|(LINK Suncoast Pic)|
My second shortest job lasted just shy of one week. It was at that extinct dinosaur of a video store, Suncoast Video at the old Echelon Mall in Voorhees, NJ. http://www.deadmalls.com/malls/echelon_mall.html
The year was 1990, I was 20, and the Star Wars Trilogy 3 VHS tape collection was just released. I was and still AM a total Star Wars fan! I was in a word, ecstatic!
Being a poor college student, I could only wander between Sam Goody and Suncoast video and dream of what movies I wanted to buy! The Star Wars Trilogy was at the top of the list. But how to get it? I had finished my sophomore year at Rutgers with just barely enough gas money to get me from New Brunswick, NJ back to my hometown of Wenonah, NJ.
Back from college for the summer, I immediately plotted on how I would be able to purchase the Trilogy. Dad asked me if I was going to get a summer job and I was said, maybe, I'm not sure, perhaps, something easy with lots of money. It was the summer after my sophomore year and honestly, I just wanted to chill and enjoy myself.
OK back to the plotting... how to get a summer job and buy the Trilogy. I considered doing yard work for money, NOPE. I wanted to work in a fun place with people my own age in AIR CONDITIONING! Suddenly a bright light bulb went off above my head. Why not get a job where I was could get the Star Wars Trilogy, get an employee discount on the Trilogy AND work in air conditioning? The local mall!
I immediately drove down in our 1987 red Nissan Sentra to the Suncoast video at the Echelon Mall and applied for a retail position. They called two days later and scheduled me for an interview. I met the manager, a very tall and pretty gal in her upper 20s named Daniele. She was gung-ho and 100% Miss SUNCOAST VIDEO. OK I thought, I gotta shmooze this gal...
|(Not my pic)|
Daniele met me the first day and brought me around the store. After a 30 minute meaningless tour of where the horror movies were, the drama, the comedy, the romance, and also something called the classics, she put me on the floor to begin just helping people.
30 minutes later of me hiding behind the fantasy/sci-fi videos just drooling over the Star Wars Trilogy VHS box set, some kid walked up, "Where are the horror movies?" "I dunno, over there," rolling my eyes and pointing towards the musicals. "OK, thanks man."
After another couple minutes, someone else needed help! UGH! Such needy people!!! It was some older lady. "Young boy, can you tell me where the documentaries are?" I replied, "I don't even know what those are!" I shuffled her off to the classics.
Daniele came over an hour later and asked how everything was going, "Great!" I exclaimed. "I'm helping lots of people!" "OK," she replied. I knew she didn't buy it. I really didn't care because my next question was the all important one.
"Um, Daniele, I have a question. What's my employee discount? Do I get one?"
"Yeah, of course! 30%. Do you see something you want?"
"Uuuuh, I dunno, I'm just wondering," (knowing full well that I was gonna get that VHS box set on my first paycheck.) "And when do we get paid?"
"Well Marc, you'll get a smaller paycheck because it's not a full pay period, but we'll pay you on Friday."
"Oh that's OK, I was ... just wondering about that too."
"OK, if you have any questions, lemme know." Daniele retreated to the office to work on something involving boring paperwork.
Someone else came up and asked if I knew if they had any movie posters and I replied that I didn't work there. He pointed out that I had a name-tag on (damn that name-tag) and I told him that I kept forgetting that I worked there since it was my first day. I directed him over to the movie t-shirts instead.
The week passed so slow with me each day constantly misdirecting people in the store. I finally worked that Friday eagerly awaiting my paycheck. When Daniele gave it to me, I noticed it had been written on a bank in the mall. She confirmed that I could cash it on my break if I wanted to. As soon as that clock hit 3:30pm, I bolted out of the store and hit the bank for some cold hard cash.
Coming back from break, I had 5 minutes left to buy the VHS set. I plunked down the cash and of course made sure I got that all important 30% discount. One of the sales gals put it in a Suncoast Video bag and I deposited it in the employee break room until the end of the day. I couldn't wait for the shift to end! I sped home as quick as my little red Nissan Sentra could take me.
I barely ate dinner and that evening watched a marathon of the first Star Wars: A New Hope, then The Empire Strikes Back and finally Return of the Jedi VHS tapes in one sitting late into the evening. I called Daniele on Saturday and informed her that I wouldn't be coming into work on Sunday. She asked me if I were sick and I stated "Sorry, I misspoke. I won't be coming back into work at all."
We had a brief conversation on the reasons why: I didn't think retail was for me, I bought the Star Wars Triology, and I didn't like helping people. She told me I sucked and hung up on me.