The retail industry is not known for its ethics. Let’s just be completely honest about this, retail is bullshit. But you’re never really exposed to precisely how bad the retail industry is until you work in it. For many gamers, the idea of working in a video game store seems like a dream job. After all, we all love video games so why not work in the industry?
The simple answer is that working in the retail sector of the video game industry exposes you to the unjustifiable bullshit that is rampant throughout. Corruption, backstabbing… these are all frequent when working in a video game store. While people constantly come in and say “Wow, you work in a games store, that must be so much fun!” The reality is anything but.
Here’s the shocking truth about working in a video game store.
SELL THIS OR WE’LL PUNISH YOU!
When you work in a video game store you are forced to sell X amount of numerous different items. You don’t get commission for this. You don’t get a plus. You just get warned that if you don’t sell enough items your hours will be cut. Cut hours are something most of us can’t afford. Cut hours means not paying the bills, not having enough money to but the groceries, or not being able to have any sort of a social life whatsoever.
Customers start to hate you
Because you’re forced to sell X number of items, you’re constantly pushing your customers to buy stuff. That’s not because you want them to buy more—not commission, after all—it’s just because you want to keep your job. So you try to make the sale you need to keep your job, and hey presto the customer has a go at you for being too “In their face” or too pushy. Literally, you’re between a rock and a hard place. You can’t please both the customer and the manger, it’s impossible.
The manager hates you because the customer hates you because…
Ironically, even if you manage to get the customer to buy enough goods to please your manager, your manager may end up hating you regardless. Why? Because the customer who you were forced to sell extra goods to then goes to the manager and tells them they were given bad service. At this point, instead of thinking “We need to change our policies” they think “We need to blame the employee for absolutely everything.” You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.
BUY PRE OWNED… NOW!
Gaming stores make more money if the customer purchases pre-owned goods. So guess what? The manager forces you to stuff pre-owned goods in the customers face. Problem is the customer doesn’t actually want pre-owned goods because they’re often not that much cheaper and, well, they’re pre owned. So you force the pre owned crap down the customers face and again the customer thinks you’re a grand a-hole.
Being a girl in a gaming store is even worse than being a guy. Sorry, but it just is. Why? Because sexual harassment, that’s why. As a girl gamer in a game store you’re constantly being hit on by guys. And apparently (according to management) you should be okay with that! In no way should you be offended at the fact that you cannot do your job without being hit on by guys. How this is justifiable I honestly do not know. But the reality is that you need your job to live so you can’t piss off your manager, so if you’re manager tells you to “shut up and deal with it” then that should be a-okay. And what’s the answer to this? No clue.
And at the end of the day, you lose your job and hate games
Before long, you start to lose the very love of games that got you into gaming in the first place. Don’t get me wrong I hate saying that, but when you’re exposed to the corruption and bullshit of the industry, you look at it from a different perspective. I’ve quit my job, because I refuse to let my job ruin my love for games. I’m now looking for another job. I’ll keep you guys posted.
Thanks for reading.
This was a guest post written by our close friend and fellow journalist Tammy Bridgewater. Join us on our Facebook pages for more articles from Tammy.