Last week, we introduced you to eight current or former game store clerks in a feature titled, appropriately enough, Confessions of a Game Store Clerk.
Given complete anonymity and no-rules freedom, they shared their best, their worst and their ugliest retail experiences with us. We learned the appalling truth behind inane corporate policies. We heard the ridiculous ranting of crazy, irate customers. And we even learned the surprising sins of the employees themselves. We asked our game store clerks to tell us everything and, man, did they deliver.
And yet... we knew they could give us more. We knew they still had that "one story" left to share. That ONE amazing, unbelievable tale of retail hell that gets dragged out every time someone wants to know what it's like to "play videogames all day." What follows are the strange, hilarious or just plain scary memories they came back to us with. Prepare to be shocked all over again.
"Um... okay, our store has these ticket packs. We don't put out newer games, we use ticket packs. They dangle from fasteners or Velcro in a little pouch and you take the ticket from the pack to buy your game. Well, somebody had taken a ticket pack, thrown the tickets away, and took a shit in it. That person then used the Velcro to stick it to the bathroom wall. I got to discover this and had a lot of fun showing it to people. It was steamy and moisture had collected on the inside. So gross. So classic."
"We have this customer known as Carpet Dweller. He never showers and has the worst stench that I've ever breathed into my nostrils. His fingers are covered in these grubby band aids that look like they haven't been changed in a year. He can't speak clearly and asks the same questions every time he's come in to the store. We call him Carpet Dweller because one day he sat on the floor for three hours and we had to call security to make him leave. Anyway, my manager's not the type of guy that handles these types of customers with any tact at all. He grabs a bottle of air freshener, walks around the counter and begins to spray this guy with fresh autumn scent. Carpet Dweller says something in his alien language and leaves. My manager was my hero that day."
"It was near closing time during the pre-Christmas season. A customer bought a used GBA and she asked why it didn't come in a box. The manager replied that used systems aren't required to be in-box when they're traded in. She asked if she could have one of the empty display boxes on the shelf and he said she couldn't. If he did it for her, he'd be expected to do it for everyone, and there just weren't enough display boxes to go around. After a few minutes of back-and-forth, she started to get visibly agitated. Finally, she bit out 'So it's not really that you can't give it to me, it's that you won't. Right?' The manager just shrugged and said 'Basically, yeah.' She turns and storms away, and when she gets to the doorway, she turns around and says 'I hope y'all have a f***ed up Christmas!' Tis the season."
"Last Christmas season, this man pulled a large kitchen knife from his jacket while in the mall arcade and proceeded to stab someone with it. Still wielding the bloody knife and covered in blood himself, he walked through the food court. Passing by the mall security station, he decided to carve up their monitors. He then made his way past a rare action figure kiosk, nabbing a toy as he walked by. Next was the Sunglass Hut located directly outside the store I used to work at, where he smashed out their display cases and equipped his newly-acquired shades. He continued his trek all the way to Best Buy. Crowds of people stampeded out the front entrance, trying to get away from the shade-donning, bloody knife and action figure-wielding maniac that had somehow managed to make it from one end of the mall to the other without being stopped by security or police. Apparently not liking any of Best Buy's merchandise, he walked back into the mall and toward the center where the Christmas display was set up. Deciding he needed a tree of his own, he grabbed one by the top and proceeded to drag it with him back toward the food court, much like a caveman claiming his wife. Again, he passed the security station without any trouble. Once in the food court, he was finally tackled by a guy waiting in line at one of the restaurants."
"One summer, on a bit of a hot day, this guy walks in and says, 'Man it's hot out there!' I say, 'Yeah, it's a scorcher, summertime, man.' He takes two more steps into the store then says, 'You know, I have a metal plate in my head.' He then proceeds to tell be about how he had been riding a motorcycle and been hit by cops and had to have a plate put in his head. This story takes about eighteen minutes from beginning to end. I say, 'Wow, that sucks man, you okay?' He says 'Yeah,' then walks out the door. About two hours later, as I'm deep in my inventory counts, the door opens and a customer walks in; I don't look up. The customer says, 'Man, it's hot out there.' I say, 'Yeah, it's a scorcher, summertime, man.' The customer says, 'You know, I have a metal plate in my head,' and proceeds to tell the exact same story word for word as if the previous events had never happened. Those were thirty-six of the longest minutes of my life."
"We used to have the same young kid come in and browse our store for about an hour every day, by himself. We knew it was only a matter of time until he tried to steal something. One day he leaves suddenly, and walks back in about ten minutes later with a PS1 LCD screen asking what the trade-in value is. I take it from him, then walk over to our accessory wall and sure enough, the wrapper for a PS1 LCD screen lying on the floor. I walk back to counter, stand completely still and stare silently into his moronic soul until he runs out and never comes back. I should mention that there were two other stores in the same chain within walking distance. He could have traded it in at either one, though I guess his brilliant criminal mind didn't consider that."
"We were robbed by the same 14 year-old three times. The first time it was snatch-and-run with a PSP and he got away with it. The second time I was working by myself and the same kid came in, perused the store and ended up 'sticking me up' and getting away with another PSP. It was the 'finger in the jacket' trick; I knew he didn't have a gun but we're told by the company not to be heroes and there was no way I was sticking my neck out for the store on the off chance he was packing. The fun part is, before he robbed me he happened to tell him he was in the previous Sunday trading in a game, and even told me which game. When the police arrived I had Sunday's paperwork out, and his name, address and phone number for the cops to go pay him a visit. I ended up having to testify against him in court, where the crime was downgraded from Armed Robbery to Theft From Person. It wasn't my PSP, stupid court. He just got probation. I recently found out that the kid hit the store again about two months after I left, was caught again obviously, and I'm sure faces more dire and appropriate consequences. Idiot."