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Watch: Blockbuster Training, Circa 1990

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BE KIND, MALIGNED
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YouTube could be comprised solely of employee training videos and I don't think I'd be disappointed. The Wendy's, the Chuck E. Cheeses, the Pizza Huts. Seems like everyone's job in high school was accompanied by a bevy of bumbling actors -- or better yet, the CEOs -- stressing the importance of great customer service. I, myself, worked as a Customer Service Representative at Blockbuster Video from March 1997 through January 1998. I never had to sit through a training video -- but it will be my biggest regret not having been shown the following clips.

Because it prevented me from what would've been the biggest laugh of my life.

Like most Blockbuster employees, Marie is a hapless and harried worker -- striving for excellence but always coming up short. But through the magic of a pre-recorded VHS performance, "Buster" is able to guide her in the ways of "Here, lemme see if we have Judge Dredd in stock." Like Max Headroom if he were played by Larry from Three's Company, Buster's video projection smarmily teaches Marie the steps of satisfying the customer.

Or at least we hope that's what it is. Especially when Marie's female classmate sidles up to the counter, complaining about a long weekend of babysitting, and he says, "You may want to keep an eye on this. I see an opportunity coming."

Things you should also keep an eye out for: The self-proclaimed "1960s movie buff" who couldn't name the title to Casino Royale -- despite looking for it in "eight video stores." Or the writers nod to an already popular Fox animated series by naming a character "Marge Simpson."

But overall, the clips are just an excuse to experience the misery of the pre-Hulu-Netflix-iPhone world once again.

We return to Khaki Theatre, already in progress.

Part One:


Part Two:
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.

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