If you're like me and most gamers, at some in your point you've wanted to work in your local Game store. What could be better thank working with your hobby? Getting paid to talk to people about video games seems like a dream job. Well, I'm here to tell you that the dream turns into a horrible nightmare.
Now, for the record, I don't work at a Gamestop, so all those people who complain about the corporations they work for forcing them to sell useless junk and beg for preorders doesn't apply. Even if it did, I promise you, that is the LEAST of your worries.
Don't get me wrong, working in a retail environment where you're surrounded by something you love is pretty cool. You're an instant book of product knowledge and selling things to people becomes pretty easy if you have a pinch of charisma. However, selling games to people will probably end up being less than 1/4th of your job. The other 3 portions are a gauntlet of trials that would drive the most patient person insane.
The First Trial: Babysitting
Welcome to your store
Did you know as a store clerk, you are a certified childcare official? Wait, you aren't? Well that won't stop people from abandoning their hellspawn and fleeing the country immediately. This might be okay if the kids were well behaved, but they are ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS terrible. They will get in the way of actual customers, knock things over, and bog you down with hundreds of pointless questions. They will never buy anything and you will have to deal with them for no less than half of your shift.
But these will seem like a breath of fresh air when you come across...
The Second Trial: Filthy, Disgusting Junk
Every game store deals in used product. Its our biggest money maker, so taking trades is a pretty important responsibility. Unfortunately, as it stands, not everyone has the same standards of quality, cleanliness, or dignity as the rest of us, and they will bring their disgusting garbage to trade in. You will have to waste a boatload of time to sift through this often roach infested, broken garbage to find what two items you can actually take in. These people will get terribly upset that they are only getting $0.10 for their nearly destroyed copies of Madden 2005 and NCAA 2005 and will storm out with their stuff resulting in a giant waste of time.
There are three cases in which I have literally almost had to vomit whilst working at my local game store.
1) A man literally brought in trashbags of dust and dirt covered systems. They were all broken and were littered with dead roaches. I nearly vomited when I opened the gamecube tray and saw there had been a roach cut in half by the disc tray closing. After telling him we couldn't take any of it, he demanded to speak to a manager and asked him why we couldn't take it if "Ya'll are gone refurbish em anyway"
2) A man was trading in several ps2 games that looked like they had been aged 100 years. I opened his Eragon case and saw something tragic. It was the entire life cycle of some kind of bug. There was an egg casing, a couple shed skins, and a dead bug. That bug lived its whole life in that case. The only feeling more intense than my disgust was my overwhelming pity for the creature.
Yeah, something like that
3) Remember those translucent nintendo 64s that came in all sorts of colors? A filthy man tried to trade one in and it was a veritable roach HIVE. I damn near vomited on the spot.
The bottom line is, the only thing that's as bad as the filthy junk is the
The Third Trial: Terribly awkward, stupid, and sometimes disgusting people.
Where else in your life will you deal with every smug fat neckbeard, ignorant jerk, and psychotic crazy person ever. To give you a glimpse of your time as a clerk, here's one of my favorite customers
Its a man who cross dresses. He comes in as a man and talks about his wife. Then he comes in as a woman with a very disgusting man. Then he comes in as a man again and asks if we've seen his wife. So, if you're following, he thinks he is married to himself, and is cheating on himself. These psychos are not the norm, but they will show up repeatedly.
More irritating than the crazies are smug neckbeards. They hold some kind of contempt for you because you work in a video game store, and will challenge your video game knowledge at every turn. The most irritating of them will engage other customers. If a Mom asks for a Wii, I do not need some fat neckbeard asshole talking to her about shovelware(A term she for sure does not understand) and how she should consider getting a PS3.
The most irritating people are those who feel entitled to anything and everything. These people feel like they're entitled to some kind of royal service where I must pamper them regardless of how busy it is. They will be generally nice and ask a lot of questions, but will get incredibly surly with you once they try to do something outside of policy.
She shops at your store
This most often happens with returns. People will buy a brand new game, decide it sucks and try to bring it back for a full refund. You can't do that. They might feel justified if we didn't ask them to try it out 3 or 4 times (You can try things out where I work). They will bitch a moan and cry until they get their way, or they will leave vowing your ultimate destruction. Either way, its a very stressful endeavor that will leave you raging for hours.
Truth betold, working here isn't so bad. Its a great job with awesome benefits, and most of the people you meet are easygoing and fun. My co-workers are some of my best friends and we've had some pretty epic moments. I just wanted people to understand that its not all peaches and cream, and that it can be just as stressful and infuriating as any other job :D read