January 14, 2007


For anyone who cares (and those who don’t, stop being jerks):

I’ve come to the conclusion that Mattinee is … well, it’s dead, Jim (who’s Jim?). It suffers from neglect, and it’s entirely my fault. Long story short, there’s a new blog in town. One that doesn’t constrict itself to film reviews and entertainment columns. I’d really appreciate it if all of my supposed friends and loved ones would take a few minutes and look it over, and maybe if you’re feeling like a decent human being, dropping me a line or two of your thoughts. And hey, if it catches your fancy to maybe bookmark my blog and check it once a week, that’d be just swell.

Sorry for being a sarcastic jerk all the time.


And Jim, I’m sorry for sleeping with your wife.

Much love,

January 05, 2007

Picking your battles: is two dollars worth murdering a video clerk over?

Retail is one of the few things in life that actually manages to slowly, but oh so surely, drain the human soul of the very essence which sustains it, thus ridding helpless employees everywhere of their will to live. And this isn’t to say that retail is inherently intolerable, because it isn’t. I don’t, for the most part, mind my job at Hollywood Video. So what is it that makes selling goods and services to the general public so ridiculously unbearable?
To be perfectly honest, it’s the general public.

When I inform someone of their late fees (which I am required to do), they typically have one of two reactions. The first, which is most assuredly preferred by me, goes a little something like this:

ME: It looks like you have some late fees on your account.
CUSTOMER (slightly surprised): Oh, really? How much are they?
ME: Well, “You, Me and Dupree” and “Superman Returns” were both two days late, so the total, after tax, is $8.68.
CUSTOMER: Hm … well, I suppose I’ll take care of those.
ME (breathing a sigh of relief): Cool. Thanks for not yelling at me, sir.
CUSTOMER: You’re very welcome.

This reaction is quick, painless and relatively nervous breakdown-free for everyone involved. This second reaction is, unfortunately, considerably more stressful:

ME: It looks like you have some late fees on your account.
CUSTOMER (shocked): What?
ME: I said you have some late fees. It looks like “Cobra vs. Python” and “Little Man” were both two days late, so the total, after tax—
CUSTOMER (becoming increasingly frustrated): No, I don’t have any late fees.
ME: Sir, I’m just telling you what the computer says—
CUSTOMER (knocking a gift card display over in an ape-like fit of rage): I don’t care what your damn computer says, I returned those movies on time!
ME (ducking under the counter to avoid the man’s wildly flailing fists): OK, well let me see what my manager can do for—
CUSTOMER (kicking a puppy out the door on his way out): Don’t bother, I’m taking my business elsewhere!

Sadly, this last exchange isn’t too far-fetched (though, to be honest, I’ve yet to see someone kick a puppy as they storm out angrily—but it is only a matter of time). I deal with dozens of people every day who feel that our computers somehow create bogus late fees at random, charging arbitrary customers $13.00 because “Roadhouse 2” was two weeks late. My theory? They’re too ashamed to admit that they actually rented “Roadhouse 2.”

I once had a woman berate me about Hollywood Video’s late-fee policy for a full 10 minutes because she had approximately $2.00 in late fees. Seriously, is it even worth it? Life is precious, do you really want to waste 10 minutes of it yelling at a nervous Guest Service Representative about something he hasn’t the slightest ounce of control over? Don’t you want to hurry home to your husband, or maybe your children? Come on, they’ll be grown up and going to college before you know it.

I can really only think of one reason why she would become so irate at a measly $2.00 late fee: her family was brutally killed in a tragic late fee accident, thus the reason that she A) wasn’t in any hurry to get home and B) was so ridiculously furious over the two bucks. My advice in this matter? Get a grief counselor to help with the whole family-being-killed-by-rampant-late-fees thing, and then actively try to pick your battles. I’m sorry that you have a buck-fifty in late fees, but it’s really not worth yelling at me over.

December 19, 2006

Hey, remember those video blog things?

Expect one in the next week.

But don't get too excited. These will not be a regular, three-to-four day thing again. They're too time consuming, with work and college they just don't happen. However, I have some time over the holiday.

Keep an eye out over the next few days.

December 08, 2006

Fantastic new trailer for Frank Miller's '300'

Mere words cannot describe how wickedly, unabashedly awesome this film looks. I cannot wait.

Catch the new trailer here: http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=1529799&sdm=web&qtw=480&qth=300