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Tales from the Front Line — Humorous Box Office Stories

October 28th, 2014 by admin

Like all jobs, doing what I do isn’t for everybody. Customer service definitely has its pros and cons, but I can certainly say that there is never a dull moment when it comes to talking with customers.  I’m going to share some of the more light-hearted and funny moments that I have personally experienced from working in the box office.  Oftentimes, it’s moments like these that get us through the day, and keep us laughing for a long time to come.  I want to stress that these stories are not meant to shine the spotlight on anyone or make anybody feel bad.  These are just some humorous interactions with customers that have literally made me LOL, and anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE to laugh!  I will start with a story that happens more times than you might think, and I’m sure that every employee in our box office has gotten this call on numerous occasions.  This is how the conversation usually starts off:

Me: “Shubert Box Office, how can I help you?”

Customer: “Is this the Shubert Theatre?”

Me: “Yes, it is.”

Customer: “And is this the box office?”

Ok, let’s take a moment and rewind this situation, shall we? Jane Doe finds out that a particular show that she wants to see is playing at our theatre.  Maybe she googled it, maybe she saw our ad in the newspaper or a magazine, but clearly she sees that it’s at the Shubert Theatre, so if she decides that she wants tickets, it stands to reason that she knows she has to call the Shubert Theatre. In fact, our number is most likely listed in that ad or on our website that she found when she googled us, so she MUST know that when she picks up the phone that she is going to be calling the Shubert Theatre.  She dials our number….it starts to ring….and she waits in anticipation for the voice at the other end of the phone to answer.  It does, and Jane receives that confirmation that she actually HAS reached the place that she dialed when she hears “Shubert Box Office, how can I help you?”  So, MY question is, at what point is Jane stricken with this temporary amnesia that makes her ask “Is this the Shubert Theatre?”  Could it be the excitement that she actually got through to us on the first try?  Could it be that asking Jane how we could help her throws her completely off guard?  What causes this?  The world may never know.

Throughout my time here, and that’s many years, there have been so many funny things that have happened, it’s almost impossible to recall them. However, my absolute favorite story to tell over and over is a call I got quite a while ago now.  A patron was ordering tickets for herself and her family for a show that was happening that evening, and the sale was going along quite well.  As we neared the end of her transaction, the conversation went something like this:

Me: Your grand total comes to (insert total here), and I just need to remind you that all sales are final and there are no refunds or cancellations.

Customer: Sounds great.

Me: What type of card will you be using today?

Customer: (very hesitantly and with reserve) Ummm….a minivan???

Bottom line: We all need more laughter in our life….there’s so many terrible things going on in the world, we need to remember to take a moment and laugh.  It really is the best medicine!

I love working with the public. I really do.  Truly, the best part about working in customer service is the feeling that you get when you know you’ve helped someone out, or made them feel special in some way.  Not only have you probably made a customer for life, but making someone else feel good makes you feel pretty good, too!


Contributing Writer – John-Michael Whitney – Assistant Box Office Manager, Shubert Theatre


Meet the Writers – John-Michael Whitney

October 28th, 2014 by admin

Name?   John-Michael Whitney


Official Occupation/Company?  Assistant Box Office Manager / Shubert Theatreheadshot - John Michael Whitney


Organizations Belonged to?  Manchester Musical Players, SATB Cabaret


Favorite Restaurant in New Haven?  Soul de Cuba


Favorite Pizza place in New Haven?  Pepe’s Pizza


Favorite Pizza to get at your favorite place?  Pepperoni & Mushroom


Hobbies/Interests?  Singing, Performing, Traveling, Amusement Parks


Sports/ Sports Teams?  


Vacation Spot?  Disney World


Dunkin or Starbucks?  I don’t drink coffee, but Dunkin would be my first choice.


Nicknames you have, why?  


Interesting facts about you that people might not know?  I have 15 nieces and nephews, and 14 great-nieces and nephews


What animal would you be and why?  A large bird like an eagle or an albatross so that I could fly.


If you could have one famous person narrate your life, who and why?  D.B. Sweeney…he’s the voice of the OWN Network, and has a great voice.


What living celebrity do you most look like? i.e.? who would play you in a Movie of the week?  Either Matt LeBlanc, David Arquette, or Nathan Lane


Name a fictional character (think Marvel comic heroes, super hero, Disney character, etc) you would be?  Peter Pan


203 or 860?  203


If you had to write a twitter post about yourself (140 characters or less) what would it say?  Still trying to figure out Twitter after all these years!


If you were “trending” on twitter, what would be your #hashtag ? #broadwaybaby


Beverage/cocktail of choice?  Ice Cold Beer


Favorite New Haven place to meet a friend for a drink ? Viva Zapata


Favorite summer activity in New Haven? Concerts or Movies on the Green