Remember your first real job? Remember when they sat you down in the training room and forced you to watch all those terrible videos showing you how to do common sense things like washing your hands after you use the bathroom, flipping the burger when one side is too bloody, and keeping your cool with a problematic customer? Some of those videos were so condescending that you were left wondering why they hired you in the first place if they really thought you were that big of an idiot.
We thought the same thing and decided to scour YouTube to find the 15 Worst Employee Training Videos for our own amusement and yours. Try not to have flashbacks. We did.
1. Service Is Selling, And Selling Is Service
We want to apologize ahead of time for what you’re about to see. Honestly, this video almost makes us glad that retail stores are disappearing. This one should have been shut down immediately and investigated for elder abuse. We were initially convinced someone must be off-screen holding a gun against the participants. However, we will say they look like they’re having a good time, and they did manage to fit the word “ostentatious” into a song, which is pretty hard to do. Still not an excuse, though.
2. Wendy’s 80s Burger Rap
Seriously, Wendy’s, Really? This training video starts mundane enough (who remembers the Punch Card Clock), but once Bill pops in the training video within the training video, all hell breaks loose. Don’t miss the “singing patties” at the 3:19 mark. Then again, maybe you should. Unfortunately, everyone in the 80s thought they were a rapper. This video proves they were not.
3. ‘Common Decency’ Customer Service Training Video for General Managers
This video spends about three of its four-minute runtime treating us to the on-the-job skills of Mr. Collins, perhaps the world’s biggest managerial dork, who in a short amount of time manages to talk down to his employees, drop a homophobic expression, sexually harass an angry customer, and insult a handicapped person. And the only discernible “message” of the video is, don’t do these things, it’s bad, m’kay? Talk about insulting one’s intelligence!
4. McDonald’s Training Video – Do You See McC?
This McDonald’s training video was picked up by the Found Footage Festival, so expect a little background noise and laughter. Once you start following, you’ll completely understand why. Loaded with sexual innuendo and an uncomfortable chemistry between the female boss and her clearly insane custodial new-hire, it’s tough to get through this one with a straight face.
5. Space Port Employee Training Video, 1981
Okay, we know these are supposed to be the worst employee training videos ever, and while this one is rotten to the core, we’ve got to admit, it’s a tad endearing. If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, then you probably remember how popular arcades were. The management staff of the long-defunct Space Port Arcades give you an in-depth look of all the behind-the-scenes stuff here, complete with an overly long slideshow, three mental-patient-looking employees, one of the worst comb-overs ever captured on film or video, detailed descriptions of how to count change, and even a bizarre section on when to rough up a customer. Great job, guys.
6. Landis Supermarket Training Video
We would be absolutely shocked if the person, who shot this Landis Supermarket employee training video, didn’t get fired for lewd conduct. From the first minute, you see more crotch than an OBGYN. Filled with annoying extreme closeups, obvious and repetitive direction, and multiple transitions that take forever, this is certainly a worthy entry on this list of worst employee training videos.
7. Retro Office Safety Training Video
The first couple of examples in this retro office safety training video are relatively humorous. However, more than halfway into the more than eight-minute-long video, the producers continue to stage one “accident” after another without moving the point of the video forward. Needless to say, it gets hokey long before it’s finished, almost as if the training video were created to illicit laughs from small children, who find the same thing funny over and over again for hours on end.
8. NSFW Police Training Video From The 80s
When you think about employee training videos, you probably don’t imagine Miami Vice-looking perps verbally abusing armed police officers from 30 feet away with nothing more than a pocket knife to back up the talk. It’s also doubtful stabbing a cop in the face or running a detective through with a samurai sword comes to mind, but that’s exactly what you get here. Warning: language and (pretty cheesy) violence are depicted. Don’t watch this one around the easily offended.
9. IRS Star Trek Parody
The only thing that sucks worse than the IRS is the IRS’ sense of humor. The organization spent thousands of dollars — we don’t want to know how many — tarnishing one of the best sci-fi shows ever made with one bad tax pun after another. It’s a video so bad that it caused one high-ranking IRS official, who’s actually in the video, to apologize for making it. No wonder tax collectors are viewed negatively by most Americans.
10. RIAA Thinks Music Pirates are Probably Drug-Dealing Terrorists
Ah the RIAA — great defenders against music piracy, and saviors of the modern world (to hear them tell it). This RIAA-produced training video was made specifically for law enforcement personnel with one message in mind: if you’re dealing with a music pirate, then you’re also probably locking horns with a terrorist, who sells drugs on the street corner in hopes of getting small children hooked on crack cocaine. (We’re paraphrasing.) Other than being just a bunch of boring looking people in business suits talking, it’s one of the biggest non-sequiturs committed to video.
11. Wendy’s Hot Drinks Training Video
Wendy’s murdered the 80s rap genre with our No. 2 selection, and now they’re back to do the same thing to 90s dance party hits here at No. 11. The topic: we sell coffee, and if you’re too stupid to pour it into a cup and mash down the lid, we’ll show you how. If this had been released in recent years we’re positive it would have caused poor Dave Thomas to roll over in his grave.
12. Nintendo Training Video 1991
We’ve got to hand it to Nintendo on this one. They tried. The goal of the video is to show you just how simple it is to deal with customer complaints on their video game systems. After all, “90 percent of the time, there’s not a problem.” But around the 7:40 mark, you’ve taken in so many different situations and scenarios, that it’s hard not to burst out laughing at the use of phrases like “at no hassle to you or your customer” and “nothing could be easier.” If you’re a customer annoyed at spending all that money on a NES only to have to jump through more hoops to get it to work, or if you’re a retail employee dealing with an irate customer refusing to listen, there’s a whole lot that could be easier.
13. Sharpen the Mind, Shape the Body
GameStop attacked their main customer base — guys and teenage boys — before launching in to a video-long comparison of women to animals in this employee training video that attempted to teach the company’s hapless male employees how to up-sell women. Who, in the video, all apparently don’t know how to say the words, “No, thank you.” Miraculously, every sale an employee makes in this video goes through without a hitch. Worse yet, the writers of the video apparently think all of GameStop’s female customers are avid Oprah and Cosmo readers. Nice job on the market research, guys.
14. NSFW Stapler Fahrer Klaus Forklift Training Video
Boy, the Germans have a wild sense of humor. This video clocks in at just under eight minutes. In the beginning it’s a tad slow (and even slower when you don’t speak German), but the ending — oh God. We’re not sure whether to laugh (uncomfortably) or be horrified by the imagination that came up with something like this. Maybe a little of both? Note: marked Not Safe For Work in case your boss or co-workers have an aversion to severed body horror movie mayhem.
15. Blockbuster’s “Buster Sales” Training Video, 1990
Blockbuster Video used to be one of the biggest names in home entertainment. Boasting a huge (for the time) in-store selection, a massive video catalog you could page through to see every movie ever available on VHS, and Mr. Buster, who made sure his employees were “listening, thinking, and acting,” what could possibly go wrong? See for yourself, and let us know if you think Mr. Buster is as big of a jerk as we do.
Here at Intertech, we strive to deliver the VERY best in software development and IT training. Unfortunately, video training design is not one of our current course offerings…yet. That aside, which of these 15 Worst Employee Training Videos would have made you reignite the job search? Do you have other videos that should have made the list? If so, let us know if the comments below.