Monday, June 19, 2006

First Day

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Because that lady from the Drug Fair Group in Somerset never got back to me last week, today was my first day---well, evening, technically---at Megamovies as a cashier.

It was a good day, all in all. I learned the cashier procedures---ringing up sales, handling credit card sales and free passes and all that---fairly quickly, and I did a reasonable amount of sales on my own. And, even after standing for almost all of my 5+ hours at Megamovies tonight, my legs didn't feel overly tired! The State Theatre has apparently trained me well, hehe. (My State Theatre world collided with my new Megamovies world for one brief moment tonight when one of the gift shop ladies at the State Theatre showed up to buy a ticket.)

Highlight of my night, though: I got a chance to go "behind the scenes," so to speak, to the various film projection rooms. One of the projectionists---a young man around my age, one who admits that he's still a trainee---brought me up to the projection rooms at my request, and, well, I thought it was pretty cool. I mean, I honestly didn't know that someone actually puts the trailers and the many reels of the feature film all together into one huge reel, mounted on a flat circle. I had always assumed someone was feeding the reels into the projector manually, carefully watching for the reel change marker in order to put in the next reel. Silly me, I suppose.

It got me thinking: wouldn't it be interesting if one day I decided to try my hand at film projection as a way of making money? Yeah I know, it's not nearly as glamorous as it might sound at first...but I'm told that projectionists are supposed to get paid more. One of my co-workers---a ticket tearer who is also training to be a projectionist---said that learning film projection is quite possibly a valuable skill in the film theater marketplace, because not everyone can do it. Hmm...

(Side note: whenever I think of projection rooms, I always think back on that hilarious scene in Jean-Luc Godard's 1966 film Masculine Feminine where Jean-Pierre Leaud's Paul goes nuts when he discovers that a film he and his female friends are watching is being projected in the wrong aspect ratio; he actually walks to the projection room and reads from some manual to make his point about the incorrect ratio. I hope the young projectionist I spoke to isn't making such errors!)

All in all, a good first day. The people seem nice and helpful and personable. And I didn't make any dumb mistakes like I did at a previous job, when I admitted after the first day that I was willing to work but not for the whole summer, and was then fired the next day for not showing enough commitment. I could get into the details of that particular past incident if any of you wish to hear about it...

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