The Time I Betrayed My Co-Workers
I used to work at a movie theater in Fort Smith, AR. The workload was very odd. It would be super-busy for about 20-30 minutes, and then totally dead for two hours.
On the weekends, people would cram into the lobby like sardines. There wouldn’t be an inch of physical space left anywhere. It would be very loud. They would all want something from me. And then… silence for hours.
Inside the theaters, there would be trash everywhere. It was the employees’ job to clean up this trash in between movie showings. But this was not the case at the end of the night. For the last movie showing, the theater employed janitors to come in after the employees had left for the night and clean the theaters one final time. The janitors had the whole place to themselves at night.
Some of the theater employees had been having a feud with the janitors. One night, they decided to trash the theaters as much as possible so the janitors would have to spend hours and hours cleaning it up. It would be hard to prove, since the theater was usually pretty dirty already.
They took huge garbage bags of leftover popcorn into the theaters and layered the floor with popcorn. Garbage bags from the trash receptacles were taken into the theaters and their content was thrown about haphazardly. They had a lot of fun with it. One guy took an extra-large cup of soda and threw it across the the theater. It spun in an arc like a football and exploded against the wall. I’ll never forget the sight, especially since he kept doing it over and over.
I have never in my life seen such damage.
They encouraged me to join in and throw trash and popcorn everywhere myself. I refused. They asked if I was going to tell on them, and I said “No.” So, they assigned me to lookout.
After I went home that night, I couldn’t stop thinking about how wrong it was. So, I let a couple hours pass, and then I went back to tell the janitors what had been done.
It was a strange feeling to walk into the movie theater at 3:00am. Only the janitors would be there. I had no reason to be there, so there’d be no turning back once they saw me.
After I told them, they were both royally pissed and incredibly thankful to me for telling them. I had made instant friends for life.
The next day, when I came into work, it was chaos. The janitors were there raising hell with the manager. They had the home office on the phone. I had to tell my version of events in front of the people I betrayed. And then, I had to keep working with those people for years afterwards like nothing had ever happened.
If I could do something like that every day of my life, I’d be very happy.