About a year ago, we dove headfirst into Blockbuster training videos. It was a disturbing affair —
Holy shit! These videos are, like, so ridiculously 90s!
Or, like Peter Engel secretly collaborated with David Cronenberg in a fluorescent/techno-horror-inspired conspiracy to destroy Blockbuster from the inside out. Seriously, who the hell wants to work at Blockbuster after watching Buster Sales all but tell Marie to get in his goddamn van?
— but we got through it.
Since we got through Blockbuster with only modest therapy bills (well, save for Biscuit’s psychotic breakdown), we at The Zephyr Lounge: After Dark feel compelled to revisit the Golden Raspberry-worthy cinematic masterpieces companies use to teach their employees the way of the workplace. In today’s entry, we move from retail to fast food, focusing our attention on:
As purveyor’s of cardiovascular distress, Wendy’s has been a staple of the fast food industry for decades. Their founder, one Mr. David Thomas, founded Wendy’s on the premise that “good ol’ fashioned haymburgers” are the “best in the bidness,” and strove until his dying day to make Wendy’s the gold-standard when it comes to grease-covered, ground-up cow bits shoved between two pieces of bread alongside pieces of a salad and sugary sauces.
And to reach that gold standard, the person making the best ol’ fashioned haymburger in the bidness needed some serious grill skills.
What began as a rejected Billy Ray Cyrus track became a longer-than-necessary introduction by Mr. Dave Thomas, then suddenly devolved into a kid who ate too many magic mushrooms learning how to operate the grill. The video is over fifteen minutes long. I don’t expect you to watch the whole thing, but if nothing else, watch from 3:30 to 11:35, and yes, that pick to your right is for the purpose of self-lobotomy.
Grill Skill is the perfect training video. It contains useful information from the guy who created the bidness, a seemingly innocuous exchange between a bright-eyed preppie and a manager who you know smokes an entire pack of menthol cigarettes each night while wondering where she went wrong in her life, malfunctioning technology as a foil for techno-horror, a bad rap by a dude who you know smokes several bowls of weed each night while wondering where he went wrong in his life, initial struggles turning into success through expedient coaching, and a happy ending for the bright-eyed preppie in a kitchen populated by people who drink excessively each night wondering where they went wrong in their lives.
But for as hilariously bad as Grill Skill is, Wendy’s isn’t done with turning away potential employees with awful information moving pictures.
In Wendy’s quest to be the best haymburger in the bidness, it was decided at some board meeting somewhere at some point that there will be strict guidelines on how Wendy’s serves cold beverages to its culinarily indecisive customer base. We are unsure of this person’s name, so for purposes of this writing, we’ll refer to this 90’s-as-fuck-looking paid actor as Rachel.
A one-minute and fifty-four second car accident, Rachel explains the company guidelines for drink presentation as if the director had recently given up on any semblance of a legitimate filmmaking career. While it seems silly to devote an entire training video to proper beverage packaging, this video is still brilliant in its awfulness. We’re not the only one’s cringing, either. Here’s what the YouTube commenters left as insight:
“I didn’t realize filling cups with liquid was so complicated it needed an instructional video.” — divefraggle
“Back when white people worked fast food.” — White Guy
“I am strangely attracted to the singing lady. Her dead stare, her sterile voice and her sickly pale skin are hypnotising [sic].” — megatroll
“Damn that drink girl was too cold, you see that ‘fuck me now’ look she gave right at the end?” — videoluvr4204
“I feel like Wendy’s was experiencing the 90’s much more vividly than we did.” — theflamelord
“This bitch got nothin’ on the ‘hot drinks’ guy.” — iamZahnder
Speaking of… If Cold Drinks is a car accident, Hot Drinks is a derailed Amtrak train.
And if Hot Drinks is a derailed Amtrak train, The Fry Guy is the goddamned Hindenburg.
Seriously, how do companies think that videos like this are going to entice prospective employees to give more than a singular shit about them? We understand these are attempts to appeal to young people — informative and kinda-culturally relevant! — but if there is one thing that turns off a young person more than the possibility of grease burns and social ridicule it’s an attempt at cultural appropriation by out-of-touch baby boomers vainly seeking to procure more human capital.
It’s possible we’re looking too much into this. Perhaps these are actually entertaining to some people? Maybe we’re just too cynical to see how impactful these videos may have been (well, except for Father Philip, who at this very moment is trying to find the director for series of inspirational videos for his
church cult church).
But most of us have been resistant to this type of “trying to be cool”-type video. Granted, most of us here at The Zephyr Lounge: After Dark are early-Millennials (or Echo Boomers — we’re still trying to get that to catch), so we were often subjected to shit like this.
And people wonder why we did all of the drugs… and also ate a lot of good ‘ol fashioned haymburgers.
Featured image by Nick22aku, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.