I Like To Move It

I Like To Move It
Confessions of a GameStop Employee - Part Three

Scott Jones | 12 Oct 2010 12:36
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The thing I noticed during my time at GameStop is that everyone - Game Advisers, Assistant Managers, Third Keys, etc. - were always coming and going. Retail workers in general are a restless, nomadic tribe. Retail is never a destination for reasonable people.


The Store Manager is the lone exception. They're usually in it for the long haul. (Chris definitely was.) Everyone else was either heading to college soon, or between jobs and/or careers, or moving soon, or getting married soon. The only real benefit of working in retail is that it's easy to get in and it's easy to get out. If you're working in retail and you don't have a long-term goal, no matter what it is, you're probably either nursing an alcohol problem or contemplating suicide. Or both.

To my surprise, we were never given any sort of crash course in videogame knowledge. When it came to games, we were always on our own. I relied on what I knew already, and to a lesser extent, on what I learned while doing the job. This is why so-called "fanboys" always make for the worst kind of GameStop employees: They only know what they like, and they can't possibly fathom a customer's personal wants or needs.

Random Stories, Final Days

One afternoon a woman in her 40s - let's call her "Soccer Mom" - came into the store to buy Call of Duty: Modern Warfare for her brood. Not the most kid-friendly choice, of course. But Soccer Mom's problem wasn't whether or not the game was appropriate for her kids. Her problem was that she wasn't sure her kids would actually like the game.

I recommended that she play it safe and buy the used version of the game, not the new version. "You can always return a used game to GameStop within seven days for any reason, even if you simply don't like the game," I explained.

This is true. At least it was true when I worked there. When you do bring the game back, the Game Adviser behind the counter will always try to get you to exchange it for another game. But if you can resist his Jedi mind tricks and simply say the words, "No, thanks" a few times, they'll always give you your money back. Always.

Soccer Mom, to my surprise, frowned at me and said, "I don't buy my children used games." Fine. I rang her up, and bagged the brand new copy of COD: Modern Warfare for her.

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