A bloke just got snippy at me because I couldn't agree with him that 300 RISE OF AN EMPIRE was "awesome!". As my review earlier this week shows, I thought it was a turd of a movie. Oh how this guy raved about it. Unfortunately for him I just couldn't agree... although I never made a big deal out of it. I told him that so long as he enjoyed it, that's all that matters. After all it's always a case of diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks. He asked me what I didn't like about it and so I stated my case. Too gratuitous, poorly made, poorly acted etc (you can read my review). He scoffed at me and gave a little laugh. I smiled and wished him a nice afternoon and right before he left he says to me "How amazing does HERCULES with The Rock look?" ... um... sure. The proof will be in the pudding... or more precisely, the beefcake!
I almost got through the day without a headache... until some guy walked in and took me on. He was returning 2 movies and told me that his kids had already seen them and that he was going to swap them for something else. Note that he TOLD me he was going to swap them and never actually ASKED if he could. I scanned them into my computer and noticed that they had been hired a couple of day ago. I said to the guy "alright I will let you swap them over this time but just so that you know, we normally don't do this". He immediately reacted and said "why the hell not?" to which I replied "just a policy, sorry". Seemingly he missed that part where I was letting him swap them and he continued "I know my rights, mate. That's wrong!". With a sigh I thought to myself here we go and I explained to him that once movies are hired we can only exchange them if they're defective and that what a member hires is up to them and furthermore there has been ample time for his kids to have watched the films several times over... yadda yadda. You know, common sense stuff! The guy gave me one of those arrogant, smartarse smirks and said "you're pathetic mate. It's just a couple of movies" to which I replied "Those movies are our trade. This IS our business, sir". He seemed intent on pushing me, ignoring the fact that I was allowing him the opportunity to swap the bloody things. It seems to me that it was more a case of him being caught out trying to doop me and overcompensated in his case of defense. I could have shut him down, denied the swap and told him to FUCK OFF... but let him score his freebies like the nice guy that I am. What-the-fuck-ever. If I had a dollar for every twat who tried to wraggle free movies.... sheesh. -- Winge over!
Whether or not this is a story worth sharing, I don't know (you decide) but there's a lot of frustration that I need to vent and this ought to be cathartic. For the past 20 minutes I have been dealing with a woman who means well but really needs to reevaluate how she operates. Whenever she comes into the store she seeks our advice and recommendations. As a general rule we love to interact with people and we're happy to offer advice but most people also know that our opinion should be taken with a grain of salt and the fact remains that all opinions are subjective and personal. I've written about this countless times before. What floats my boat might sink yours and vise versa.
And so choosing the busiest time of the day to visit, this lady wanted my help. She never actually bothers to look for films on her own and only ever hires what we choose for her. Because I was busy and had a store full of customers I politely told her that I would absolutely help her choose some movies for the kids but when it came to films for her and her husband, she would have to spend some time browsing. She looked at me like a deer in headlights and I apologised and explained that I was super busy and that there's a world of cinema out there to discover and just because I like something doesn't mean she will.
Of course I am paraphrasing and probably sound like an asshole right now, but I assure you that the conversation was sympathetic and kind. She had trouble grasping the idea of taste being subjective and so I caved in and said "alright. how about you have a look and when I've served these other people I will come and discuss and help you some more". She was happy that I said that.
After five minutes of processing other transactions I gave her my time and continued the conversation. For some reason out of the blue she asked me what I thought about 22 JUMP STREET. She had seen it with her husband at the cinemas and hated it. "I would give it zero stars" she declared. My response was "Ah, you see. I would personally rate it a lot higher. I loved it". My opinion bothered her. "But it was stupid" she replied. I explained to her that I thought it was also actually quite intelligent and that it was a self-referential movie that parodied the concept of sequels... yadda yadda yadda. "I didn't get that" she replied. LOL. And so I asked her what she thought of the first movie to which she told me she didn't know that there was another one. Oh dear. I replied "Ah well there's another reason why you didn't like it. You had no point of reference".
Anyhow It was a long, painful and frustrating discussion and, while it was eventually demonstrated that opinions are different, she will still continue to insist that we make ALL of her selections for her. Perhaps I will start to choose shit movies for her instead. Maybe she could do with a spate of terrible films to convince her to think for herself. I cannot imagine walking into a store and asking the clerk to do my shopping for me. I am here to provide good service, advice and opinions but I am not here to make decisions for people.
Rant over. Was it worth it? Meh.
A middle aged gentleman came into the store today. He had a list in his hand and, making an assumption that we wouldn't have any of the titles, he read them all out to me. Naturally we DID have every single one of them. His response was a raised eyebrow. I will take that to mean that he was impressed. lol. He then put a membership card on my counter and said "use this!". Unfortunately the card was for another video store (bearing no resemblance to my store). I assumed that he mistakenly removed the wrong card from his wallet and I told him that it was not one of our cards. He replied "I don't care. Use it". I did my best to explain that I couldn't but he didn't understand, nor did he want to understand. "Just hire to me with this card". Err... how about NO? And so I asked him for a driver's license and offered to sign him up with a new membership. He huffed and made removing his photo ID look like the most laborious task on Earth. With his ID in my hand the first thing I did was check if he was already an established member. He was not a member, however his son was. Because of a 3rd party claus in the member agreement I asked whether he would like to use his son's account to hire the movies instead. He replied "absolutely not." He then told me that he has been using the card that he originally produced "for many years", which was clearly impossible considering that it belongs to another business. "Just use the fucking card" he insisted. Hmm, this was not good. It's never nice to have an issue escalate for no reason whatsoever and so I went ahead and began signing him up from scratch. Mid-way through the process he says to me "Can you check if my son is a member here? Maybe I can use his card". -- cue brain explosion!
There are some TALES FROM A CLERK that are too short to justify an entire article. Usually they end up as Twitter posts or Facebook rants and offer an amusing point of discussion on social media. The following are a series of these posts, collected and randomly placed. Enjoy.
TALE FROM A CLERK: Movie posters come and go. I have almost 100 of them on display at any given time. So many generic and boring posters that all look the same and represent all that is dull in movie marketing... but display 1 single PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES poster and suddenly I'm getting complaints galore. "Too scary for kids" is the general gist of it... PLEASE! Here is my message to idiot parents: you know those times when you dump your kids in my store (essentially for me to babysit) while you're off sipping lattes with other mums? Well your kids spend most of that time looking at all of the scary covers in the horror section. So yeah, I'll remove that poster but promise me that you'll stick it up your arse!!
TALE FROM A CLERK: I just had a conversation with a guy. He asked what I thought of the new Robocop and I told him that I loved it. I mentioned that I was pleased that it didn't try to emulate the original film... to which he replied "it couldn't have possibly been any worse than the original"... I was shocked. Dumbfounded. Without words
TALE FROM A CLERK: Wow. Today's weather really has been delivering some doosies. Just had a woman ask me "whats good?". I rambled off a list of films that I would highly recommend and each one she looked at was accompanied with her saying "No. I think comedy is far too subjective" and "Drama? No. We all have different tastes" and "Action. What floats one persons boat might not float another's" -- SO WHY THE FUCK DID SHE ASK ME WHAT WAS GOOD? lol
TALE FROM A CLERK: Just had a father hiring movies for his son. His membership card was wedged inside his wallet. His conversation with himself was as follows: "Let me get it out for you... (grunt) it's really hard.... (sigh) but it won't come" -- When it finally got it he let off a huge sigh of relief.
TALE FROM A CLERK: Just had a woman tell me (in the same breath) that her family were "sci-fi fanatics" and then that they'd never heard of Pacific Rim.
TALE FROM A CLERK:
Woman: Rio 2 is at the cinemas. Do you have it to hire?
Me: No, it just started at the cinemas.
Woman: I know. But do you have it to hire?
TALE FROM A CLERK: A man returned THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. He told me that he was in finance and that the film was totally unrealistic and that those sort of things never happen in real life. I told him that it was based on a true story. "May Ass it is" he said
TALE FROM A CLERK:
A woman returned this today and complained that we failed to tell her that it was part 2. She hadn't seen part 1 yet.
I have a gumball machine in my store and I run an ongoing competition with it. Every kid who puts 20c into the machine can guess a colour and if that colour gumball comes out they win a free weekly movie hire. It's a hugely popular competition and people will come in especially for it. I cap the number of guesses to 2 per child as not to promote an unhealthy addiction. This afternoon a mother brought her two young sons in to have a guess. The first kid guessed red. He put his money in, turned the lever and was given a blue gumball. Kids are never disappointed when they don't guess correctly because they still get the gum. So then the second son had his turn and this is where it gets really weird. He guessed orange but before he could turn the lever the mother abruptly said "Not orange. I don't want orange". I thought it was a little strange but kept to my business. I heard one click of the lever when she burst into a tantrum... "I said NO orange. I hate orange. What part of no orange don't you understand?". The kid was a little stunned, as was I. It's not like he was guaranteed to get orange. It's just a guess.. he had just as much chance of getting a green. The first son had guessed red and ended up with blue... for some reason this woman had made her mind up that orange was evil and even a stab in the dark was too risky for her. Now I wish I could tell you that the kid chose blue and ended up with orange but the truth is that he caved in to her pressure and chose pink...... and got pink. Dammit.