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Surviving The Spiel Game

| ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Employees

(I am visiting the local game store for the first time in four months. This chain used to have a bad reputation for corporate forcing employees to pester customers, but in recent years they’ve gotten a lot better. At least until…)

New Employee: “Hi, can I help you find anything?”

Me: “No, thanks, just browsing.”

New Employee: “No problem. Is there anything you wanted to pre-order? You only need to put $5 down!”

Me: “No… thank you, still just browsing.”

(A few minutes later, as I’m checking out.)

New Employee: “Ah, I see you have our customer rewards card. Would you be interested in upgrading to the platinum card for $30 to get a discount on all your future purchases?”

Me: “No, thanks. I just want to buy the game.”

New Employee: “Are you sure? You also get a subscription to our magazine, delivered to your door every month.”

Me: “No, thanks.”

New Employee: “All right. Was there anything you wanted to pre-order while you were here?”

Me: “Still nope. Just want to buy the game.”

New Employee: “Can I interest you in $3 disc protection for your game?”

Me: “No, thank you. Just the game.”

New Employee: “All right, your purchase comes to $16!”

Me: “Can you level with me? Do they really force you to say that spiel to every customer?”

New Employee: “We get written up if we don’t.”

Me: “I’m so sorry. I’m pretty sure corporate has no idea that tactic just scares people away.”

New Employee: “No kidding.”

(Sometimes corporate is so out-of-touch with how humans actually interact. No one in that scenario, I, the employee, or the supervisor grinning from behind her, thought harassing customers with extra crap made people want to come back.)

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‘Force’ Your Way To The Front Of The Line

| Philadelphia, PA, USA | Employees, Geeks Rule

(I am standing in line waiting for the cashiers. While waiting, I’m watching the TV with one hand under my chin. An employee working around the store takes notice.)

Employee: “You look like you’re trying to lift something with your mind.”

(I thrust a hand out at a display and make a lifting gesture.)

Employee: *laughs* “Lift me out of this store.”

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This Call Was Destined To Be Fatality

| Edo. de México, Mexico | Employees, Geeks Rule

(I work in a video game store that also rents consoles per hour. When there are no customers, the owner allows us to play on the consoles. We have a phone, which is usually just to talk to our other locale, but for some days we’ve been getting calls from an airline that usually goes the same…)

Me: “[Business], what can I help you with?”

Sales Rep: “Good afternoon. I’m with [Airline] and I want to talk you about our special offers. Can I speak to the owner of the house?”

Me: “I told you, this is not a house. It’s a business.”

Sales Rep: “Would you still be interested in setting up a sales plan with us?”

Me: “I already said no. Please, stop calling.”

(One day I’m with another worker and he answers the call.)

Coworker: “It’s the airline guys again.”

Me: “You know what? Pass me the phone.”

(He does so. Currently I’m playing a fighting game that is infamous because of the gruesome finishing moves you can perform on the loser of the match. I proceed to increase the volume.)

Sales Rep: “Good afternoon, sir. Would you be interested in…”

(I immediately pointed the phone towards the TV just as the winning character proceeded to kill the opponent in a pretty violent fashion, complete with loud, pained screams. They stopped calling after that.)

Rated ‘G’ For Grandma

| Allentown, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Technology

(I find a video game that I’ve been looking for to replace a copy that I lost when I moved out of my dad’s house but don’t have the money with me to buy it, so my grandmother buys it for me with the stipulation that I pay her back when we get home. The game is rated M and it’s a requirement that the employees explain what this means when parents buy them for under-aged children.)

Employee: *to my grandmother* “All right, ma’am, just so you know this video game is rated “M” and I need to know if it’s okay for you to buy this for her.” *goes off on a scripted spiel explaining the blood, violence, and sexual content*

Me: “Um… I’m 24…”

(There is a long, awkward silence while both the employees stare at me, the only sound being my grandmother laughing. I pull out my ID and show them.)

Employee: “Okay, so, never mind. Enjoy your game.”

(The best part? Not only have I bought M-rated games at this store from these employees many times on my own before, but while I was waiting on my grandmother who was in another store at the time, I got into a discussion with them about video games and told them that one of my favorite games, which was released in 1994, was released when I was only three years old. Evidently it never clicked.)

Gotta Catch ‘Em All For A Price

| UK | Employees, Lazy/Unhelpful, Money, Technology

(I’m around 14. I’m entering my local game store for a “Pokémon Event;” basically a thing where you bring in your game, load it up, and you can download special creatures to add to your team, usually unavailable by any other method. I stand around for a while, trying to perform the download, with no luck. After five minutes of trying, I go up to the desk.)

Me: “Hey, has the Pokémon event ended? I can’t make it work.”

Cashier: *stares at me like I’m insane*

Me: “The thing where I put on my game and download the Pokémon? Keldeo? The watery horse thing?”

Cashier: “Oh, that. Yeah, you need to reserve the new game. Otherwise, we leave it off.”

(This is entirely new to me. The events have never been done like this before, and I was planning to wait until the reviews for the game came out, since the previous game hadn’t been up to the series’ usual standard. Still, I want my Pokémon, and I figure I can just not pick up the game.)

Me: “All right, put me down for a reservation.”

Cashier: “Do you have a membership card?”

Me: “No?”

Cashier: “You need to be a member before you can make reservations. You need to sign up.”

(A fairly long line is starting to form behind me, as only one other cashier is available. Customers are starting to glare at me holding up the line. Wanting to move as quickly as possible, I agree.)

Me: “Okay, fine, make me a member.”

(The painfully long process of giving this guy my name, address, email and phone number is dragging on and on. Finally, I think I’m going to get the event activated.)

Cashier: “Okay, that’ll be five pounds.”

Me: “For what?! You can’t be charging for events!”

Cashier: “Reservations are five pounds. I’m sure I told you.”

Me: “No, you didn’t! I haven’t got any money!”

Cashier: *condescendingly* “Why would you come into a game shop with no money? You just don’t want to pay!”

Me: “I have no money because events have ALWAYS been free! I don’t even WANT to order the new game!”

(I’m close to tears by this point, when my dad decides he’s had enough.)

Dad: “I’ll pay for the d*** thing. We’ve been here too long not to get the Pokémon.”

(Finally, the employee begrudgingly turns on the event, and I collect my new character. The next time I went in to pick up the reserved game, the other cashier was running the till, and informed me that the man I dealt with had since been fired for poor customer service and rudeness!)

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