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"Tact, psychology, patience, and a sense of humor are the requisites of a good usher", according to an experienced member of the University Theatre's bright uniformed coterie. A good usher has to be able to handle everyone from little Cambridge ragamuffins to dignified but myopic old ladies, and he may use a different technique with each group.
"You speak to the sons of professors differently from the way you'd talk to some of the tough Cambridge kids. In general you can quiet most restless children with a smile, but if you threaten them they'll take your dare. If you're reasonably decent to them, they'll behave and you won't have to kick them out.
"Most of the students are reasonable because they know that the ushers are their equals and not the type hired by Keith's Memorial. Of course, when some of the fellows have five or six ales under their belts they're a bit hard to handle. If a fellow is forced to leave more than three times, no more tickets will be sold to him." The chief trouble with old ladies is their inability to see in the dark. I remember one lady who, temporarily blinded, stretched out her arms and waving them hestitantly fingered the nose and eyes of a startled man for several seconds."
Those who have long eyed the virgin territory of the reserved seat section, often wondered how many people successfully crash it. "Not many," said the usher. "After a while we learn to notice which reserved seats are filled and an experienced usher gets to know the set-up at a glance."
Sargent vs. Radcliffe
Trained in guarding the reserved section, the usher's keen eye can discriminate between Sargent and Radcliffe students. "You can always tell a Sargent girl. She is not especially dignified and never wears a hat. The Radcliffe girls have a less carefree air and a more preoccupied look. But whether from Sargent or Radcliffe, any group of girls is bound to mean trouble for an usher. Girls may be quiet when they come in two's or three's, but a crowd of girls makes a greater racket than any group of male adolescents."
With a final tug at his crimson blazer the usher philosophized about his job "You get so you can handle people You team to speak to all kinds of people in a business capacity."
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