275: Confessions of a GameStop Employee - Part Three

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT
 

vxicepickxv:

Jedoro:
He's upset his District Manager did that to him? My DIRECT SUPERVISORS do that to me at the movie theater, and it pisses me off to no end. My employees better be happy I back them up even though my boss doesn't.

You think getting thrown under the bus is limited to retail jobs? I've lost count of the number of times I've been thrown under the bus this month alone. I know it's more than 10, and I've only worked 8 days this month.

I try not to be a jerk when I'm dealing with people in retail, because of the stories I hear with some of the retail vets I drink with regularly. There was an article on the consumerist not too long ago about how the customer is almost always wrong.

I know it's not limited to retail, but he's talking about how a guy who doesn't even know him did that, yet my bosses who consider themselves my friends bend over backwards and fail to back me up just to please one customer.

There's actually a whole website of stories about that, just Google "Customer is not always right" or something like that. It's amazing how stupid people can be.

This tale exemplifies why I have never worked retail...well, except for one summer in 1995 when I worked the fuel desk at a truck stop....and the experience was essentially the same. Retail workers really do get to see the lowliest of beasts: the consumer, in action.

We don't have Soccer Moms here as such, but I do know exactly the kind of customer Ben is describing. These financially comfortable ladies, with a couple of spoiled kids, who have this absurdly inflated sense of entitlement, and live with the assumption that all retail staff are failed human beings fit only to provide them with a punching bag. We used to call them Pippa Funnells, because for whatever reason, the Pippa Funnell game series attracts them like some sort of crazy bitch magnet. You see a copy of that game coming towards you, you run or hide or break your own arm, anything, just get the hell away from that customer.

Once upon a time, I had one such customer launch into me for wasting her precious lunchbreak time, by refusing to hold stuff she'd already paid for and bought somewhere else behind the counter. Now, there's a bazillion reasons we can't do that, not least among them the fact that we would have to be literally stepping over her shopping until she saw fit to retrieve it. But the point is, there was no way I could magically reimburse her time. Indeed, so precious was it to her that she could only spent an extra fifteen minutes of it hurling abuse at me, and only after she was done with the first staff member she'd berated.

Then she took a break from the normal, everyday ranting we're used to, to hit me with:

"Well you know what; Ducks quack. Eagles soar."

Then she kind of waited, like that was supposed to make me cry or something. Caught off guard by what was, I have to say, the weirdest argument ever aimed at me, and not even entirely sure if she was insulting me or not, I could only counter with

"...

Great?"

Then she swore at me some more.

But then she said it again, and then she kept saying it like it was supposed to teach me a clear lesson about my conduct. She even said it, conspiratorially, to one of the other customers, like they were supposed to agree with her. He just looked as confused as I did. Gradually, all my coworkers drifted over to see what she was yelling about; none of them knew what she was on about either. Until there we were, four grown adults, staring wordlessly at a clean, healthy, and otherwise coherent, woman babbling about ducks over a shop counter.

I just don't get it. Am I the duck? Does that make her the eagle? If "quacking" means "complaining", doesn't that make her the duck? Do I get to be the eagle then? If eagles are so great, how come they're all so fucking endangered? Ducks get to swim too, doesn't that make them the cooler bird?

....Is it some sort of spell?

I still don't know exactly what the fuck she meant. But I'll never forget the look on her face when she said it. Like she expected that to be the kicker, like "Well, I wasn't going to cry before, but now you've broken out the weird birdy metaphors, I have nowhere to run!"

By then, we'd spent far longer arguing than the transaction itself had taken. I couldn't give her that time back either, even with all those birds on her side.

I work at a clothing retail store and it's virtually the same thing. Swap every word of "game" for some clothing item and you've nailed it. We have policies, they don't follow the policies, they try and return a shirt after 6 months, after it's been shredded along a dirt trail (her son probably bmx's, there was dirt smears all over it from a dirt path) and she didn't even have a receipt, yet she went ape-shit after I told her there was nothing we could do. I told her I skateboard and ruin shirts after about a month or two, I ruin jeans as often as that too, sometimes, and yet she still freaked out. Saying I was calling her a liar and that I was turning down one of our biggest customers. Funny thing is, I work a bit above 40 hours a week, I'm at our store nearly every day, and I've never seen her.

Customers can, and will, be terrible people. The higher ups get paid more for doing less work, it's a harsh reality. I'm gonna get out of it soon because people take things too seriously at my store. I really relate to these articles (I'm also an avid fan of Reviews on the Run, awesome seeing Scott posting here), because my job is a job that everyone thought would be the "shit". It was the top tier of job positions, everyone thinks. But it really isn't, the pay is terrible, the job growth is virtually non existent, the managing staff is on a power trip and considering we're a skateboarding retail store, practically none of the workers skate. In that regard, it's almost the same. I have a passion for our product, and I'm on the bottom. Everyone on top has never even stood on a skateboard. Everyone above me is overweight, or just not interested in it, and I found myself wondering how they ever wound up where they are. Sure, we sell clothing too, but it's funny when we'll sell Danny Way pro model jeans, and they think Danny Way is the fashion designer or something.

Whatever your passion is, if there is a retail job of it, I can almost guarantee you it is not the dream job you think it is, especially if it's a large chain. If it's a local shop, chances are, a local guy with just as much passion as you started it, but sometimes, they lose their spark. I've been thinking about going to a local skate shop, or even a local game shop, because I've heard these same stories first hand, and experienced them in my own job.

Can't wait for the fourth part of this, it's really put a lot of my own thoughts into words I couldn't find myself.

I did retail at Autozone and Home Depot in the Kitchen and Bath Dept. Luckily though, they were both just part time jobs because I was in between relationships and bored when not at work due to a lack of hobbies. I was always one of the most complimented upon employees because I was polite and I did everything I could to make a customer happy..... unless they were a jerk to me first. At that point, the job not mattering one sniff to me came out and I would tell them exactly what I thought. I quit Autozone and was termed from Home Depot at my 90 day review. Both times I left my Manager's office with a smile and a wave.

Now, last week I was at Wal-Mart and they had an unopened copy of Eternal Sonata for sale, last one in the store. I was surprised to say the least. I got the guy to open up the case so I could buy the game and this is what he said, "Hmmm, I have never heard of this game. Looks like the kind of thing I would buy for my daughter." I don't think that is exactly the kind of thing you want to say to a customer doing you the favor of taking a 3 year old game off your shelf for $30.

I've dealt with crazy people in retail, too. Stupidity, ignorance, and self-entitlement inevitably result in people who are virtually impossible to reason with and want everything without compromise. Instead of yielding to these people, retailers should stand firmly behind their policies. The short-term gain of appeasing a bad customer is easily offset by the long term dilemma of always having to appease morons who don't read signs, the backs of their receipts, or make any effort at all to determine on their own what deals are going on or what policies are in effect. Or worse, they may selectively read those deals and policies and foist their version on you even after you point out their mistake.

I'll give an example of what I was talking about in my earlier post: I once saw a customer who was trying to purchase some pottery at a reduced price. Trouble was, the deal was for ceramic pottery, not the lighter, foam pottery she was purchasing. Even after this woman was shown the sign which clearly explained which pottery was for sale, she became irate and demanded the reduced price. Sadly, the assistant manager caved.

Another time, I had to explain a particular deal to a customer and her mother or whatever she was, and they didn't believe my version, so the mother went to grab the sign she saw. Now, these signs are really heavy, and this dumbass carried it across the entire store just to show it to me. I was shocked when I saw this, and tried to demonstrate that she didn't need to bring the entire sign over by removing the little paper insert. Then these two idiots assume that I'm implying that they forged the sign--forged it!--and only by bringing the entire sign could they prove it's legit. Nevermind they probably don't have the necessary font on their computer anyway, or that slipping a paper into the sign is so easy a child could do it, no, obviously I was casting aspersions on their character, which I could understand would be insulting if they had any character.

Then there's crazy black woman, who, after being told something--I don't even remember what it was she was angry about--became absolutely furious with me. She even made an implied threat to me. Of course, she demanded the manager, but her explanation over what she was angry about made no sense. In hindsight, I should have called the police, but I was going "wtf" at the time and trying to avoid a scene. Later, I asked a co-worked what the hell happened, and suggested that this woman probably thought I was being racist towards her. That sort of thing, in fact, happens all the time in retail, and that wasn't the only time I saw it. Can't get what you want? Make false accusations of racism! Haha... I hate our culture sometimes. :P

I think, as a society we have a duty to inform people (like that nutcase soccer mom) when they're being retarded. I really wish the manager hadn't done that. Realistically though, the best approach here would have been to have kept to neutral responses, quoting store policies and never giving an opinion. No one likes to told they're wrong (even if they are).

I would have said "okey" to her demand for a refund (the kids only played it once) & just deducted the $2 to replace the shrinkwrap, & another $5 if she damaged the box...Or at least explained to her that the game was now used & no longer in mint condition, therefor not warrenting a full refund.

I once had a customer get extremely angry with me because I didn't speak Spanish. And this happened a lot at the store I work at, but usually to employees who look like they could be Spanish.

Of course, this is the easiest one to deal with. You either stand there not understanding anything they say or hand them off to someone who can. It ends up being rather comical in its own way. It's like America has been invaded by Americans who speak another language.

coldfrog:
Here's a nice "observed" story that I was reminded of reading this. I was shopping in a Gamestop when a little kid comes in, probably 12, with his brother who is even younger, asking for COD4. Naturally (well, I don't know how well most do it, but to me this was an easy choice) he refused. The kid offered his mother's ID and credit card. He told the boy he could not give him the game, he could only give it to someone who is at least 18. The kid says OK. He walks out the door to a minivan parked and idling right in front of the store. He comes back with his mom, who of course left the van there, running, and then begins to berate the employee for making her get out of the car. She tells him to just give him the game, which he says he still can't because of the rating, he can only accept payment and hand the game directly to her. She tells him that he can decide for himself if it's appropriate or not, but it takes a few more minutes of her being pissed off before she just grabs the credit card to buy the game like she's been greatly inconvenienced. It was utterly ridiculous, and of course, the worst part is that the kids were both just standing there the whole time watching this ridiculous display. I rather feel sorry for those kids, though I felt the one at least handled it rather better than his mother did. Hopefully he'll grow up smarter.

I caught the tail end of one of these arguments at my local GAME when Modern Warfare 2 came out. This woman was going seriously mental at the Assistant manager because her 10 year old had been refused a copy. She just couldn't get it into her thick skull that it would have been illegal, and if someone had sold it to him they could have got a police caution

Aesthetical Quietus:
...and that he would never ever visit here again.

"Thank you, sir, may I have that in writing please?"

Cassita:

JeanLuc761:

Cassita:
What's with all the GameStop topics and news popping up everywhere?

Is any of it really that big of a deal?

A lot of people find it interesting, so it's been popular as of late (especially given the reputation the store has).

If you aren't interested, don't read/comment about it.

No, no, I'm not hating - I just don't understand the fascination. I feel like I'm missing something.

All I know is they markup products and sell used games at a great profit.

/shrug

Seems like smart business to me.

What am I missing?

The retail end of selling games to moronic parents who never should have been parents in the first place. Not to mention they don't bother to familiarize themselves with the game rating system from ESRB. Humans go figure!

Synonymous:
My favorite is when a customer brings in someone else's credit card and gets mad when they're told they can't use it. I haven't had the large percentage of atrocious customers reported by other retail workers in this thread (actually, I found my coworkers much more miserable than the customers on balance), but this one practice is just so prevalent and so, one would think, easy to understand why a store can't do it. I'd usually get one or two customers a day, though, who'd want to pay with their spouse's/parent's/friend's/boss's credit card and would get usually indignant that they couldn't.

I had that happen, it wasn't his card (his name wasn't Shirley, and he refused to provide ID), and he told me his signature didn't match because he was drunk. At this point I thought to myself "thank god, I can get some back from this ass who's been a dick the entire time ordering", told him I was calling the police because it wasn't his card, and closed the window. He raged and raged, called the store number and threatened me, but I was inside, with several other staff, and a crapton of hot oil should he be that stupid. His mom then called to rage at me for confiscating her card, and I told her I would be happy to hand it over to HER if she showed up with some ID. The police got there first, and explained to her that had it been stolen, she would have been THANKING me for doing what I did. The guy got dragged off for DUI, and I handed the mom her credit card back. My DM ended up talking to her, and I got called into the office. The DM then said that had he been in my place, he would have done the same.

JeanLuc761:

GeneticallyModifiedDucks:
It's like people are deaf... I can only imagine what working for a store like that must be like.

I still have yet to forgive people for their inability to put game cases back where they found them.

This right here. I feel sympathy for my local GAME employees whenever i'm in there and I see this, so I just wait until that person has left and put it back. I'll normally get a thank you and (very) occasionally a small 1 discount.

It adds up over time and if I ever apply there i'll know the staff.

Edit:

Tips for anyone who likes their game store employees. You're perfectly allowed to call them out for being a douchebag for the employees. They can't do it, you can. Best thing? You can explain in better terms.

"Stop being such a twat, he told you it was a non-refundable game because it's a PC game, deal with it and get the fuck out the way" normally works.

Is this your first time working in retail ever?
Hate to break it to you, but the golden rule is thus: Company policies are inflexible until a hysterical woman walks into your store.

Sounds sexist?
Simple reason for that: It is.
But big companies fear an older woman might walk in whose estrogen levels are a little imbalanced that day and she will throw a very loud and very public tantrum that will reflect badly on them.

Successful companies have mostly given up on the "The customer is always right" nonsense once repeat offenders start losing them a whole lot of money. Mind you, I said successful companies.

Oh man, the "The rules only apply 'till a loud moron comes in demanding their money back" policy's the absolute worst. I work at a Petsmart and you wouldn't believe how often I have to deal with that bullshit. You tell them the rules for exchanges/returns and they come back 2 weeks later in complete violation of those rules, throw a tantrum and you get chewed out by the boss for not pleasing the 'customer'. Classic....

coldfrog:
Here's a nice "observed" story that I was reminded of reading this. I was shopping in a Gamestop when a little kid comes in, probably 12, with his brother who is even younger, asking for COD4. Naturally (well, I don't know how well most do it, but to me this was an easy choice) he refused. The kid offered his mother's ID and credit card. He told the boy he could not give him the game, he could only give it to someone who is at least 18. The kid says OK. He walks out the door to a minivan parked and idling right in front of the store. He comes back with his mom, who of course left the van there, running, and then begins to berate the employee for making her get out of the car. She tells him to just give him the game, which he says he still can't because of the rating, he can only accept payment and hand the game directly to her. She tells him that he can decide for himself if it's appropriate or not, but it takes a few more minutes of her being pissed off before she just grabs the credit card to buy the game like she's been greatly inconvenienced. It was utterly ridiculous, and of course, the worst part is that the kids were both just standing there the whole time watching this ridiculous display. I rather feel sorry for those kids, though I felt the one at least handled it rather better than his mother did. Hopefully he'll grow up smarter.

Buying Alcohol for your child or for anyone under 18 is a punishable crime here in Finland, supposedly on the basis that drinking alcohol can be harmful to minors and because minors aren't subject to the principles of liberty because they have a limited capability of understandig what is good for themselves. If violent videogames are also potentially harmful to children, shouldn't the same kind of law apply here as well?

Only thing i can say is that everytime i walk into a retail store, the first thing i think about is what i need to buy. The second is to stay friendly with the people that work their, see i think of it this way; i am their buying something from the store, although i am a customer, i am an adult i should act like one. This stupid Soccer mom bitch is like a friggin disease of our generation. I mean seriously, the stupid bitch was told that if she didn't think her kids like it to buy used and she can get her money back....man only in America i tell ya...

sorry this guy this an idiot, keeping customers happy overrides store and company policy almost all the time. Especially in a place where you can shrink wrap a product to make it like new. Or sell it at used price of 55$ cause ive seen brand new games at a used price of that..

But basically my point is... the customer is always right especially in retail. and game-stop employees are usually retarded. (my prof is in the article)

mrx19869:
sorry this guy this an idiot, keeping customers happy overrides store and company policy almost all the time. Especially in a place where you can shrink wrap a product to make it like new. Or sell it at used price of 55$ cause ive seen brand new games at a used price of that..

But basically my point is... the customer is always right especially in retail. and game-stop employees are usually retarded. (my prof is in the article)

Ha. That's funny. Your didn't even try to sound convincing and your grasp on sentence structure is abysmal as a bonus. You'd best find some place where that lazy crap will fly if that's the best you can do. This is no place for amateurs.

This series of articles could easily just be called "My experiences working retail and why it sucks ass."
Not a bad read, but not particularly insightful or unique to gamestop.

I work in retail too, currently, although I'm much more focused on stock-based work (i.e. I'm the socially-inept guy in the back room), and whilst I've been lucky in that the customers are generally polite and understanding, you get some really rude people.

I was unwrapping a bunch of catalogues, and a customer tapped me on the back. And when I'd helped her and gone back to what I was doing, she did it again. I think, overall, she did it three or four times.

Oh, and don't get me started on managers and people in places like head office. Most of 'em haven't got a bloody clue, and they wouldn't be able to find their backside if they were given a map.

Fr]anc[is:
Um, what the heck does he mean by spiked? Thrown...? Or are there giant spikes conveniently placed about town where he is?

Thrown at the ground, as in spiked a football

Ive been on both sides. I used to work in a 36 lane bowling alley, it was a friday night around 730ish. I was the manager that night and had a guy come in with his 14-15 year old daughter and he wanted to have an unschedule birthday party for her and her friends.

Problem is Friday is one of our league bowling nights and it takes up 32 of our 36 lanes. The 4 remaining lanes already had bowlers on it and I had a waiting list going. He could not understand why I couldnt give him lanes to bowl on immediately. I explained to him that I could put him on the waiting list but it would probably be an hour or more wait.

Visibly upset he said he was going to call his wife and see what she wanted to do. I said OK and went on to helping other customers. About 5 minutes later the house phone rings and its the same guy. He begins spewing obscenities at me and accusing me of giving lanes out to a woman because she was a friend of mine and I had no idea what he was talking about. The sense of entitlement is as prevalent as ever.

On the other side of it I was the customer and I was going in to Best Buy to get a new HDTV for video games. I was looking around the TV section and picked out my TV and an employee asked if I needed help. I told him what I was getting the TV for and he told me I needed all of these extra cables and add ons to actually get my games in HD.

He took me over to the video game section with these accesories and to get them wouldve added another $180 to my $800 TV purchase. Now I knew he was BSing me but I wasnt rude or combative with him I just politely said thank you for your help, he walked off, I put the TV down and left. I then went to Conn's the next day, got a bigger TV with better resolution for less.

mrx19869:

mr_rubino:

mrx19869:
sorry this guy this an idiot, keeping customers happy overrides store and company policy almost all the time. Especially in a place where you can shrink wrap a product to make it like new. Or sell it at used price of 55$ cause ive seen brand new games at a used price of that..

But basically my point is... the customer is always right especially in retail. and game-stop employees are usually retarded. (my prof is in the article)

Ha. That's funny. Your didn't even try to sound convincing and your grasp on sentence structure is abysmal as a bonus. You'd best find some place where that lazy crap will fly if that's the best you can do. This is no place for amateurs.

Way to go for the negative, however it would have been nice if you made comments on what I had to say, and not just the typos I created (yes I probably should have proofread), but thats not my point.

Actually this is a place for amateurs, because none of us get paid.

So if you would like to say something about my opinion here is your chance. I could be wrong but your most likely one of those gamestop employees that I called retarded.

EDIT: People in glass houses should not throw stones... before you criticize my sentence structure maybe you should check your own first..

Well I got you to use capitalization (mostly), but it's not as your reply post actually said anything. You just threw down some half-thought-out sentences and treated them as separate paragraphs. Yeah, I got the whole "herp a derp gamestop" thing from your first post, but this was your chance to elaborate or... y'know... say something relevant.

I'll put it in language easier to understand: You didn't make a point. So it was funny when you said "my point is..." and then just typed out some cliche nonsense that you didn't even make an argument for in the text.

I personally haven't dealt with a ton of crazy people (hardware/garden supply store grunt, here), but I do get hagglers. Constantly.

"Hey, this display fountain is the last you have, right? Can I get it for 50% off?"

"Hey, these plants are on clearance, I'll buy 'em all for an extra 25% off."

"Hey, this string trimmer's box is open. Can I get a discount?"

Being a lowly grunt myself, I'm only authorized to give a 10% discount; anything more, and I have to call a manager to have them talk to the customer. But there doesn't seem to be any set rule on how much a manager can offer, so sometimes it goes like this...

"Sorry, all we can do is 10% off."

And sometimes it goes like this...

"Well, sure, we can do 50% off. Kavonde here can load it up for you!"

Well, then the guy who successfully haggled a discount goes home and tells his friends, and a few days later, I hear, "Hey, my friend Bob got this mower for $200. Can I get that deal, too?"

Sigh.

I was actually able to return a new game I bought at an EB games, but it was a computer game and was never shrink wrapped, and looked like it had been gutted by the store anyway. I never return my new games for my 360.

Hah! He should have taken the game off of her and refunded her for a Used copy ...it would have taught her a Valuable lesson in Life (that you don't always get to have your way) AND she wouldn't have had any excuse to call the District-Manager
-Flawless Victory >:D

Quite frankly, I don't think idiots should be pandered to. Your manager is a weak-willed loser who is so damn scared of offending ANYONE that he changes the rules just to make entitled bitches feel like they're in the right, when they aren't.

My local gamestop let me return a new game, despite the fact that I'd opened it. You see, the man behind the counter made a mistake by saying that a game was four-player splitscreen, when it wasn't. So I bought it, with splitscreen being the only reason I bought it, and forgot to check the box. When I explained that the reason that I'd bought the game in the first place was because of four-player, he said "screw the rules" and gave me my money back. He's also just an all around cool guy, and I hope I didn't get him in trouble or anything.

Great article. Businesses always bend over backwards. Sometimes its not worth the negativity such an incident can build.

Wow. That's just awful. You would think if she was so uncertain, she could've taken up the used just long enough to find out if her kids would like it or not and, if they did, replace the used with a shiny new one if she's so discerning. She did not deserve that refund, especially after throwing the game hard enough to leave a mark in the sidewalk.

Honestly, though, not all used games are bad. In fact, I have several used games that are great. I don't want to undermine younger consumers' tastes or anything but would a young kid really even care that much about the game being used as long as it's in good playable condition? I bet it was more of Soccer Mom's personal image and doting preferences than their own opinion on used copies.

Onyx Oblivion:
I hate people like that...who don't listen and then feel entitled.

Spoiled baby boomers and their kids. Everything on a silver plate.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here