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October 14, 2013 6:33 AM   Subscribe

She was only a video store clerk - until the store TV started speaking to her! Blockbuster training video from 1990, pts 1 and 2.
posted by mippy (28 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
And she was never heard from again
posted by wheelieman at 6:56 AM on October 14, 2013


It's work week on Metafilter.

*struggles into Tigger costume as I upsell some Alaskan tourists while I yell at the TV*
posted by codacorolla at 7:08 AM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Long live the new flesh!
posted by ennui.bz at 7:10 AM on October 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm quite fond of corporate musicals from the 50s and 60s - some of which had actual Broadway performers roped in to sing about JC Penney and Life magazine - and I think these videos are the modern equivalent.

On a training course a few years ago, I saw a video on assertiveness starring a young, cowed Peter Capaldi. He used an English accent throughout for some reason.
posted by mippy at 7:11 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Paging Shakespearian to the big blue box.....
posted by The Whelk at 7:12 AM on October 14, 2013


There is a lot of plot in this video. I can't believe I'm still watching to see if Brian shows up.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:23 AM on October 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is probably the worst YouTube I have ever seen, and yet I am STILL WATCHING.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:36 AM on October 14, 2013


"Oh Brian, Brian Harris... you just missed your mom." But you are wearing her jeans, so there's that.


I think it's brave that Blockbuster admitted up front in the training videos that working there will cause you to have some sort of psychotic break. Very brave of them.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:45 AM on October 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Hey, she gets the guy in the end. And he's wearing a Coca-Cola sweatshirt (without the Coca-Cola logo).
posted by mochapickle at 7:54 AM on October 14, 2013


The top commenter on YouTube just about read my mind...
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:54 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't know what they did to the teenagers at video rental stores, but I think they are one of the only businesses where I've never encountered a rude employee.
posted by orme at 7:55 AM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's easy enough to make fun now, after Netflix, Apple, and Amazon sort of blew up their business model, but Blockbuster was really good at this back in those days. The stores were clean and they actually had - you know - movies in stock.
posted by randomkeystrike at 8:04 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I saw a video on assertiveness starring a young, cowed Peter Capaldi.

SPOILER: The video is actually the secret origin story of Malcolm Tucker.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:11 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Blockbuster was really good at this back in those days.
But also not.
posted by pxe2000 at 8:12 AM on October 14, 2013


Also, don't forget psychotropic drugs were not nearly as advanced as they are now.
posted by randomkeystrike at 8:17 AM on October 14, 2013


This is probably the worst YouTube I have ever seen, and yet I am STILL WATCHING.

I'm using windows w-windows windows 386...
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:31 AM on October 14, 2013


MCMikeNamara: “There is a lot of plot in this video. I can't believe I'm still watching to see if Brian shows up.”

I somehow don't believe he will appear; he's like a phantom to me, hovering on the edge of reality, not really quite existing. But at least we get to meet Doug. "Doug, isn't she sweet?" "She's... she's sunshine on a cloudy day."
posted by koeselitz at 9:09 AM on October 14, 2013


OH MY GOD IT'S HIM
posted by koeselitz at 9:12 AM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Historic Blockbuster Offers Glimpse into How Movies Were Rented in the Past
posted by odinsdream at 9:22 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


MCMikeNamara: "I think it's brave that Blockbuster admitted up front in the training videos that working there will cause you to have some sort of psychotic break. Very brave of them."

Well, Quentin Tarantino channeled his into a very lucrative movie career.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:27 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Orme:

They didn't do anything to us. We were mostly just trying to appease the psychos who thought it was ok to threaten people over late fees.

That fucking video store made me hate customers so much.
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 10:46 AM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Blockbuster could have definitely learned a few tips from Wendy's Grill Skills.
posted by crapmatic at 10:49 AM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


They didn't do anything to us. We were mostly just trying to appease the psychos who thought it was ok to threaten people over late fees.

I had a tape thrown at my head by a customer who was upset when I asked him if he was using his gift card to pay for his purchase or if he was buying the gift card.

Blockbuster Customers could be SCARY.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 11:10 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Blockbuster could have definitely learned a few tips from Wendy's Grill Skills.

Crapmatic, this brings me back! I remember watching this at 16, rolling my eyes, and grinning in wonderment that they were willing to pay me 4.75/hr to watch this nonsense. (Too slow to make sandwiches and too friendly to fire me, I ended up in dining room on three-hour shifts.)
posted by mochapickle at 12:10 PM on October 14, 2013


Watching that Grill Skills video made me want to go to Wendy's for dinner. What the fuck is wrong with me?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:37 PM on October 14, 2013


So apparently there are still a few hundred holdout Blockbuster stores remaining nationwide. I thought they had gone away entirely. I tried their store locator thingy on their web site and it was pretty hilarious -- the "show nearest five stores" could only show two.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:02 PM on October 14, 2013


Even with the Late Fee Death Threats, that was still a pretty fun job.

And while you can laugh at the romance subplot in this video, working there really could have a positive effect on your love life. One time, I even scored a date during a tape-returned-to-wrong-store hostage exchange with Movie Gallery.

I remember being scheduled for an inventory night one night after the store had closed at midnight, and on inventory night, you weren't required to be in uniform so I had thrown on a free t-shirt I had gotten from Netflix. The manager asked me "Netflix, what's that," and I matter-of-factly replied "They'll be the death of this company." That would have been sometime in 98 or 99; kind of shocked that the corpse hasn't quite stopped twitching yet.
posted by radwolf76 at 6:24 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


That was surprisingly entertaining.

Having lived through the Blockbuster/videotape days is the reason I pray daily to the internet/netflix/youtube gods. Thank ye for your bountiful goodness.
posted by littlesq at 6:23 PM on October 15, 2013


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