The Saga of Kevin
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© 2001 Brian F. Schreurs
Even we have a disclaimer.

Carry a sword.
The VCR I rented from Blockbuster Video wasn't working right, so I was scrambling to find another one. My brother was calling out phone numbers; I dialled and asked about rentals. So far, we'd had no luck. I dialled again.

"Blockbuster Video, Kevin speaking, how can I help you?" the phone said.

"Hi Kevin! How ya doin'?" I replied.

"Actually, I'm incredibly angry right now!"


Well, that was unexpected.


The voice of the Phone Lady spoke in my brain: "please hang up and try again."

Tempting though it was, I couldn't resist exploring the psyche of a Blockbuster Video employee who was perfectly happy to vent at random customers.

So I asked: Really? What's the matter exactly?

"I'm here. I'm supposed to be off today. This girl is leaving, leaving my life forever, and I was supposed to see her one last time tonight but I'm stuck here!"

Really! This was suddenly interesting. Why?

"Two other people never showed up and now I have to cover for them. Man! I try to be the nice guy, I'm always trying to help people, and this is what I get! She's leaving forever man!"

Forever is a long time. Is she going overseas? Military perhaps? Where's she going?

"She's going to North Carolina. I'll never see her again!"

North Carolina? As in, that state we share a border with? Not exactly Perth.

"I don't have the money to go visit her in North Carolina! She'll be gone forever man, and I won't have the chance to say goodbye! I hate it here."

You never know. Life is full of surprises. You can't count anything out. Keep your mind open to unexpected opportunity. You might find a way to go visit her.

"Nah, she's not that good of a friend, I wouldn't bother."


"Hey, this is Brian, right?"

Okay, that's just weird. Yes, this is Brian. But probably not the Brian you think it is.

"Blockbuster is a lousy place to work. Man, they make it look all good from the outside but when you work here, they stab you in the back."

How so?

"Like my manager says she doesn't like my attitude. I try to be nice to the customers! I help them out. But she complains about things like I don't tuck in my shirt. But like I'll come in, and someone didn't show up so I have to help check people out right away man, and I don't have a chance to tuck in my shirt. I mean if I was out of the floor, yeah, I could see that, of course my shirt would have to be tucked in, you know? But behind the counter? I don't think those people care about my shirt. They just want to be checked out, man."

Yeah. Customers like to be checked out quickly.

"I don't take anything out on the customers, I'm always nice to them, but man when one of my coworkers does something like that to me, man I don't need that."

Of course not. You don't want to take it out on customers, because they didn't do anything to you, but you're tired of picking up the slack from your coworkers.

"Exactly! That's what I'm saying man. Blockbuster sucks. They don't care about the employees at all."

Hm. Maybe you need to keep an eye on the classifieds for a new opportunity with a company that is more responsive to the needs of its staff.

"That's what Blockbuster is supposed to be, man! But it's not like that at all man, there's a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes here. It's not good at all."

Bummer. People are always taking advantage of the nice coworker.

"You know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna go tell Leslie that I'll cover Blockbuster this evening because I'm a nice guy, but this is the last time! Next time she can find someone else to do it. I'm really sick of this!"

Sounds like a good idea. Stick up for yourself.

"Soon as I get off the phone, I'm gonna go find Leslie!"

Great. You do that. Hey Kevin?


You got any VCRs for rent?

"Uh, no man, we're all out."

Okay then. Good luck, and don't forget to watch for unexpected opportunity!

Heaven knows he'll probably be getting it soon enough.