Most people look back with hatred on their first job. Not me, for I am a UFL…
It’s Saturday and I find myself in the all too familiar routine. Dressed in black slacks, shoes that don’t quite fit right, and a maroon shirt. I glance at the clock. 15 minutes before I got to bone out and head off to work. I know beforehand that waiting for me there will be Corey Marshall. I know that starting with me will be Eric Wise. I know this because I am far too familiar with the schedule. See thats what you do when you’re UFL. You know these types of things.
Verify Kung isn’t present.
Even though I’m fairly positive he’s not.
Sunday Funday proportionately titled because Kung doesn’t work Sundays.
I’m free to leave my shirt untucked.
Heading to the trash room, and not to partake in what we call “doing trash”. I’m here to secure my Robo that I stashed in the ceiling rafters post clocking out last night.
What’s a Robo you ask?
Allow me to elaborate.
You see when the reign of the Iron Fist that was Bill Curtis ended, Kung took over as General Manager of the Regal Civic Center 16 and imposed a theater wide budget cut. The only remnants from the reign of the Iron Fist are the Robos.
I know, I know. I still haven’t defined Robo yet.
I’ll start by defining the B2K.
The Butler 2000.
The Butler 2000 is just that. It’s just a shitty fucking butler. Why is it shitty? Because it has no wheels, and no fucking story for that matter. And us ushers to appreciate a good tale.
The robo’s are nearing dinosaur ice age extinction, as in, there’s only 4 left.
Securing a Robo could very well mean the difference in having a shitty day at work, or a spectacular day. Comics made, fights have been started and friendships lost over a black dustpan named Robo. To us it wasnt a $19.99 piece of cleaning equipment. To us it was status.
I might also add the robo had 2 wheels, creating a smooth slide action enabling seamless pick up.
And us ushers are all about being lazy.
Walking in I pass Eric, who had arrived sometime earlier, retrieving his robo from an in progress theater. I watch him walk into a theater, go under the curtains all in plain view of movie goers, and return with a pristine Robo. Great minds think alike.
We’re laughing, walking out to the main lobby, Robos slung in our right hands, picking up popcorn kernels in their wake.
And I see Corey with that sinister fucking smirk on his face.
Corey opens up a mustard packet and squeezes it all over Amber Mcguire’s shirt.
Corey’s laughing that same sinister hysterical laugh booming throughout the halls.
Amber’s a concessionist. And us ushers don’t take kindly to them concession folk.
Perhaps you’re wondering just what is UFL?
Look’s like we got a good crew working tonight, I say to Corey as we are waiting for the first auditorium of the day. He nods in agreement, but I know he hasn’t heard me. As usual he’s on the lookout for some code 3s. Our slang for attractive women. He sees someone, probably a little young, and swiftly leaves the group to investigate. Now that corey’s on the prowl we are one man down for this auditorium. Not a problem because even on his best day, Corey’s work ethic is equal to that of one half man.
As we prepare to enter the theater I hear “God Damnit we got credit Jockeys,” from the last usher on. Credit jockeys are those assholes who stay in the theatre to watch the credits. More importantly they prevent the guy making minimum wage from completing his task.
We have a code for this, however unfortunate, it’s been lost in the annals of time. Trust me, I even made a few phone calls to see if my usher brethren could recall.
“If they could pay us less, they would” I incessantly remind my friends.
This practically becomes the slogan for the UFL.
The founding principals of UFL are laziness and not fuck giving, I believe the technical term for this is now days is “dgafing”, however in the year 2004, no such term had yet to enter existence.
So a little background on UFL.
To squash your ignorant misconceptions, the UFL isn’t a group of little 16 year old boys mobbing under the guise of immaturity.
The UFL is a fucking brotherhood.
So tightly knit, I’ll spare a line and break my present tense format as gratitude. I’ll have you know Eric and Corey are my best friends to this day.
When our my job was on the line, Corey Marshall went into the bosses office confessed, which took the blame off of me, called the boss a cock, took off his shirt, threw it at the boss, and walked out of the regal for one last time. While this story is for another day, it goes to show you these guys had my back. It wasnt some fake bullshit. The UFL cemented life long friendships.
And just because you were slapped with the job title “Usher”, didn’t make you UFL.
You either had to be vouched for, or prove your worth.
Take Eric for example.
Halloween 2004, his first official night on the clock in the maroon colors.
And the fucking power goes out.
Corey: Follow me dude.
You see, Corey and Eric go back. Back to the 3rd grade. Eric is vouched for. And Eric ain’t no bitch.
Eric: You sure this is cool man?
Eric follows Corey into a pitch black auditorium 2.
(I’ll have you know all rooms with a screen are referred to as auditoriums, not theaters. A theater is defined as the overall establishment in itself. Don’t ask. This is an usher pet peeve.)
Corey and Eric join with a fairly large group of employees eating popcorn, talking, and laughing, and most importantly, not attending to the black out.
The Regal Civic Center 16 is in udder fucking chaos. That’s what happens when the power goes out at a theater. Fucking chaos.
While the average patron is stricken with panic, and the model employee is doing their best to help ease the situation, UFL know this is a golden opportunity. This is a chance to double a nights wages in just few minutes.
Without hesitation I grab a few trusted individuals, Corey, Eric, and more who I know are in. See you have to know when the power goes out, it is our job to escort the patron safely out and see to it they get their emergency ticket good for one free showing at time of their choosing. Being that the computers are down and there is no count of how many customers are in the theater, this 2 inch by 2 inch red square offers a unique opportunity for the always resourceful UFL.
The managers on duty are overwhelmed and begin handing strands of tickets, probably 20 long, to those employees who’re going to “help” see the customers their refund and safe passage outside. As soon as we are handed our tickets, we disappear into the dark theater to help frightened customers find their way in the dark. Except we never make it to an auditorium, we meet up down the hall by the emergency exits and walk outside to talk relish in our score.
On the topic of similar shenanigans, err.. this also is entitled to further explanation. But we’re telling the long intricate tale of the UFL and the Regal. Bare with us.
This is more of a task than it is a position. And in short, the worst fucking one.
You see, only an Usher can be dealt Door duty.
Door is tearing tickets, anywhere from 6-8 hours. In short, this fucking sucks.
Tearing tickets is easy, however watching your friends walk by auditorium to auditorium, laughing, having the time of their life, ain’t.
That being said, on the topic of similar shenanigans, Door did have its perks.
You see the average consumer is far too fucking retarded to bring their gift certificates valued at 1 free movie ticket, to the box office.
Instead they bring them to the guy working Door. The guy tearing tickets.
The 16 year old tearing tickets.
Consumer: Can I use this here?
Why yes. Yes you may.
And instead of turning the consumer back to the box office to exchange the certificate, the Door person would instead point the consumer to the proper theater, pocketing the certificate… and slang them at school for 5 smackers accordingly.
I know for a fact Eric is guilty of such charges, but who am I to judge?
Derek and I tag teamed this over a few rum and cokes. For the record, this is part one, probably of many. As we discussed, we could go all fucking night at this. I credit 2004 as the best year of my life, and I mean that sincerely. This was my first collaboration with anyone, pertaining to writing. I’m interested in your reactions. This was a fuckload of fun, I hope you enjoy.