10 ways to annoy Box Office staff

Work in a theatre box office and you’ll quickly develop a real love/hate relationship with certain aspects of your job. Most of the time it’s the best job in the world – you’re at the theatre all day – somewhere people go to be entertained only you’re getting paid for it. Box offices are generally fun, open-minded and relaxed workplaces and the vast majority of customers are lovely.

But even with the best job in the world there are always some things – or people – that will drive you mad. Here are our top ten:

  • When you ask a customer what date they want and they say “I don’t mind”. Because you can bet your bottom dollar, whatever date you pick, they won’t be able to make.
  • When friends you never hear from suddenly call…it’s pretty likely they want tickets. And normally it will be the ones you don’t have!
  • You spend ages searching for a customer’s tickets…only to find they ordered Print at Home. The clue is in the name…
  • People who spell their name r-e-a-l-l-y slowly – because SMITH is quite complicated…
  • …but people with REALLY complicated names just leave you guessing! Sometimes it’s like being at a spelling bee.
  • When you ask “how would you like to pay?”…and they say “Theatre Tokens”. Seriously, theatre tokens are fantastic – just not £500 worth all in five pound tokens 2 minutes before curtain up!
  • When you ask for a contact number, it’s like you’ve killed their firstborn. We ask for good reason – lost tickets, cancelled shows, medical emergencies. There are tons of good reasons why we need to know.
  • Customers who ask you a question and wander off before you can answer. You’d be amazed how many people pop in to ask directions and then disappear before you’ve explained.
  • Customers who call while they’re driving. No ticket is that important! There’s a good reason why we politely ask people to call us back when they have parked up.
  • When you ask for a surname, they just keep repeating their reference number. Funnily enough, we haven’t committed 80,000 numbers to memory. But we can DEFINITELY find your tickets in the COBO* box if we look under H for Henderson!

*COBO = Care of Box Office.

Most customers are great…and working in a Theatre Box Office is pretty fabulous, even on a bad day. So if you love theatre as much as we do, why not drop your CV in to your local theatre? Alternatively, check out one of these great sites and keep an eye out for new opportunities:

Creative & Cultural Skills – a great, clean and simple description of working in Box Office
Get In Media – A more in-depth look at duties, skills and what to expect from the role
Arts Jobs – A great site for scoping out new jobs

Working in a box office is one of life’s truly guilty pleasures…and that’s even without the chocolate hob nobs.

Here is how you can still see Nicole in CATS if you haven’t got a ticket yet.

The announcement of Nicole Scherzinger as Grizabella has blown The Palladium Box Office with bookings and tickets were sold out within a few weeks of their release.

Since the show opening in December, reviews have been raving and several celebrities have been spotted in the audience – it seems this is THE West End event of the year (including 2014!) and getting hold of a ticket for performances before the 7 of February can be challenging indeed! So we thought we would help you out so you don’t miss out on all the fun.

GRAB THOSE DAY SEATS!

You will have to queue up. Get up early and arrive at the London Palladium Box Office before 8 am on the day of the performance you are aiming for – Day Seats are for the same day ONLY. There are around 40 tickets available every day (only) and they cost £25 each, but each person can buy only 2 tickets. You also MUST BUY WITH A DEBIT/ CREDIT CARD – they don’t take any cash over the counter. I have rang the Box Office and they haven’t seen anyone staying overnight yet – but I would try arriving very early just to make sure. The Box Office opens at 10 am and it sells out within a few minutes.

TRY THE SECONDARY MARKET

If you have some cash to spare (like over £100 per ticket) and want to book a little bit in advance then try STUBHUB (I have seen some tickets for £35 which seems a fair price to me). If you can’t find then go to SEATWAVE (but the prices are high!)

You can also try GET ME IN and any other re-seller you can think of – but it’s good to have a little browse as prices vary.

WHAT ** NOT TO DO **

Don’t buy off ticket touts on the streets! On top of overpriced, they might be FAKE and you will not be allowed in. Never provide payments in advance to anyone and avoid Ebay. Buying from a ticket seller may be expensive but your entry is guaranteed.

I hope this little guide is useful and that you can still see this wonderful show!