My first real job was as a "range dog" at the local country club (the guy in the fenced-in golf cart who drives up and down the driving range picking up all the golf balls). That lasted from spring through the summer my freshman year in high school. My next job was at Little Caesar's pizzeria. That was a great position that lasted March through August of my junior year of high school. My third job was with Blockbuster Video. My brother (an assistant manager at the time) got me in and I worked with BBV from June of my junior year of high school all the way to 4 months after I graduated college. That's 5 frickin' years behind the counter wearing khakis and blue shirts. 5 years of eating my fill of candy and playing my fill of video games day in and day out. It's these 5 years that I plan to review and rate for your pleasure and my reminiscing.
Blockbuster Video was one of the best places to work for a high school kid. There are no deep vat friers spewing mists of grease into the air; the place is air conditioned, you get free movies each week (well, for the first year we only got 1/2 off all rentals); and all your classmates come in all the time to rent, so you always get to hang out with them even on work nights. Of course, there were some down sides, but they were far and few between. Honestly, I really can't even think of any horrible parts of the job right now. Some people might complain about the rude customers, but I thrived on them! I fucking loved to either play stupid and watch the bitchy ones foam at the mouth as they tried to talk their way out of late fees, or act smart and watch the bitchy ones foam at the mouth as they tried to talk their way out of late fees! And the ones who wanted refunds for whatever reason almost always provoked me into a screaming match which I never lost. My God could I spit venom back in their faces like a cobra with a mouth full of marbles! It was definitely something to behold. It was a gift.
There was this one time that a normal looking customer came up to my counter on the busiest night of the year (Memorial Day) and about 10 flashing warnings popped up on his account. They warned that the fucker refused to pay $30 worth of late fees at another store and that he threatened an employee's life when he was told to leave. It went on to say (it was a looooong warning) that the police were called in to have him removed from said store and that he now had a restraining order on him to stay at least 50 feet away from all BBV stores. With a line of 15 people behind the counter I just smiled to the dickhead and informed him that there had apparently been trouble with his account before and that the gods were not smiling on him today. "Sorry, buddy, but we're not allowed to rent you anything. You've gotta go before we call the cops." That, coming from a 17 year-old punk kid set the douche bag off like a motherfucker! Oh man, it was incredible. He started yelling and throwing tapes around, he almost slapped me, and I had to be held back by smelly Sherman (the one guy in the store who never bathed) or I would have jumped the counter and slugged the dickass.
Good times. Good times. We did call the cops on him too. Wanker.
I can still remember all of my fun coworkers. They were the real reason why I loved my job so much. Yeah, I had heard lots of horror stories from other school chums who worked as cashiers at the A&P, or as pizza delivery drivers, but it wasn't like I thought my place of employment was any better than theirs... It was the quality of the coworkers. Of course some of them were the biggest fucktards this side of Michael Moore's moronic ass, but most were a pure joy to hang out with and play video games with while on the clock. And then there was Shelley. Shelley was a cute girl in my Senior Marketing class: In fact, she was the president of our little school-run business venture. And she had a great pair of legs. We'd "find" opened bags of M&Ms or SnoCaps and practice shooting baskets with them in eachother's mouths for hours on end. We'd place fake warnings on customers' accounts to try and get the other to crack up while they were checking the patron out (things like "She has a penis!" and "Customer said he would like to 'spank your ass pink as a salmon'"). But alas, like most people smarter than me, Shelley quit BBV in order to work in a more glamorous setting... Typically the movie theater, but sometimes the Putt Putt Palace. Man, I missed scoping out her ass as she bent down to pick up the movie I just happened to drop right in front of her. Shelley, If you're out there, call me! I have a video camera now. *Groooooooooooowl!*
Other than the unlimited free candy and videogame marathons that took place during rushes, the best part of my job was that I never paid for a video game or movie purchase the entire time I was employed by the great BBV thanks to the power of lamination and knowledge of the average retail store's returns policies (I never stole from my own store... Jeezus! What kind of an asshole did you take me for). Because I worked retail, I knew what other stores allowed for returns or refunds. Most needed the product to be in its original wrapping, especially if you wanted to exchange say a crappy videogame for a less crappy one or a bunch of VHS anime (looooong before the arrival of DVD mind you). That's where the lamination machine at my Blockbuster came in handy. I'd take my SNES Mortal Kombat 2 cartridge that I spent a good portion of my salary on only to find out that raping large reptiles was more amusing, and then re-plastic wrap the whole thing up. Then I'd take it over to the closest Best Buy or Media Play and make a bee-line for the returns desk with my once again brand new product. Most of the employees there knew me by name after a few months. I never even needed a receipt. After a while I actually got a bit bolder and started returning all of my old VHS library movies (that I'd never watch again) for all the newest anime releases of the time (for things like Akira, Nuku Nuku, and Vampire Princess Miyu). If I spent anything more than $50 over the course of those 5 years for any kind of entertainment media I'd be very surprised. Since leaving Blockbusters, I've tried to return shit like Metroid Prime and the crapfest known as Ninja Resurrection DVD only to have to lie my balls off to the clerks involved, or exchange the damn thing (in MP's case) at 4 separate stores before I found a place that didn't have any more in stock so that I could finally get something else! Jeesus! Blockbuster had spoiled me like three month old milk. But without the chunks.
Before I rate my old job, I have to thank a bunch of people who made my minimum wage experience such a fucktastic blast. These people helped me come up with brand new ways to annoy the customers, get free food with exchange programs set up with the Chili's or Papa John's nearest us, or just goofed around with me for hours on end when we were supposed to be making room on the new release wall for the latest Pauly Shore movie. God, how I miss all these fuckers:. Corey, Tim, Lynn, Eric, Angie, Shelley (you fucking hottie you!), Anthony (aka Mr. Goldtooth), Mark (the mackdaddy), Christina, and finally Adam (who let me drive his dad's Porsche that one day when his own car broke down, and he didn't feel like going out to Wendy's for lunch). You guys kicked major ass (literally sometimes too, like when we caught shoplifters and had to throw psychos out of the store).
Man, the Rossman had it easy back in high school. I had to work at the goddamn supermarket as a cashier. Those bastard bagging technicians thought they ran the place. Then came along our major competitor and they bought our store out. Don't ask me how or why, I never took marketing or college.
Anyway, so when the new bosses came in they had all of us re-interview to keep all of our old pathetic jobs. Seriously, I had to have another interview to continue sliding boxes over a price scanner.
Most of the guys and gals ahead of me came out of the back office disappointed saying that they could stay on with the new guys, but they had to take a 15% pay cut. Of course, there were those lucky few who were outright canned. But then it was my turn. I was kind of pissed off by then, so I marched right in there and answered all of their questions fast and boldly and rudely. Then they asked me, "So, if we were to keep you on, but cut your salary slightly, would you stay on our staff?" I didn't even wait for the fucker to finish the word "staff" before blurting out "Hell no! I'll walk." That took the main interviewer by surprise (he may have even pissed his pants a little, I really didn't check), but the guy behind him smiled and stepped forward. "You have spunk," or something like that, he said. "How would you like a raise and promotion to head cashier?" I jumped at the money, but as I was being shuffled out the door I realized that with great power comes great responsibility... and evil stares by all your new underlings once they found out that you were the only one who was retarded enough to get promoted when you were trying to get fired. Christ I suck!
In all the years he worked at that shithole my brother never got me any free movies or anything. I think he even added late fees to my account too! Sure, he'd give free rentals away to all of my dance team friends, but never any for his dear little sister!
And whenever I'd bring a boyfriend in to get a movie with, my brother would always try to frame the poor guy for shoplifting or something. Ass.