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Unread March 29th, 2013, 10:03 PM
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Antithesys Antithesys is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Somewhere else
Posts: 2,537
So Long, and Thanks for All the Pickles

Eight years and two months ago I arrived at this community after doing a Google search for "Blockbuster trailer tape." I was looking to find a song that had been on the previous tape and had forgotten the name and artist (I no longer remember the exact song...I think it was "Somebody" by Bonnie McKee). I registered and started a thread asking if anyone knew what I was talking about. Someone did, I had my answer, and that was the end of it.

Except, obviously, I stayed. After all, I had stumbled across something which I never imagined might have existed: a message board populated by people bitching about my job. A virtual break room where employees could let off steam, share secrets, and generally hang out and have a good time. I took to it immediately, began telling stories and passing on knowledge, and found in this place a kind of dream world where it was almost okay to be a servant of Blockbuster because I had this support group who felt the same way I did, suffered the same, and relied on each other to exploit every silver lining they could find.

Also, the board had flash games.

And porn.

The coworkers at my actual store were still my primary in-group, as they could most relate to my specific problems. I "outed" myself as a member of the board, which many of them had heard of. Sometimes I would be the first one to hear company news, or I would pass on a computer trick.

I became institutionalized, like Brooks in The Shawshank Redemption (one of the first movies I ever rented there). Those yellow walls were funny...first you hate 'em...then you get used to them. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them.

I worked for this company for ten and a half years, and wanted out for about ten of them. I just never applied myself. When I finally left it was because the company had crumbled around me and took my store away. If that hadn't happened I wouldn't think it impossible that I'd still be there. That would be a shame, because I truly feel like I wasted...WASTED...a precious, significant, crucial part of my life in that decade, my 20s. I've since gone on to much better things and met people who have enriched me, and to consider that I'm in this position now simply because I allowed circumstance to push me in random directions is frightening. But that is life.

I say it was a waste. But at the same time, when I find myself in moments of introspection, or when I check in here, or when I see a movie poster, I think back to Blockbuster, and I never think ruefully, scornfully, bitterly.

I instead think about the time I locked the keys in the office and had to climb into the ceiling and over the back wall to retrieve them, and upon reaching the other side I intentionally kicked over a large pile of shelving and screamed to make my SM think I had fallen.

I think about finishing the first run of inventory at 2am and going up to the roof to take a break with the rest of the team, and chucking rocks out into the foggy night.

I think about coming in at noon on Monday to block the new release wall. I was so, so proud of that fucking wall. After ten years, I reached the point where I would print up the report, bring it home, and block the wall AT HOME using a custom spreadsheet, then bring that back in and put everything exactly where I had planned. Perfect alpha, top to bottom, left to right. That was the goal, and I didn't always achieve it, but I cared, and I obsessed, and I had the best wall in the company. Several months after the store closed, it reopened as another business, and I went in and looked around and walked over to the wall and touched it, and then I left and never returned. I really did that.

I think about the people. Some of the customers, yes, but the vast majority of them aren't worthy of even the darkest parts of my memory. But really it was the other humans who wore blue and stood behind the counter with me. Who eked out the days with me, who picked up my slack and let me pick up theirs, who were my friends. The only truly decent part of that job was the people I worked with. They are wonderful people.

I believe that a person is the sum of his experiences, and that he must embrace each and every one of them no matter what path they kicked him down. I would like to think that in the moments before my death I will revisit the entirety of my memory, cataloging the chapters of the novel in an attempt to reach an overarching theme. To forget just one would be an unforgivable tragedy. But I am certain I will briefly remember the part of my life that belongs, for better or worse, to Blockbuster Video. I may remember posting about it on a message board. Between now and then, every so often, I'm sure I will recall this place in the same way I recall my employee number, and the one cabinet door that wouldn't quite shut, and the sound of the gumball sliding down the chute, all in the video store of my mind.

I intend this to be my final message at IHBB; if the board continues, so be it, but this is my past.

Thank you, Chrisedge, for giving us our forum, our soapbox, our sanctuary.

Thank you all, for allowing me to share this space with you, for making me laugh and occasionally letting me return the favor.

Good night, you princes of Maine...you kings of New England.
It puts the movie in the basket.
It puts the movie in the basket!
It drops the movie in the bin or else it gets the fee again.
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Antithesys For This Useful Post:
AbandonedDreams (March 30th, 2013), FZappa (April 1st, 2013), inkedangel (March 30th, 2013), johnlow71 (March 30th, 2013), katiebell (March 30th, 2013), NowImNothing (April 1st, 2013), zooworker (March 30th, 2013)
Unread March 30th, 2013, 05:39 AM
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johnlow71 johnlow71 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: state of denial
Posts: 10,086
cool godspeed antithesys!
I dont know maybe i could go to school and become a civil engineer, Design septic tanks for playgrounds.
So little kids can take a shit!
Unread March 30th, 2013, 06:20 AM
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AbandonedDreams AbandonedDreams is offline
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That was beautifully written Anti. You have a way with words. Good luck in whatever you are doing now. And if you ever feel up to it, join us on Facebook.
Remind me never to play poker in this town.
Unread March 30th, 2013, 08:10 AM
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zooworker zooworker is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Over there
Posts: 24,638
Nice post Anti!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's been a Fun Ride,
THANKS!! Old Friends!!
The top Poster!
Unread March 30th, 2013, 08:42 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,129
So do any straight guys work at Blockbuster?
KAWLIGA.......I'm not done until they're done.
Unread April 1st, 2013, 06:28 AM
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zooworker zooworker is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Posts: 24,638
Originally Posted by KAWLIGA View Post
So do any straight guys work at Blockbuster?
Why, you on the prowl?
It's been a Fun Ride,
THANKS!! Old Friends!!
The top Poster!


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