Monday, March 31, 2008

BLOG HASH: Scenes from a video-store...

Original Post Date: Wednesday February 15, 2006

I used to be a manager of a local Blockbuster Video store. I was reminiscing today about old jobs and dealing with the general public (thank the gods I currently do NOT work in a customer service job anymore). Here are some TRUE stories of "Eric: Manager from Hell"...


Set up: Blizzard conditions. I was the ONLY employee/manager who lived close enough who could make it in. One of the busiest renting days- between Christmas & New years. I was ALONE on shift for 6 hours, a customer line to the back wall of the store, and a HUGE pile of returns I hadn't gotten to yet...

Man: ..."the late-fees are just unacceptable. I want to talk to the manager!"

Me: "Not a problem, sir." *spins around slowly 360 degrees* "Can I help you? I'm the manager."

Man: *obviously peeved* "That's it. I'm taking my money somewhere else!"

Me: "I don't think the multimillion dollar corporation will miss your $3.25 today, sir."

Man: "Well, I'm never coming back here AGAIN!"

Me: "That's OK sir, the worst possible thing you could do to me WOULD be to come back again. Have a nice day."

...for about an hour after that incident- every customer in line was pleasant and paid thier late fees without question....and dont ask me how 400 customers that day could make it in to the store, but not another single employee couldn't....


Set up: A mother and her 15 year old daughter walks up to the counter. The mother is in her early 40's, the daughter is very physically developed...

Woman: "My daughter is having a sleep-over tonight. Why is this rated 'R'? Does this movie have any nudity in it? *hands me the movie BLADE (Westley Snipes)*

Me: "No, but there are some decapitations, extreme violence, and people getting covered in blood."

Woman: "Oh...but no nudity, right?"

Me: *looking dumbfounded* "No...but you'd have your daugher and her friends watch someone being gutted, rather than see something they look at in the shower every day?"

Woman: *serious, matter-of-fact tone* "Exactly, they don't need to see that yet."

Me: *even more confused, quietly rents out BLADE to them*


Set Up: Woman hurridly brings up her 3 yr old son to the counter...

Woman: "My son just threw up on your children's section, I'm sorry. He was extremely ill today, so I wanted to take him out to get a movie."

Me: *perterbed for not leaving a SICK CHILD at home* "That's ok- hang on a sec-" *reaches under counter and holds out a roll of paper towels to woman*

Woman: "I'm NOT going to clean up my son's vomit!"

Me: *now confused AND perterbed* "Then I'm not going to rent you that movie."

...woman storms out. I wish she HAD cleaned it up- evidentally it was projectile vomit down the WALL, behind a ton of movies sitting on the shelves. Luckily I'M the manager- and I had other employees to 'delegate' things to that day...


Set Up: Late one night. the store had just closed at midnight. luckily there were no other customers in the store milling about, so I locked the doors exactly on 12:am. ...ten minutes later...

Man: *bangs rudely on window to get my attention, yells thru glass* "Sir?"

Me: *walks over to glass near drop-box* "Yes?"

Man: *puts video in drop box* "Check that in now, so it's not late."

Me: *WAS going to check it in for him, but he was rude and bossy* "I'm sorry, it's 10 past midnight."

Man: "You're telling me that since it's only 10 minutes late, you'll charge a fee?"

Me: "Yes, I'm sorry, but all videos are due by Midnight."

Man: "There should be some leeway for people who drop it off close to the due time!"

Me: *being sarcastic* "Like a cut-off time for when it's actually late?"

Man: "Yes, like a final deadline"

Me: *amused now* "OH, i forgot- there IS a cut-off time!"

Man: *hopeful* "Really? what is it so i know for next time?"

Me: "Midnight"

Man: *confused* "But...."

Me: *lying my ass off* "The tapes are ACTUALLY due at 11:50 pm, we just don't tell anyone- we give everyone 10 minutes leeway, so the cutoff time is Midnight."

Man: *pissed that he missed even the leeway* "Well, that's just stupid" *starts walking to car*

Me: "I think this is stupid, too, sir."

...I ended up checking it in for him and waving the late fees anyways- he amused me.


Employees loved me, customers hated me, other managers wanted to be me (and get away with saying what they WANTED to). I worked for good Ol' Blockbuster for 6 years, and accumulated many funny tales. I am also one of the only managers to be blacklisted for re-employment. ...But thats a story for ANOTHER day...

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