BB Part Deux

Well I didn’t initially visualize a rant about an experience at the DVD rental joint this last weekend would end up on a discussion board. Deep down, the rant really wasn’t the subject of the blog that day.

While discussing some system issue within Blockbuster, someone copied and pasted the entire contents of my post into a discussion forum the other day. The sad thing was that they left out the picture of the lovely and talented Scartlett Johansson in skin tight attire and loaded for bear (or bare).

As a result a few people who either work for Blockbuster or are big fans wrote some disparaging words pigeon-holing yours truly into various stereotypes of customers who drive anyone employed in retail several shades of batshit crazy.

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A couple of parodies of the piece appear on these boards, and at least one of them was pretty amusing.

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I’ve spent plenty of time on similar boards discussing religion and politics. Certainly participation on these boards is good for helping to sharpen your debate skills. Beyond that, you can’t put a whole lot of weight onto the impact of your arguments in discussion forums unless you’re interested in tying up 90% of your lower intestine into a bowel obstructing knot.

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Speaking of bowel obstructions, let’s get back to Blockbuster and my experience there last weekend.

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Here are the facts about my visit to that store the other day.

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  • I am a regular at the store. I go there maybe 2-3 times a month.

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  • I rented Iron Man 2.

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  • Whenever I’m there, the employees are relentless with the combo upsells, and make me say “No” on average 2-3 times before I leave. They hit me with the math and the savings I’m missing out on. They ask if I’m sure. One time a few months ago, some suits from headquarters were in there for a visit and accosted me with the same deal.

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  • I have no problem with waiting in line for a few minutes if I can tell that the staff (or staph,take your pick) is doing everything it can to clear the lines and move the customers along. Some of the responses on the discussion board referred to the fact that the lines are considerably longer at mass merchandisers such as Wal-Mart. Granted, Wal-Mart doesn’t rent DVDs out in my neck of the woods so it would seem that argument falls on it’s face before I even reiterate the fact that I took more issue with the personal treatment and not so much the waiting in line.

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  • I have no over inflated sense of entitlement about how I should be treated at Blockbuster or any store I patronize.

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  • Understand the following statement is not being made as an exercise in solipsism. I am the customer whose business you need to stay in business. Without me walking through your door or using your mail service, you are nothing but a marketing idea waiting to happen.

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  • If you are attending to me and feel compelled to attend to another matter such as a call on hold or another customer, common courtesy dictates that you excuse yourself. Don’t leave me hanging there wondering what just happened.

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On a side note, let’s discuss the website where the discussion about my Blockbuster blog is taking place. There is no doubt whatsoever that the site is set up with the pure intent of voicing hatred for Blockbuster. It’s pretty obvious in the website title alone.

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Yet still, those who flamed the recounting of my experience have declared themselves to be employees of Blockbuster; one of them is a store manager whose IP tracks to the general vicinity of Englewood, Colorado. That of course is based on the premise that Google is working correctly today.

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The responses from the employees raises two questions in my mind.

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  1. Why is it that Blockbuster employees would go to a site built specifically to express hatred for their employer, and post in there on a regular basis? Do they hate Blockbuster too? Were they directed to post on that site by the suits in corporate to respond to concerns, or is it that they are so dedicated to their jobs that they spend their free time away from assaulting customers with the candy, popcorn, and soda combos to anonymously flame other customers who choose to voice their dissatisfaction with the piss poor customer service delivered under the banner of the almighty Blue Ticket?

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  1. For all of those employees who responded, why did they choose to flame me instead of acknowledging the fact that I walked out of there pissed off? Certainly the customer isn’t always right, but they are the customer and deserve to be treated with the appropriate amount of respect and courtesy.

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As much as I would like to approve and display the comments left by the employees on TharpSter.Org, I’m not going to do so. For all I can tell, it’s either one person using three sign-ons under one IP address, or three separate people using the same IP. Regardless, it’s not right to cast an even brighter light on the self-immolating idiocy which has been displayed in the discussion forum where my encounter is concerned.

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Scarlett-Johansson-Black-Widow-009-1The real irony of it all is that a whole bunch of people got upset about the backdrop I painted around watching Scarlett Johansson kick some ass in Iron Man 2. You gotta just read below the surface to fully enjoy the wonder of my writing, people.

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And with that, ladies and gentlemen, I’ll leave you with some depressing news. I’ve yet to cancel my membership and I still subscribe to the mail service. For whatever reason, I put Cowboys & Aliens on my want-list whenever the movie was in theaters. Chalk it up to being a sucker for a good trailer. I had tried to watch it sometime back, but succumbed to narcolepsy at the time.

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Regardless, the DVD arrived in the mail today and I gotta go watch it now. I can only believe right now that the only saving grace for that film will be the lovely and talented Olivia Wilde. You can catch her in skin tight attire in Tron: Legacy, but as you may or may not know, you might as well be watching Cowboys & Aliens.

Randy Tharp

TharpSter is a husband to one woman, a father to two kids, a master to two dogs, an occasional cubical occupant, and unable to make up his mind on an adequate theme for this website.

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