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Thursday, June 23, 2005 :::

Adventures in Video

Years and years ago, before I was a world class web designer, and before there was Blockbuster, I worked at a mom and pop video shop chain, where I learned a lot of important life lessons worth sharing:

1. If you work alone and you have a roll of toilet paper for a pillow, you can sleep on the job in the pre-noon hours. Simply clear off the bottom shelf behind the counter and shut your eyes. When the bell attached to the front door wakes you up, roll over off the shelf onto all fours and pretend like you are searching for something. If your eyes are red and puffy, blame allergies.

2. Everybody rents porn. That includes your ninth grade social studies teacher, your friend's mom, and your revered church pastor. And they are all surprisingly unashamed to do so. Your church pastor will inevitably keep his porn late, incurring late fees, and you will be forced to call the rectory to tell him so. Oh, and judging from their choices, they are all into fetishes, too.

3. If you have a night deposit box for video returns, someone at some point will take the opportunity to pee in it.

4. If you look close enough at every bottle of Diet Coke in the refreshments cooler, you can tell if it's a winning cap or not. This means free Diet Coke forever.

5. If you have a really good memory and you happen to remember your regular customers' phone numbers (that are required in order to look up their accounts when they are ready to check out), just ask for it anyway, because they will think you are really creepy if they find out you've memorized it. They may even tell your boss that they think it's creepy. Then the head office may even draft a memo to all employees about how you can keep your customers comfortable by not revealing that you've memorized all of their phone numbers. It will save you a lot of hassle in the long run.

6. Just because they give you the title of assistant manager doesn't mean you will make more than $5.75 an hour.

7. A lot of people don't realize that there is a camera in the back porn room. You may think you are in private, but you are not. Always look for a camera before you touch yourself or before you get aroused while wearing sweat pants.

8. This back room camera is also equipped with a microphone. So keep your sighs and your moans and your solo dirty talk at a whisper level.

9. Don't use the toilet. It's never been cleaned. Similarly, don't eat the free popcorn. That popping machine has never been washed.

10. If a regular customer brings you in a homemade muffin, don't be suspicious. It may taste like cardboard, but it's harmless.

::: posted by dan at 7:28 PM :: [ link ] :: (18) comments Social Bookmark Button

Comments are Closed On this Post

18 previous comments:

Ahhhhhh,my all time favorite story has made it's way to the blog

you forgot about the fact that although you are working with the mindset you are making money,you are actually not because you are in fact working for awesome foil lion king trading cards and home alone two on video.

By Blogger Stacy, at 8:15 PM  

I love lists like this. Yours are way more interesting than mine.So which one of your friends mom rented porn?

By Blogger Colleen, at 8:33 PM  

Your also forgot to add to the list that you were able to watch as much free porn as you could possibly stand under the guise that, and I quote, "someone claimed this tape was bad and I had to see if they were lying." Uh huh, those tapes were "damaged." Right...

By Blogger brent, at 12:11 AM  

Oh yeah, and Blockbuster was around cause that is where I worked. Remember? We're not that old yet. Besides, Blockbuster had better uniforms and I got paid $7.65 as an assistant manager. No porn, but we did carry Betty Blue, an "R" rated version of Caligula and every Shanon Tweed movie ever made.

By Blogger brent, at 12:14 AM  

Great things to live by, too!

By Blogger Christian, at 7:35 AM  

My best friend used to work at a local video store and they used to make her put back the porn. The guys back there would scatter when she came in. I guess they didn't realize that there was a camera on them anyway.

By Blogger Biglug, at 8:24 AM  

ew. sweatpants boner!

when i worked at a dark, damp, seedy porn store when i was in college, we had cameras everywhere. you'd be amazed at the amount of sweatpants boners i saw every day. grody.

i was allowed to take home 2 pornos a night. A NIGHT. that's 10 pornos a week (unless i worked an extra day, then it was 12(i'm good at math)). i made so many "friends" during that time and i was the most popular girl on campus (even though i lived in my own apartment away from the college), and i saw so much porn that i i became desensitized to it. i couldn't watch porn for a good 6 months after i left there.

but sweatpants boners aside, it was the highest paying retail job i ever had ($8.75/hr). good times.

By Blogger Honey Bunny, at 9:15 AM  

So, are you actually going to devulge how to tell which is the winning Diet Coke cap or just taunt us with this information?

By Blogger lynne, at 11:32 AM  

Awesome list! The whole idea of the back porn room is weird. It's like they are inviting the sweatpants boner situation by giving them the illusion of privacy.

The phone number memorization was too funny. We usually expect the anonymity of no one knowing our names, but they knew us too well at "The Movie Place" (that's really what it's called). I guess I do wish they had pretended otherwise. They started getting all judgemental and cheeky with our rental selections too...

By Blogger Christine, at 10:32 PM  

That is the only fun part of working in a video store - being able to make fun of people's poor taste in movies. It's even more fun to do it to their face or seemingly just out of earshot as they leave, especially when it's a movie like Con Air or anything featuring Steven Segal.

By Blogger brent, at 9:36 AM  

As a former SuperAmerica clerk, I too know how one could check pop bottles to see what it written under the cap.

Sprite and 7-Up are fairly easy as you could usually just read it from the bottom, but the darker and yellower sodas were a bit more tricky. Though I'll bet that if someone took a flashlight and pressed it up against the top of the bottle cap they could see the writing beneath the cap reflected in the soda.

But the bigger question is who is the 9th grade social studies pron freak? At least toss out some initials, for former Brooklyn Junior people who happened to stumble onto this site. Is it G.K.? B.F.? L.F.?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:53 PM  

I can't throw out initials or give names! As a part of the video store porn room code of honor, it all remains in the vault.

By Blogger dan, at 11:00 PM  

I can though. It will cost you. And you'll have to sign a legal, non-dsiclosure document.

By Blogger brent, at 8:22 AM  

Well then maybe you can pull some DaVinci code stuff and code in the name in your next post or something?

Or maybe you could not reply to this if the answer to following question is yes. That way you're not technically answering the question and breaking the back rode code.

Alright, here it is (the question itself will be coded): Were some of your customers Finnicky?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:14 AM  

no, and I will not answer anymore questions.

By Blogger dan, at 12:04 PM  

Ever? or just here? or about that subject?

By Anonymous Jake, at 7:42 PM  

Just on any subject about revealing porn renters' identities.

By Blogger dan, at 1:33 PM  

How about the mystery muffin maker?

By Anonymous Jake, at 6:58 PM  

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