#23 Videorama Clerks

Most Portlanders have seen the indie comedy classic, Clerks. The antics of Dante Hicks (Brian O’Halloran) and Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) during their work day made us laugh and cry. Through Clerks, Kevin Smith introduced a View Askewniverse of “fictional characters” that continue to entertain us even today. True diehard fans of Clerks have memorized the greatest customer service tagline ever: “Just because they serve you doesn’t mean they like you”.

So, you say you’ve never been to Videorama*? Well, the store layout is smaller. This will create a comforting feeling you’ve never experienced before at the chain video stores. Videorama’s mainstream movie selection is on the smaller side, but their International, Indie, Anime, LGBT, and Porn titles are the most you’ve ever seen at a neighborhood video chain. Two things will then happen.

  1. You will be immediately feel uncomfortable by these alternative offerings, quickly pacing towards the “TV SHOWS” section.
  2. Your jaw will drop at their massive porn selection and think, “I’ve never rented porn from a video store… this is AWESOME!”

However, does it really matter that Videorama catters to all the needs Blockbuster/Hollywood Video won’t fulfil? Not really. Because appearantly, Videorama employees are given the free right to hate you. Yes. You. The Customer, who drives traffic into Videorama, are just as much trash in their eyes as the non-organic microwaveable popcorn they offer.

I’m a big fan of Clerks, but I would never want to rent a movie from a jerk like Randal. Your interaction with a clerk at Videorama can be best summed up by these quotes. Just mentally replace Randal with Videorama Clerk:

[Randal reads a newspaper while a customer studies two rental choices.]
Customer: They say so much, but they never tell you if it’s any good.
[Randal continues reading, not even ackowledging her]
Customer: Are either of these any good?
[Randal continues to read.]
Customer: Sir!
Randal: What?
Customer: Are either of these any good?
Randal: I don’t watch movies.
Customer: Well, have you heard anything about either of them?
Randal: No.
Customer: You’ve never heard anybody say anything about either movie?
Randal: I find it’s best to stay out of other people’s affairs.
[The customer turns around, then turns back with the same two movies]
Customer: Well, how about these two movies?
[Randal still never looks up.]
Randal: They suck!
Customer: I just held up the same two movies. You’re not even paying attention.
Randal: No, I wasn’t.
Customer: I don’t think your manager would appreciate…
Randal: I don’t appreciate your ruse, ma’am.
Customer: I beg your pardon?
Randal: Your ruse. Your cunning attempt to trick me.
Customer: I only pointed out that you weren’t paying any attention to what I was saying.
Randal: I hope it feels good.
Customer: You hope what feels good?
Randal: I hope it feels so good to be right. There is nothing more exhilarating than pointing out the shortcomings of others, is there?
Customer: Well this is the last time I ever rent here…
Randal: You’ll be missed.
Customer: Screw you!
[The customer storms out. Randal runs out into the street.]
Randal: Hey you’re not allowed to rent here anymore!

Customer: Cute cat. What’s its name?
Randal Graves: Annoying customer.

Randal Graves: I could do without the people in the video store.
Dante Hicks: Which ones?
Randal Graves: All of them.

Randal Graves: This job would be great if it wasn’t for the fu**ing customers.

*The only reason to initially check out Videorama is their phenomenal rental policy.

8 thoughts on “#23 Videorama Clerks

  1. Same with clerks at Trader Joes, New Seasons, etc. Their bottom line is: they are cooler than you for working here. Never mind that they are poverty level servants. YOU are in THEIR way in the ailes. And they just don’t understand that they are not required to comment on EVERY SINGLE ITEM IN THE SHOPPING CART. Really, it’s O.K. not to have had a better whole-grain, sustainably organic experience than me with EVERY SINGLE ITEM IN THE SHOPPING CART!

  2. Videorama isn’t bad, but West Coast Fitness had the brilliant idea of outsourcing their membership services to some place in Colorado, which was always CLOSED when I was at the gym working out.

    Membership problems? Call during the day – the clerk can’t help you when you’re actually working out in the evening. Only the Colorado outsourcing department does that…

  3. So, you don’t give much of an account of what these terrible, terrible videorama clerks did to spike your ire. I am a little confused by what you didn’t like about the clerks; you only list your fear of porn and non-mainstream films before launching into a copy/paste from IMDB. I can only infer from the copy/paste IMDB quote that pads your blog that you acted in some kind of annoying manner (considering that you have a blog dedicated to what you hate, it can be easily assumed that you are annoying) and, shockingly, no one got down on their hands and knees to nuzzle your junk with love. You’re going to get clerked at any job where people get paid minimum wage to be nice to entitled assholes such as yourself, especially at Movie Madness/Video Verite (without Videorama’s the reasonable late fees). The knowledgeable staff at Videorama will be happy to suggest a good film or help you figure out that one film you can barely remember with Donald Sutherland and Aidan Quinn (The Assignment) but, you are right, we have no problem being an asshole to that one jerk who we won’t even see again. We like our regular customers, they’re pleasant and it is always great to talk to them about what they’re renting, but no one here is paid enough to deal with arrogance. Get Netflix for your run-of-the-mill movies and T.V. pap, you’re not allowed to rent here anymore.

    • I loved Videorama’s selection, but I quit going there after being treated terribly by a member of their staff. However, after living in Portland for 7 years, I’ve come to realize that this is the way MOST Portlanders act. And whereas Nordstrom & Starbucks have excellent customer service reputations in other cities, here in Portland even the staff at those stores can be assholes. The manager in the lingerie department of the downtown Portland Nordstrom told me that if I wanted La Perla I should “drive to Seattle” because she doesn’t have the floor space to stock such “over priced underwear that no one wants.” She then walked away from me. Judging from her demeanor, I’m pretty sure she was wearing Jockey (for Men). Check out Portland Sucks on YouTube – the facts of the matter.

    • You’ve got a point. Public courtesy starts with checking arrogance and snottiness at the door. Politeness, respect and keeping to yourself are virtues here in the Northwest. Good call, Randal!

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