August 7, 2002

True Porn Clerk Stories

Every now and then I get this crazy itch inside the back of my head. I know I need second income of some sort – my oh-so-decadant lifestyle gobbles up the wages from my sysadmin job faster than Pac-Man gobbles up pixels. And I’m sure that this second income is going to come, in some way, from freelancing and consulting gigs. But there’s always that crazy idea in the back of my head, probably some spark of familiarity from my days in the service sector, that looks at the Help Wanted sign in the window of the local video rental place and starts to seriously consider turning in an application. Think about it – I know a lot about movies, I’ve done my time behind a cash register, I could work nights, which would fit into my schedule, the place is only ten minutes from my house (right around the corner when you live in the semi-rural West) – it seems like the perfect gig. Of course there’s always the other half of my brain that pulls me back to the sunlight, reminding me exactly how much minimum wage is, how many hours I’d have to work to make a dent in my finances, not to mention the fact that it’s mainly drudgework that would see me stuck behind a register for five hours a night, and most customers don’t want the clerk to talk to them, much less have an encyclopedic knowledge of film. Plus, I’ve seen Clerks too many times.

Well, now I have another reason to hesitate. A couple of weeks ago the other blogs were playing meme-tag with True Porn Clerk Stories, an excellently written journal by a gal in Chicago. Here she details her adventures at the seedy urban video store that circumstance has forced her to work at. She fleshes out her characters well, giving her customers names like Mr. Creaky and Mr. Gentle. She peppers her tales of the daily drudgery with unique insights into the how and why of the porn rental industry, almost as though she were an undercover sociologist working on her thesis. But underneath it all, you can tell that working at a video store is not a glamorous job.

Now, I know Carson City isn’t exactly Chicago. And the store I’m looking at doesn’t even carry porn – having legalized prostitution ten minutes away probably dilutes the market a little. But still, I now have another reason to walk right on by whenever I see that Help Wanted sign.

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

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