As I approach the entrance, unconsciously I begin to tread more slowly, more softly, hoping that my presence will go undetected. My head intentionally turned, using the age old children’s technique of hoping that if I don’t make eye contact I’ll become invisible. I brace myself, take a deep breath, and push open the door in a rush, diving forward and simultaneously throwing what I’m carrying through the hole, hoping to create a moment of distraction that allows me to pass unnoticed. It never fails. The moment I stand up, all my evasive manuevers spent, in a painfully piercing high pitch I hear: “Hello! Welcome to Blockbuster!” I resign myself to the polite smile and wave.
These people are working on the weekend for minumum wage. There is no way that they can be this painfully cheerful. What kind of mind control drug does Blockbuster have them on? Just once I’d love to hear an honest greeting from them. “Yeah, yeah, I see you coming in. Look buddy, it’s Friday night, I’m 29 years old and I live in my parents basement. I don’t have a date and I’ve got no prospects in sight. I make minimum wage and this blue vest gives me a rash. If I have to fake one more cheerful hello I just might go postal on someone. Just pick your friggin’ movie and try not to bother me too much.” That would be kind of refreshing to hear. All that insincere cheerfulness is awkward for all of us.