Friday, November 21, 2008

Coworkers: Part 04 - French Videos‏

   The videos were expensive.
   Damn expensive.
   I had "special ordered" two videos for a friend of Zelda's.
   Diana looked them up for me, then advised, "These are older films, but they are still rental priced."
   "What do you mean? Like, 99¢?"
   "Ha ha," she laughed. "No, start thinking $95.00 each."
   "Jesus! What the hell - - How can ... Jesus."
   Diana continued laughing. "When movies come out on video, most are stickered sky high so only rental stores buy them. After six months, they get re released to the sell through market. $19 or $14. Most stores derive their profit on each rental title during that six month span."
   "I see."
   Truth was, I was still digesting that information.
   "Do you still want to order two $95 films?" she smiled.
   "I need to ponder this," I answered. "Would I still get my discount?"
   "Of course."
   Passed this information on to Zelda. Her reaction mimicked mine. Six months, sixteen months, she could wait.
   When Zelda relayed the story to her friend, however, her friend's attitude was different.
   "I'm not about to wait six months. Or six weeks. I want them now."
   "Even with his discount, they're going to be $75.00 apiece."
   "Oh, that's not too bad. Especially for two films I really want. Yes. Go ahead and order them."

   The American Dream. No one liked deferring gratification any more.
   I ordered both films. French art house fare, directed by Claude Berri.
   Films arrived a few weeks later. These were set aside, and I contacted Zelda to make money arrangements.
   Friday evening, I came to work armed with two $100 notes.
   "Where's the videos?"
   Three days after they'd arrived, both films had vanished.
   No one knew.
   Dan did most of the checking.
   Todd had received them. Carey checked them in, made a note. Diana contacted me, locked them in the Stash Room.
  End of the trail.
   Dan's investigations were inconclusive.
   Someone was fired, however. One of the girls. No evidence, no proof. She'd actually done something else, but managers used the heist as an excuse to terminate her.
   Todd was infuriated.
   I felt uncomfortable, like I'd set something in motion. If I hadn't ordered those damn videos maybe she'd still be working there.
   Diana reordered the flicks. Week later I bought them.
   Tried to keep my profile low afterward.


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