Monday, December 1, 2008

Back to my mission - lineups at the Movie Theatre

It's about time I turned back to the reason I started this blog in the first place. Can I make a difference to intake to make it kinder and easier, that is humanize the experience? Everyone would benefit, including me as I head in to retirement.

I despise waiting rooms.

So I asked myself, have we stood in a line lately? And sure enough, we have. I was in the line-up at our discount movie theatre, Movies 12. As is the case in so many places in Alberta, they were short staffed last night. There was one girl on ticket sales and only two on concession. The line to the concession was growing. At some critical point, the counter staff hollered out, "there are two lines!" and the line dutifully split. We flowed naturally, like a creek finding a new path. The only person who was a little upset was a girlfriend, who had briefly left the line. Those of us waiting our turn helpfully told her where to find him. She shook her head at nearly losing him.

Later on in the evening, the management put a sign up at the ticket booth, letting patrons know they could buy their tickets and their concession at the same time....inside.

Efficient and friendly. They made best use of the resources they had. And we were all knew it.

So why is it that in nearly every private example I've looked at, there's a sense of professionalism, of order, of a desire to make the patron as comfortable as possible? Could it be the reason we are there? Cinema wants us to come back. They gain when we have a good experience. We are planning to have a good time.

It's not quite the same thing when we go for hospital testing or apply for a service, is it?