Friday, July 21, 2006

My days as a "Clerk"

In my senior year of high school I decided to get out of the food services industry (making pies at Little Ceasar's) and elevate my stature in the community by taking a job at one of the local Blockbusters. Little did I know that over ten years later I would still fondly look back upon that gig as one of the best jobs I ever had. As a pretty enthusiastic film fan, especially the sort that were re-run over and over on the Turner networks, working at a generic neighborhood chain video store was the ideal assignment.

Since jobs like that had (and still do have) a high turnover rate, over the 3-4 years that I worked there during summer and winter breaks I was able to acheive a certain status among the staff and clientele. While out on the mean streets of the N-O-V-A I was pretty pathetic, within my little video kingdom I was royalty. And as such, my cohorts and I were afforded the opportunity to run our little shenanigans like trading free rentals for feasts at Boston Market (then Boston Chicken), tossing loitering kids out of the store for no reason, or showing our favored customers what to buy at the Radio Shack next door in order to "illegally" dub the videos they rented.

Of course with all of that grifting and authoritarianism there were also the moments of transcendant lunacy courtesy of the good people of the North Point community. There was the blizzard in which parents would drag their kids on sleds for blocks (uphill!) to get to the shopping center in order to rent movies and then bitch a week later about their late fees, bemoaning what heartless bastards we were for expecting them to return videos on time in such conditions. Also there was the homemade porno that was accidentally returned in a rental box (come on, what's a video store career without one of those incidents). But the one that really put me over the top, and the spiraling point of this trip down memory lane, was our "Guaranteed to Love It" promotion.

...(to be continued)


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