Friday, June 30, 2006

Tales of the Video Store: Prospective Employees

Whenever you are at a video store and you marvel at the totally irresponsible, brain dead employee behind the counter, try to remember this – the manager turned away about 50 or 60 people who were worse than this one.

Interviewing new hires was one of the worst things about being a video store manager. The common perception is that working in a video store is a lot like shopping in a video store, or better yet, just hanging out in a video store. Most job interviews just consist of explaining to the prospective employees that the job is not just hanging out and watching movies all day, but instead an unending stream of merchandising, stocking, cleaning, and selling.

I would often begin an interview with a little question to measure the selling ability of the prospective employee.

“So, what’s your favorite movie?”

“Action Jackson.”

“And what do you like about that movie?”

“I like movies with a lot of bass in them. And that movie – that movie has a whole lotta bass in it. It shakes your chest, it is that good.”

Sometimes, prospective employees get past the salesman test. That leads to a general discussion about the employee, who they are, why they are interested in the job.

“Why do you want this job?”

“Welllll, I wanna be an actress, and I feel that – you know, me and a video store, I mean, hellloooo!”

Video stores attract crazy people like nobody’s business. Video stores also make sane people crazy.

“So, let’s talk about employee benefits. We make a store schedule once every two weeks, and you’re expected to-”

“I need to take certain days off.”

“Sure, we have a process for requesting days off. We make a schedule every two-“

“I need days off for my religion.”

“Sure, we make a schedule every two wee-“

“My religion has monthly holidays.”

“Well, you’re in luck, because we make our schedule every tw-“

“They’re based on moon cycles.”

“Excuse me?”

“My days off are based on the moon cycles.”

“Ooookay. We have a standardized process for request-“

“I’m a Wiccian.”

“Have I mentioned the employee discount?”

“Do you know what Wicca is?”

“Ok, I’ll bite. What is Wicca?”

“A lot of people have negative misperceptions about it. They call it something else.”

“That’s good because our company doesn’t discriminate based on personal belie-“

“I practice witchcraft.”


“Yeah, a common misperception about Wicca is that we’re evil. We’re not. People just don’t understand that we believe in existing in harmony with nature.”

“So… why do you want to work in a video store again?”

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