Thursday, January 17, 2008

Is this dude for real?

My friend Becca got me involved in this super sweet organization that surveys broadway shows. Essentially they do demographic surveys of various musicals and plays, and they need people to help. So, you sign up if you can do the date, show up an hour before the show to stick the surveys on the seats, and collect them from people before the show and during intermission. The best part about it? You get to see the show for FREE. The icing on the cake is that they pay you $15. It’s really a pretty sweet gig.

So the other night I went to see Is He Dead, a play starring my favorite actor, Norbert Leo Butz. I was totally pumped. I got to the theatre and was sent by the Team Captain up to the balcony to survey there with this other dude. Let’s call him Bob. As we’re taping pencils onto the surveys we are making small talk, the usual “where you do you live in the city, what do you do, etc.” He informs me he does some sort of entertainment marketing yadda yadda some New York twenty-something BS job in the vein of those that we all have. Less than 5 minutes into our conversation (and thereby less than 5 minutes into knowing him) he says to me, “Oh, so I get reimbursed by my company for seeing shows, so, I always try to get one of the really expensive tickets off the floor that someone has left behind… if you see one would you grab it?”

I honestly had to let that digest for a minute because my first thought was, “He can’t really be saying what I think he’s saying. Can he?”

Oh but he was.

Ok so first of all, I don’t care what kind of system of right/wrong/good/evil/karma you ascribe to, but that shizzle is screaming bad-news-bears all up and down the block. This dude honestly has no qualms about straight up abusing his company’s reimbursement policy and making hundred of dollars off of shows he’s not only seeing for free but is getting PAID to see. Talk about greedy. Talk about shady. That is like the queen mother of bad karma collecting. And seriously, are you really so brash that you are inviting a complete stranger into your little scheme and think that is totally normal? I was honestly shocked, and there aren’t many things in this city that shock me anymore.

So after the show I texted Becca to tell her how amazingly funny Norbert was, yet again, and how Jon Lithgow was in the audience (the two of them did Dirty Rotten Scoundrels together… yes, I saw it and loved it), and to tell her about the sketchy dude Bob. She responds, “Yeah I know him, I’ve totally worked at shows with him before.”

Ok, a recurring theme of bringing his surveying-companions into his shady McShadyness. Excellent.

I mean, in all reality, it directly affects me approximately zilcho, as it’s not like he’s taking my money or anything. So it’s not something I should even worry about. But really, I just had to write about it because it was seriously the most absurd thing ever.

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