No Wonder The Video Rental Business Is Dying

, , , , | Working | September 28, 2017

(I get a job in a video store. It is run by a married couple. The husband seems okay, but is very much dominated by his wife, who has a very bullying way about her. Fortunately I work an evening shift, so she isn’t often around. One by one, my coworkers resign abruptly, to be replaced by new people; the turnover is staggering. I run into one such coworker in a cafe shortly after she quits.)

Me: “I was sorry to hear you’d quit; what happened?”

Ex-Coworker: “[Boss], she’s such a horrible b****! She told me to wash all the shelves, so I did, then she made me do them again, then a third time, even though they were spotless. She wouldn’t let me sit down at all, even when there were no customers. She dragged me out of the break room when I’d only had three minutes; the kettle hadn’t even boiled! And she’s so aggressive; always right up in my face, and yelling. I kept thinking she was going to hit me!”

Me: “That’s terrible! She shouldn’t be allowed to get away with treating people like that!”

Ex-Coworker: “Especially after the court case!”

Me: “What court case?”

Ex-Coworker: “One of the other guys told me that she was once taken to court because she assaulted an employee. Actually punched the employee in the face!”

(Obviously, I’m shocked, and glad to be working a shift that she rarely attends. However, a couple of nights later my luck runs out; there she is.)

Boss: “There you are! I don’t pay you good f****** money to just stroll in here whenever you feel like it! Get to work!”

Me: “My shift starts at 6:00 pm. It’s 5:45. I’m early.”

Boss: “Smart little b****, aren’t you? Don’t you f****** talk back to me. Go and clean the shelves!”

(I head to the back room to collect a bucket, cleaning soap, and sponge.)

Boss: “Where the f*** do you think you’re going? I told you to clean the shelves! Don’t ignore me when I tell you what to do!”

(I’m vividly recalling my ex-colleague’s tale of woe. I’m determined not to let her bully me.)

Me: “I’m going to get some cleaning stuff! What do you want me to do, lick the shelves clean?”

(Then, [Boss] gets right up in my face, but I don’t back down. I’ve decided at this point that this job’s not worth it.)

Boss: “How dare you speak to me like that, you f****** b****? Who do you think you are, trying to give me trouble, when I’ve given you a job? You ungrateful little cow! In 12 years of running this store, I have NEVER had a problem with any of my employees!”

(This is too much. I burst into laughter.)

Me: “Seriously? You don’t think punching an employee in the face, then being arrested and taken to court is a problem? Yeah, that’s right; I heard all about it. I can also tell you’re about two seconds away from punching me in the face or firing me, so I’ll save you the trouble: I quit!”

(I storm away from her and grab my bag. She’s puce with rage, her fists are snapping open and closed, and all the veins in her neck are standing out, but I’m now out of reach.)

Boss: “You have to give notice! You have to give written notice! You can’t just walk out!”

Me: “Gladly!”

(I write “F**K OFF” on a Post-it, stick it to the computer monitor, and flounce past her. As I do, I notice a customer standing off to the side; in all the drama, I hadn’t spotted her before.)

Customer: “Good on you, lass! I heard how she was picking on you, and I’ve seen her bully her other staff like that as well. Well, madam, I’m here to return this video, and I’ll be renting from another store in the future!”

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