I’m a big movie fan and as a treat to myself, each year I buy my theater’s annual pass – good for two adult admissions each week for a year. It’s pricey, but it “pays for itself” if you go more than twice a month.
The tickets come in a book of vouchers and can only be used the week that is printed on the ticket (for example, you’d get two tickets in the books that say “good for one adult admission August 1- August 7 only). If you don’t use that week’s tickets, they’re gone.
The tickets are transferable, however, and the theater actually encourages giving ones you can’t use to friends and family because it means more people coming in, buying snacks, etc.
I’ve done the annual pass for a number of years and given out dozens of tickets to friends, family, even somewhat distant acquaintances – I figure why let them go to waste if I can’t use them? I’ve never had an issue with people being less than gracious – I always get thanks yous and sometimes even a bottle of wine or other token as thanks.
The problem started when I asked my boss if he’d like my spare tickets a few months ago. He accepted, said thanks, and I thought that was that.
My boss is now relentless in pursing my “free” tickets (again, I’ve paid a couple of hundred bucks for this pass).
Without fail, each Monday, he’ll ask if I’ve used that week’s tickets, and if not, what I am going to do with them. I’ve given the pair of tickets to him a handful of times since.
I don’t like lying, but after a few weeks of saying, “Oh, I’m not sure…”, and him pouncing on me, I started to just say I’ve already gone even if I hadn’t. He then started asking me which movie and then plot points like I’m being interrogated.
A few weeks ago, he overheard a coworker thanking me for giving her some tickets and he very tersely asked why I hadn’t given them to him. I said that I liked to give them to different people and changed the subject. He reiterated that he really wants the tickets whenever I don’t use them myself.
One day he asked me what I was doing with that week’s tickets and I made the mistake of saying that I was actually using them that evening to see a certain film. He invited himself along. I said I was going with my sister. He said that we should all go and split the cost of the extra ticket three ways.
Now, one ticket split three ways isn’t going to break the bank, but I told him that I resented the the idea of paying for a movie ticket that I’d already paid for. He grumbled a bit and left it at that. The next week, he asked about the tickets again.
Also, I have never socialized with him outside of work and frankly do not want to spend my personal time with him.
I know this is all pretty minor, but it’s annoying. We don’t have a dedicated HR department, but I suppose I could speak to a higher-up. It just seems silly to complain that my boss is asking me for movie tickets. He’s otherwise a reasonable person and we haven’t had any clashes in the past. He’s is also not being any more hard on me as an employee, he’s just being really annoying about the tickets.
A while back, a submission dealing with a boss encroaching on an employee had people saying he probably had romantic designs on the young female employee. I honestly don’t believe that’s the case here – he’s much older than me and married ( I realize that hasn’t stopped anyone in the past) but I worked here for years before this started and he never said much more to me than “good morning” or “meeting’s at 11.”
I should also note that he makes good money and doesn’t “need” freebie tickets. He also has friends and family, so I don’t think it’s loneliness.
Can anyone give me some idea of how to end this? I’m seriously considering not buying the pass again this year, even though it was something that I really enjoyed. 0826-15
You, my dear, are about to embark on an educational season of life where, upon graduating, you will be the most proficient bean dipper, topic diverter and conversational guru ever. And that will only enhance your worth as an employee! Etiquette with benefits!
Start with, “I’m sorry, I cannot accommodate that request.”
When asked why you gave tickets to others, “It is not any of your business what I do with my personal property. Would you like that report on the Jones account by this afternoon?” Said sweetly, of course.
Questions about movie plots or who you are going with can be answered with….no answer! Merely redirect the conversation to the work at hand, “I completed the assignment. Do you want me to schedule a meeting with everyone to update them?” The key is to ask him a question that refocuses his attention on work so that he has to think of a response. Play this game well by always keeping the work “ball” in his court that he has to volley back.