I remembered another one, from one of my very first jobs. It was at a theater ticket clubwhere you bought a membership and then you could order tickets for any show at the live theaters in town. One year, Katherine Hepburn came to town in the play, West Side Waltz. This was a big deal. It was easily going to be a sell out. Before tickets went on sale to the public, the theater's own subscription seats would be sold, as well as the tickets for our club members.
We were swamped with orders. Inundated. Mailbags full of requests. And we got a lot of new members because word got out that we had tickets. We had to do a lot of phone calling for West Side Waltz, because we had seats, but not the seats people wanted. They wanted orchestra, we had mezzanine. They wanted 9 seats, we couldn't 9 seats together, but we could get a group of 4 and a group of 5. Most people were pretty happy that they could get tickets at all and if we could make a reasonable arrangement for them, they were satisfied.
But not one woman. She wanted a large number of center seats within 10 rows of the stage. Now, for every single show, the management had held out most of those seats. We had a very, very limited number of seats in the range she wanted, and most were isolated pairs of seats or even single seats. Oh, and she placed her order late, so that when it came in, most of the tickets had already been assigned. So, before I called her, I checked ticket availability for every performance and made a list of alternatives to offer her.
She was upset when I told her that getting 12 tickets together was simply impossible. I managed to calm her down from that, and started offering her dates and various seating arrangements. None of which had all 12 seats in the first 10 rows. She turned them all down. "I never sit further back than the 10th row. It's absurd to even offer those seats." She was miffed and offended and very, very snooty. She accused me of having seats and withholding them from her (we bought those tickets--any that we didn't sell were a dead loss, so sure, I was holding back tickets). We went around and around and and she yelled and she stamped her foot and swore at me. Finally she demanded a refund of her money. Since we hadn't even cashed her check, I offered to send that back to her (normally, we wouldn't have done this, but we knew we could sell those seats). Her final words were along the lines of "I'm sure I can do better at the box office. I don't see why your club exists." I had to bite my tongue not to tell her, "Look, lady, I can get you into the theater. For this particular show, that's about the best anyone is going to be able to do."
Tickets went on sale at the box office to the general public a week later. There were no orchestra seats available for any performance--I heard this from the box office manager himself. There were limited mezzanine seats and some balcony seats.
A few days after the box office opened, one of my co-workers answered the phone. And then waved me over. It was the same lady, now asking for the 12 seats she had been promised (her word) for the performance on the 27th. The rest of the staff knew the story and we listened as Tom politely informed her that those seats had been sold and her money refunded. If she would like some of the remaining few tickets we had, she would need to send in another check and we could see what could be done. You could hear her sputtering on the other end of the phone. In the end, I think we were able to find her 12 seats for one performance, but they were scattered all over the theater.