For the better part of the 1980’s and 1990’s, going to a video store on Friday or Saturday to grab a couple of movies and some popcorn, was a weekly family tradition.
Even if you weren’t at the video store with family, there was a good chance you were there with your friends. For me the go-to store at first was a local store, but after a few years it was a Blockbuster Video near my apartment.
My local Blockbuster store on Main St. in Weymouth MA, became very important to me in the summer of 1995 when I started working there as a customer service representative. By the time I graduated college in 2001, I was the assistant manager.
I had some great times at that store making friends, and Watching movies. I also met my first girlfriend there; I was later put in charge of store design, I learned how to splice VHS tapes; and I finally learned to appreciate the widescreen format. Okay, so those might seem like small things, but there were other moments from my BBV days that still stand out, Here are three of them:
1. Dunkin’ the doughnut
My Blockbuster was directly across from a Dunkin’ Donuts. One Saturday morning, they had two guys outside waving at cars as the passed by. One guy was dressed like a cup of coffee, the other was dressed like a doughnut .
I guess being out there in the summer heat got to them, because around lunch time the two guys looked bored. Then a few guys on motorcycles showed up, and it wasn’t long before two of the bikers were trying to dunk the donout guy into the cup of coffee man.
Things did not end well, for anyone.
2. The $100 bill
Once I became a supervisor, one of my jobs was to train other employees how to count drawers and to make sure the paperwork balanced out each night. One of my toughest assignments was a kid named Nate. He was a good guy, but in many ways he reminded me of Sloth from the Goonies.
Anyways, the first time I tried to teach him how to count a drawer, I said to him “The goal is to leave a total of $100 in the drawer so it’s ready for use tomorrow.” Right then I was called downstairs so I could help another employee with something. I told Nate to try counting the drawer while I was gone.
When I returned to the office a few minutes later, the drawer was empty… except for the $100 bill Nate had left in there.
3. The tornado?
In the spring of 1996 our town had what was either a tornado or a microburst. Either way, the storm was bad enough that we along with the customers, had to take shelter in the back rooms. The power went down, and our sign outside was heavily damaged.
After the storm, it was very dark inside, and the shift manager told the owner that we should close at least while the power was out. The owner Connie, would not hear of it. She soon arrived, parked her car in front of the store and blasted her Audi’s high-beams. Upon entering the store she proclaimed: “Now the customers have plenty of light to shop by!”