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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Calm down

Saturday night was going just fine, until my fiancé came home from work and told me about the stressful incident she had just endured.
My fiancé is the store manager at a local Blockbuster. A customer came storming into the store toward the end of her shift to complain about – yes, you guessed it – a $4 movie rental.
Now, to offer up a little background, I worked at a Blockbuster for three years and in fact met my future wife during my time there. I have experienced every type of customer interaction you can think of, and she has as well.
We oftentimes wonder what possesses people to scream at the top of their lungs about a movie not playing, late fees or whatever small little, insignificant detail in their Blockbuster experience that "ruined their night."
I should clear something up off the bat: I understand how annoying some things can be when renting a movie. Some people genuinely try every single trick in the book to get that stupid disc to play and to have it continue to not cooperate is beyond frustrating. But the employee didn't sabotage your DVD.
In this day and age, stress is running rampant through society and everywhere you turn, people are blowing up about everything from a burnt piece of toast to being overcharged a dollar at Target.
Calm down. The first issue here is that these people are taking their anger out on someone who is rarely, if ever, responsible for the customer's problem.
In my three years at Blockbuster, I never once scratched a disc on purpose or gave a second thought to trying to make a customer's life more difficult. Stop taking out your frustrations on customer service people who are only there because they are either in school or don't have any other avenue to make money.
The really sad part about all this is that, for the most part, employees of these companies are usually really nice and try to do everything they can to help a customer out. I know that my fiancé and I have bent the rules on more than one occasion to help out a nice person.
On a separate note to all Blockbuster customers, stop telling everyone, "I'm going to Netflix."
First of all, the kid sitting behind the counter could care less and probably is ecstatic at the thought of you never screaming at him or her again anyway. Not only will the employees rejoice at your absence, but also the loss of your business will not solely destroy Blockbuster.
I just think that it's important to remind everyone that as corny as it may sound, we are all in this together in the end. Does the mother of four kids realize that in 10 years, her kids could be in the same position as the girl behind the counter that she's screaming at? Step back and think about the way that you treat people in all walks of life and ask yourself if you'd appreciate the same treatment if the roles were reversed.

E-mail: matthew.parrino@ubspectrum.com


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