"Thinking About Trying to Teach Again: My 10 Month Career at Family Video (Told via Social Media)" by Josh Olsen


4/23/16: The best part of my day? Overhearing a customer confessing to a woman he just met that he eats baked potatoes at least three times a week.


 

5/4/16: Granted, it's been well over 10 years since I last worked in the "private sector,” and a lot has changed since then, but I don't recall that every single customer reeked like weed.


 

5/26/16: Tonight I helped a student research Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Last night a customer inquired about Vanessa del Rio movies. Tis the duality of my present employment situation.


 

5/30/16: I hope customers don't assume I'm making a political statement because I'm wearing a black band on my arm, and it's Memorial Day, but it's company policy that I keep my sweet tribal dragon tattoo covered up.


 

6/10/16: If I'm going to be required to tuck in my shirt at my new job, I think I have no choice but to bring back sweatervests.


 

6/20/16: First full day off since June 3rd. I don't mean to brag, but I think I might mow the lawn, have a couple cocktails, and watch WWE Money in the Bank.


 

6/20/16: Now that I no longer work in a library, I’m concerned I won’t have a quiet space to watch wrestling.


 

6/22/16: I think I’m starting to get rejection letters from jobs I didn’t even apply to.


 

7/9/16: Turns out my place of employment is a Pokemon Go gym, so now I have another reason to not wanna go to work.


 

7/16/16: There's nothing quite like going to work on a Saturday, and having to unclog a toilet first thing in the morning, to make you feel like you're doing the Lord's work.


 

8/6/16: No matter where I am in life, or what I’m doing, I always feel like I’m less than two weeks away from becoming a long-haul trucker.  


 

8/30/16: This is the first fall since 2004 that I'm not teaching one single class, and I know this is the part where I'm supposed to say that I miss it, but I don't, so I'm probably making the right decision to stay out of the classroom.


 

9/5/16: Celebrating Labor Day the American way, by going to work.


 

9/5/16: We have a customer w/the first name of “Tanderloin,” so things are looking up.


 

9/5/16: When Joe Esposito’s “You’re the Best” comes on at work it’s tough to not start crane kicking motherfuckers.


 

9/6/16: Our basement is full of yellowjackets, which means I’m officially risking my life to iron my slacks before I go to work.


 

9/9/16: It may look like I'm bringing a sack lunch to work today but really it's just two epipens and a stick of deodorant.


 

9/10/16: “Although you present a very interesting background, we are unable to give your application further consideration.”


 

9/13/16: I just bought 27 copies of Captain America: Civil War (on blu-ray), and I think the cashier thought I was a real psychopath.


 

9/15/16: It doesn’t matter if you quit teaching. If your significant other is in academia, then you are still in academia.


 

9/15/16: My present employer offers me benefits on the same day I break out a vintage Eddie Bauer sweater vest. Coincidence? I think not. #Dress4Success


 

9/19/16: Just got a phone call from a customer asking me to describe the goriest scene in The Toxic Avenger and I was happy to oblige.


 

9/19/16: Disgraced teacher, failed librarian, lousy poet. #TripleThreat


 

9/24/16: Brought a little notepad to work, thinking I might have a spare minute to write, and now I just have a sweat-dampened notepad.


 

10/3/16: It’s easier to go to work after I’ve convinced myself it’s a rough draft of a piece of performance art.


 

10/6/16: This fella came into work the other day and I've been carrying his business card ever since because you never know when you might need a doctor/magician.


 

10/12/15: Must-have fall accessories: compression sock, knee-brace, tattoo cover-up sleeve.


 

10/13/16: Watching The Neverending Story at work today. I never really liked the movie but always thought the theme was dope. Also, does anybody remember Bastian's dad (Gerald McRaney) making a drink by blending a raw egg and orange juice? Was that the poor man's Orange Julius? I think I need to try this.


 

10/16/16: I almost put Smokey and the Banditon at work tonight but didn’t because the IMDB parents guide gave it a warning for “trucker language.”


 

10/22/16: I'm so glad somebody returned this (VHS cassette of Sex in the City) … now I can finish watching the 4th season.


 

10/29/16: My costume today ... Middle Management Dracula w/Lowered Sense of Self-Respect (very meta).


 

10/29/16: Feeling a lil saucy, what the hell, I’m gonna wear my compression sock on the left foot tonight.


 

10/31/16: One of my coworkers left a clogged toilet overnight for me to deal with in the morning.


 

11/12/16: Just encountered a customer named Martha Mullet, which makes me wish that more people had Garbage Pail Kid names.


 

11/22/16: We have a customer who calls in almost every day to reserve a copy of the movie Chappie, which she never picks up, and now she's calling several times a day to ask us to hold The Big Short, which she refers to as My Big Fat Short. Now, I've never been a fan of performance art, but I think this woman might just be a creative genius.


 

11/23/16: Due to an unexpected change in company policy, my brief experiment w/beardlessness can thankfully come to an end. Also I can now wear gauges in my ears, as long as they're flesh-colored.


 

11/25/16: "Be Kind, Please Rewind" is an obsolete slogan, so I've generously workshopped a new, more relevant phrase, "Be Kind, Please Don't Return Your Adult DVDs Slathered In Lube."


11/27/16: TFW you see a customer digging in his crotch seconds before he hands you his money ...


 

11/30/16: Swig of beer for the working man smoking a doob in his van, bumping contemporary Christian music.


 

12/1/16: I was feeling pretty crummy today, until a customer came in to rent a stack of "adult entertainment" while wearing a “Pray First” lapel pin, and then my frown turned upside down!


 

12/2/16: Me after a decade of teaching writing: “I gotta get outta academia!”

Me after 6 months of retail mgmt: “I gotta slit my wrists!”


 

12/13/16: You know your sweater game is on point when all the retirees ask where you got yours so they can buy one just like it for their spouse.


 

12/18/16: If you really have to ask, “How many times in one day can you watch Ernest Saves Christmas?” then you don’t give a fuck about the cause.


 

12/24/16: Well tonight I got to find out who does their last minute Christmas shopping at a video store.


 

12/25/16: Merry Christmas, old man who reeks like weed, and thanks for ripping a fart that could be heard from the other side of the store. That almost made it worth having to work today.


 

1/8/17: It's just one of those days when you go to work and find a sausage in the mailbox.


 

1/16/17: "Yeah, I know all about Luther and the dark guy" ... elderly customer re: Star Wars.


 

1/18/17: "Fuck it, I'm wearing jeans to work today," he sneered, while ironing his jeans.


 

1/18/17: Watching Surf’s Up 2: Wavemania at work, and all the customers seem really confused, but I gotta do me!


 

2/5/17 (Super Bowl Sunday): Keeping my place of employment a football free zone by watching Boo! A Madea Halloween on repeat. "Trick or treat, fools." (That's what it says on the box)


 

2/11/17: Hit my boiling point at work yesterday and respectfully put in my two weeks notice, because my grandfather taught me not to burn bridges.


 

2/13/17: Who needs drugs when you can walk into Meijer the day before payday and try to buy groceries knowing you have insufficient funds.


 

2/20/17: Just gotta full-on Yakov Smirnoff-style "Whatta country!" from a Russian customer renting two adult DVDs for $1.50.


 

2/21/17: Definitely a Rocky 3 and 4 kinda day. Need me some Thunderlips, Clubber, and Drago. 


 

2/21/17: Imagine how short the Rocky sequels would be if they didn’t all start by playing the last 30 min of the movie before it. 


 

2/21/17: I need to get “Paulie in Rocky 3 drinking straight from the bottle in the middle of an arcade, smashing a Rocky pinball machine” drunk.


 

2/25/17: Thinking about trying to teach again.


 

3/3/17: Just gotta phone call from someone at my previous job who doesn’t realize I don’t work there anymore. 


 

10/27/17: I don’t miss working as the assistant manager of a failing video rental store but I did enjoy getting paid to watch Ernest Scared Stupid.