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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The magic is gone

Earlier this year, when Live Free or Die Hard came out, most articles and reviews about it talked about how long it had been since John Mcclane was on the big screen. In fact, one of the lines of the film talks about "an analog hero in a digital world".
I started working for Blockbuster on October 12th, 1995- the same day that Die Hard with a Vengeance came out on video. I quit for an 8 month period from Sept. 1996-April 1997, but re-hired with them in April 1997 and worked full time with them until March of 2007. Then, I dropped down to 2 days a week until May of 2007 and ever since, I have just worked 1 night a week (Mondays) so that I can make room on the New Release wall for all of the new movies. All told, that comes to 11 1/2 years.
When I started in 1995, there was a new fangled video system called DVD that was still being tested and Warner was the only studio embracing it. It was very difficult to find VHS tapes in the widescreen aspect ratio. That winter, the huge hits were Usual Suspects, Ace Ventura When Nature Calls and While You Were Sleeping. I had barely started dating the woman who would become my wife.
I have now been married 10 1/2 years, DVD is the major home viewing experience of choice, it is getting more difficult to find Pan & Scan (which is a very good thing), and While You Were Sleeping and Usual Suspects are now considered modern classics (and When Nature Calls has pretty much been forgotten about).
Last night was my final night of doing the New Release wall. I put in my two weeks notice last week and I trained my replacement to do the wall last night.
I am done!
I am going through a slight grieving period. I have been working at Blockbuster for a hair under 1/3 of my life! I loved the employee discounts and such, but the truth is, the magic is gone. I am 35 and my body was starting to hurt while I was down on my knees for about 8 hours straight. I had changed stores back in September, and I really disliked most of the staff in the new store. My employee account had never been changed over so one of the perks, 5 free movies a week, had been null for the past 3 months anyway. I have a great new job that I really enjoy and am making much more money at, so the sleep dep on Tuesdays wasn't worth it. But, I must say- I am going to miss it.
What better job is there when you're a movie buff than to talk about movies for 8 hours a day? To get the little known movie into the hands of a person who doesn't think it looks good, and then have them come back and say that it has taken a spot in their favorite films of all time is a rush for freaks like me.I loved being the person who received the new shipment of movies and look at the cover art for the first time. I loved putting out the new releases and calling major attention to the ones I liked and making the films that I didnt like disappear into the wall. But, after 11 1/2 years the magic is gone.
I am moving on and continuing my life. Blockbuster was great, but it's time to leave it behind. I have many more adventures coming my way, and Blockbuster doesn't fit into my life anymore.
I am still a movie fan and I still love the community of 'release date' freaks, be it on DVD or theatrical. I will be there for the first showing of Indy 4 and the Dark Knight and will ask my friends at Blockbuster to get any promo items from those films next year at this time. My wall of DVDs will only grow, though not to the extent it used to.
That's my time, and there!

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