17 November 2011
A Retail Rant
As some of you may know, I recently acquired a holiday gig at GameStop. For the non-gamers, GameStop is a video game shop that specializes in selling tons of pre-owned games, systems and such things. Sounds like a job I could get into, right?
I'm starting to think that might be wrong. I've been there for 3-4ish weeks now and have to some amazing conclusions about this job. And They all make me wonder a few things. Like, am I really that much of a gamer? I like to think I enjoy video games as much as the next person. I love certain game series to the point that I will get them as soon as they're out. I own trinkets based on said games also. Hell, I even have a tattoo for one of the games that I grew up playing. But I go into this job and listen to the staff and customers talking and I think "jeeze, maybe I DON'T know much about games.."
I'm also coming to the conclusion that I HATE rewards/member cards. I understand what they're generally good for. I get that companies can see how business is doing by how many people use these cards. But you know what I hate? And I've said this a million times for Petco also, I HATE that I am forced to stand there and force these cards down people's throats. Specially when they cost money. I've been buying my games at GameStop for years now, and in all those years have never owned one of their Power Up Rewards cards. I don't want to spend $14 a year on a card I'm never going to use. "But it comes with a year subscription to the worlds most popular gaming magazine!" argues my boss. Yeah, and I could write a short story, print it and put on the cover "world's best short story", doesn't mean its true. And the magazine is mostly compromised of things around Sony and Xbox. I don't own either, and never plan to. Also, I'm lucky if I buy one or two games every two or three years. How often do Pokemon and Zelda games come out? So no. I'm not going to force silly cards down people's throats that I myself really have no interest in.
The speed at which they expect you to learn things is another thing I'm getting irritant with. I understand the holidays are around the corner. This is not my first retail holiday season. I like to think I'm a retail vet when it comes to Xmas. I understand you need me and the other girl to learn pretty fast. But, if you want me to learn this shit, would it not be prudent to schedule me more than 4hrs a week? And during those 4hrs, don't expect me to learn to run your terribly set up register system, how to sort, gut, and file all the games in the store, pay attention to every person in the store, and then throw manager-type end of the day paperwork at me and expect me to just know it like I'm Kreskin or something. And don't give me "oh its easy" when it's really not. Why and how am I supposed to know what the year to date percentage of your trade in value is? Why is it that I need to know near calculus to do something that is obviously the manager's work? You know what "Take the YTD Sales ÷ WTD Pre-owned x The % of Sales - Yearly blahablahablaha" means to me? Absolutely nothing. Nothing what so ever. So don't give me a snarky attitude when I look at it and then you with a most lost and confused expression.
So all in all, working for GameStop is going to be a massive test of my patience. As much as I need a 2nd job, or well, a single full time job, I really don't want to stay after the holiday. I have to say, I pretty much hate this job and I've only been there 3 days. So a warning to all you nerds out there who "OMG I wanna work at a video game store!", It's not all standing around playing games and talking nerdy with each other. You better be able to do 15 things at once, and perfectly on your first day, or you're out. The perks are pretty nice, I guess, but not worth it for the level of stress you will have to deal with, not due to customers, but due to the work environment. I've been with Petco for 4yrs, and have dealt with some pretty dumb shit in that time, but GameStop has made me much more frustrated in 3 short shifts than Petco has made me on its worst days.