I am living the popcorn lifestyle

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Popcorn is not a choice, but a lifestyle. With that comes judgment on those who consume less than the highest quality corn on the market. The buttered, even amount of salt and oil, fresh out of the popper batch. 

Thanks to my part-time job, I can no longer eat popcorn in the same ways I used to; for that matter, watching people eating popcorn is impossible. 

On a weekly basis, I experience the wonders of the seasoning and fake butter our guests place on popcorn. Whether I’m cleaning up flavor stations and have to scoop up mounds of cheddar and salt dust or peeling open a bag slathered in butter and bacon nacho seasoning to fill it with more popcorn, I find myself repulsed. 

I am not to blame for these unworldly flavors that people like on their theater snacks; however, I deal with the after-effects of cheese dust storms when the butter oil sticks to the counter in globs. 

Choosing to work at a theater, I knew that sooner or later, I would encounter the under-the-rug messes customer service jobs have to clean. Yet, I find the simple wonders these same employees come to love when working in an environment like mine. 

Kids and families who coordinate outfits to match a movie, the ones that go crazy when they see cotton candy on the shelves, and the ones who lovingly crush the slushy cups and ask for refills. Guests, a hand full of trouble being overlooked, are my highlights. A decent portion comes from the high school just across the road. 

But, if I had to pick my favorite part of my job, it, surprisingly, is not the perks of free movies. I often brag about this, but I can’t help but admire the people I work with.

I struck gold with coworkers and managers.

Getting a job is monumental, but finding a community within these worn-stained halls has been absolutely breathtaking.”

From the directors that kindly redirect me when the night goes late, the projectionist who orders food and offers Chick-fil-a nuggets to anyone behind the counter, to the managers that find any excuse to shower me with baggies of chocolate and coupons to other movies. Walking home with a movie poster, cutting out heads of animated cats, and scaring the poor soul who walks into the stocking area.

Each person is unique in their own way, and most importantly, they all work as a team. A good oil machine that cranks out popcorn and pretzels faster and faster. Cheery smiles and waves of delight every time I walk into the building. 

We all suffer and succeed, build each other up, and cover mistakes that have been made. Laughing and living with our legs covered in popcorn dust, slipping on freshly mopped floors, and jumping on pop syrup boxes, these memories shine like a projector in the dark. 

Getting a job is monumental, but finding a community within these worn-stained halls has been absolutely breathtaking. Despite all the hardships I encounter, I often wish the shift was longer so that I could socialize with people I find special. 

School may be where I found my friends, but working at the theater I found a second home, a place where I can disconnect from judgment, and live as though outside the glass doors, and carpeted auditoriums, the world is as golden and fireworks studded as it should be.