Sunday, February 24, 2013

Self Observational Sunday - The Dream Job 2007

Probably the best working experience I ever had was working in a mom and pops video store. I don’t think there ever was nor ever will be a more perfect job for me. Sadly video stores in general are now a thing of the past.

When I was a kid I ate up movies like crazy. Every Saturday my family and I would go to blockbuster, pick out a movie and get some pizza and enjoy dinner and movie as a family. As I got older we started using West Coast Video (appropriate for PA) because they were a little cheaper. I immediately fell in love with West Coast; we started going there when I first started to get really into horror movies and they had an extensive collection of rare horror titles.

In the summer I’d ride my bike to West Coast every day and wander the aisles looking for the horror film to fulfill my thirst for odd and gory. Sometimes you picked a winner and other times … well let’s not think about those right now. As I wandered those aisles I dreamed of working in a magical place like that. I honestly wish I was making that up but it’s true; at 10 years old my career path was to work at a video store and then be the youngest director to win an academy award… I achieved half of these goals by the time I was 21 (spoiler alert … I don’t have an academy award).

One day I rode my bike to west coast to return some movies and rent some new ones and I found the place locked up and empty. I was pissed that I had already put the movies into the return slot before checking the door (hey free movies right?) but I remember being genuinely depressed. With out any warning my beloved second home was gone.

My family was forced to return to Blockbuster but it never really quenched my thirst like West Coast did. By High School I stopped renting movies all together; when I was a freshman in college I discovered Netflix and that was life changing for me. It wasn’t the same as browsing the aisles but it was pretty great to have any horror movie my heart desired (for the most part) at the click of a mouse.

I think it was in 2006 during the peak of MySpace’s popularity that my weird blend of acoustic punk and purposefully bad cover songs caught the ear of two high school students. They were playing a show at their local Starbucks and wanted me to be the opening act. In this little block of stores was a comic book shop and across the street a mom and pops shop called California video.

I didn’t even walk into the video store that day (but my friends did; they excitedly informed me it had a porn section). A few months later I found myself unemployed and driving around my home town applying for whatever jobs I could. It was at that moment I had a very random idea to go that video store.

I wanted in to find an empty store. I walked around and found a man who looked similar to Kurt Cobain just sitting on the floor watching a movie. I asked “Is the manager here?” and he said “That would be me.” I knew I wanted to work at this place more than anywhere else.

I introduced myself and inquired about a job. He gave me an application which I filled out and then asked me if I could come in tomorrow for an interview.

I returned the next day for the interview. I had practiced all the possible questions he could ask. Instead the interview involved him asking me what my favorite genre of movie was and why. I told him Horror and gave an short explanation (basically the same stuff as what I was talking about earlier). And that was it. He offered me the job at $9 an hour and scheduled me to start training that Friday.


Come back next week to find out about all the crazy antics and my firing!

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