Crazy (noun) 1 Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results 2 Internet dating

Crazy (noun) 1 Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results 2 Internet dating

Friday, April 5, 2013

You've Got Questions? We've Got Assholes!: A Cover Letter

You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Assholes!

A Cover Letter

Brought to you by: Cous’n Hemp’n Entertainment
Cous'n Hemp'n Entertainment: No! YO mama


I’ve included my resume at the end of this blog in case any ‘job creators’ out there are hiring at the moment. I’ve been on a lot of interviews since I left RadioShack in January and most employers want to know why you left your former job and explain any gaps in your work history. Typically I just lie and say I left because of this or that because YOU sound like an asshole when you mother-fuck your boss. Well this blog will tell you why I no longer work for RadioShack and why I currently have a ‘gap’ in my employment…so hire me.

I was recently on which asked me to write the pros and cons of a company. My former employer, RadioShack, immediately came to mind. Before I left there, I wrote a letter to my Regional Manager in regards to my district manager. Now, I didn’t expect anything to come of this letter, mostly because the Regional Manager, Bill Mynett, was a Napoleonic little man who had been hired from Blockbuster. He, in turn, placed former Blockbuster employees in District Manager positions, who did the same with store manager positions. One such District Manager was my former…Reginald Weekly.
The Letter:

In October 2011, I was enjoying my third year in a row in the top position of my district and my seventh year overall with the company. My store on Archer and Central was in the top three ranking on the metric report for three years running (of 18), and the store was always in the top five of sales gross profit. I received bonuses every year and most months, and I generally enjoyed my job under the district management of Larissa O’Neil—who was an excellent district manager as she not only encouraged growth, but reinforced it through positive motivation. These have been trends I’ve been lucky to have seen exhibited by all of my former district managers at RadioShack, starting with Todd Chinn in 2004, and that constructive motivation is what I attribute my successes with the company to over my years of service.

It was also in October 2011 that I received a call from Reginald Weekly asking me if I would like to take over the Tinley Park store on 159th and Harlem, in his district. After doing some research, I found that the previous manager of that store, Lawrence, was fired for theft. Before him, Jim McLean, who was my manager when I worked as an associate at that same store several years earlier, was let go by Reggie after a confrontation in which Jim yelled at him. 14 months later, I understand that confrontation better.

But back then, I spoke with Larissa and asked her advice on how I should proceed. Always a fair and balanced district manager, Larissa told me that it would be an opportunity to grow as a store manager, because the Tinley Park store was potentially a higher volume location. As a result, I would be making more money in the long run. I say potentially because the Tinley Park RadioShack had suffered a fall from grace in recent years. Located in a strip mall, the store was once a flagship store in that district and held a multi-million dollar volume. However, since most of the businesses had closed in the strip mall, and wireless stores had sprung up in the surrounding area, it was not so much in favor anymore.

As much as she hated to see me leave her district, Larissa told me that I had grown as much as I possibly could in my current store. However, her advice came with a warning that several other people I spoke with also gave me: Reggie was not the easiest District Manager to get along with, to say the least. Despite the mixed feedback concerning Reggie, I’ve always looked for new opportunities to grow with the company, and the position in the Tinley Park store offered the promise of a new set of challenges and the chance to collaborate with a new team. I accepted Reggie’s offer and came to work in Tinley Park.

My first responsibility as the new store manager was to complete an incoming manager inventory. This was also my first inclination that something was not quite right in Reggie’s district. See, when a manager leaves a store, especially when he’s fired for stealing, an outgoing inventory is conducted immediately to assess the damages and prepare the store for its new manager. However, Lawrence was fired 2 months prior to my coming in and an inventory was NEVER conducted. This meant that I would be doing an outgoing AND incoming inventory in one sitting, which in the eyes of the company, made me responsible for the losses; of which there was 20, 0000 dollars in merchandise missing. Among the missing merchandise were televisions, iPads, cell phones, and various miscellany.

I wondered how Lawrence, the previous manager, could have been in charge of the store for as long he was what with the loss prevention manager’s office at that location, without being caught stealing. Needless to say, this was a significant amount of theft, and surely the district manager should have been aware of it long before the manager had been fired. I also noticed that there had been a noteworthy amount of fraudulent phone sales done at the Tinley Park store during Lawrence’s time in charge —fraudulent phone sales that I was now responsible for comping, as Reggie would inform me in the coming months.

The missing merchandise notwithstanding, my new store looked like a tornado had torn through it. There was product in the wrong sections on the floor and base decks, there were no tags up in half the store, and the other half had sales tags posted that were outdated by months. The floor hadn’t been vacuumed, there was dust everywhere, and you could barely see through the windows from the grime covering them. I found it odd that this store could fall into such a state of disrepair when the district manager was supposed to be following up and doing Store Operational Reports monthly.

Since those first few days in Reggie’s district, I came to learn why I was warned against moving there: Reggie offered no support to me in any aspect of my job, in the year I was there. All he did was complain without offering viable solutions or encouragement. In the 26 years that I’ve been in retail, working for just three companies in all that time, I’ve never come across a less involved District Manager than Reginald Weekly.

How do I define “no support?” Over the 14 months that I worked for Reggie, he did nothing but complain about my staffing, yet he did nothing to help me resolve the issue. Reggie told me on numerous occasions that he must do all second interviews before I hire a candidate; I can’t tell you how frustrating that is, given the fact that my official title at RadioShack was ‘Hiring Manager’ and I had a proven track record of hiring good talent. Never the less, I had asked Reggie many times to step in and do the second interview, to which he would tell me that he would, he’d set a date, and then not show up leaving my candidate high and dry. As someone that understands the value of hiring qualified candidates, it was frustrating to have good candidates back out and get another job while they waited weeks sometimes for Reggie to finally interview them. When I did take the initiative to hire a candidate of my own volition to alleviate the staffing issues at my store, Reggie complained about their performance and told me I need to get rid of them without offering any solutions other than termination. Most times these terminable suggestions were offered during the new employees first week. My philosophy as manager has always been to avoid termination, encourage growth, and provide employees with a positive work environment to improve upon and learn new skills. Developing and encouraging talent should be the number one priority for any manager.

When I was at my previous store I had the same employees for three years; only one person quit because he was going to college. Martha Corral got promoted to manager, and Liz Thompson got promoted to assistant manager of the Riverside Mall RadioShack. One of my other employees, Maricela Luna was the highest performing associate in my REGION month after month. She could have easily been promoted to manager and was in fact offered the position by Larissa, but she turned it down as she was still going to college. I was proud of my turn-a-round rate and the fact that I was helping the company grow with my candidate choices. In the time I worked for Reggie, I’d lost six employees. All quit because they couldn’t take the constant haranguing from Reggie concerning cell phone sales. Reggie offered no time or room for employees to grow—it was either sell phones or get out.

Unfortunately, the Tinley Park RadioShack didn’t sell a lot of cell phones, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. The employees and I consistently tried to get every phone sale we could out of our store, because we had a deep desire to succeed. None of us wanted to see our store in the bottom, but because we were surrounded by a Sam’s Club, a Verizon, an AT&T, two Sprint stores, a T-Mobile, 2 Best Buys, and a Wal-mart, we struggled at meeting our wireless goals. And I know some of you are saying “But RadioShack has a price guarantee for cell phones, right?” Not necessarily; we found out, after dragging customers away from other stores, that RadioShack does not price match corporate stores, Sam’s Club, or Wal-Mart…the only 3 places who consistently undercut their cell phone prices. These are not excuses, as Reggie would tell me, these are facts.  We kept a positive attitude at my store and did the best we could do with what we were given, but each day was a struggle to reach our wireless goals. One of Reggie’s pieces of advice was to hire hotter employees. He even went so far as to mention my employees Chris and Irene by name, then he looked at me and said, “I mean c’mon,” clearly referencing their appearance.

During my time in his district, I witnessed several other shortcomings in Reggie’s management style:

1.)    Reggie told three of our district’s managers that they needed to take a re-take inventory and gave them one day’s notice. When the manager of the Crestwood store told Reggie that he wouldn’t be able to get a staff together in that short of a time, Reggie made veiled threats about “not doing his job,” and “at will employment.” From what I understand, Reggie had a month to set up these re-take inventories, yet he waited until the day before to let anybody know. He made similar, last minute requests of me earlier last year, and he’d done it to several other managers.

2.)    Reggie rarely updates his calendar. There is a DM calendar on the intra company website so managers know what events are taking place. Reggie often puts a manager meeting on it merely two days before the meeting takes place, once again forcing us to change our schedules and causing an upheaval with our staff. This was unprecedented as ALL district managers I’ve worked for updated their calendars up to a month ahead of time.

3.)    Reggie was extremely non-communicative. He took a vacation in December and didn’t have a conference call before he left to discuss expectations, and he didn’t leave anyone in charge. A lot of managers didn’t even know he was on vacation, because who gets a vacation in December in retail? Especially without clearly outlining expectations during the busy holiday shopping season.

4.)    When the Matteson RadioShack was robbed at gunpoint, Reggie explained to us on our conference call that RadioShack won’t hire security guards because it would cost too much money. When I asked, “Aren’t we losing more money in thefts than it would cost to just hire some $8.00 an hour rent-a-cop?” Reggie exasperatingly said, in a heavy exhale like a king who was being bothered by a peasant, “"huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhh, we're not losing ANY money Mike, we're insured. So we'd actually be LOSING money if we hired security" to which I replied "so what happens when someone gets shot?"...."Anyone ELSE have any questions?" IF you're keeping score at home, that's 2 armed robberies this month, 16 since Novemeber. And that's JUST of the 18 stores in my district. Employees are scared, nervous, and quitting all over the place. Where's Bill Curtis when you need him?"huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhh, we're not losing ANY money Mike, we're insured. So we'd actually be LOSING money if we hired security" to which I replied "so what happens when someone gets shot?"...."Anyone ELSE have any questions?" IF you're keeping score at home, that's 2 armed robberies this month, 16 since Novemeber. And that's JUST of the 18 stores in my district. Employees are scared, nervous, and quitting all over the place. Where's Bill Curtis when you need him?Huuuuuuuh, no Mike, we’re not losing any money, because we’re insured. We’d be losing money if we hired security.” “So what happens when someone gets shot?” I asked Reggie, to which he replied “Anyone else have any questions?” Once again, I feel that Reggie’s lack of interest in a concern that everyone in my district shared, was highly unprofessional.

5.)    For years I only worked until noon on Thursdays, as I have another obligation after that time. I still always worked 48 to 54 hours per week, and when I first started at the Tinley Park store I was working 60-80 hours a week. However, this year Reggie told me that I was no longer allowed to work those hours on Thursdays and that he expected me to work open to close every day until my wireless sales were where he wanted them to be. Whenever I did work open to close on Friday or Saturday, Reggie either wouldn’t acknowledge my dedication to my store, or he would say that I only worked open to close because I had bad employees.

6.)    Every time I requested vacation time or time off in general, Reggie rejected it. Then I had to call him and explain why I was requesting the time off while he made me feel like an incompetent manager for taking time off that I’d earned or that I needed to take because of a doctor’s appointment. I don’t make doctor’s appointments around Reginald Weekly.

7.)    In my time in Reggie’s district I tried to call off of work sick once when I had the stomach flu. I had coverage for my store, but when I called Reggie to let him know, he forced me to go into work anyway by telling me I couldn’t take the time off because my store was doing poorly in phone sales. 

8.)    I asked Reggie on MULTIPLE occasions, since I started at the Tinley Park store, to order several things for me. First, a new lock box at the counter. I sent Reggie emails, I asked him in person, and in 14 months I never received one. Since my store didn’t have a safe, I would have liked to have been able to put excess money in the lockbox especially during Christmas time and especially since all of our stores were getting robbed. A functional lockbox is a basic loss prevention tool. I also asked Reggie for a new lock for the backroom filing cabinet since October of 2011 and still hadn’t received one as of January ’13 (Another loss prevention must have), and I asked him for a new vacuum cleaner as the cord was broke on ours. I tried to order these things myself, but I was always told that only the District Manger could do it. When I sent Reggie an email every day for a week asking for the vacuum cleaner, just to remind him daily, and then asked him again at a managers meeting, he flippantly yelled at me to stop bothering him and that the order had gone through. That was in July, and as of January, I still didn’t have a vacuum cleaner. When he came into my store and the floor looked like shit, he wrote it up on his Store Operational Report as if it were my fault.

9.)    RadioShack finally put its managers on a FIVE day work week in 2012, provided that they had a viable Assistant manager working in their store. For 7 years I’d worked 6 day work weeks. My store was the last store to get an Assistant Manager because once again, Reggie offered no support in helping me find a viable candidate. I asked him time and time again to help me recruit as he gets Assistant Manager Candidate applications through people-soft (Our hiring portal) that I can’t see. I was met with Reggie ignoring me and more flippant rejection. I was the only manager in Reggie’s district who wasn’t put on a five day work week for the entire year of 2012.

10.)  Reggie’s webmail was full of anger and bile, as he did nothing but tell the district how bad it was doing while offering no encouragement or suggestions as to how we could build our numbers. And that’s if we could read them. I find it grotesquely unprofessional that my boss wrote like a third grader with no punctuation, he misspelled simple words, while often using no prepositions or definite articles.

Reggie went to great lengths to tell me every week how poorly my store was performing; however he never said a word to me when our store was performing well. I don’t mind criticism, but if it’s going to be constant, I expect the same enthusiasm, with which it’s given, in my praise. Also, it seems that every time he came into my store to do a Store Operating Report, he wrote things on there as NOT having been done, which WERE done. Other than the above vacuum example, another would be that he would complain on his report that I had product in my back room, when it was product that we were TOLD to put in the backroom for either a street date or a recall. It was as if I couldn’t be seen to be doing TOO good of a job. My store was ALWAYS clean and priced, the windows were washed, the stock was out, my paperwork was immaculate, we received 100’s on mystery shop reports, but I NEVER heard a word of praise. And again, I was never looking for praise, my paycheck was all the praise I needed, but HE was the one who told me to always start my employee reviews with praise and then talk about the opportunities. Yet in the 14 months I was in his district I’d never once heard him say “good job” or “your store looks great”. Just veiled threats of “at will employment” which is a way of saying “I could fire you for whatever I want.”

After all the complaining Reggie did all year about my wireless performance, I was the number 1 store in the district, in December, in post paid gross profit and comp; Instead of him acknowledging this accomplishment Reggie called me to chastise me about my battery sales and the fact that I was under 27 hours for the week.

On Monday morning, December 31st 2012, I went to my store on my day off to do the deposit and leave instructions for my assistant manager. My assistant didn’t have a car, so I would often do the deposit on my day off for him. I found a letter sitting on the fax machine which was left there from the night before from my employee Shante. In the letter to Reggie, Shante claimed that I would stand over her shoulder when she gave African American people their change, and that I told African American customers that our computer was down when they wanted to buy cell phones.

The register in my store had been $310 short in December, on 3 occasions. Each time the register was short, Shante was working with either the assistant manager who’s worked there for over a year or Stephanie, who’d been there for six months. I never had money missing from the register when either of them worked, nor had I ever had money missing from my register in all the years I worked at RadioShack. I wrote Chris, Stephanie, AND Shante a verbal warning the first time we were short $170 and went over with them, at length, the procedures of handling cash. I did this at Reggie’s behest. I also told them all that nobody thinks they were stealing money, I just think one of them made a mistake. Part of my instruction to Shante involved her counting out the customers change in front of them for her safety and theirs. Over the next few weeks, I found Shante ignoring my instruction on several occasions, in which she would grab a wad of cash from the register and hand it back to the customer. Then we were $40 short on a Saturday evening after she worked.

After I told Reggie, he told me to give SHANTE a written warning. I spoke with her about the missing money, explaining to her once again that I didn’t think she was deliberately mishandling funds, but she needed to be more careful. So yes, I absolutely watched Shante carefully when she was handing out change to anybody, not just African Americans. I felt justified in doing this as we were again short by $100 after Shante worked. Each time she worked I found money in the wrong parts of the register; 20’s mixed in with 5’s, 10’s mixed in with 20’s and so on, which is why I felt she just wasn’t paying attention to what she was doing when it came to handling cash.

Next, as anyone in Reggie’s district will tell you, Reggie asked us to use common sense when turning away fraudulent cell phone customers. So, as Shante had only been with the company for a month she didn’t know why I told customers we didn’t have a phone when we did, or that our computers were down so we couldn’t process their sale. It was because there was no hologram on the customer’s driver’s license, or the customers didn’t know each other but claimed to be relatives, or some other thing that sparked suspicion. This is something that I trained my entire staff to look for in any customer, as all of the managers in the district did per Reggie’s instruction.  There was nothing I wanted to do more than sell phones in my store because it was the only time that I didn’t feel like I was about to get fired. However, I wasn’t going to let fraud slip by on my watch just to make a sale.

(It should be noted here that in 2012, the Tinley Park RadioShack had the lowest fraudulent phone sales at 2 for the whole year, while the next lowest was 23. One store in Reggie’s district lost 112 THOUSAND dollars in fraudulent phone sales)

My point in telling you this though is that the way in which Reggie handled this employee issue is just another example of his unprofessionalism. Since the fax didn’t go through and I found it SITTING on the fax machine, I called Reggie, who was once again off of work through the first week of the New Year. I told him that I found a letter for him on the fax machine, and I proceeded to read it to him verbatim. In her letter Shante wrote, “Like I told you in the other letter,” and at the end she wrote “I hope this helps.” I asked Reggie if there was something he’d like to talk to me about because Shante said “in the other letter”, to which Reggie said he didn’t know what I was talking about and that he never got another letter from Shante. Then he told me he was off until Wednesday and hung up the phone. Being in retail for as long as I’ve been, it’s my understanding that if Shante felt she was being treated unfairly, she could absolutely go to Reggie if she didn’t feel comfortable coming to me. Then Reggie, as my superior would bring the issue to me, keeping Shante’s confidence, so that he could hear my side and we could come to a resolution. However, instead of confronting me, discussing the issue with me, or treating me or Shante’s complaint with a modicum of respect or decorum, Reggie simply lied. I got the distinct feeling that Reggie put Shante up to this letter as a means to fire me.

It was quite clear to me from his inclusionary management methods that Reggie was a racist. He just didn’t like white people and he treated me and the only other white manager in his district with the same disregard. During the course of 2012, we were the ONLY 2 managers never taken to lunch by Reggie. Reggie often told me that I needed to hire hot black women in my store while lambasting my white employee’s appearances. And when Reggie would interview potential employees at my store, there was never ONE white person in the groups. However, it was a friend of mine who used to work at Blockbuster for Reggie, who would confirm my suspicions. Reggie never knew I was friends with this individual, but he managed the Blockbuster near my old RadioShack location on Archer and Central. Reggie was his district manager at Blockbuster for a time and he told me how Reggie was fired from Blockbuster after HE and many other managers complained to Human Recourses that Reggie was a bigot. I got along with most of Reggie’s management choices, however it should be noted that 6, SIX of the individuals he hired to manage stores, including Lawrence before me at Tinley, were fired for either stealing or being paid by customers to make fraudulent phone sales. This is not a statement on African Americans, but on Reggie’s track record with hiring.

These are the stresses I had to deal with daily from Reginald Weekly. I was put in a constant fear of losing my job coupled with the daily disappointment of feeling left out and singled out. Instead of concentrating on customers; I felt that I always had to concentrate on being one step ahead of Reggie firing me. It’s unfathomable that anyone should have to work under these conditions. Reggie made working for RadioShack untenable, and if I wasn’t able to turn the Tinley Park store back into the million dollar store it was years ago, the fault lies at Reggie’s feet. These are not excuses; these are clear precise examples of the hostile work environment that Reginald Weekly created while I worked for him.

I’d been with RadioShack since 2004 and I’d never been written up until I came to Reggie’s district. My last write up was for wireless performance in which Reggie gave me two months to improve my wireless numbers, or once again he’d have to “reconsider my position with the company.” This wasn’t his idea, he explained, but our Human Recourses director Michelle. Reggie passed the buck on to Michelle saying that she’s the one who wants to fire me for non-performance. He told me that I would have to improve my numbers so he can show her that I’m trying. Once again, Lawrence’s fraudulent cell phone sales were thrown in my face as numbers that I was responsible for comping.

Reggie told me that I had to sell 54 phones in October and 84 phones in November. These are highly unattainable numbers for the Tinley Park store and are higher goals than even some of the high volume stores in my district. He told me how I was to give performance reviews to my employees and I followed his instructions to the letter week after week. However, EVERY week he’d still tell me I did them wrong. What perturbed me about this was the fact that I was chasing Reggie’s idea of a weekly review instead of just WRITING a weekly review and helping my employees to improve. I’ve been writing reviews as a retail manager since 1994, I know how to write them.

On January 15th, earlier this year, Reggie came into my store and fired me for not hitting my wireless targets in October, November, OR December; a goal of 104 post paid phones, which he ADDED to my write up without having ever given it to me. To put that in perspective, the Tinley Park RadioShack did 34 phones in December of 2012 (no longer up against Lawrence’s phone sales), to do 104 in December of 2012 would put us at 305.88% to comp…a business variable which should have made me CEO of RadioShack had I made it. However, as I said we DID beat last year’s numbers in December AND were the number one store in wireless profit while doing it. When I tried to explain this to Reggie, he told me that it didn’t matter, to which I said: “Isn’t profit the ONLY thing that matters? I don’t think you know a god damned thing about what you’re doing.” Then I threw my key at him and walked out.

I did not want to leave RadioShack--I liked my job. I liked the people I worked with; I liked the customers whom I helped daily. I liked making yearly bonuses at my previous store. I’m grateful to RadioShack for the time I was there and the management I’d worked for over the years. RadioShack was not just a job to me but a career path in which I would have liked to be a District Manager myself one day. But Reginald Weekly was an unprofessional racist bully who offered me no room to grow with the company and showed me little hope for its future. I would think that if RadioShack hired a district manager in that district who put a small degree of effort into growing their employees, instead of just lambasting and threatening them, it could probably double its growth in 2013. I hope this blog helps all of the managers who are afraid to come forward and speak the truth about Reginald Weekly, and I hope it helps RadioShack to see that sometimes you need a soft hand to build profits instead of a shaky fist.

Michael Allen Hempen,

Tinley Park RadioShack Store 01-6540

The End (of the Letter)
Like I said, nothing will come of this letter and I’m sure that Mr. Mynett probably didn’t even bother to read it, even though I faxed it to his personal fax line. However, I felt that what I said needed to be said.

In the past several months, I learned a few things. The first is that it is NOT easy to find a job; I’d heard that but, shit…it ain’t no lie. Second is that as nice as it is that we have an unemployment system in times of need…it should pay out an amount that’s equivalent to the difficulty of the job market. I understand that it probably pays less than half of what I WAS making (which was shit to begin with) to coax me into looking for a job, but shit…that’s all I’ve done for 3 months and my unemployment check barely pays the bills; the rest has made me a deadbeat in the eyes of my girlfriend and her friends, and rightfully so, as she’s been feeding me. But a motha fucka gotta eat. Thank god I quit smoking last year.

And the last thing I learned is how fucking LOW RadioShack pays its managers. And this part of the blog is aimed at all the RadioShack store managers who might be reading this; I made 34,000 last year at RadioShack. That was my 8th year with the company in a relatively high volume store. That’s at 48-56 hours, 6 days a week; MORE during the golden quarter. After I was fired, the FIRST interview I went on was for a management position at a Best Buy mobile store. JUST cell phones in a mall store mind you; nothing else. The starting, STARTING salary was 42,000. It went up to 54 depending on experience. Second interview was for a management position at a Sprint store. Starting pay was 45, 000 plus bonus. I couldn’t believe how low balled I was at the company I was so loyal to for years. And these are just retail job salaries.

More recently I was offered a Customer Service Rep position in a call center that starts at 28.00 an hour. It’s shift work with mandatory overtime, but you know what? Its LITERALLY 3 times what I was making as a manager for RadioShack BEFORE the overtime. Plus, I don’t have to open and close a store, I don’t have to be on conference calls, be in charge of anything, or feel like my I’m constantly straining to keep my head above water…all I have to do is show up for work on time. That’s it. I asked in the interview: “What can I do to exceed YOUR expectations on this job?” The interviewer looked me in the eye and said “Show up, and show up on time. That’s it.”   I know a person who has worked for this company for 14 years and she told me today that she made 28,000 last year JUST in overtime. She nearly matched my REGULAR salary just in overtime.

Kids…if you work for RadioShack? Just get the fuck out. I don’t know why this company sells anything BUT cell phones because that is the only thing they care about. RadioShack is ALL about the profits. They don’t care about the employees and they don’t care about the customers. All customers are to them is potential cell phone sales. If you’re not buying a cell phone? Go fuck yourself…THAT’s the answer to your question.

What retail needs today, to protect both its employees AND its customers…is a union. Sure some retail jobs are just part time positions for kids in college, but a lot of times its people like me who have career aspirations. It’s not only hard to hold your head up high and proudly state that you run a retail store, but as I said in the letter earlier…it's difficult to live life when you wake up EVERYDAY with the threat of being fired looming over your head because it rained and no customers came in to buy phones, or because your boss just doesn’t like you. And fuck ‘AT WILL’ employment, that’s not for you that’s for them. You can quit any goddamned time you want for whatever reason you want, all ‘at will’ does is let THEM fire you for any reason without cause.

My friend Jim is a glazer in a union; you know what he does when his boss is an asshole? He tells him to fuck off and goes down to the union hall to get another job THAT day. And that’s the kind of benefit that retail workers should enjoy. Not only for peace of mind, but so we can concentrate on BUILDING PROFITS through customer relations because we know we’re providing for our families and we can go home PROUD of the work we did at the end of the day.

A retail union would not only benefit employees, but employers as well. One of the things I’ve learned in retail is that it costs the company money to hire and train an employee and that investment is lost when an employee leaves. If there were a union, we could have a system much like the trades; with a Temp program for part timers that could lead to full time, an apprenticeship program for full timers, leading to journey-man positions that start in assistant manager levels and go up from there. It might be YEARS before you reach the level of district manager, but you’d get promoted based on experience and merit WITHIN your union; you wouldn’t have to sit and watch as people with no skill or substance are hired into positions above you from outside your company because they know your boss. There would be mandatory raises every year on a tier system to be based on ATTAINABLE performance goals. All of this would make the retail industry a VIABLE career path in which only people who are serious about customer service would inquire.

But most of all, the benefit of a retail union would be to the customer. Happy, friendly, well paid employees with nothing but the customers best interests to motivate them throughout the day. In all the complaints I see on websites for different retail businesses about customer service nightmares, there is one common thread. The employee was not motivated to help the customer. You, as a customer have to consider that when you go on a website to complain; was the employee who was made to work for 8.25 an hour in shit conditions, on weekends and holidays, for a boss who’s not motivated by HIS boss who isn’t motivated, at fault? Or is the company itself responsible for the employees that it creates?

Retail. Union.

Now sure, if you’re in an HR position in retail and reading this, you’re not even gonna consider hiring me after my union diatribe. But that is ok because YOU are not the kind of asshole I want to work for. This cover letter is for the human resource manager, in OR out of retail, who thinks OUTSIDE of the box, who recognizes talent and humor, and who knows a faithful, loyal, customer service orientated employee when they see one. TO you I say; thank you for reading this and good luck in finding the employee who matches your criteria, even if that’s not me.

Oh, and fuck you Reginald Weekly, fuck you in your dirty rotten racist asshole.

The End

Retail Store Manager Resume
Innovative personnel manager with over 26 years of management experience in multiple unit hiring and training environment, while identifying customer solutions, with a proven record of accomplishments in meeting goals. Successful team builder whose career with leading companies has been distinguished by accelerated advancement, awards, and goal-surpassing performance. Successful in both startup and turnaround management roles demonstrated by propelling multiple locations from bottom to top tier performers. Comprehensive background leading all aspects of company operations (e.g., P&L, merchandising, sales, inventory management and team building) reinforced by extensive management training  

professional experience

RadioShack, Chicago, IL , Senior Store Manager   Aug 2004 to - Jan 2013
Communicated daily with district and regional managers regarding store sales progress and upcoming directives for events and meetings through one on one interactions and presentations on company conference calls; responsible for recruiting and training new staff for personal location and others; excelled in employee and store goal setting while surpassing those goals to exceed monthly and yearend targets. Worked with other managers in inventory processes through-out the region and focused heavily on training employees in success through a strong profit and loss statement.
§  Promoted to manager 3 months after hire following superior-rated performance as full time employee in the #1 ranked district store
§  Developed 6 entry-level associates to management positions while maintaining the region’s lowest employee turnaround 
§  Primary trainer of new store managers across my district of 18 stores
§  Exceeded sales and profit goals by up to 8% and 12%, respectively, from first year as manager and each ensuing year
Borders , Merchandising Manager, Orland Park, IL   Feb 1999 to Aug 2004
Merchandised store with an eye for promoting new projects; worked with third party vendors to promote new books and music albums through in-store appearances and free give-aways; responsible for hiring merchandising staff and worked with other Borders departments in cross-promotional events
§  Established team building exercises that helped increase every department’s sales by 5%-25% monthly
§  Helped store increase public exposure by creating in-roads with celebrities through publishers and agents
Waldenbooks, Store Manager Feb 1994 to Feb 1999
Managed multiple mall locations with a strong emphasis on hiring, training, and employee retention. Provided strategic, operational, and fiscal leadership while maintaining national presentation and service standards at mall locations. Led inventory procedures and set up weekly district wide loss prevention training sessions.
§  Transformed the district’s lowest ranked store to #2 in sales, #1 in customer satisfaction, and the second lowest, regionally, in shrink
§  Earned multiple sales and customer service awards resulting in promotion to Borders Books and Music

educatioN & TRAINING

§  2001 – Comcast Cable, Certificate for Cable Production, Oak Lawn, IL
§  1999 – Lewis University, B.S. – Aviation and Flight Management, Romeoville, IL (Two years complete)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Movie Snob: A Good Day to...Kiss My Ass, Hollywood!

The Movie Snob

A Good Day to...Kiss My Ass, Hollywood!

Brought to you by Cous’n Hemp’n Enterprises

Cous’n Hemp’n Enterprises: We’re as surprised as you are!

Die Hard 1
In 1988, I was but a chubby 14 year old, trying to figure out what life had in store for me. Well, to be honest I was trying to get into Guinness for the world’s beating off record...which I only recently realized does not exist. However, amid my young and fruitless excursions into teenaged douchebaggery, I can clearly recall the hype revolved around the THEN new movie, Die Hard. Because I was forced to watch the news every night over dinner with my mother, it became clear to me, even then, that the director John McTiernan was reinventing the action movie landscape. Hell, even Tom Brokaw couldn’t believe Bruce Willis was jumping off the roof of a building. They must have played that clip on every news program for weeks leading up to the movies release and I, for one, couldn’t fucking wait.

Not just because of the movie, but because of Bruce Willis. One of my favorite TV shows at the time was Moonlighting. I had a boner for Cybill Shepard that could cut diamonds, and I would walk around mimicking Bruce Willis’ smart ass attitude…something I probably still do today (Fuck you again self discovery.) Because my mother was a cop, she was able to flash her badge at the local movie theater and get me in to see any movie for free, something she did nearly every day…all day as she worked and got drunk after work. So, on July 15th, 1988, 2 weeks before my 15th birthday, that movie theater and I enjoyed the birth of a new Hollywood franchise…which I watched 3 times on the first day.

Die Hard 2: Die Harder
Now, I admit to being a movie snob, and as such you might think me ABOVE the action happenings of John McClane in these flicks, but I’m not. Truth is I’ve loved every one of these movies. I literally grew up with them. The first one left my jaw on the sticky movie theater floor with Tom Brokaw as Bruce Willis jumped off the roof of Nakatomi tower wearing little more than a fire hose. When I was little, I used to stay up late and watch reruns of Good Times, and on that show the patriarch of the Evans clan, James…passed away. Now, because I was young and probably stupid, I didn’t know much about ‘characters’, I never saw him again so I just thought he was dead. Then I saw John Amos in Die Hard 2 and it opened my mind up to the fact that movies and TV aren’t real. It was like a kid finding out that Santa isn’t real, but I’m glad for that revelation because knowing the truth now keeps me from wearing plastic slippers in a mental ward, or calling actors by their movies titles i.e. “Did you see when Die Hard jumped out of that airplane?” or "Member when Lethal Weapon ran across the 3rd street bridge?"

Die Hard 3: Die Hard with a Vengeance
I was 21 when Die Hard with a Vengeance came out and much more able to comprehend the subtleties of storytelling. In this one Willis teamed up with Sam Jackson to fight Hanz Zimmer’s little brother played by Jeremy Irons in a twist that I have to admit…I didn’t see coming. Man, remember the song at the beginning of that movie? “HOT TOWN! Summer in the city…” and then the department store blows up? Brought you RIGHT into the flick and took you on this amazing ride through New York City, a REAL New York City you rarely see in films.

And then there was Live Free or Die Hard. I was not enamored of this title, but after I saw Bruce beat the shit out of that Asian woman, fight a military jet with a semi truck, and save America with the kid from the apple commercials (who, if we’re being honest is a low rent Shia LaBoeuf, who, in the furtherance of honesty is a low rent…well, nobody) all while pissing off an actor from my favorite TV show of all time: Deadwood? This quickly became my favorite of the Die Hard franchise and one which I can watch over and over again, never getting sick of it. I mean C’MON! That was the shit! Fought a mother fucking fighter jet with a GOT damned semi! AND WON!

Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard
My point is that I have loved these movies over the years and even when they weren’t at their best, they still FELT like Die Hard movies. We always learn a little more about McClane, whether it’s his alcoholism, the rift between him and Holly, or the rift between him and his kids. In Live Free or Die Hard, the chasm between McClane and his daughter seemed real to me because it was much the same as the one between MY father and me when I was a kid…but I don’t live in the world of Die Hard.

So as you can see, I tend to take the Die Hard movies…a little personally, which I guess is part of what makes ME a movie snob, and YOU just some schlub who watches movies. And in ALL the years that Bruce Willis has kept coming back to the Die Hard franchise…THIS was the first time I was not only disappointed, but downright pissed off. 

That being said, I’m not going to give you highlights of this shitstorm, I’m going to walk you through the movie as I saw it in the theater, so you might garner a better understanding of just what Hollywood has wrought upon us by letting the incompetent John Moore direct a movie penned by the illiterate Skip Woods…fucking Skip Woods, what kind of an asshole is called Skip fucking Woods?

So here’s a little story in the form of a screenplay that I wrote called:

A Good Day to Watch A Good Day to Die Hard

Film written by Skip “Dad?” Woods

Directed by John “I Can’t Believe I Directed Max Payne” Moore

Interior, my mind:

Die Hard 5: A Good Day to Die Hard
I went into the theater with anticipation. The description of A Good Day to Die Hard, which I’d been given for months leading up to its release, was that John McClane goes to Russia to see his son, whom he assumes is some sort of criminal because he’s in prison. First of all, let’s break down that account of the film’s plot. Coming from a cop family, I can TOTALLY understand the son of a police officer becoming a criminal. Police parents, at least to my experience, just aren’t there for you, it’s not something that ALWAYS happens, but it’s something that I get. As a kid you get this rebellious attitude brought on by feeling inferior to the criminals your father is spending his time with. It’s misplaced, but as cops aren’t good at expressing emotion, they sometimes aren’t able to articulate to their children where they TRULY fit into their hearts. Fine; in fact, as far as the movie was concerned, I thought this would be a terrific plot point. Maybe John McClane has to save his son from his criminal Russian bosses, maybe he has to defeat his son as we learn he’s the films main villain, maybe John McClane will have to make the ultimate God like sacrifice by having to kill his son to save innocents, whatever. There’s some real tension in the thought of this fictional world’s biggest hero, having a bad guy for a son. So going into the movie, I was on defiantly board.

Exterior, movie screen:

In the beginning of A Good Day to Die Hard (Maybe the worst title to be rejected from the batch of titles offered up for Die Hard 4), Jack McClane walks into a club and shoots a Russian. Stop me if you’ve heard this one. There are no cops, and the guy doesn’t die from his wound. Yet somehow Jack gets arrested and we’re told in the next scene that he’s about to get life in prison.

Our introduction to JOHN McClane, Jack’s father, is at the shooting range where a fellow officer (or New York City house nigger), brings him a file about his son, which McClane couldn’t bother getting himself. Apparently McClane didn’t even know his son was in Russia, much less in trouble; good timing then that he asked Step ‘N Fetchit over there to get the information at that exact moment. The two of them proceed to have a groggy conversation using the most static dialogue I’ve seen since the fucking Cone Heads movie, while they BOTH face the camera as if they’re in a play. I wanted to jump on screen, start rubbing Bruce Willis’ back, and say “Awwwww, what’s a matter grampa? Sleepy? WAKE THE FUCK UP, YOU’RE IN A FUCKING MOVIE!” And folks, believe me when I tell you that this is NOT the only time I thought that during this movie.

John then tells Sucre from Prison Break that it’s only been a couple of years since he’s seen his son and that he’s had a lot of problems. Had a lot of problems? Are we talking about the apparently straight A college student who speaks PERFECT fucking Russian? He didn’t pick that up like 2 years of Spanish in high school. Those mother fuckers have a Cyrillic alphabet, that’s not just another language, that’s another alphabet.

After this brief and mediocre character reacquaintence with John McClane, we leave the films only black guy (played by a Cuban) and go back to Russia where Jack McClane tells a prosecutor that he’ll give testimony that some guy named Kamarov ordered him to shoot the asshole in the nightclub. 

Next we’re privy to a film scene so long and drawn out that it makes ABC’s Lost look like a 2 part mini-series. For FIVE fucking minutes we get to stand next John McClane, who just happened to show up outside of the courthouse in Russia as his son is being walked in…and we get to watch this all happen in slow motion. Nobody but John seems to notice the heavily armored tank backing up around the corner of the courthouse, not even the snipers perched on the surrounding rooftops. The movie then, in an effort to keep things boring I assume, distorts its own sound so we can’t hear the charges levied against Kamarov in the courthouse. And, still in slow motion, still with the sound distorted, we’re thrown back and forth between these 2 scenes and 3 cars being thoroughly inspected at a checkpoint…before blowing up and knocking out the wall of the courtroom.

Interior, my mind:

I was fucking dumbfounded. THEY JUST INSPECTED THOSE CARS! Underneath, on top and inside! The military men who did the inspection didn’t bother asking for credentials, didn’t ask why they wanted to park right up against the building, and why the fuck didn’t the drivers immediately exit the vehicles once so parked? They knew what they were there for and they knew what was in the fucking cars! I’ll tell you why, so the bad guy could look badder by blowing up his own people. THIS is the epitome of stupid and if I had Skip Woods and John Moore in a room with me right now I’d shove bamboo shoots up their cocks. Let me tell you something, I may write a screenplay in which I team up with my most hated enemy, Jerry Bruckheimer, in order to rid the world of John fucking Moore. With this flick he’s reached the number one spot on my most hated directors list, right above Bruckheimer and Michael Bay.

Exterior, movie screen:

NOW here come the spoilers. Apparently, young McClane is working for the CIA who wants to SAVE Kamarov and keep some other guy from becoming defense minister. If they want to save him, I don’t quite get why McClane gets himself arrested, unless he plans to break Kamarov out of jail. It even looks like that’s what he’s going to do as he constantly looks over and gives Kamarov the winky eye like Father Mayday used to give me in Sunday School. However folks, and this goes back to bad directing and shitty writing, the BAD GUYS are the ones who blow up the wall of the courthouse in an effort to get Kamarov, and young McClane takes this opportunity to escape with him. if the bad guys didn’t do this, McClane would have been stuck in jail. Just nonsensical claptrap.

Interior, my mind:

The thing I noticed by this point in the movie is that a Good Day to Die Hard takes us through a myriad of JUST the most awful B movie actors playing the worst cardboard villains that I’ve ever seen. I think the director touched down in ole mother Russia and just started pointing at people on the street for the casting director to hire, because Willis and the kid from Spartacus are the only 2 American actors in the whole movie. There is not one actor of note in this film and man does it fucking show. What happened to Alan Rickman, William Sadler, Jeremy Irons, and Tim Olyphant as bad guys? As far as I can tell, the main bad guy in this flick was taken away from his day job of being an extra in TV movies. Hell, they couldn’t even get a GOOD actor to play McClane’s son? They get the kid from the first couple seasons of Spartacus? What the fuck is that? And no, I didn’t bother learning ANY of the actor’s names because NOBODY has ever heard of them.

Exterior, movie screen:

Jack somehow magically breaks his handcuffs and makes a gun appear in his hand as he shuffles Kamarov into a truck that he hotwires. John shows up out of nowhere and proceeds to shout “Jack” 25 times. Jack and Kamarov take off being chased by the tank we saw earlier as John McClane proceeds to talk to himself for the next 10 minutes; starting with him taking a truck with no driver in it, and screaming “GET OUT OF THE WAY” to the empty seat as he climbs in. I shit you not. As he drives away he shouts out of the window, TO NOBODY, BECAUSE NOBODY WAS IN THE FUCKING TRUCK: “Steal a cab!” Seriously folks, it’s some off putting shit. Like the director said “uhhhhh, I don’t know what to do here…talk to yourself, people like it when you talk? I guess? uhhhhhh” For some reason, I imagine this guy talking like It’s Pat from Saturday Night Live (look it up) as he directs his actors.

Interior, my mind:

And again, let’s be clear here: Courthouse is blown up, gun men enter with gas masks for some reason I can’t discern as they release no gasses, shots are fired, trucks are stolen and tanks are driven at high speeds destroying most of whatever city this is in Russia….no cops, no military.

For those of you who were thinking that maybe the young McClane got himself arrested to PROTECT Kamarov while he’s IN jail, this next part of the movie poked a whole right in that theory as Jack, again MAGICALLY, suddenly has a CIA transponder (remember, he was JUST in a cage in the courthouse and stole a truck) and reports in; Only to find out that he’s LATE so the drone can’t blow up the tank? What the fuck? So the bad guys blowing up the courthouse WASN’T a surprise? And the CIA knew there would be a tank and a need for a drone? But it doesn’t matter because the bad guys didn’t blow up the courthouse on the CIA’s schedule…so the drone is called off? Leaving only John McClane to bail his son out. At this point in the movie I had such a fucking headache that I felt as if my face were going to split in two revealing a fiery skull.

Exterior, movie screen:

The tank starts pushing Jacks truck around and his father suddenly shows up in his shitty little flatbed Mercedes, rams into the back of the tank, and shouts “I’m not done talking to you Jack!”…What a dottering old man. The guy driving the tank seems to be frightened for some reason even though McClane's car is to the tank what this movie’s screenplay is to a 1st grader’s drawing of a flower.

This again is an example of a director who doesn’t know what to do next so he drags out this ‘Car Chase’ if you can call it that, for another 10 minutes. All it is is the tank chasing after Jack McClane in a mostly straight line while hitting cars that seem to have parked in inappropriate places on the side of the street.

And folks…the fucking make up chick must have called in sick that day because I SHIT you not, John McClane’s truck is hit by a missile and goes flying over a long row of parked cars, flipping at least 20 times as it does. After it lands, McClane kicks out the window and not only is there NO blood on him AT ALL…but the only souvenir he takes from this trip is a small tear in the right shin of his pants. I NEARLY walked out of the theater at that point. THAT ladies and gentlemen is bad fucking directing; as bad as it gets.

McClane then gets hit by a car and yelled at in Russian by its driver. He punches the guy out and shouts “Did you think I understand a word you say?” to the laughter and bemusement of the movie theater. This made me want to take a bus off of this fucking planet. How does nobody see that this is a nonsensical line written by a man who has no understanding of the English language and delivered by an old man who’d just as soon be playing shuffle board and doing guest spots on Hot in Cleveland than be in this fucking movie. At times it felt as if Willis had a gun on him off camera.

Interior, my mind:

Next, for LITERALLY no reason, the bad guy yells at the driver of the tank that he wants him to “fly”. Folks…I’m about to cry here because I’m getting SO frustrated trying to explain to you the absolute horror I felt deep in my movie bones as this next scene played out...So the driver hits the gas, drives up an off ramp to the right, when about halfway up he cuts the wheel left and drives the tank through a wall where it “flys”…back down to the road he just pulled off of. WHY IS THIS JOHN MOORE GUY ALIVE??????

Exterior, movie screen:

Next, McClane uses his tiny NEW Mercedes truck to drive off of an overpass onto the roofs of semis, smash into the tank from behind, and then force it into a pile of cement blockades which happen to be in the middle of a busy highway for no apparent reason, causing it to flip off of ANOTHER overpass and crash onto the street below. But don’t worry; nobody has so much as a trickle of blood on them. John walks away from his car, which again flipped 20 times or so, and the bad guys get out of their tank and start shooting at…the first and only cop I saw this entire movie.  

NOW the real movie starts as the forced father/son tension between John and Jack takes center stage in a deluge of horrible dialogue delivered with all the sincerity of an episode of The Bachelor. There is never any explanation as to the validity of this dispute and all it did was serve to make a CIA agent look like little bitch. Some examples:

Example 1:

Jack McClane: “You’re a world class screw up John!”

John McClane: “I’m still your father Jack”

Jack McClane: “Yeah, nothing I can do about that!”…WHHHAAAAAAAA!

Example 2:

John McClane: “What’s all this ‘John’ shit, whatever happened to dad? “

Jack McClane: “Good Question.”…WHAAAAAAAA!

Example 3:

Jack McClane: “Any more questions John?”

John McClane: “Yeah, why don’t you call anymore?”

Jack McClane: “Like you give a shit.”… WHHHHAAAAAAAAAA!

Example 4:

Kamarov’s daughter gives him a hug to which John McClane sais “That’s tender”

Jack McClane: “I wouldn’t know.”… WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

and Example 5:

John McClane: “Need a hug?”

Jack McClane “We’re not a hugging family.”…WHHHAAAAAAA!

Interior, my mind:

This hammy and improbable dialogue continues throughout the movie with John being a smart ass and making light of the fact that he was a shitty father; all while his kid whines like a 13 year old school girl with a skinned knee. If I wanted to see an hour and a half of family bickering I’d go to my sister’s house for fucking Thanksgiving.

I think that this films writer, if you can call him that, Skip Woods has some major fucking daddy issues. Either that or he was a test tube baby and doesn’t know how fathers and sons interact at all. WHO did this kid blow to sell this script? If it’s this easy to get your screenplay read in Hollywood, why has nobody read my delectable tome The Attack of the Completely Ineffectual Zombies?

Now let’s stop there for a moment and discuss something that’s always bothered me about the Die Hard franchise…why the fuck does NOBODY in this fictional world seem to recognize that John McClane has saved a building full of people, a bustling airport, New York City, the world economy, AND The United States of America itself? This guy has had an intimate if not personal interaction with everyone on the planet and nobody seems to know just who the fuck he is. I GET that maybe after Nakotomi Plaza, John McClane was more of a local hero in LA, 15 minutes of fame and out. However, after the events of Die Hard 2, was he not called to task on the Chris Matthews show for blowing up an airplane full of American Special Forces soldiers who had not been tried and convicted in a court of law? He wasn’t on The Daily Show with Zeus after the events of Die Hard 3 discussing their newfound friendship brought on by saving the world’s largest city and gold depository? And by that time in 1995, wouldn’t he have written a book which would be turned into a Hollywood movie starring that fictional world’s Bruce Willis, giving him tons of money to spend on his children whom he only seems to love when a NEW movie is being released? Speaking of which, after the events of Die Hard 4, wouldn’t the President of the United States have given him the highest medal that can be awarded to a citizen, making him nationally famous? Wouldn’t this character be doing security consulting for shitloads of cash at this point, or even just be fucking retired? No, five movies in, and he gets about as much recognition as my blog. He’s still a shitty New York City detective, apparently no higher graded than he was in Die Hard 3, if not a bit more sober.

So if NONE of those scenarios have played out in the 25 years that McClane has been a cop… wouldn’t his son, who’s apparently turned to a life of law enforcement, at least have a modicum of respect for him? Especially if young McClane is in the CIA and his father has stopped, not one, but FOUR fucking terrorists! No, he treats his father like a piece of shit because ‘he wasn’t there for him’…WHAAAAAAAA!

Now, I could actually understand the kid’s animosity towards his father, because when you think about it…as a cop, how the fuck do you not know your kid is in the CIA? I mean, you get recruited for the CIA out of college, and you have to have some top fucking scores. So unless McClane just forgot that he had a kid for the past 8 years, it’s a pretty big leap for him to assume his son went from Summa Cum-Laude to killing Russian mobsters for no apparent reason. However, IF a case were to be made for McClane's absence of fatherhood, the kid fucking forgives him pretty quick, even amid Bruce Willis’ HORRIBLE delivery of smart ass lines such as “Do you need a hug?” and “Oh, you’re the 007 of Plainfield New Jersey.” I’ve always thought of John McClane as the James Bond of America, however it was NOT something that needed to be said. This Skip Woods asshole must have overheard some dickhead say that in a meeting and threw it in the script because he’s as unoriginal as he is stupid. 

Exterior, movie screen:

Now it’s time for the movies number 2 bad guy to show us just how bad he is. He’s told to kill the McClane boys, but instead of doing so…he tells McClane that he hates Americans “BOOOOOOOOOOO!” and he especially hates cowboys; this is apparently a dig at McClane referring to the events of Die Hard 1 WAAAAAAY back in 1988, even though our young villain probably wasn’t even alive then. Next, instead of killing our heroes, the bad guy proceeds to eat a carrot and dance around as McClane looks on even less interested than I was at that point, if that’s possible. SOMEHOW…John McClane has to figure out how to thwart Bugs Bunny. This is NOT a joke McClane makes in the movie, which might have actually worked in this scene mind you, it’s a personal observation. 

The middle part of the movie is then filled with explosions, long drawn out boring scenes where people stand around and wait for something to happen. bad plot twists, and McClane shouting “I’M ON VACATION!” like an Alzheimer’s patient. He sounded like my Cro-Magnon friend Scott, yelling “FUCKING YOU DON’T KNOW? YOU DIDN’T FUCKING HEAR? I’M FUCKING ON FUCKING VACATION!” The film goes on to feature ignorant ass gunfights where both sides stand 2 feet in front of each other with no cover, using automatic weapons, and neither side takes a scratch. Action for the sake of action in NO furtherance of the story or plot…because there isn’t one. This is a dumb fucking movie and the fact that Bruce Willis agreed to make it makes me think he’s either broke or has grown an extra chromosome. His next movie? Down’s Hard!

More gunplay, more explosions, yadda, yadda, yadda. We find out that Kamarov and the guy who wants to be defense minister used to steal weapons grade uranium from Chernobyl, which caused the meltdown way back in ’86. Kamarov apparently has a file, which I assume everyone thinks he keeps in his asshole because even though he’s been in jail for 9 years they all think he has it on him, explaining the other guy’s collusion in this theft which is why the other guy wants him dead. Also, it’s explained in the film, which was written by a man who either has a 3rd grade education OR assumes the rest of us do, that the meltdown at Chernobyl was caused by this thievery, which is not only inaccurate but wholly implausible. But the implausibility doesn’t stop there, folks! Oh no, now our hero’s get to go to Chernobyl and have a shoot out in the world’s most irradiated vacation spot!

Not only does Skip Woods seem to have daddy issues, but it seems that the last thing his dad gave him before he told little Skip that he was going out to get a pack of cigarettes and then disappeared forever…was a toy helicopter. This movie has more fucking military helicopters in it than Black Hawk Down. The bugs bunny bad guy is killed by Kamarov, John throws Kamarov into the helicopter blades, and Kamarov’s daughter flies the helicopter into the building just as John and Jack dive into Chernobyl’s lovely swimming pool (Chernobyl had a swimming pool?) The other bad guy gets no cummupence whatsoever as in the next scene the McClane’s walk in slow motion off of an airplane and hug John’s daughter. 

The End (of the screenplay)

Hollywood: “There’s your movie, thanks for the 12 bucks, now go fuck yourself!”

BAM MOTHER FUCKER! THAT’S how you write an engaging story Skip ‘The Dick’ Woods. This dickless prick probably wrote a Good Day to Die Hard in crayon with backwards ‘R’s while wearing a helmet. Fuck you Skip Woods, and a resounding hats off f’uck you’ to John Moore…I’ll see you in hell Moore, you fat blind bog Irish ginger hick.

A Good Day to Die Hard held no conflict of concern and there were no mysteries for McClane to solve which is something I’ve not only become accustomed to him doing, but I’ve enjoyed watching over the years. It’s something that’s made these movies fun, entertaining, and even smart. There were no moments like in previous films where McClane shows his knowledge of police procedures by knowing the hospital/ambulance lines in New York City. There were no ancillary characters who were 3 dimensional such as Reginald VelJohnson from 1, Dennis Franz from 2, the truck driver in 3 who knew about all of the presidents, helping McClane figure out the right school to evacuate, or even Kevin Smith in 4. No, the only ancillary character in THIS movie was a Russian cab driver who likes to sing. That’s it; as 1 dimensional as the movie itself.

In the other Die Hard movies, the object of McClane's heroics becomes a character within the film. Nakatomi tower, Dulles Airport, New York City, and America; the stakes grew ever higher and my assumption with this movie was that McClane would have to now save the world. But he didn’t, he only saved his son whom he apparently hates and who hates him. You didn’t even get to know or care about Russia so who really gives a fuck? This wasn’t a Die Hard movie, it was a rated R movie remake of the TV show The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, but without the good Bill Bixby character.

In short folks, this just didn’t FEEL like a fucking Die Hard movie. It felt like an artificial, watered down, 2 dimensional, dysfunctional, reproduced amalgam of every other piece of shit action movie that Hollywood consciously shovels down our collective throats. Why consciously?

Well, I find it hard to believe that in an industry that makes BILLIONS of dollars every year, whose every step effects the bottom lines of hundreds of thousands of people, and who pompously pats itself on the back a dozen times a year, NOBODY…from the person who read this script to the people who screened it before it went out to the public, said: “Yeah…this is a piece of shit. Drop Skip Woods from one of the films 3 helicopters without a parachute, suicide John Moore, and bury the editor of this monstrosity alive; then start over from the beginning, in fact? Fuck it. Let’s just make another Twilight movie.” 

I mean shit, I was fired from RADIOSHACK for incompetence because I didn’t sell enough cell phones, and they let the fat untalented ginger fuck who directed Max Payne put his hands on a beloved American film franchise. That’s like bringing back Yahoo Serious and letting him direct The Godfather 4. The people who made A Good Day to Die Hard should just be shot as an example to all those who would fuck up a simple film formula. John Moore should be put on a plane and shipped back to Ireland to live out his remaining years directing a fishery which would probably smell better than his previous directorial projects.

These assholes in Hollywood tell me through P.S.A.’s, fund raisers, and FBI Warnings, not to copy movies or they’ll arrest me. Well then I should get to have THEM arrested for making shit like this. Copyright laws are all about keeping money in the pockets of Hollywood…MY fucking money. So when they allow a shit film to get fobbed off on me, I should get my money back. What kind of bullshit is this that they get to keep my money after they’ve NOT entertained me, they’ve RAISED my fucking blood pressure, and they’ve SHAT on my movie going experience. Shit in MY mouth? FUCK YOU HOLLYWOOD! COPY THAT BITCHES!

I’m sorry, but I’m pissed off. I walked out of the movie theater in a stunned silence, shuffling back to my car in disbelief. I love the Die Hard movies, and I’ve been excited as a wee schoolgirl skipping to a chocolate factory to see this one. I’ve been telling my girlfriend for months that we’re going to see the SHIT out of that movie. Not only did this flick dash my dreams of another great installment, but it made me look the fool to my girlfriend who refused to sleep with me that night because she didn’t know if she could ‘trust my choices anymore.’

I’ve said it before, but I believe it bears repeating. Until America STOPS accepting turds like a Good Day to Die Hard, movies are just going to get shittier and shittier. As an audience you DON’T have to eat up  every fucking movie that’s put in front of you like a malnourished holocaust victim. Have some fucking discretion and integrity for Christ’s sake and join me in boycotting A Good Day to Die Hard! I want you all to stand up with me and make the bluray/dvd release of this shitfest the WORST selling in the history of the medium! It’s not only good enough that we NOT buy the movie, I want you all to protest outside of your local Best Buy! If you’re good with computers I want you to release a virus that will block Amazon users from purchasing this movie! I want you to STAND WITH ME AND DEMAND MORE FROM HOLLYWOOD! Because if money’s the only thing they’ll listen to, then we need to make it a good day to boycott Die Hard!

Yippy Kai Yay mother Russia, my ass.

The End (of the film review)