I used to work in a video rental store, and at the end of a long shift, the last thing you want is to hang around while some indecisive customer keeps pacing up and down the shelves, unaware that you’re trying to close the store and go home.

I figured out a way to speed up their video-choosing process when it came to closing time at 10:30pm, and that was to switch off the non-essential lights (not a strong enough sign on its own) and then pipe some eerie music through the sound system. The resulting creepiness usually unnerves people and gets them out of the store without any pestering or confrontations… because nobody wants to bump into a pair of creepy little girls while browsing a video store at night.

I guess I still have some Photoshop skills after all!

Okay, here are the tunes I used:

I kicked off my “Get out” mix CD with something subtle in the form of The Postal Service. It’s not a creepy song, but if anyone listened to the lyrics, they’ll realize how unhappy I was that I’m still stuck there at night and maybe take some pity on me.

But nobody ever listens to the lyrics, so it usually leads onto the next track.

Nothing like some Satanic chanting to just get those hairs on the back of your neck standing, huh? If you know the customers I had in that store, then you’ll know that almost nobody gets the Omen reference.

But there are some people that are resistant to choir music, so it’s onto the next track.

I LOVE the Ghost in the Shell soundtrack and listen to it for inspiration all the time… but there’s no doubt that these eerie chimes and shit are kinda creepy in a dark and deserted video store at night.

It’ll be about 10:45pm by this point, and if they’re still not out of the store yet, there’s always the next one:

The good old Syndicate Wars soundtrack. It’s just weird, it’s demented, and this track pretty much lasts until 11pm – at which point I’ll just go nuts and chase them out with a broom anyway.

Now the problem with subtly chasing people out of the store like this is that while I’ll be able to get home on time, sometimes the creepy music stays in my head and I won’t be able to sleep anyway.

BONUS: While scoping around for The Omen soundtrack on YouTube, I stumbled across this heavy metal version of Ave Satani!

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About Drew

I love videogames, movies, my wife and my dog (in no particular order).

11 responses »

  1. ADM says:

    You sound like a person I would have had a blast working with, lol.

    • drewpan says:

      I’d like to think my colleagues at the time thought the same way too!

      Did you ever work in a retail environment like that? It generally is a blast, except for the crappy pay.

      • ADM says:

        Not a video store – but I worked at Target for the holiday season and people would come in and tear the place up… crappy pay to clean up after inconsiderate people.

        Since I was the only one working in my “area” (and it was usually housewares (which included blankets, sheets, towels and rugs), I had to re-fold everything and had no one to trade banter with.

        So yes, it seems working with you would have been hilarious – and it would have made things seem easier.

      • drewpan says:

        You know what really drives me nuts? Fingerprints on the glass doors. There’s a handle on the door, but people never use it. I could be polishing the glass at that very moment, and they’ll still decide to plant their greasy palm prints on it.

      • ADM says:

        Yeah, that would be a bitch.

  2. topiclessbar says:

    This is brilliant. I used to work at Blockbuster and we didn’t close until midnight; if there were people in the store, we couldn’t even kick them out. Had to wait until they were finally finished. Never thought of blasting The Omen…that could’ve done the trick. Either that, or word would spread and we’d end up having satanic rituals in the parking lot.

    • drewpan says:

      Did you like working at Blockbuster? I really enjoyed my time at Video Ezy. The only problem was the shitty pay, really. I could handle the shift work, I was even okay with working on public holidays like Christmas. But damn… the pay.

  3. funny!!! at least you had choices. back in my grad school days I worked as a waiter, and if that last table that’s still parked well after closing time orders another bottle of wine, you’re there for the duration. in place of music I often used body language that when interpreted correctly very clearly read, “Will you go the f@#% home!!!”

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