A Fantastic Pop! would like to celebrate one of the most transcendent and eternal forms of cinema, a genre almost as old as the medium itself, likely to follow us far into the future: the employee training video. Yes, we've all had to sit through a few of these enlightening mini-movies soon after signing our I-9 and W-2 forms. How else would we know how to avoid awkward, embarrassing and potentially harmful accusations of sexual harassment, avoid potential conflicts of interest, or safely operate a fry cooker?
Thankfully, the hard-working writers, directors, performers and crew members who make these employee training videos diligently explain how to do our jobs while reducing the risk of life-threatening injury, costly lawsuits, and other negative consequences up to and including termination.
Nowhere in the vast library of employee training videos has a company exceeded the levels of production, absurdity and (dare I say it?) artistry of the American fast-food chain, Wendy's. Doubt me? See for yourself. Turn up the volume, and prepare to experience the wonder and awe of Wendy's "Grills Skills" rap, a fine guide to proper fast-food burger preparation, and an excellent example of the early appropriation of hip-hop culture, part of the legacy of blaxploitation films from the 1970s and 80s. Enjoy.
Did you know a metal spatula is an effective substitute for an electric guitar?
The four-corner press. Know it. Live it. Be it. But where can I get the glittery version of the Wendy's green polo shirt? And why aren't those standard-issue? You can bet Dave Thomas would be able to tempt an entire legion of new employees with that kind of bling, ready to salt from the back to the front with the best of 'em.
The ladies are not to be outdone when it comes to laying dope beats and sick rhymes, as this illuminating tutorial on how to serve cold drinks can attest:
What's cooler than being cool? If you don't know, I'm not telling you.
Don't forget to smile when your serve cold drinks. Words we would all do well to live by. And now we know that Wendy's iced tea is more ice than tea. Drink quickly, lest thy tea be as weak as thy flesh.
And now that you've cooled off with some refreshing beverages, warm your soul with Wendy's chili (with cheese):
Just throw the spoon away? That's not very eco-friendly, Ms. Wendy.
A half inch from the top. I see a trend emerging. And if I had ever worked at Wendy's, I want to let you know that there would've been plenty of cracked cookies unfit for customers that I would have dutifully consumed so that their crumbly mess would not have offended the delicate tastes of our pampered guests. Perish the thought!
Now that we've had a bit of hip-hop, and upbeat R&B, let's top things off with a Michael Jackson inspired boogie, Wendy's ode to hot drinks:
These drinks are sizzlin'
Those seductive eyes when he blows the steam off the lid. I think I may be ovulating. And I don't even have ovaries. But still, if he poured my coffee to the line, I would have all of his babies. Somehow. Also, if you're ordering de-caf at Wendy's, I hope you get a freeze-dried packet of Sanka, because that's all you deserve.
Now that you've watched all these videos, I hope they've kept you well-entertained. And we certainly hope you'd make a valued Wendy's employee. But if you're one of those chosen few who have the opportunity, the privilege to help produce an employee training video, I hope you even have one iota of the mojo that these folks at Wendy's headquarters had when they made these films.
No, they never paid their employees a living wage. And I myself have questioned the contents of Wendy's chili, even as I am ladling spoonfuls into my mouth. Countless, piercing headaches have thundered through my skull from too many bites of those dastardly Frosties. But I'll be damned if Mr. Dave Thomas didn't bankroll the best employee training videos ever created. I tip my styrofoam lid at you, good sir.
And in case you can't get enough employee training videos, enter the nightmarish hellscape of Blockbuster Video (but don't say I didn't warn you).