Trolls Exist IRL

Ahh, another Ontario Place story. I have a feeling that customer service does provide a lot of good material.

Today was a normal day like any other, working as the host. Took tickets, counted passes, handed glasses and told people where to sit. No problems, and no hassle. I did the pre-show announcements, waited ’til the show was over, and then did the post show announcements. Once again, no issue…

And then I met a Troll.

For this who don’t understand what a troll is, allow me to explain. A troll is either (A)a mythical beast that eats sheep and lives under a bridge (B) a person who believes beyond the shadow of a doubt that it is right, and is obnoxious and loud about its opinion. The opinion, for further clarity, is always antagonistic.

As an example, here’s a “fill-in-the-blanks” version of how a troll might sound like:

“_____Sucks! You’re a _______ and you suck. I’m obviously qualified because I’m a ______ and I should know. This was awful. I could do this myself {-or-} My grandmother could do this {-or-}  ________ %$#*ing blows!”

Got it? Great! Let’s continue.

I am standing at the bottom of the stairs on the right side of the theatre, taking glasses and wishing everyone a good day, when a man suddenly asks me an awkward question.

“Sir,” he said in a very matter of factly, I’m-about-to-tell-you-off way, “is the volume in the theatre adjusted to suit people with a handicap or hearing problems?”

I thought about it for a minute. Is the volume in the theatre intended for people with hearing problems? Not likely. Is this question suppose to fluster me?

“Uhhhh… I don’t know, sir. Maybe?” I say meekly.

Great success Phil, you failed to notice it’s a trap.

The man draws himself up, and I finally take a good look at him. His aging white hair is having trouble covering up his balding scalp, and his glasses drive the point home that this man is well over 50. He is by no means an elderly man either though: he’s big, he’s beefy, and despite his friendly looking purple shirt and round glasses, he was not happy with something. My best guess at the time was the volume of the movie.

“Because this sound system was WAY too loud.”

I was right! Huzzah!

“I mean, I could tell that the volume was at LEAST 10 decibels too loud. You know what that means? That’s 10 decibels too many; and I should know, I’m a sound engineer. I’m coming back, and next time, I’m bringing my equipment with me so I can measure the sound here and check it against federal regulations. This can’t be legal.”

Oops?

“I’m sorry sir, and I understand: Hubble is loud. If you want to, and I recommend it, you can talk to guest services-”

“And frankly,” he continued, his momentum only gaining, “you’re announcements were annoying! They were far too loud, and it didn’t help at all. I couldn’t even concentrate on what you were saying!”

Now folks, I’m one to take criticism seriously when it comes my way. I like learning from mistakes; but when you call me annoying? You better bet I’ll take it with a grain of salt. Especially when another guest comes up who’s been hearing the whole thing, and says the following:

“I thought he was fine.”

The sound engineer took on the same colour as his shirt.

“Are you a specialist? I am. You probably thought he was fine because your ears are damaged.”

The guest took this surprisingly well and mouthed “What?”

The sound engineer continued: “I know what I’m talking about. I record rock groups, and this-”

Cue the guest. “Maybe it’s YOUR ears that don’t work then. Rock groups would explain it.”

It’s at this point that I’ve decided that this needs to stop before it escalates. “Sirs, I’m sorry but this discussion is stopping people from handing in their glasses. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion: sir,” I gesture towards the sound engineer, “if you have any complaints, please tell guest services, as it will likely have a greater effect than telling me. As for you, sir,” I gesture towards the guest, “if you think I’ve done a good job, then please tell guest services, since they love to hear when we do well. Thank you! Have a good day!”

Undeniable proof that trolls exist in real life. They just don’t live under bridges anymore, that’s all.

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One comment

  1. I thought Trolls only existed on Internet Forums…

    I’ve had my share of nasty and unruly guests though. Sounds like you handled it about as best as you could though. Only place you could have done better is on your initial response to the Troll. Confidence can go a long way. It probably wouldn’t have stopped this guy, but no need to add blood to the water. He sensed weakness and he pounced.

    Like

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