Jackass #26 – Blockbuster

As much as I hate to call out a retailer by name, no real choice here. I cannot describe the incredible glee I felt watching their demise.

This because every time I went to Blockbuster store, I felt as if I just got screwed. Unreasonable late fees, popular movies out of stock or not even stocked, insistence you join their stupid club, and my favorite, overcharging for the replacement of a lost film. $79.95 for a VHS tape? Clearly this was a company run by Jackasses. They are so infamous that there is even a ihateblockbuster.com site.

Even with their demise the jackassery hasn’t stopped. The other day I got yet another spam-email from them for their Blockbuster Express store.  Again, I  clicked on unsubscribe only to get, you guessed it, a useless broken link! I can’t unsubscribe! It’s some kind of Blockbuster hell where they keep doing it to us in perpetuity!

Jackasses all the way to the bitter end.

Those requiring more evidence read here from Ben Fidler of The Deal:

But Blockbuster had become a mess years before negotiations had even been broached. The digital format has come to dominate the video rental business, thanks to mail-order DVD rental provider Netflix Inc., video-on-demand services from cable providers and vending machine suppliers such as Redbox Automated Retail LLC, which offers $1 DVD rentals through supermarket kiosks and other outlets. But Blockbuster and its brick-and-mortar rivals were slow to pick up on these innovations. Its two biggest competitors, Movie Gallery Inc. and Hollywood Entertainment Corp., which merged, disappeared after Movie Gallery underwent two bankruptcies and eventually liquidated. In fact, Blockbuster was so out of sync that it launched an eyebrow-raising, unsolicited $1 billion bid for electronics retailer Circuit City Stores Inc. in April 2008 that it luckily withdrew three months later. A year later Circuit City liquidated.



Jackass #25 – Yay-hoos who close their phone messages with a cliche.

When I want to leave a message all I really want to know is did I reach the right number/person. Everything else, is extraneous.

I also don’t require directions. I pretty much have the whole message-leaving business under control.

Leave it to the jackasses, however,  to mess up this simple task.

What began innocently enough, “leave a message at the tone and have a nice day!” has now morphed into a opportunity for jackass grandstanding.

“You’ve reached John Doe, at 555-5555. Please leave a message at the tone.”

So far so good.

“And remember…”

Uh, oh…here it comes.

“You have the power to change your perception, so make it a phenomenal day!”

Really do I? What if received some terrible news that day? Or, what if I want a slightly sub-phenomenal day today, as I am worn out from all the previous phenomenal days that have preceded this one. Do I really need to recalibrate my expectations due to your phone greeting?

What a bunch of jackassery! I don’t even know where to begin with how wrong this is.  You think this sort of thing is obvious.

Apparently not. That’s what makes it jackassery.


Jackass #24 – Multi-level marketers.

Bring up Amway with me, you’ve crossed a line. Sorry there is no “hope in soap” for me!

I don’t want to buy your stuff. Nor do I want to get in business selling your stuff to my friends so you can make more money. I don’t care how good it is, how concentrated it is, or how much money it’s going to save me or make me.  I want my friends to be friends, not customers!

Whoever came up with this whole multi-level marketing scheme should have a special place in hell reserved for them. It’s just wrong for friends to peddle to their friends.

Unless, of course, you are a jackass. Jackasses have no problem introducing MLM (multi-level marketing) as “life changing opportunity” to their friends and family.

The other day I received  a call from someone you haven’t heard from in years. Was he calling to say “hi” or see how I was doing? Nope. Once the pleasantries were exchanged he got down to business. “Would I be interested in saving money on my phone and utility bills?”

This whole activity is simply wrong on so many levels. As we know jackasses never recognize this and simply proceed to hammer away.

Later these jackasses will all convene at some MLM organization pump up meeting baffled by their friends who simply  “don’t get it!”

These MLM douche-bags are even on the radio. I love this one jackass who leads with the trojan horse of  “working from home” and the “family values” that will ensue for those  who “gets started with the three step plan!” No mention of the $40 a bottle juice you’ll have to shill to your family and friends. Or is there any mention of the first order (over $1000) you’ll have to make in order to make money through his program.

Oh, and no reputable evidence that the lofty health benefits of the juice are true.

Jackasses don’t care about that.



Jackass #23 – Big Shots who ignore caller ID.

You know this jackass.

This is the BIG BUSINESS guy, seeing who is calling on his caller ID,  STILL has to answer “XYZ company!” or “This is Bill Jones!”

What a Jackass!

He can’t say, “Hi Steve, nice of you to call!”


The worst case of this, and I have seen this many times, is when it is their spouse who are calling.  It’s still the same business-y tone and message.

How about, “Hi Honey! Nice of you to call! I was thinking of how lucky you the mother of our children to call me at work!”

Instead it’s the abrupt, “Bill Jones speaking!”

And if you ask one of these jackasses what the rationale  is here they will fire back with more pompous big-shot idiocy.

“What if it’s not who the caller ID says? What if I am, say, spoofed!” I guess that happens, like, NEVER!

or it’s a philosophical thing….

“I just always answer the phone that way during business hours!”

Hey, I got philosophy for you, stop being a jackass!

Jackass #22 – Morons who talk in movie theaters.

Hey Jackass, the movie we all paid to watch is in a theater not your living room.

Sure, eat as loud you want, with your mouth open preferably. That is the jackass way to eat BTW. Intermittently belch and scratch your balls while you are at it (if you are a guy).

But if you really want to ring the jackass bell, talk through the entire film providing commentary for those of us too stupid to know who the stars are or what is going on with the plot.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard one of these blabbermouths state and restate the obvious.

“Hey, that’s Will Smith!” Really? Thanks, I would have never known had you not told me and the three rows lucky enough to sit by you and hear your booming voice.

The best case of this jackassery was years ago when I saw “The Sixth Sense.” The person near me commented to his date, “What Bruce Willis doesn’t know, is that he’s really dead!”

Thanks Jackass for ruining the movie…




Jackass #21 – Pompous asses who use the word “plethora.”

As far as I can see, the ONLY reason to use the word “plethora,”  as opposed to “many” or “a lot,” is to let the world know you are a big pompous jackass.

We get it, you are so smart that you need to let us idiots all know by using a big word when a littler word would do!

Nice job Jackass!

There are actually dozens of impressive sounding words similar to “plethora” these jackasses are apt to use.

Not to be obstreperous, but I will save them for future.

Jackass #20 – Clerks who talk on the phone while taking your money.

Here’s another great jackass I am sure you know.

This is the guy in the convenience store/gas station who is talking on the phone (usually loudly in another language) that continues to talk while you are trying to consummate your transaction.

This is wrong for so many reasons. Above all it is just rude. I can only conclude the clerk is a real jackass!

What would be the right thing for the clerk to do here?

How about providing a quick “excuse me” to me, the customer, while you wrapping up the call? The upraised index finger (the universally accepted indication of wait a second) will suffice.

And just because I am feeling so generous… I would even accept a clerk who gives the person on the other side of the phone the same “excuse me” – and puts the phone down – while we wrap up our transaction.

This may sound like crazy talk but I am merely THE CUSTOMER. We’ve come a long way from “the customer is always right.” Here we have “the customer barely exists!”

Jackasses I say, Jackasses!


Jackass(es) #20 – Customer services that hang up on you.

A dirty little not-so-secret for customer service centers is that many are severely understaffed and under resourced in terms of technology. They simply can not handle the volume of calls that comes in to them.

The worst of these, after putting you on hold for a couple dozen minutes, actually HANG UP on you. Call back, and the same thing happens. This is because hanging up on you is policy when calls reach a certain volume.

Hard to believe as this may seem, it’s absolutely true.

No executive will ever admit to this. Admission would be a public relations nightmare. Instead they offer up BS Bingo excuses like “due to unusually high call volume customer service may experience call drop off from time to time.”

This is pure Orwellian doublespeak as “service” is now something that hangs up on you. That meets no definition of service I know of.

Another is “as we migrate our customer service to the web, we may experience a few hiccups with our customers!” Hiccups? You mean if trying to locate my product all I need to do is hold my breath and drink some water upside down? No, these aren’t hiccups, they are real problems that require a conversation to solve.

The bottom line here is the company is too cheap to provide the proper solution staffing up and enhancing their telephone technology.

It’s either that or they really just don’t care (usually the case).

Whatever the case, systematically hanging up on a customer is a total Jackass move. Any company that does that should be avoided.

Jackass #19 – Guys who cry at press conferences.

Talk about your jackasses, here is one that we’ve seen way too much of lately.

This is the guy (again, guys have a particular gift for jackassery) who not only do something egregiously wrong (usually to their family)  but then insist on holding a press conference for them to cry at while apologizing.

Should of thought of that before hitting the send button perhaps.

The whole crying/apologizing thing is a tired cliche. Those of us with a life don’t care about YOUR moral problems, we care about our own.

And hey jackass, if it’s a personal problem then why do you ask us to be “respectful of your privacy” while you work on it? The irony isn’t lost as this is said amidst a phalanx of reporters and cameras that you called for!

What we need is for someone to say, “yup, I cheated and am damn glad about it! It was an exciting and great distraction from my responsibilities. This situation gave me something to look forward to that was daring and reckless – a real contrast to my everyday life!”

Until that press conference (that will never come)  can’t these people just shut up?

Jackass #18 – Guys who talk on thier cell phone while sitting in the bathroom stall.

How would you like to be on the other side of a call that is intermittently interrupted by sounds of “kerplunk” and flushing? Nice jackass friend you have there who concurrently launches a cell phone call and a submarine!

The first time I saw (and heard) this at airport public restroom, I just sort of shook my head in disbelief. I thought anyone who would talk on their cell phone while going number 2 must have some some sort of mental defect. I should feel sympathy rather than scorn or derision.

But then I learned this was not an isolated case at all! In fact, it rare today when I go in to a large public men’s room that I don’t see or hear someone on their cell phone. This has impossibly become somewhat normal!

What is so important it can’t wait? I would think a BM would take precedent over a call. And BTW how effectively can you wash your hands with a cell phone in one hand?

Somehow I think the ladies room doesn’t have this going on. Men are such unique jackasses sometimes!