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Is this the norm at the Zenith?

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London, United...
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Is this the norm at the Zenith?

Travelled from London for a concert at the Zenith. On entering the venue we were shown to our seats by a young lady- I thanked her etc... Then in broken English she said I work for free, but rely on tips. Shocked by this, I handed her some euros, she thanked me, then off she went.

Ok, I can cope with handing over a few Euros!

Then to my horror, a young disabled man, whom could only just about stand with the aid of crutches was shown his seat, she then gave him the same speach, then waited while to poor man pulled out his wallet, bearly able to keep his balance, she waited for her tip! He handed her money, then she set off to the next victim.

Really?

Shame on you Zenith...

I can honestly say I've never experienced anything like it...

Bedoin, France
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1. Re: Is this the norm at the Zenith?

Been to two concerts there, never saw this. They were open concerts, no assigned seats. You were either on the ground floor (no seats) or in the surrounding seats. No need for help to your seat.

Were all the people around you 'serviced' to their seats by these people??

Paris, France
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2. Re: Is this the norm at the Zenith?

This is not the norm, bud you find people who cannot behave everywhere.

Note that tips or "service" are NEVER mandatory in France anymore (they used to be in bars and restaurants 20 years ago).

next time, smile and say no

London, United...
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3. Re: Is this the norm at the Zenith?

This happens at a lot of French music and sport events.At Parc des Princes I ignore them and hunt down my own seat.

London, United...
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4. Re: Is this the norm at the Zenith?

@ toutou, yes everyone near us was serviced to their seats, mainly by young women. I thought it was a real cheek.

Paris, France
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5. Re: Is this the norm at the Zenith?

Private theatres and other venues still use ushers with no salary, which is disgraceful, but the tip is indeed a tip -- it cannot be demanded, and it was particularly unwarranted in the case of a handicapped person.

Paris, France
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6. Re: Is this the norm at the Zenith?

Seen that at a number of theatres, but with much more subtle manners (even though on one occasion, as I tried to get to the seat on my own, I was politely but firmly asked to "wait to be seated"; so as to re-check the ticket supposedly)

the big blue marble
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7. Re: Is this the norm at the Zenith?

This is common in Paris. It used to be the standard, even in movie theaters. In fact, I go to an old theater where the old timers still try to give the usher a tip, even though she no longer seats anyone.

I don't think ushers working for no salary is disgraceful, I think they are completely unnecessary and the theaters are doing them a service by providing an opportunity to earn some cash..

I agree that this usher was completely out of line. I've never been asked for a tip, and at the Chatelet theater in May the usher was insulted when I tried to hand her a tip.

Orlando, Florida
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8. Re: Is this the norm at the Zenith?

Wow, that's interesting.

I'm planning to get tickets to the opera or ballet at Garnier or Bastille. I'm assuming there are ushers there - is that a correct assumption? Should I be prepared to tip them?

Both here in Orlando and also in Atlanta where I lived, most ushers were volunteers who get to stay to watch the show after all are seated. They are again on duty for intermission then are free to leave or can stay until the end. It never occurred to me until this post that I might experience something different .

Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: Is this the norm at the Zenith?

we have never seen anyone tip at the Bastille Opera and we certainly don't tip there. no usher has ever hinted. unlike in the US, you do not get a free program and the programs are pricey.

Paris, France
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10. Re: Is this the norm at the Zenith?

Subsidized theatres do not allow tipping -- this includes the opera, the Comédie Française, the Odéon, the Théâtre de la Ville, the Théâtre de la Colline, the TEP, Chaillot and quite a few other places. They are "public" theatres rather than "private" theatres.

Edited: 02 July 2012, 23:14