Life By Kristen

Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it. – Little Women

Scintilla Day 1: My First Job

** For the second year in a row, I am participating in The Scintilla Project, telling my stories with the internet community. 


Prompt: Tell a story set at your first job. 

It was one of the most coveted jobs a 17 year old could get in Somerset- working at Blockbuster Video. The cool navy blue polo, the unlimited access to videos and those new DVDs that were coming out, and as much popcorn, movie sized candy, and ice cream sandwiches you wanted on a shift.

My first two weeks there included the twice-yearly inventory of the store, but I couldn’t work the real inventory because I wasn’t 18 yet and it started on a Saturday night after we closed at 10, the drop-dead time for under 18 workers in Massachusetts.

I was a Customer Service Representative (Blockbuster’s fancy name for checkout girl) for 2 1/2 years- many nights and weekends wearing navy polos, blue Oxford shirts, and khaki pants. I rewound thousands of video tapes, dusted off dozens of old tapes that never were checked out, and dealt with my fair share of customer complaints about the $3.99 for two days charge for new releases.

Blockbuster taught me how to clean a glass door in record time in between people walking in and out, gave me some stellar obscure movie knowledge that helps me at many a pub trivia or game night, and brought me my first ever secret admirer ( one of the guys I worked with left a rose on my car in the high school parking lot once….ok it was kind of creepy).

The particular Blockbuster store I worked with was huge for selling “PPTs”- previously played tapes, which was their fancy acronym for taking the extra stock off the rental shelves and shoving it in a huge bin of videos for people to buy used. Maybe it was because I frequently worked Sunday and Monday nights when we would prep the rental shelves for the new releases on Tuesdays, but I always ended up being the re wrapping and pricing gal for the PPTs. I felt a weird joy and excitement at the shrink wrapping machine- though I don’t miss that smell of burning plastic. Not too long ago I was in a specialty gift shop where a lady was doing the shrink wrapping behind the counter and the smell brought instant flashbacks to Blockbuster, summer 2000.

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4 thoughts on “Scintilla Day 1: My First Job

  1. Kristen, this post made me laugh! I love it. I am also participating in Scintilla and wrote a similar type post on my blog today.

  2. Great one! Yes retail is the perfect way for teenagers to get their people skills in order – if the people weren’t ridiculous to deal with.

  3. Retail definitely teaches us many things. As a supervisor at Woolworths (which is sadly no more) I learnt many life lessons when dealing with customers and managers alike.

  4. I know so many people that had the odd job like that 🙂 It’s funny how we remember so many details from our “firsts” sometimes 🙂

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