Monday, May 18, 2009

Blockbuster's Future, A Personal Story

For the first time in a long while, I went to Blockbuster. Here's my story:

Me: Hey I'm looking for Bull Durham (It's a movie that takes place in the area I recently moved to, Durham).

Employee: Yeah it's over there in the $1 movie section.

Me: $1 movie? I didn't know y'all lowered you're prices.

Employee: It just happened a couple of weeks ago.

Me: Great (It's at this time I start to question my disloyalty to Blockbuster. Maybe they've come around after all. So I go find Bull Durham, walk to counter excited to spend less than I predicted [...] 3 minutes later I arrive at the front of the line).

Employee: Do you have your Blockbuster Card?

Me: Oh, no. (Do people still carry those around?) I have one under my wife's name, Traci Brookie, B-R-O-O-K-I-E.

Employee: Is she here?

Me: No.

Employee: Oh, then you won't be able to use it.

Me: ...

Employee: Let me see if your name is on the card too. What's your name?

Me: Harrison Brookie

Employee: I don't see it. Did you get this in another state?

Me: Yeah, South Carolina.

Employee: Oh, well that's the problem. You'll have to get another account from this state. Just come over here (to an entirely new desk across the room) and fill out this form (that has at least a dozen information questions. It's at this point I realize my hope for Blockbuster has been dashed. I quickly fill out what I feel is the bare minimum and hand it back.).

Employee: Don't forget your license number.

Me: ...OK

Employee: Oh and your debit card info.

Me: ......OK

Employee: And your contact number.

Me: .........OK

Employee: And also your home address.

Me: You have my license number, debit information, and my cell phone number, why do you possibly need my home address?

Employee: We need to know where our products are going!

Me: ...

Employee: Look, you don't have to do anything you don't want to.

Me: This is why Netflix is kicking your ass (I may have said "Redbox", but either way, I definitely said "kicking your ass").

Employee: Uh, well actually no their not (others would disagree, so would the facts).

Me: Ok here... (I hand him my filled out sheet with everything short of my social security number and he hands me a laminated card. I guess I'm supposed to file this with my BILO Bonus Card and CVS Extra Care Card in the annoying things to hold on to box).

Employee: Thank you, now just show that to the cashier (I head back over to the original line. [...] 3 minutes later I arrive at the front of the line. I give him money. He gives me the movie).

Employee: That's due back by midnight tomorrow (Which means I had to drive back up there again the next day. Luckily it was the last time).


  1. FANTASTIC post, friend. Back when Blockbuster Online was cheaper than Netflix, people would ask me why I stuck with Netflix. I explained that part of the benefit of Netflix is never having to deal with Blockbuster.

    But don't worry, they won't be around much longer:

    They called you a contact number, too. That just adds insult to injury.

  2. Your, you're, yore... I can never get those straight. My wife/editor must have missed that.

  3. Harrison (my favorite son-in-law)--this made me laugh. I was just talking to Chris White, the drama teacher at Mann, about Netflix and how much he uses it to be able to teach his film criticism class. He's just unhappy the school district blocks the Netflix site sometimes, but not always, but they'll probably block it permanently, he said, because you can download movies from the site and that would take too much bandwith and slow the network down. Anyway, thanks for a hilarious snapshot of your trip to Blockbuster.

  4. Patty (my favorite mother-in-law)--I'm glad you enjoyed it. I have a regular problem with the seemingly random sites that are blocked at my school too.

  5. I went to blockbuster last night and thought about this post. They had 5 people working behind the counter with only four total customers in the store and only two registers open. All five of them were eating "dinner" which consisted of the "bundles" of popcorn, coke, and candy that they were trying to sell to us as we checked out. They couldn't get our membership card to scan, and when they did, they informed us that the credit card on the account expired and needed a new card even though we were paying with a gift certificate. They also wanted to update all of our contact information, which we just lied and said was still correct in order to avoid a painful experience with an inept high schooler as a cashier (God forgive us). It cost us five dollars to rent the movie for only two days! I'm going to try to use the remaining balance of our gift card before they go under, but I take comfort knowing that I'm not the only one that went through this.


You are the reason why I do not write privately. I would love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or not.