I swear, you watch two Blockbuster Video commercials you find in your archives, and all of a sudden, you have this burning desire to do another commentary video…
Oh sorry, that sounds so typical of me, doesn’t it?
When Your Personal Blog Articles Coincide With Retroist…
This week, I featured two different Blockbuster Video commercials on Allison’s Written Words…
Both commercials reminded me of video store work life…back when video stores were a thing. I worked in a Mom-and-Pop store, in a town that didn’t have Blockbuster until 2003. And even then, it was a small location in a low-traffic shopping center. By comparison, there were two Mom-and-Pop stores – the one I rented from, and eventually worked at, and another one in a different part of town. Both stores were in high-traffic shopping centers that had pizza places and supermarkets.
I knew Blockbuster was doomed in our town, and not because of its location, but that two other stores with loyal customers were nearby. They did last about five or six years (I believe they closed in 2009), but the one I worked for survived until 2011, two years shy of the small chain’s 30th anniversary (our location was 23 years old at that point).
There was another different between working for Mom-and-Pop versus Blockbuster Video…
Training Via Corporate Training Films
Working for mom-and-pop meant being trained entirely hands-on. Sure, you may have read a manual and signed a few documents, but your training was the good old-fashioned kind. Blockbuster’s approach, and obviously because they are a major corporation (well, they were a major corporation), they had a standard for training employees. And how you do ensure the training is completely in line? Corporate training videos!
But of course!
Blockbuster Video created a series of corporate training videos during its lifespan. I spotted ones from 1989 and 2000, but it is the 1990 version, which teaches the three steps of customer service that create an “opportunity,” that truly stands out.
You know what else stands out? Marie’s hair!
In this corporate training video, we meet Blockbuster Video employee Marie, who is approached/accousted (via television sets throughout the store) by Buster Sales, a wisecracking “Professional Oportunist,” who is ready to guide Marie through the steps that she needs to be a “Professional Opportunist” too.
Whether she likes this or not.
And guess who else is joining you when you watch this fascinating trip through customer service training at its finest?
Blockbuster (Video) University…Featuring Buster Sales AND Commentary By Allison!
That’s right, I’m bringing back my method of torture by watching the video with you, dropping a comment here and there.
Join me, won’t you, as we learn the three steps to become “Professional Opportunists.”
Wait till you see the gestures that Plaid Specs Chick came up with, they’re so…
Wait, why do I keep making fun of myself?
You know what? Just click play before I get any more self-deprecating.
Upload via Allison Venezio / Allison’s Written Words
And so, yeah, there you have it. Do you remember the three steps to become a “Professional Opportunist,”according to Corporate Schill – I mean, training mentor, Buster Sales?
Give yourself an “A” for effort, and thank the Corporate Training Video Gods for deciding Roswell, Georgia’s Blockbuster Video (and its Not Real Employee, Marie) were ripe for teaching ’em how its done.
I really have to get back into commentaries again. How am I going to get better at it?
Not the steps listed above, but Practice, Timing, and Confidence.
And now to leave you with something profound…
“you’re like sunshine on a cloudy day.”
Oh, And About That Video…
There is one thing I talk about from my video store days. We did have a restricted area called “The Red Room” for adult movies. I did have more than my fair share of men oogle me while they rented. I kept the story as clean as possible. Just don’t want to offend anyone.
It’s also a quick snippet in an otherwise family-friendly work experience story.
Thanks for watching/suffering along/indulging me!