Tales From Video Game Retail – Peeves and Mistakes

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During College I used to work at a Best Buy and then later a GameStop. If you have ever worked retail you will understand the pain. Customers are almost never right. I took a little time to write down some of my most memorable stories and interactions. I hope you enjoy some of these more than I did when I experienced them!

My Biggest Peeve

I would always put a lot of time and effort into customer interactions to make sure they got exactly what they needed. Often I would spend 30 to 60 minutes with a customer getting them ready to go with a full console setup, then bring them to the front to ring up their purchase.

They would then turn to my male co-worker at the next register and ask him his opinion about one of the games, as if I had suddenly become invisible. No, no. Not me, not the one who has been working with them for an hour. The answer from my co-worker would usually something like, “You should ask Angie, she has played it…”

Cue surprised expression from customer. This happened pretty regularly. They would assume I knew about the hardware but hadn’t actually played any games, because… reasons?

I don’t think customers realized how rude this behavior came off as. I would never see this happen with my male co-workers when the situation was reversed. Never ever.

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The Time I was an Accidental Hypocrite

Once a tiny, old, white haired lady came into my department during the holidays and was perusing the Nintendo DS games. I asked her if she would like some assistance choosing Christmas presents and she just laughs, holding up a JRPG called Golden Sun, “No, dear, this is for me!” I told her I thought it was a fantastic hobby! That taught me not to assume even with people my grandma’s age.

The Gate Keeping

Less a story but just… those guys who start quizzing you incredulously about your expertise in specific games because they clearly don’t believe you could have ever possibly played it. This would never happen to my male co-workers, yet this would occur at least two or three times a week to me. “You like Final Fantasy? Well what’s the name Yuna’s second cousin once removed, huh? What’s Valefor’s favorite snack?”

I once had a guy follow me around my department at Best Buy while I was stocking product, just relentlessly, aggressively interrogating me about the games I played and how much I knew about them, as if he was trying to catch me in a lie. It was so bizarre.

The New Release Addict

A retired fellow a bit older than my dad would come in every week on Tuesdays (new release day). He would saunter up to the counter and greet me in a jolly tone: “ANGIE, what are the new games this week! Give me aaaall the good stuff!” He would then proceed to buy a stack of every well reviewed new release title for every current generation console. Talk about disposable income!

The dude would finish ALL OF THOSE games by the next Tuesday, come back at his usual time, trade them all in and buy another round of new releases. It was amazing! This man was a gaming monster! He would always insist on tipping me despite my protests, and my manager turned a blind eye to it and would say something like “Enjoy your free lunch”.

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The Time I Guessed the Wrong Gender

One day I was assisting an African American couple and their adorable toddler in my department. Their toddler was clinging to the mom’s legs and had the prettiest long hair in braids, so at some point during the conversion I said as much to her parents, “I love her braids, they are so cute!”

The mother gets the most sour expression I’ve ever seen and my instantly heart drops into my stomach. Oh no.

“Uh, he’s a boy…” The mom said, obviously cross. I didn’t know what to say and stammered an apology. I was absolutely mortified.

After a moment of awkward, tense silence, the father actually burst out laughing hysterically, bending over and slapping his thighs. “I TOLD you—” he managed to get out between breathless laughs, “Woman, I TOLD YOU those braids make him look like a girl!”

Whew…

Thank you for reading!

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9 comments on “Tales From Video Game Retail – Peeves and Mistakes”

  1. Relate so hard to the gate keeping. I went to buy Dark Souls Remastered recently and the guy at the register asks if the game is for me or someone else. I tell him it’s for me, and he launches into this giant speech about how hard the game is, and how I should do some research so I know what I’m getting in to. Normally I try not to be “that person” but I couldn’t help but respond “Well I managed to get the platinum trophy in the PS3 version, so I’ll probably be okay” and the look on his face was sooo satisfying.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One of my friends works at GameStop that’s near our school & every other week he has some new horror story. Either it’s a customer or something their management did that makes you question common sense. I hate going into Gamestop & often end up feeling uncomfortable at the ones around here & have been trying to support a little mom & pop store.

    Liked by 1 person

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