Video Game Store Employees Share The Most Unreasonable Customers They've Ever Encountered
Working retail is a task and a half, especially when customers lose their minds, like these crazies who invaded video game stores. Roaches in consoles and parents encouraging their kids to use the floor as a personal toilet are just normal days working at GameStop. We salute you, the workers who have to put up with it.
TheFlash38 asked Game Stop employees of Reddit: What are some of your horror stories?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
10. That's not how refunds work.
Had a couple come in to "return" a Sesame Street video game and a controller. They had a receipt from over a year ago, the game was scratched to hell, and the controller was full of dried soda. They said it didn't work anymore (shocker) and were FURIOUS when I wouldn't give them their money back. Like standing there screaming at me (I was the manager so I had no one else there to back me up). It was crazy. Their kid was bawling, the lady was swearing like a syphilitic sailor and the husband couldn't finish a sentence. Pretty sure they were both super high too. So that was fun. When the PS2 came out I was assistant manager and my manager would sell them out of the backroom at a markup. Such a snake. I took the demo XBox home with a copy of Halo before the system launched one night and had a four player all night party. One of our other local stores had someone dig through the outside wall and steal everything out of their backroom.
9. Kids can be sticky.
Also when you get done alphabetizing the wii games and notice your hands are covered in mystery sticky stuff from all of the filthy children handling the cases. That was pretty gross.
You think that's bad? Try being the IT technician at a Jr high where every student has a Chromebook. I'd go thru a giant thing of hand sanitizer every week. 11-14 year olds are fucking gross.
8. This sense of entitlement...
One time a woman screamed at me because her kid was tearing open a toy before paying for it and I kindly told him to wait a little bit.
She seemed on the fence on whether she wanted to buy the toy or not for her kid, so you know I wasn't glad that her kid was already ripping it open.
She then proceeded to scream at me for being "really awful with kids," "a horrible person," "bad at my job," etc. Also she wanted to complain to the manager if I ever talked to her kid like that again. She then angrily paid and walked of the store.
Also people tinkering / modding their console and then trying to return it because it doesn't work anymore and angrily insisting on having it bought that way in GameStop.
Oh my god the people who broke their consoles trying to mod. I had one woman start throwing shIt at me when I refused to take her return. She also called 911 because she believed the police would "make me take it back." It did get a cop out there, but he cited her for misuse of emergency services.
7. Game over.
I was an assistant manager when one of the Madden games came out. '04, maybe? We were doing a big midnight opening for it and everybody was having a great time waiting for the game, which we were picking up from another store about 30 miles away. Around 11:00, after people had been waiting for two hours after the mall closed, I got a phone call. The game wasn't coming. I almost broke down, sitting behind the register, dreading the thought of telling everybody that they just wasted their time. To make matters worse, another store within walking distance of us got their games. I just wanted to die that night... I am so grateful that our customers took it well and didn't get too angry.
A gentleman comes in to buy one of our old 360 bundles (used, the old system that required the HD). He brings it back a few days later and complains that it doesn't work. We start our normal troubleshooting methods in store.
We couldn't figure anything out. So I do a swap, take his old system in as defective, then sell him a replacement bundle.
I go through and try to wipe the system so we can ship it back to the warehouse. Cockroaches start crawling out of the system instead. I freak out. Throw the system in one of our giant shopping bags, throw that in a box, tape it shut, and throw THAT in another bag.
My manager tells me to just shrink it out (meaning we take the loss) and destroy it in the back. I take it out to the parking lot and have to throw it around to destroy it. These cockroaches freaking scatter like marbles on a floor. I'm dancing around the parking lot on my tiptoes to avoid the flood. It was awful.
Second story: one of my regulars was a skunk farmer. I will say no more.
ETA: okay, skunk farmer. I worked at a store that bordered two states. In State A, where the store was located, we were in a nicer area. We were extremely close to State B's rural community. State B had its own store an hour away from ours, but we were only 15 minutes from the state line. It was easier for State B residents to come to us rather than go to their own store.
Mr. Skunk Farmer raised skunks. I don't know why. Or how. But every time I'd see him (about twice a month), he'd show me some photos of the babies, or of their new pens, or of whatever shenanigans he was trying out on the farm. I remember he wore overalls that he had his wife embroider a skunk onto the front pocket or something...
I worked at GameStop for 3.5 years. We all have seen some strange things, I promise y'all that.
This happened all the time back when I worked at GS. We were told to shake systems and see if anything came out. Something came out about one out of ten times. Roaches like to make homes in consoles.
The most memorable time this happen, the guy had a bag of games as well. I gave the console a subtle little shake and roach dropped out and started crawling across the counter. I look at the roach, look at the guy, and tell him we can't take it.
Dude sheepishly gives me a, "Sorry." Picks up the console, PICKS UP THE ROACH and puts it back in his bag, and hurries out. I don't think he knew bugs were in there, so... Good on him, I guess? Thanks for taking your cockroach.
5. People who should be banned...
Not an employee, but I was waiting in line to buy a game, and a guy came in with his 8ish y/o child I assumed was his son, and pointed the kid to the Nintendo section as he went over to PlayStation.
I was daydreaming, off in my own world, and it took me a second to realize a moment later that I was hearing water splashing. I turned around to see the kid projectile vomiting all over the floor and the Nintendo games.
The employee at the counter, the lady in front of me and I all just watch this child empty his guts onto the floor, before the father comes up to the son.
"You okay, bud?"
"All right, let's get out of here."
And without a word or even looking at anyone else, the two leave the store.
Once gone, the three of us exchange wild looks, and the employee tells us it's his first day running the store on his own, and he doesn't have any cleaning supplies or know what to do. Poor guy.
Parents, please don't let your kids throw up in GameStop.
4. What is wrong with people...
Former employee. Two wonderful stories:
- Older lady brings in a bag. She looks like an addict and she wants to sell her Wii. I put my hand in the bag and it's soaking wet.....Cat Piss. She was furious I wouldn't take it. From that day forward, made every customer take all trades out of bags themselves
- My first store was long and I had a kid and mom in back. Mom wasn't paying attention at all. 8 year old walking around. Gets really REALLY quiet. Then mom rushes the kid out of the store. Go back there and he took a sh*t on the floor. Watch the tape, mom finds him squatting. Lets him finish then takes him out.
3. And they docked your pay???
Worked part time at GameStop while I was in college....
The best story I love to tell is the mom and son story: 40sish mom and 7-10ish boy come into the store (in a large strip mall with lots of stores), don't even look at merchandise, come up to the counter and ask to let the kid use the bathroom. Clarified she's not there to buy anything but "has spent thousands of dollars in our store previously." We politely tell her we can't let customers use our bathroom because it's in the back of the store with lots of high priced merchandise. That's the policy. We have cameras and corporate reviews the footage (another story I have..where I was wrongfully terminated substantiates that one). Additionally, what we don't tell her is that all the used game consoles that people sell back to us were stored IN THE BATHROOM.
There was one month prior to Christmas I had to do some impressive yoga to get to the toilet. I'm sure those consoles were a haz-mat...but I digress. But, not to be unsympathetic to this kid's plight, we tell the mom that the pizza place next door lets people use their bathroom if they buy something, and the cheapest thing is a $1 soda/bottle of water. She starts FLIPPING OUT on us and spewing expletives....telling us she's paid our salaries 10 times over and that we're going to hell, yada yada yada...then....no joke...tells her son to "just go." Kid actually unzips and pees ALL OVER THE CARPET in front of my register. Then they left. I've never been so grossed out and dumbfounded. Had to close up for the day and half the next day while GameStop paid to have our carpets sanitized. Resulted in a loss of pay for the weekend. Wonder what happened to that kid. He's gotta be in his 20s by now.
TLDR: Mom let her fully potty trained son urinate on the carpet in front of the registers when we didn't allow him to use the employee bathroom in our store when there was a perfectly good bathroom for him to use in the pizza restaurant next door.
2. Roaches, roaches, roaches...
Worked at GS a long time ago but I'll never forget this one. One night a guy brought in a really dusty and dirty GameCube wanting cash of course. I asked him if it worked and he said he didn't know because he hadn't played it in a long time. I told him that we have to check every console and when I turned it on and opened the lip about a hundred roaches came running out all over the counter.
Opening it removed all of the bugs so it must have worked.
1. Sneak champ.
I worked in a store where theft was a very common occurrence. But this one dude. He nabbed one of the cheap controllers off the wall from the back of the store, puts it in his back pack. Then comes over to the counter he reaches across the counter, opens a drawer and steals a brand new game out of the drawer, takes it away from the register, opens it, waits in line, trades the game in for 25 bucks. Then he asks me to look for something in one of the bottom drawers and he steals back the game he just traded in a second time! After that he immediately left the store before I could notice he was gone. I gotta give him credit, he had some slick balls.
So many other sketchy things too, but this one I just had to laugh at.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.