Norm Violation Essay, Research Paper
The Norm Violation that I performed took place in six different places, but mostly in the same environment. The Violations took place in Sayreville, New Brunswick, North Brunswick, Hazlet, Marlboro, and Matawan. You may now be asking yourself, what is in these towns that perform the same function? It could be a Police Department, Fire Department, a Food Market, a Burger King or even a Car Dealership. Well let me tell you that if you guessed any of these you were close but you didn’t pin the tail on the donkey. The setting for my Norm Violation took place at several Movie Theaters in Middlesex and Monmouth Counties.
The Normative Assumption in any Movie Theater is that you go in, buy your ticket, make a stop at the concession stand and buy some goodies, turn in half of your ticket to the Ticket Taker and finally go see your movie. This is the Norm for pretty much everyone with the exception of a few, some people may not go to the concession stand to get goodies, due to different reasons. Also something that is relatively new thanks to technology and computers, people no longer have to get their tickets at the Theater, they can get them online. All they have to do now is go to the Movie Theater’s web site such as National Amusements.com, or they can go to Movie Tickets.com. They then go to a machine in the Theater’s lobby to receive their tickets. Now as you know when you go to the concession stand and get your goodies, your popcorn comes in a bag and your soda comes in a cup, this is where the violation comes into play. When I got up to the concession counter I ordered a Medium Popcorn and a Large Soda, the attendant then brought the items to me, at this point I told the attendant that I wanted the popcorn in the cup and the soda in the bag. I went to 10 different people out of the six theaters, 6 of the attendants called there Managers, 3 were rude and said I had a problem and 1 actually did it. During the 10 times, 5 times I did it during the week when it wasn’t busy, while the other 5 times it was done on a Friday and Saturday night when it was very busy and both the attendants and other patrons behind me started getting very upset.
In all of the situations I was the bad guy, the attendant was the guy just trying to earn money for a car, college and his prom and the manager was the intermediate and the person making sure that the patrons were happy. In Hazlet most of the people were from the upper class and the manager was a white female in the upper class that led to them looking down on me. While in Matawan the people ranged from the middle to upper class and the manager was from the middle class and most of the people ignored me and didn’t care. When I was in Marlboro it was the same situation as Matawan, but some of the people around sent some very negative remarks towards me. While in New and North Brunswick as well as Sayreville most of the employees were from the lower class, where as the Managers were from the upper class, they lived in Rumson, Holmdel and Edison.
In all of these situations I wore jeans, a nice pair of sneakers, an aeropostal long sleeve shirt and an open dress shirt over it.
In all of the situations I spoke very nice and always used a low voice as well as always saying “Thank You” and “Please”. I was also always telling them that this was the way that I always eat popcorn and soda and that you could charge me the same price but only fill the bag with a medium drink and fill the drink up, that they would be making money on me. When the Managers would come down to see me, I would tell them that I never had a problem at other theaters. For example, if I was at a Sony theater I would tell them that I never had a problem at a Regal theater, if I was at a Regal theater I would tell them that I never had a problem at a National Amusements theater, and so on. Due to race, age, gender and area there were different reactions to my norm violation. First out of the ten regular employees, eight were male’s between the age of 16-20 and two were female’s both of age 18. I went to Hazlet once on a Friday night and had a white female, she acted very nice and said she needed to ask her Manager, her Manager then came down, a white female of age 24 who said she couldn’t let me do it, she then changed her mind when she called her head Manager in New York. I went to Matawan on a Friday night and had a white male, he refused to do it and wouldn’t call his manager, and finally his manager came over due to the fact that I was holding up line. The manager was a white male of age 36 and said that I could have it, however the soda broke the bottom of the bag and fell all over the counter, I then asked for my money back and this made the employee very upset at which point he threw the money at me. Note that Matawan was a small movie theater with 4 screens and was not in a big chain, Sayreville and Hazlet were National Amusements, Marlboro and North Brunswick were Regal and New Brunswick was Sony. I went to Marlboro twice, once on a Wednesday Night and once on a Saturday Night. The first time I went on a Saturday Night and had a Black Male that was about 19, he was very arrogant and acted like he was a God, I then left and got a Manager, the manager was a White female at age 28, she told him that the customer is always right, he refused and told her that he quit, he then walked out and the manager got me the items. The next time I went it was on Wednesday night and I had a white male of age 16, the kid said ok and said that will be $6.50 and got me the stuff. My next stop was Sayreville, on a Tuesday afternoon and a Wednesday Night. The first time was on a Tuesday at about 2:10 pm, I had a white male of age 20, when I asked him to get me the items he said that I must not usually do this and that a Fraternity put me up to it, at this point I told him no and that this is the way I always get popcorn and soda, he said whatever and got me the stuff, on the way in towards the movie the Manager passed me and said that if that leaks or spills that there not responsible, I told that I have never had a problem before and that for $4.00 if better hold soda, he just shook his head and continued walking, the Manager was a Male of about 41 years of age. The next time I went it was on a Wednesday night and I had a Puerto Rican Girl of about 17 years of age help me, she was very nice and said that she never heard any ask for this but that she would have to ask her Manager. Her Manager came down, the Manager was a Female of age 53, she said that she would not let this be done and that if other movie theaters let you get away with then good for them, but that it would never happen on her shift. I finally asked her if I could at least have the popcorn in the cup and she said all right. My next stop was New Brunswick, Once on a Wednesday Afternoon and once on a Friday Afternoon. The First time was on a Wednesday and I encountered a black male of age 18, when I asked him he said that I was fooling with him and asked what I would really like, I told him again what I wanted and he nicely said that he would have to check with one of the Managers. When he came back he said that the Manager said it was ok, but that if the bag broke I couldn’t sue them or ask them to pay my cleaners bill. I said ok and the boy filled my bag with soda and cup with popcorn. The next time I went, which was on a Friday afternoon, I had a White male of age 16, when I asked him to get me the stuff, he said O yeah sure, would like some skittles in a nachos container, I said no thank you, but now I was upset, so when he brought me the two items I asked him if he had a lid for the Soda, now remember the soda was in a bag, he said no and that if maybe I was like any other normal human being I wouldn’t have a problem getting a lid for the soda. His manager then came over and asked what all of the fuss was about, I told him what had happened he said that his employee was wrong but why would I want those items in opposite of what they are normally supposed to go in, I told him it’s how I like it. He said ok and have a nice day. The final stop on this journey was to North Brunswick, once on a Saturday Night and once on a Sunday Afternoon. The first time which was on a Sunday afternoon, I came across a white male of the age of 16, when I asked him to get me the items he said that he would be right back, another employee came over to me and asked if he could help me, I then presented him with the same order, he said that he couldn’t do it, I asked why and he said that popcorn is supposed to go in bags and soda in cups, he said that there was nothing he could do, so I said ok and left. The next time which was on a Saturday night had nearly the same out come, I went to the counter and had a black male of age 18 serve me, he said that there was nothing he could do, I then asked to speak to a manager and he said ok, the manager came over and said that they couldn’t meet my demands because once before in another theater someone had hot coffee spill out of the bottom of the bag and the person suffered burns and sued the company, I told the manager ok and I walked out.
In almost every case the regular employee would always ask a manager to come over and speak to me. Due to age or race there was really no pattern to follow, I think it all depends on how the persons day is going. In Hazlet the people behind me were getting very upset with me and were making derogatory remarks to me, it got so bad that the Security Guard had to come over and ask everyone to calm down. In Matawan and Marlboro there wasn’t a very big crowd there so no one really noticed, however in Marlboro the people did hear the employee curse the manager and couldn’t believe it, they were in shock. In Sayreville and New Brunswick it was very dead and there was no one there to see what was going on except for the Cashier and Usher. In North Brunswick however people were telling me to get the item and then switch them later, and others were telling them to just give the items to me. During this exercise I felt very threatened and upset, I felt very threatened by some of the employees and most of the patrons, and I felt sorry for the fellow who quit, but he did curse the manager out and he was probably a very rich kid that needed everything the way he wanted it.
When I revealed my reasons to the employees and Managers, they all said what kind of teacher would make you do a project like that, I said that it was kind of weird but I got to see how different people react in different situations. You may be asking your self, boy I should give this kid an A+ due to that fact the he must have spent over $100.00 dollars on this project, well I didn’t. I am good friends with the Head Manager with National Amusements, he is in Charge of Hazlet, Sayreville, Atco, Newark, Edgewater, College Point, Cross-County and Saw Mill. He was able to get me passes to all of the theaters I went to, so I didn’t have to pay for tickets, and about a half hour into the movie I would come out and tell them that the bag was soaked and wet and that I want my money back. So in total my project cost me $12.75. Also when I revealed myself people would ask what college I go to, what my teachers name was, what were other reactions from other theaters. When I went back to the Regal in Marlboro which was about a week later and I revealed myself to the same Manager, she said that I cost someone a job and that how would I fell if someone cost me my job, I told them that I have been in worst situations then her employee was and never lost control. I also found out that they asked him to come back and work and they told him what happened, but he refused.