Apr. 26 | A Day in the Life: Box Office Manager

“Enjoy!” It is greeting and sincere wish offered by our Box Office Manager to every patron coming through our doors.  The acts may change, the seasons may come and go, but some things in the life of the Weinberg Center remain unchanged.  For 14 seasons, Jef Cliber has been welcoming patrons to “the Jewel of Frederick” with that same greeting. Take a peek as Jef offers us a glimpse of his typical Tuesday.

8am: My day begins with a flurry of activity. Lights go on, a walk through the theater is done, and then to the basement I descend. The first order of business is running of the reports. This is a daily process, where I run the report for the previous day.  I then proceed with multi-colored highlighters and tackle every single transaction that took place the day before. Depending upon the volume of business done the day before, this process can be either very lengthy or very short.  An average deposit can take about an hour to process fully.

9am: Reconciliation and recording the deposit. This process involves cross-referencing a lot of numbers. If the numbers match between what my 2 reports say, I can move on to reconciling my credit cards. The volume of the business the day before really matters here, since the credit card totals have to match exactly. If not, it becomes a detective case where I must find the error and solve the issue. Who says accounting isn’t fun?

10am: It is time to open the Box Office for business! By this point in the day, I know exactly what is going on today business-wise. Phone messages have been received, emails have been answered, and it is time to update my staff. I usually try to let them know specifics: “Someone is coming in to pay for a large group sale this afternoon, and here is the reservation number.” That kind of communication goes a long way, preparing everyone so that we are all on the same page.

10:30am: There is always a larger question that needs to be answered in email. Written communication is essential when dealing with financial matters. Today, I need to make sure that a discrepancy between my records and those of my ticketing system are reconciled with the City’s finance department.

11am: The mail has arrived, so it’s time for me to process any payments that we have received for group sales. Upstairs to the Box Office I go!  Today I have several of these payments from our education-based performances, the smARTS Series. I have a lot of invoices to pull up, verify the amount owed in the system corresponds to the payment I am receiving, and then process. Back to the Box Office I go to drop off these payments.

12pm:  Lunchtime is here. I have deposits, mail, and inter-office envelopes to deliver to City Hall, and I am fortunate in that I combine a work function with a visit with my lovely wife! So I walk by my wife’s work and she joins me for the trip.

12:30pm: It’s time to process the financial settlements for any events that happened over the weekend. While I am compiling all of this information into a simple and easy-to-read format, I have to wait for more information to come back to me. While that’s going on, I return a phone call to customer regarding a Will Call question, and then speak with an upcoming renter about their performance to verify I have all the pieces I need to build their show into the ticketing system.

1pm: I have moved on to building new performances into the ticketing system. I have done this for enough years now that I have a mental checklist in my head of the steps I need to take. I finish out the build, review it, review one more time, and then I am ready to activate the performances. I update my sales reports to reflect the added shows.

2pm: It’s now time to process my settlements. Most of the work is already done from earlier, but now I have to add in the appropriate charges. I verify final numbers, and then it will be time to print and mail it. On my way, I double check with the Box Office staff to see if a board member has stopped by to pick up an envelope.

2:30pm: I verify some unpaid invoices for an upcoming show and process some other ticket requests from corporate sponsors and upcoming performances, specifically Artist seats. Artists who perform are generally allowed a certain number of tickets, per their contract.

3:30pm: Finally, I have the time to work on my upcoming month’s schedule for the Box Office. I have 4 employees and I must incorporate their time off requests with our upcoming events. I also take the time to see what other events are happening in our community to see if there is anything else I need to know about. Before 4:30 arrives, I have looked at 7 different calendars. I’m always walking out of my office to ask John, Ashley, or Rebecca questions regarding other events – or to look at their calendars if they aren’t at their desks.

4:30pm: The day is over already? Tuesdays are always busy, even in slower months. I’m off to pick up my wife and head to the grocery store, and then the pet store – my 2 furry boys at home need their favorite food!

See you at the theater!

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