So let me set the stage here.
The kid's at her grandmother's house. My Supermodel Wife and I have returned home early on a Saturday with a chance for date night to celebrate her 29th birthday. On the agenda: dinner out and movies in.
We decide to hit the neighborhood Blockbuster Video store to pick up a couple of flicks to watch after dinner. A glance at the local movie listings revealed there was nothing we both wanted to see, so a quick stop at Blockbuster seemed like a good move.
Only it turns out that there's no such thing as a quick stop at Blockbuster.
After learning they didn't have the film we wanted (Burn After Reading, have you seen it?) and about 10 minutes or so of browsing the titles, we make our way up to the counter to check out.
At this time I'll mention that the store is nearly deserted except for us, two other couples and two clerks.
I'll also mention that it's been about three years since we've rented videos. What with cable TV, DVRs and in-laws who buy DVDs like its an investment strategy, we just haven't had the occasion to rent.
Unfortunately for us, this meant that our membership in the exclusive Blockbuster customer club had lapsed.
Zoolander, the clerk who was "helping" us (not his actual name, but it was something equally as droll and movie-related) handed me a pen and a lengthy application form to fill out.
Meanwhile, other customers went ahead of us in line. It took me about 5 minutes to complete the questionnaire, using as much fake information as possible (do they really need to know my blood type? Really???).
So anyway, by the time I finish the application, Zoolander is busy with another customer. Seems this customer wanted to do something totally crazy like buy one of the previously viewed DVDs that Blockbuster sells. This insane request taxed Zoolander's mental capacity and that of his esteemed co-clerk to the point that they spent the next 15 minutes scratching their heads, poking the computer keyboard and calling the absent manager for help.
At length, Zoolander turned his attention back to our application for membership in the highly exclusive Blockbuster Video customer club. Unfortunately, he was breaking new professional ground in taking such an application. I was honored to be the first member he ever accepted, but frustrated that it took another 15 minutes to enter all of the information into the super secret Blockbuster Video world domination super computer database.
Finally, with our most personal information safely if not accurately entered, Zoolander fake-laminated our temporary membership cards with packing tape.
We paid for our three rentals and headed out to our car where an evening snowfall had deposited about an inch of snow in the 40 minutes we had been in the store.
Given this terrible experience, I'm not really surprised that Netflix is kicking Blockbuster's ass.
In fact, as rarely as we rent movies and despite my distaste for McDonald's, that Red Box thing is looking like a good option.
Has anyone ever used it? Cause I can't afford to lose more time in the Blockbuster's black hole of the soul.
tagged: Blockbuster Video, movie, Zoolander, Netflix, customer service, Red Box