Before I landed this dream job with Barstool, I had three "real" jobs.
First, I was a chipper at an 'On The Border' for three months. When I say chipper, I mean my entire job was to put chips and salsa on tables as people were being seated at them. I literally had not other duties. Originally, I was hired to be a busboy, but on my first night, my noodle-arms gave out from under a huge tray and food went flying EVERYWHERE. Customers were not happy with me, and I was rattled, so told my bosses I'd never carry a tray of food out to a table ever again...and I never did. I just brought out the chips and salsa from then on, which was probably for the best.
My buddies worked at that restaurant with me as waiters and bartenders, so it was actually a pretty decent job to have in high school, but I eventually quit because I couldn't get off for UFC/WWE events. I was running my own website at the time, trying to get noticed by Dave Portnoy, and knew I'd have to show that the blog don't sleep if I wanted even a one-in-a-million chance at that.
Later, I worked as a graphic designer for a farm-themed batting cage/bowling alley, which was AWESOME until I realized that I'd basically designed their entire multi-million dollar establishment for a little bit above minimum wage, and then my bosses fired me via text for "spending too much time at Barstool" during my internship. Luckily, I had already snuck a massive dick joke onto one of their walls before they canned me.
"Oh it's two little boys milking a cow, how cute and farm-themed!"
Between those two jobs, though, I worked right here...
...at the concession stand of my local movie theater.
The website that I'd quit my chipping gig for hadn't taken off in the months following my departure (who could've predicted that?!), and I needed gas in my car, so I applied for employment at the theater I grew up attending. I thought it'd be a cool experience working there, and was actually really excited to get started. Free movies, free popcorn, and getting to throw "Empire Strikes Back" on my name tag? Seemed right up my alley.
NARRATOR: It was not, in fact, right up Bob's alley.
I haaaaaaaaaaated this job. HATED it. I was thrown behind a concessions register right away, and immediately realized I was working Dante's job from 'Clerks' without a Randall by my side. The patrons of the theater were the rudest crop of folk you could imagine (you'll find that in North Jersey) and it took about half a shift for me to get on LinkedIn looking for a new job. In the meantime though, I had to entertain myself.
Our theater's main gimmick was dollar hot dogs. I don't know why, I can't explain it, but from my very first second of training on, I was told to push these dollar hot dogs onto customers more than anything else. There was a whole system: defrost a package of 40 dogs, toss them on the rotator, bun them, bag them, and put 'em in the warmer until they're sold; rinse and repeat. Every month, whoever had the highest dog count under their name would get a bonus in the form of an AMC gift card. In my four months of working at that location, I won the dollar hot dog contest four times AND got someone to write to corporate complimenting me for being the best concessionist they've ever dealt with. Seriously! Someone took the time out of their day to write to AMC about the person serving their popcorn (and hot dogs) being nice to them. I couldn't believe it myself.
I had a few tricks for selling hot dogs. Most of the time, I'd just lead with, "Welcome to AMC Theaters! How many hot dogs can I get for ya today?". Most people were so flabbergasted by that intro that they ordered two wieners before they even knew it. It was like I set off a flashbang in their mind. Others would approach my register and order burgers, chicken, or some of the other garbage theater food, and I'd make a face.
"Are you sure you want that? It's not very good and takes a while to cook, you may miss the first few minutes of your movie."
"Well, do you have anything that'll come out quickly?"
"We do have dollar hot dogs ready to go, and they're delicious!"
My favorite trick (which I'm pretty sure was illegal) was asking customers if they'd like to add a hot dog to their order to make it a "combo meal", and then hit them with, "Oh! You know what? That'd actually cut the price down a bit and you'd be spending less! Essentially, we're paying you to take this hot dog off your hands! What a treat."
It worked every single time I tried it, because theater food is so fucking expensive that nobody even batted an eye at the extra dollar on the price tag. Nobody challenged me on that. I was an unstoppable hot dog selling machine. I had muslims who'd go to hell for eating pork buying my dogs wholesale to dump in the trash. I had Catholics scarfing down dollar dogs on Good Friday. Was I cheating the system a little bit? Yeah, maybe (definitely)...but if you ain't cheating you ain't trying, right?
I left that job for the graphic design one I mentioned earlier in this blog, but man - I'd be lying if I said I never got the itch to start slinging dogs again. In my prime, I do believe I was the greatest hot dog salesman of all time, and there's a rush that comes along with that. Knowing you do something better than everybody on the planet is something few people experience in life...Gretzky had it for hockey, Jordan had it for basketball, and I had it for dollar dogs.
Leave the memories alone.