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Topic: Tales from GameStop  (Read 6572 times)

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« on: November 03, 2014, 10:12:28 pm »
So, as I've mentioned elsewhere, I work at GameStop. As one might imagine, this has lent me very deep and professional insight into the many perils of the dudebro condition. Some of my best stories, unfortunately, are ones that I am not at liberty to share; however, there are others yet that do not, in fact, break company policy, and are therefore ripe for the picking. Or for the reading. You know, whichever.

Keep in mind that I do not represent GameStop as a company, nor do my experiences or opinions mirror those of the company or its other employees. I'm just one small worker in an intricate hive.

Anyway, one event in particular that will always remain strong in my mind is actually from a time when I was only a backup keyholder (basically one step up from entry-level scrub). The manager on duty that night was on break at the time, and there were a total of four people aside from him and me in the store: two Asian men who were in there together (they didn't speak any English and were probably Korean or Chinese, judging by what I heard from them and the general immigrant demographics locally), and a mother with her son.

The mother was an older lady, probably in her fifties or sixties, and her son looked like he could be in his twenties, possibly older. He couldn't say his Ls or Rs and pronounced them instead as Ws. He was also spoiled as all hell and his mother was an enabler. I remembered these two coming in a few weeks ago, and the manchild was looking for a Pokemon game. Thing is, those games are still kind of pricey, even used, and the mother didn't want to spend a whole lot of money. They ended up buying Conquest, which is a Pokemon-themed SRPG and substantially cheaper than the mainline games. It's a fun game, and I liked it a lot, but it's decidedly not for everyone, given its SRPG nature. The manchild clearly had had no interest from the beginning; when they brought it in to bring it back, the kid had not even played it once.

Unfortunately, due to our return policies, I couldn't give them a refund or even the full value in store credit. I offered them the trade value and the mother very politely accepted for her reticent son, and the two of them went to look around the store for something to get instead. The manchild made a beeline for the DS accessories section, and he picked out an Action Replay, which is a cheating device. Apparently he wanted to use it to hack rare Pokemon into his games. The mom looked suspicious and called me over and asked if it was a cheating device, to which I answered that yes, it was, though there's some ethical debate regarding the matter. The mother frowned and turned to her son and told him to put it back, that they'd get something else. Naturally, in true manchild fashion, the guy threw a fit.

He refused to put the device back and stomped on the floor and screamed at his mom that the device was FINE, it was OKAY, that it's NOT CHEATING and he'd been WANTING THIS DEVICE FOW YEAWS and the mom had PWOMISED they could GET SOMETHING HE WEAWWY WANTED. The mother was having none of this and tried to grab for the item, but he snatched it away and started stamping all around the room, ranting over and over about how she'd pwomised this and that and that he was not weaving the stowe untiw he got his Action Wepway. It got to a point where the mom finally just came over and apologized and took back the game they'd been wanting to trade in and made to leave the store. The kid then walked up to the front of the door, spread his arms and legs out in front of it, and yelled, very loudly, "I'M NOT WEAVING UNTIW I GET MY ACTION WEPWAY." He was red in the face and sobbing and very, very angry. It was a lot like watching a toddler throw a temper tantrum.

Meanwhile, I was kind of freaking out because I didn't know if this guy was gonna get violent or not (and at the same time trying really hard not to laugh because this was so fucking ridiculous and hilarious, seriously), and the two other men were just looking on with raised eyebrows and probably thinking to themselves, "Damn, these Americans are fucking crazy." My manager was still in the back room, too, so I was completely stranded there with no authority to kick the guy out. Thankfully, the mother finally managed to wrench the item from her kid's hand and passed it over to me with a sympathetic look and an apology, and she dragged him out, kicking and screaming.

To this day, I can't see the words "Action Replay" without reading them in my head in an Elmer Fudd voice, complete with whining and screaming and the stomping of feet.

Also, I haven't seen those two since.
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One Of The Crappy Pokemon That Nobody Likes

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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2014, 11:15:33 pm »
I was prepared for insane nerd stories. I was not prepared for this.

Thank you. Take the bulb!

Also I have a question. As you're probably aware, GameStop's been participating in a number of promotional giveaways for Pokemon X and Y. They get a bunch of tickets with codes printed on them, people come in and ask for the tickets, then they can redeem the codes online to download rare Pokemon or items.

This is a new way to give out Pokemon/items, and because of this, I've seen a ton of tweets and forum posts from people asking GameStop employees to "help them out" by e-mailing some event codes to them. Because y'know, it's hard to go to the store and most of the time they're out anyway! They never directly ask specific employees, but rather they usually just shout into the aether and hope some random stranger will message them with a code. So my question is: wouldn't it be completely against company policy to e-mail codes to people over the internet? Those events are meant to get potential buyers into the store, so it'd be nuts to just skip over the whole "possibly selling an extra copy of Hyrule Warriors" business and handing those things out for free.

Basically I'm just wondering how aggravated I should be with the people who are e-begging for little fictional monsters.

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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2014, 12:24:01 am »
I was prepared for insane nerd stories. I was not prepared for this.

Oh, it gets worse. I'll post another tomorrow.

wouldn't it be completely against company policy to e-mail codes to people over the internet?

Yes. Yes, it is. What a lot of people don't realize is that they can just call Nintendo to get a backup code by telling them their local GS is out of the cards. All of the stores in our area were out of Diancie codes within the first three days of giving them out, and boy, I've had to turn a lot of people away with the bad news. Some have taken it more pleasantly than others.

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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2014, 12:44:48 am »
Oh man, that's good to know.

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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2014, 02:30:51 am »
That doesn't seem that weird, just some kid throwing a tantrum.  I mean, sure, spoiled kids are brats but--
in his twenties
Holy shit.  I did not read carefully the first time.  The way he acted I was guessing like, eight or nine.

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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2014, 07:18:07 am »
This thread is already great. Can't wait to hear more.

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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2014, 08:23:24 pm »
Yes. Yes, it is. What a lot of people don't realize is that they can just call Nintendo to get a backup code by telling them their local GS is out of the cards. All of the stores in our area were out of Diancie codes within the first three days of giving them out, and boy, I've had to turn a lot of people away with the bad news. Some have taken it more pleasantly than others.

Sounds like another round of stories!

Also can you seriously do that? Had I called up Nintendo, could I have gotten a Diancie code directly from them? Because man, my town's super into gaming and my GameStop has never had an event ticket when I've stopped by. That'd be pretty convenient, honestly.

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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2014, 10:18:26 pm »
Also can you seriously do that? Had I called up Nintendo, could I have gotten a Diancie code directly from them? Because man, my town's super into gaming and my GameStop has never had an event ticket when I've stopped by. That'd be pretty convenient, honestly.
Yup. Just call 1-800-255-3700, tell them your local GS is out of codes, and you've got yourself a backup code. Enjoy! If you ever forget the 800 number, it's on the back of your 3DS. Obviously this applies to US residents only.

Anyway, since you've all been waiting so patiently, it's time for another tale. Today's is the story of the Oblivion Lady.

So I live and work in a good-sized metropolitan area, and it's unfortunately kinda known for its segregation. To the north is a large impoverished neighborhood. Low-income housing, homeless people, drug rings, gang conflict, break-ins, armed robberies, shady stores, all that fun stuff. To the east is our local university as well as a big teaching hospital that draws in a lot of foreign students and doctors. Hipsters also tend to gravitate toward that area since it's where a lot of hipster spots are. To the south is a community of mostly Mexican families and stores. Lastly, out west is where all the rich white yuppies live.

Our store is situated in the northeastern area of town, but not north enough to be in the ghetto and not east enough to be in hipsterland. We are the northernmost GS in the city, though, so a good 75% of our clientele is from the north. Perhaps predictably, this also means that we regularly cater to customers who've just come in from smoking a bowl in the parking lot, who are trying to sell us stolen product, or who were trying to panhandle outside and needed to duck away from the cops momentarily. Today's story regards the latter sort.

Over the course of my employment at the store, we've had several regular panhandlers out on the adjacent street, but one in particular, a middle-aged, very enthusiastic, very hyperactive lady, had a habit for a while of coming into our store and asking to use our phone in between heckling people for drugs or money. She would often come in and follow customers around the store and whisper to them and generally make them uncomfortable, but when she wasn't doing this, she had a habit of asking some very strange questions about "Oblivion." It usually started with gems such as these:

"I'm looking for a certain game where you play as that magic guy, and he goes through the water."
"I want to get this Oblivion game, but I want to make sure it's the right one."
"What do I need to play Oblivion? I really want to get Oblivion."
"Do you guys have Oblivion? It's that game with that wizard and there's this part where you go through the water."
"Can I see the case for Oblivion? I really want to get it but I want to make sure it's the right one. I'll know it when I see it. It has these pictures on the back."

As you can see, there were trends to this. For one thing, she was sure that we sold more than one game with "Oblivion" in its name; secondly, she was thoroughly convinced that we would know what she was talking about with this mage who "goes through the water" and that no other game fits those criteria; and thirdly, she had no idea what video games actually were. The latter became abundantly clear the more we talked with her to try to understand what she apparently wanted.

She didn't know about different consoles or the fact that they couldn't play discs that weren't specifically designed to be played in those consoles. She also didn't know that she needed a TV set or a controller or electricity. She asked me multiple times if she could just take the game disc and put it in her car's CD player to use it, and she also was very disappointed when I told her that yes, you do need to actually play the game, you can't just unplug the controller and let the game play itself.

She was also apparently not aware of the fact that our prices aren't negotiable, because she tried to offer us $20 for an Xbox 360 deck, no cords or controller...which is not something that we sell anyway. The concept of "extra content" was also a mystery to her; figuring she meant either the 360 or PS3 editions, or the regular and GOTY editions, when she said there were two Oblivions, I explained the difference to her, and she just kept asking the same questions over and over anyway, this and that about the mage who goes through the water.

Unfortunately, given the sheer number of times she came back in with the same exact questions, even months apart, I don't think she ever committed any of the stuff we ever told her to memory. I haven't seen her lately, though. I wonder if she ever got arrested.
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« Last Edit: November 18, 2014, 04:32:15 am by portaxx »

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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2014, 09:56:47 pm »
So, holy shit, speak of the devil. I saw Oblivion Lady again this morning, after months of not running into her. This time I had the misfortune of interacting with her when I was off the clock and I was leaving the store to get drinks for me and my coworker. I saw her immediately and hoped she wouldn't recognize me, but she sure as hell did, and she asked me, "If I'm on a motel TV, like and I want that box to play that game, you know, that Oblivion, what's like the starting price for that box? I think the...the X3?"

...yeah i kinda wrote it down almost immediately after i got back into the store because i knew the fine people of ballpit would want to know about this lolol

So apparently she's currently living in a motel and still fucking wants an xbox 360 to play Oblivion. Even after MONTHS UPON MONTHS of asking the same exact questions. At this point I'm almost positive she's just fucking with us.
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2014, 10:23:14 pm »
Oblivion does have a part right near the start where you go through the water: after you leave the sewer you're supposed to kinda loop around into the city, but almost everybody just goes straight forward and puddles about in the moat for a bit. It's right in front of you, and there's pretty ruins on the other side. Maybe she's played like, the first half hour of Oblivion and the experience stuck with her.

Also, you have to pick a star sign and one of the first ones is THE WIZARD.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 10:25:49 pm by Muffinator »

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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2014, 06:30:39 am »
So apparently she's currently living in a motel and still fucking wants an xbox 360 to play Oblivion. Even after MONTHS UPON MONTHS of asking the same exact questions. At this point I'm almost positive she's just fucking with us.

Maybe she thinks she's stuck in a Groundhog-Day-style time loop and has to ask everyone the same questions because they won't remember she asked them already.

Maybe, every day, she thinks she has to restart her Oblivion game, and do the tutorial dungeon, and then swim her wizard across the river outside of the Imperial city.

Every day. Since 2006.

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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2014, 06:47:40 am »
That is the weirdest shit.

Is she burned out on drugs/crazy?

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« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2014, 02:28:21 pm »
Maybe she thinks she's stuck in a Groundhog-Day-style time loop and has to ask everyone the same questions because they won't remember she asked them already.

Maybe, every day, she thinks she has to restart her Oblivion game, and do the tutorial dungeon, and then swim her wizard across the river outside of the Imperial city.

Every day. Since 2006.
I like this idea.

Is she burned out on drugs/crazy?
Judging by her habits of stalking customers and panhandling outside the building for drugs? Both.

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« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2014, 02:23:25 pm »
So, this one isn't a story, it's more like a protip, but I figured I'd post it anyway because it may be relevant to some of y'all.

So, we sell pre-owned systems, right? And they come in two different headings, Used and Refurbished. Most people would think Refurbished > Used since it implies the thing has been wiped and cleaned and swanked up. In actuality, buying a refurbed console is a roll of the dice. Refurbed handhelds are usually not a problem, and the 3DSes actually come with a screen protector, a cleaning cloth, and a pair of earbuds, which is more than you get when you buy a new one, just sayin'. They also weren't very likely defective when we got them. General policy is just to ship out all the handhelds we buy so the warehouse can swank them up.

But yeah, like, the home consoles? 360s, PS3s, all that fun stuff? When we "refurbish" a home console, it basically means that when we had it traded in to us at the store, it was defective, meaning it had a red ring of death, the cords were bad, the controller was trashed, you know, that kind of thing, so we shipped it to the warehouse to fix it up. Unfortunately, the warehouse staff are incompetent as fuck and half the time don't actually do anything with the stuff they're sent, so we get the stuff sent back to us and it's still defective. Same goes for when they send us discs back from the warehouse. We'll get them, they've still got ring scratches or whatever. Well, fuck. Right?

On the other hand, our "used" systems have been tested out at the stores, reformatted, guaranteed to work or your money back. They might not be as clean or fancy, but at least you're not gonna take it home and suddenly have it fall apart in your hands. Most likely, anyway.

So, yeah, moral of the story? Don't pay extra for a "refurbished" console unless it's a 3DS or a Vita or something. We get so many people bringing them back with complaints that it ain't even funny.
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« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2014, 07:35:25 pm »
Good to know! I'll have to share that with my friends.

Also thanks for the heads-up on the code stuff! I called up Nintendo and after they confirmed that it was indeed nearly impossible to grab a code from my local stores, they e-mailed me one right away. So now I have a Diancie in my game ^___^

Though I did have to edit your post a little. Originally there was a typo in the number that instead lead me to some kind of scammer, because it was just a recording telling me that I already won(!!!!) a free(!!!!!!) trip to the Caribbean(!!!!!!!!!!!) and wanted me to "claim my prize". But it's fixed now!