Confessions of a Game Store Clerk - Part Three

GamesRadar: Let's discuss a more specific kind of customer: the fanboy. Who are the most obnoxious?

#5: I hate to stereotype, but Xbox fanboys are the worst. They've got this weird obsession with getting Linux on their consoles, but then never use Linux as their actual desktop at home; it's always Windows. I work in computers for a living now, so this kind of thing continually annoys me.

#1: Along with the "my games look and sound better than yours" mentality, the Xbox / Xbox 360 fanboys also seem to have a "size is everything" stigma, directly associating the console's mass to its virility. But then I once had to listen to a conspiracy theorist rant for 20 minutes about how Microsoft was evil, how they lie about system defects and software flaws and how they make promises about features that they never deliver. Bear in mind, he was buying Sony merchandise at the time. Apparently, the irony escaped him.

#6: The Everquest, now World of Warcraft, fanboys. Yes, you could always get reservations out of them for the latest expansions, but these were the lamers that called the store every freaking day for two weeks prior to the game coming in. They'd be lined up outside your door before the store opened the morning of the release day. They'd follow the UPS guy through the mall like he was some sort of parade leader. They were passionate, but they were also generally smelly, greasy, overweight and extremely loud.

#2: It's to the point where I can gauge what many customers are going to buy just by looking at them. If it's a guy in his early twenties wearing a white hat and nice clothes, he's probably buying a sports game for PS2. If it's an elderly lady early in the day, she's probably going to buy a movie licensed game for Game Boy Advance because all she knows is that "Buddy loves that Shrek movie."

GamesRadar: Speaking of Shrek, what are other examples of terrible games selling well? Or great games selling depressingly poorly?

#2:Okami sold very poorly. We've still only sold the one copy of God of War 2 that I bought the day it came out. It took us forever to sell the single copy of Disgaea 2 we got in. I'm still the only person that's bought Hotel Dusk: Room 215. However, we quickly sell out of Horsez on DS and PS2 both, Hannah Montanna, Thrillville and Avatar.

#7:50 Cent Bulletproof... crap game, but it's sold like crazy. I don't get it.

#3: Why all those people bought the original State of Emergency, I'll never know. That game sucked so bad but sold so well.

GamesRadar: Getting back to generalities... do you feel you are mistreated as a game store employee? If so, how and by whom?

#4: Yes, mainly by customers.

#3: By far, the customers.

#7: The kids...

#8: The robberies...

#1: Spoiled kids, stuck-up parents, people who steal and/or blatantly exploit the return policy and think they can get away with it. Also, the pay sucks and the bigwigs see most employees as expendable. You're only as good as your last sales week.

#6: Game store employees are completely expendable. The company knows that there are at least a dozen kids dreaming about working there for every current employee. They don't make the effort to know you, or even back you on anything. They always assume the worst, whether it comes from another employee, or an outside source. I was fired, but it was the best thing that ever happened to me while I was working there. The store burns you out. You become bitter towards everything; your days off are generally spent in solitude because you can no longer stand people; and you have no energy to look for another job, even though you're miserable where you're at.

GamesRadar: Then why do you continue to work at a game store? Or why did you work there for as long as you did?

#2: I'm too lazy to take the initiative to find something better. I'm in a comfortable rut.

#1: My friends were there, and for a long time, I was too lazy to look for something better as well.

#3: It's easy and I'm very comfortable where I'm at. The bills get paid and I get to keep up on all the newest games.

#5: I worked there for just shy of five years because it was easy, I had seniority and I worked with most of my friends.

GamesRadar: Does the industry offer much room for career growth?

#7: If you want to be in retail your whole life, yes. Management is always opening up.

#5: Uh... if you want to be a retail store manager, that's your call. I feel genuinely sorry for people that end up going that road. It's depressing to think about.

#1: Honestly... no. There are really only two outcomes for a retail employee: they either rise through the ranks to eventually be assimilated into the hive-mind corporate miasma, or they simply plateau and stagnate, growing steadily more bitter at life in general.

GamesRadar: What can you take away from the job then?

#4: It is just a job...

#1: It's a great place to start out. It's an opportunity to develop and hone customer service skills, a place to interact with people who aren't trying to copy your homework and a chance to get accustomed to the "real world."

#6: Yes, as a part time job, it's great. It's a lot of fun, even though there is a lot of work involved. As soon as it becomes a full time job, you're stuck.

GamesRadar: What else do you learn?

#8: A lot about games.

#3: Patience. You have to have it in retail.

GamesRadar: Continuing to focus on the positive... what do you LOVE about the job?

#7: I love our regulars. When we get someone that comes in that is one of us, it makes our day.

#8: Being told you are a great person for helping them...

#3: I love the people I work with. These people have the same interests as me, so it's really easy to get along with them. The job itself is easy in its day-to-day aspects and we work as a great team to get them done.

#6: Working with my friends... and getting discounts on tons of crap that I really don't need.

#5: I loved working with my friends. I hate to admit it, but I loved acting like a pretentious asshat and talking down to people, too. C'mon, it's fun!

GamesRadar: What's the biggest perk?

#4: Discount and checking out games.

#2: Getting first dibs on games.

#1: And of course, free E3 admission rocked.

#5: Being surrounded by games is just fun.

GamesRadar: Wrapping up, what is your proudest moment as a game store employee?

#4: Winning a contest for most reservations.

#1: Being the #1 store in the district.

#7: The day I sold a 360 to a staunch Sony fanboy.

#8: Going to our managers conference and getting f'd up on the company's expense.

#3: The proudest moment for me was when a little boy's mother came into the store with a box of homemade cookies, brownies, popcorn, apples, oranges, you name it. She said it was to thank me and my staff for being so nice to her and her son. For her to take the time out of her day to do that for us made up for the years of abuse I've taken at the hands of shitty customers.


GamesRadar: Fine. Your most shameful moment then?

#2: The day I filled out the application.

GamesRadar: Okay... On that note, let's pose the final and perhaps most important question. Despite some bitterness, do you still love videogames as much as you did when you started the job?

#1: Still love 'em. Actually, more than anything, I miss 'em. When I left, I felt like I'd lost my best source of gaming info: firsthand experience. I know that if I still worked there, I'd be up on the latest and greatest, and my gamer skillz would pwn. But I'd also be broke.

#5: The same. And I do love having horror stories, so I have no regrets.

Return to the beginning of Confessions of a Game Store Clerk.

Nightmares of a Game Store Clerk
Bizarre, horrifying and explicit stories from real game store employees

Confessions of a Game Tester
Getting paid to play isn't all fun and giggles

50 Reasons You're a Crappy Customer
Actual retailers offer a first-hand account of exactly why you suck

The Top 7... Worst Jobs for Game Characters
Nobody wants to dig bottomless pits, but some poor sap has to do the work

Charlie Barratt
I enjoy sunshine, the company of kittens and turning frowns upside down. I am also a fan of sarcasm. Let's be friends!