As the child of an ex-Communist trade unionist I am letting the side down. I’ve never poured paint on a visiting ambassador and have yet to negotiate better pay for oppressed workers, but there is one characteristic that proves our family has not been the victim of a changeling-esque ruse.
I see red at the merest hint of injustice or exploitation. I dig my heels in, splutter and rant to whoever can be trusted not to do the wacko head tapping. The most recent cause of DSR (dig, splutter, rant…come on now, keep up) was the seating arrangement in action within the Holloway Road Odeon.
The premise is that you can pay £9.85 for premier seats and for your purchasing power get the pick of the best seats in the house. Poor fools that stick with the £7.85 standard are forced to park themselves in the pleb zone – either eye-wateringly close or right at the back behind the man with top hat (disclaimer: the man with the top hat may not exist).
The source of my ire is threefold:
1). Cinema prices are steep enough. A gimmick that hikes them up still further is an insult to the poor metrophiles who deserve to be able to enjoy a bit of entertainment without staring woefully at their wallets after the final credits roll and its back to reality.
2). NOBODY TOLD US. When there are two purchasing choices with two outcomes it is fundamental that you explain this to the affected parties. My friend and I bought our tickets and ignorantly shlepped off to our screen. The first we knew about the premier/standard affront was when a lady guard stepped out of the gloom and pointed to the two unenviable spots.
3). Enough with the segregation already. It’s bad enough to have to hold onto a pole during long train journeys whilst on the other side of the glass business execs recline in plush chairs, but introducing first and second class citizenry in the democratic cinema environment? When will the remorseless profiteering cease?
I do not hold the employees of the Odeon cinema responsible; in fact my heart went out to the amicable manager who, at the end of the film, was giving out free tickets, absorbing the criticism of disgruntled viewers like a punch-drunk boxer approaching KO. He is not to blame and in fact he too is a victim of corporations who debase people by making them dependent for their livelihood on the peddling of overvalued products.
Any modern consumer gripes to get off your chest? It feels good, I promise.
Image by Atomicjeep courtesy of Flickr