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video production or manager at WAWA gas station

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Bob Zelinvideo production or manager at WAWA gas station
by on Jul 2, 2013 at 9:19:40 pm

There is a big gas station chain from Pennsylvania called WAWA that has just opened up in Florida.
It's big, bright, clean, and has a decent quality hoagie sandwich station in the center of the large store, as well as the usual big coffee area, muffins, doughnuts, etc, etc.

SO, as I was leaving, they have a poster on the lower half of the glass doors, that shows bright, happy employees wearing their WAWA uniforms, and holding a WAWA hoagie sandwich. The copy reads "WAWA Store Managers wanted - starting salary in the $70s with 401k plan and employee stock options".

With the impending advent of millions of high school students about to enter our industry with FCP-X editing abilities, and probably owning at least a Go Pro, or similar good quality low cost HD camera - is it better to get into the video business, or learn how to manage a WAWA gas station ?

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.

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Jason JenkinsRe: video production or manager at WAWA gas station
by on Jul 2, 2013 at 9:22:47 pm

The deciding factor may be: Do WAWA employees get free hoagies?

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my profile.

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Craig SeemanRe: video production or manager at WAWA gas station
by on Jul 2, 2013 at 10:09:40 pm

[Bob Zelin] "The copy reads "WAWA Store Managers wanted - starting salary in the $70s with 401k plan and employee stock options". "

Reading further about the job, one may find that Store Managers are responsible for writing, directing, shooting, editing, their local and regional cable spots.

The entry level employees my find customer requests such as, "can I have extra cheese on that hoagie and I'd like a 5 minute run time on my vacation video with that."

"Sorry we won't use your iTunes purchases on that video but you can buy some nice stock music from the vending machine over there."

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John DavidsonRe: video production or manager at WAWA gas station
by on Jul 2, 2013 at 10:22:14 pm

My family owned a country store/gas station in the middle of nowhere in south Georgia and I spent the first 22 years of my life working there. In fact, when I worked free as an intern for Ted Turner's News Station (CNN), I would go home on weekends and run the gas station for cash. Some of the great things you will learn from this career choice are:

1. Knowing what each repeat customer chews, smokes, and rolls on a daily basis. How some people can smoke 4 packs of Dorals each day and not die will become a constant source of dismay.

2. Becoming intricately familier with local comedians and finding infinite joy in clever retorts. E.G. "Do you want a bag with that?" gets 'I'm bout to bag it!" HAHAHAHA! That never gets old. Even after the 16,000th time it is used on you in a single day.

3. Disseminating consumer feedback and navigating sticker shock. This comes in the form of surprise that eggs at a gas station might cost more than costco.

4. Learning that many people, despite years of training and tutelage, are incapable of placing effluence in or even near the public toilet.

5. People will buy a 4 cent peice of gum with a one dollar food stamp. They will do this ALL DAY until they deplete the entire booklet of food stamps they received. Then they will ask for you to convert $58 in loose change into dollars. This would seem infuriating but by this point you've already gone completely insane.

6. You will be shocked to see the same people with nothing to do come in over, and over, and over, and over again EVERY DAY. It makes you want to suggest a pre-planned shopping trip to a larger store to save money, but you won't because you've already gone insane (see #5).

7. You will be handed money that clearly has been placed in an area of the human body that you do not want your hands anywhere near. This will be normal.

8. On a strange note, you'll develop a near savant ability to make change mentally without consulting the cash register.

9. The juice that is formed at the bottom of a gas station exterior trash can is a romantic blend of beer, rain water, cola, runny diaper, and a new, undiscovered disease. When you empty the trash can, this electrons in this juice are negatively charged and will attract themselves to your body and clothes regardless of your efforts to prevent it. The smell will never, ever come off of you and you will vividly remember it for the rest of your life. In fact, upon death, this will likely be the last sensory memory to flash across your mind.

10. Every customer that comes in from the first of the month until about the 15th will be completely wasted. The fourth week of every month will be the saddest week of your life.

11. You will make many late night condom sales. You will be shocked that some people are in actual need of condoms. You will pray to all Gods that you never be forced to see who (or what) the condom will be used with.

12. You will have some really great customers. One day they'll ask you to take a check. You will take it. It will bounce. And you will never see them again.

13. The levels of boredom you achieve will do wonders for you later in life, especially when you start writing comedy.

And that's why I stay in TV.

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Bob ZelinRe: video production or manager at WAWA gas station
by on Jul 3, 2013 at 12:07:55 am

well, what I observe is this. Running a WAWA station, and getting good money to do it, is training for future video facilities. "What?" you say ! Running a WAWA is really no different than running any fast food joint - you are managing low level, low paid employees, that will likely quit in a short period of time, and you will have to replace them, while keeping the customers happy with their food, gas, gum, and use of the toilet.

GEE, this sounds like the video facility of 2019 - when the flood of college kids who are experts come out, all knowing everything there is to know about FCP-X. You will pay them $18,000 - $22,000 a year, the videos you will produce will look pretty good (since 95% of them are winding up on the web, and they were all shot with the new 4K Apple iPhone - remember, this is now 2019), and most of these employees will be disgruntled, and quit within a few months, but you have to make your client happy, AND you have to make sure that the toilet in your video facility is squeaky clean for your clients.
See, it's just like WAWA. Maybe not today literally, but very soon.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.

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Joseph W. BourkeRe: video production or manager at WAWA gas station
by on Jul 3, 2013 at 1:58:04 am

Bob -

You're not thinking paradigm shift - the video editing facility of the future with be a small jack inserted in everyone's skull shortly after birth. It will connect directly with the visual cortex and inner ear, and allow recording, through both the eyes and ears, to small storage devices which can be carried in the pocket. Not only will there be no video facilities, but everyone will be their own camera, producer, and editor. The playback after recording will play directly to the brain, and allow editing by various facial gestures and eye blinks. A slow blink might be a 15 frame dissolve, a quick blink, a cut. Take the job at WAWA before gas stations are obsolete as well...

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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Andy jacksonRe: video production or manager at WAWA gas station
by on Jul 3, 2013 at 8:04:23 am

Take the Job at WAWA.

The best option for me was getting out of this declining industry and doing something where I am now appreciated with a good guaranteed salary.

Best move you will ever make.

Cheers Andy

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Chris TomberlinRe: video production or manager at WAWA gas station
by on Jul 3, 2013 at 5:01:15 pm

Bob, you just might be a tad cynical. But then, so am I.

Chris Tomberlin
Outpost Pictures

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Mark SuszkoRe: video production or manager at WAWA gas station
by on Jul 3, 2013 at 6:30:02 pm

Taking Bob's original question at face value, it certainly seems to pay better to work for wawa. And if this is strictly about making money to live on, we're done with the conversation tight there.

For me, hell is working a decent paying job doing something I am totally uninterested in, and conversely, I don't make what think I deserve at my video job, but I enjoy the work so much that it doesn't seem like "work" at all.

I think folks should aim to be happy and make a living wage first, then worry about making more money, later. Or making a HUGE pile of money for a short while, then quitting to live well off of it.

Do you live to work, or just work to live?

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Bill DavisRe: video production or manager at WAWA gas station
by on Jul 5, 2013 at 12:18:00 am

I'm gonna say NO - stick with video.

My reasoning is built entirely around the modern "everything's a dang conspiracy" concept.

You see:

The big demographic shift underway in the US will eventually change the congressional balance of power - which means...

the Auto Makers - who today have legislatively mandate/bribed lawmakers so that only CAR DEALERS can sell cars - will eventually see that artificial construct crumble and we'll see cars sold directly to consumers. (Go Tesla!)

If that idea gets a serious toe-hold - that there's no functional reason you can't sell cars like anything else on Amazon - then gas stations will have to retro-fit EVERYTHING for the Electric crowd.

Which means the wholesale reinvention of "gas" stations..

Which in turn means opportunity for Monster Banks and Huge Real Estate conglomerates to install un-manned auto-drive up re-charging "pods" with technologically advanced robot operated mini-marts attached that exclusively accept near-field debit card signals - completely eliminating the need for humans on the properly at all - further saving in both labor and insurance costs.

So with the imminent collapse of the global oil industry in favor of ELECTRIC that I have thusly predicted - I think doing 30 minute videos for $50 bucks a pop will be a smarter long term financial play than seeking a $70,000 a year mini-mart manager job that some off-shore produced ROBOT is actually gonna gonna take away from you pretty soon, anyway.

Don't say I didn't warn you!

; )

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.

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