplored bacterial and fungal lifeforms... I never forget the looks and the smell. Guess you would've allowed somebody like that to attend a show? You'd need a fully fledged hazmat team with blowtorches to clean your auditorium afterwards.

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Steve Matz
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 672
From: Billings, Montana, USA
Registered: Sep 2003


 - posted 10-07-2014 10:44 PM      Profile for Steve Matz   Email Steve Matz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
 -

This man was on AOL News some months back as the World's
Dirtiest Man. He Claims that he hasn't Bathed in over 40 yrs.
"Would You let him in Your Theater?" [Confused]

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Jarod Reddig
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 513
From: Hays, Ks
Registered: Jun 2011


 - posted 10-08-2014 12:42 AM      Profile for Jarod Reddig   Email Jarod Reddig   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I knew a guy once that moved into the apartment building I was living at when I was in my early twenties that had such horrible BO that when he movied out they had to tear out the carpet and fumagate the entire side of the complex as his smell leeched into the rooms with the same adjoining hallway. He came over once barefoot and my carpet was never the same. I dared not let him sit on my furniture.

I asked him one day on a man to man basis if he notices his stench. He said from childhood he has had a water phobia and was deathy afraid of gettin wet. He said he would rather offend every body then have to take a shower. He said his parents would lock him in the bathroom for days until he bathed and he would not and they finally gave up on him. Yikes.

Theres all kinds out there thats for sure.

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Dennis Benjamin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1445
From: Denton, MD
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 10-08-2014 02:46 PM      Profile for Dennis Benjamin   Author's Homepage   Email Dennis Benjamin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My experience with this is the semi-homeless people that come in to "use the restroom". They go into the restroom and then are in there for up to an hour sometimes.

I ask them to leave immediately, without hesitation.

There is a guy that comes around one of our theatres recently who is the smelliest person ever. When he came around the corner on me last week, I thought a freaking sasquatch was loose. It smelled like dead animals or something. It was so bad I almost puked. Horribly disgusting.

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Steve Matz
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 672
From: Billings, Montana, USA
Registered: Sep 2003


 - posted 10-09-2014 12:25 AM      Profile for Steve Matz   Email Steve Matz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well this is off the Subject of BO; But this Freak was Booked into our Jail Last Night. Real Moron;If your going to commit Assault Crimes make sure you put garbage on your Face so you'll be easily recognized by the Cops. I wouldn't let a Guy looking like this into My Theater Either [puke]

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Jack Ondracek
Film God

Posts: 2348
From: Port Orchard, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2002


 - posted 10-09-2014 12:37 AM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Frank Cox
What do you folks do with a customer who hasn't taken a bath in the month or six prior to his attending a movie at your theatre?
I never thought you really needed to post those "we reserve the right to refuse...." signs, but maybe this is a good reason to do so.

As an owner, I wouldn't have any difficulty with this. As an employee, there would have to be some well-defined guidelines. What constitutes unreasonable offense could be a moving target.

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Michael Putlack
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 187
From: Fort Collins, Colorado
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted 10-09-2014 01:38 AM      Profile for Michael Putlack   Author's Homepage   Email Michael Putlack   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've done this twice. Once refusing to sell someone a ticket and another time escorting someone from the theatre after a complaint. You don't need a sign that says "We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service" because all it is is a dumb sign. If you don't want someone in your theatre, you can get them out of there because it's YOUR theatre.

While I try my best to be polite and respectful to everyone, that doesn't mean you can't be forward and just tell someone "I can't have you in my theatre smelling like that. It will ruin the movie for everyone around you."

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7474
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 10-09-2014 10:12 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Michael Putlack
You don't need a sign that says "We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service" because all it is is a dumb sign.
At one of the coffee bars on Los Angeles Union Station, there is - I kid you not - a handwritten sign which says "We refuse the right to serve anyone with offensive body odor". They must have had a very traumatic experience to feel the need to put that up!

But yes, being in close proximity to such a person can be a traumatic experience. I was once on a 14-hour flight from Shanghai to Amsterdam next to such a person, who was also seriously overweight (and thus "overhung" into my seat) and emitted as much gas from his rear end as the plane's engines. As the flight was totally full, relocation to another seat wasn't an option.

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