Posted by: tomkennedy | October 21, 2008

Oh, The People I Meet

So I’ve been working at my local video store.  It’s not the most prestigious job in the world but it gets me by until I get a career in line.  I know what you’re saying, “But Tom, you’re such a fantastic writer with no limit to your creativity and wit!” 


I agree. 


But until I get a lucrative book deal, I’m stuck at my local video store renting out whatever drawl has been released lately.   I don’t consider myself Roger Ebert, but the majority of people have little-to-no taste in movies.  When I recommend seeing a classic and perennially top-rated movie like Shawshenk Redemption and someone rejects the idea and instead rents Disaster Movie because it was “such a funny movie” (true story), I get offended.


But what REALLY gets at me is unnecessary rudeness.  Allow me to explain.  I was dealing with a patron who needed the number of a customer service line for cell phones because his had died.  In the midst of informing this person that I do not handle the cell phone side of the business and that my boss knows the number, a woman had entered the store and grabbed disc three of season one of Mad Men.  While I was speaking to the other customer, she started repeatedly asking loudly if it was, in fact, disc three.  I told the gentlemen that I needed to call my boss to get the customer service number and proceeded to get the phone on the other side of the counter.  As I was walking over to the phone, the woman who walked in shoved the DVD in my face and asked me again if it was number three.  I responded with, “Yes.  It says disc three on it so it’s disc three.”  She then gave me the disc and started spelling out her last name so that I could ring her up because apparently it was magically her fucking turn now.


I dial the number of my boss and for some reason the digits don’t register so I have to reenter them.  While retyping the numbers, this woman has the audacity to say, “Excuse me”, I look at her, “will you please ring me up?”  She said this with the kind of impatience that only someone with a Bluetooth headset like she was wearing could have. 


Keep in mind all of this happened within a matter of a minute and a half at the absolute most.  Who’s in that kind of rush?


So I politely look at her and respond, “Let me just take care of this customer and I’ll be right with you.”  Judging by the look she gave me what I think she heard was, “Let me finish pooping on this nun and I’ll take you and your grandmother to the adult section where we’ll reenact ever scene of every movie in there.”  I continue working on the phone when I hear her mumble under her breath, “Maybe you should be multitasking like most women do.”  I continue to work on the phone but attempt to melt her entire face and skull with the look I shoot her.  Now allow me to rant.


Do you think that this is what I want to be doing?  Do you think that this is my ideal job?  This is what I have to be doing with the current job market and I grin and bear it because I have no other choice.  Now I understand that coming in to a movie store at 4 in the afternoon looking to finish your Mad Men marathon is much more important than this man’s phone working, but please allow me to do my job.  Speaking of your marathon, do you even have a job?  The majority of people are working on Monday afternoon but apparently you have found the time to cruise through seasons of the most popular television shows available.


Oh, I get it. 


You and your Bluetooth are funded by the Bank of Sugar-Daddy.  Bravo.  Now I know why you’re in a rush.  You need to make sure you can get home in time to order Elda you’re underpaid Dominican au pair (read: slave) to make dinner for your Adderall-addicted high school children.  Trust me, they don’t love you.  And judging by the way you’re letting yourself go, your husband can scarcely refer to you as his trophy-wife anymore.  So while you attempt to forget about your sad reality by slipping into a wine induced coma in the middle of the afternoon, just remember that some of us are doing what they can to get by without the lifelong sponsorship of Bank of Sugar-Daddy.  If I were owner of this store rest assured I would delete your account and refuse you service.


Maybe I’m overreacting, but the fact is that we all do what we have to to get by.  Having this temporary job at the video store has afforded me the ability to realize that.  So when someone rides in on their high horse and looks down on me because I’m the one behind the counter, it sets me off.


  1. I totally get this… I worked in customer related jobs for years ie retail. I’m glad you have a place to vent,(wordpress) don’t you? People! Never fail to shock and/or amaze. That is of course why truth is stranger (and more interesting) than fiction any day. I hope that you get a good writing career going soon.

  2. Much thanks! You’re support has been a great source of motivation to keep writing. I think Rob and I will wait until we get a zillion hits a day before we take over the planet. Spread the word!

  3. […] that little bit of effort makes all the difference when dealing with people.  Rather than being The Bitch, James did his job with respect, honor, and most importantly […]

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