Chances are that you (yes, I'm talking to YOU, reading this article) have, at some point in your life, worked in the customer service industry known the world over as "retail". It comes in many forms — clothing stores, supermarkets, fast food and everything in between. Dealing with the wrath of the general public is not always the most rewarding, but it's definitely a job I think EVERYONE should experience in their lifetime.
Add into that a mixture of unsociable hours and school kids destroying your immaculately stacked shelves at break-time, and it all conspires to make retail one of the most stressful jobs on the career ladder. Well, I feel your pain my friend, so I recommend seven retail-based films that will give you cause to remember those days with a chuckle instead of a hot-sweat. Are you ready? Let's go!
7. 'Cashback' (2006)
A great British movie here that walks the fine line between a beautiful art-house flick and a slapstick-comedy look into the inner workings of retail. When an art student splits up with his girlfriend he develops insomnia and takes a night job at his local Sainsbury's supermarket. Funny, heartfelt and honest this movie is a must-see if you've ever worked in retail — or had your heart broken.
6. 'Employee Of The Month' (2006)
Silly rom-com set in a fictional store that rather closely resembles a Costco mega-store. When Zack, one of the store slackers, realizes the new girl only goes after the "employee of the month", he changes his goals and starts to become the best employee the store has ever seen. This #JessicaSimpson movie is a fun, comedic effort that takes a very over-the-top view of life in retail. Worth seeing at least once for its amusing comedic set-pieces and ensemble cast.
5. 'Empire Records' (1995)
When a struggling record shop is about to be taken over by a music chain, the employees band together and fight back against the corporate machine. A true movie for the hipster in you, even cooler because vinyl has just come back in a big way. Give it a chance for the music and stay for #LivTyler's, umm, smile.
4. 'Clerks' (1994)
Classic directorial debut for Kevin Smith, #Clerks is a full-frontal comedic assault on the senses. When Dante gets called back to work on his day off he has to deal with annoying customers, girl trouble and the possibility that his life is well and truly going slowly down the drain. A surefire slacker-comedy that has aged very well since its smash-hit debut. It also spawned a worthy sequel (Clerks 2 in '06). Let's hope cameras roll on the in-development third chapter.
3. 'High Fidelity' (2000)
In a similar vein to Empire Records, this one follows a hapless record store owner's love life that seems to be forever in turmoil (tell me about it). Starring #JohnCusack and #JackBlack in, arguably, their most honest roles on screen. Damn fine movie that will make you laugh and cry in equal measure — can't recommend it enough.
2. 'Mallrats' (1995)
Another #KevinSmith comedy here, set within the confines of a reasonably-sized suburban mall. When a guy gets dumped by his girlfriend he heads over to his favorite mall and plots with his friends to win her back. A great ensemble cast, it even stars #BenAffleck in his pre-Batsuit days. I had this on VHS tape and nearly wore it out from repeat viewings, so go find it on #Netflix or just buy the DVD.
1. 'Dawn Of The Dead' (1978)
When a #zombie epidemic reaches critical levels, a group of survivors manage to fortify a shopping mall and live in relative luxury in contrast to the devastation outside. However, their own greed begins to take its toll as the dead surround them. #GeorgeARomero's masterpiece takes a bite out of the insatiable needs of a generation of consumer-obsessed Americans. More relevant then ever (Black Friday, anyone?) and needs to be seen by anyone who has ever questioned their "retail therapy" motivations.
Ready To Go Shopping?
With that we've come to the end of this list. The big question is: Did I miss any? If so, let me know in the comments. Since I still work part-time in retail it's always fun to see other people's viewpoints on the industry and its many memorable incidents. Like, for instance, the time I and another #Staples staff member hid from the manager in the racking above the shelves on the shop floor — fun times. Can't say any more for now, otherwise I might get fired — just remember to be nice to your local retail workers because they WILL remember if you aren't.