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[TRENCHES] Thursday, April 26, 2012 - Prestidigitation

GethGeth LegionPerseus VeilRegistered User, Super Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
edited April 2012 in The Penny Arcade Hub
Prestidigitation


Prestidigitation
http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/untitled

Spend Money or Be Fired

Anonymous

While working my way through college, I held a position at a game retailer in my hometown. I was so excited, this was before I was actually working on games so simply being around them and talking about them as my job was fantastic. I was getting paid for telling people about something I loved.

But the job did not live up to my enthusiasm. Every day, we needed to sell a certain number of reservation for games yet to be released. The higher the number, the better. It usually took some persuading, but an employee could get a couple reservations every day and keep everyone happy. Sometimes, when no one was biting, we were told to really push the issue. I hated having that done to me, so I was hesitant. But I would push, because it meant keeping my job. That’s sales, right? We were then informed that if pushing would not work, don’t ring them up until they’ve become really angry with you. This seemed horrible - I don’t like people being angry with me.

It finally came down to, if you didn’t have any reservations at the end of the day, you had to reserve a game yourself to make the numbers look good. Cancelling that reservation later would count against you - so even if there was no game coming that you wanted, you had to reserve a crappy game to keep your job. This cost money from our paychecks.

I was fired not long after I failed to reserve a game and had a zero reservation day.


Posts

  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    I want a currency called Starbucks.

    The story makes me think of GAME a little.

  • ronzoronzo Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    The story is about Gamestop

    I've heard they've gotten better as a whole, but a couple years ago, depending on the store, some places were absolutely terrible to work at. Basically, they made you work like you were on commission.

    Except, instead of upselling to make a little extra money, it was to not get fired.

    ronzo on
  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    It seems like them telling you you have to pay them to work there breaks some kind of labor law.

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  • AthenorAthenor Registered User regular
    And this is why pre-order numbers to gauge game popularity is likely bullshit.

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  • PenumbraPenumbra Registered User regular
    It seems like them telling you you have to pay them to work there breaks some kind of labor law.

    I agree.

    The harassment is a big reason why I don't buy games from Gamespot anymore if there is any other place I can give my money.

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  • fallenphoenixfallenphoenix Registered User regular
    Q's face in panel three made me giggle (yes giggle) out loud. Luckily I was the only one in class at the time.

    I've heard of similar practices at Gamestop (probably '03 or '04) so I'm not all that surprised. Disgusted, but not surprised.

  • Warlock82Warlock82 Never pet a burning dog Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    What's up with Q's legs in the first panel? Is he secretly a little person?


    Also that story is really awful (that they would do that). One more reason to not like GameStop :P

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  • ronzoronzo Registered User regular
    Warlock82 wrote: »
    What's up with Q's legs in the first panel? Is he secretly a little person?


    Also that story is really awful (that they would do that). One more reason to not like GameStop :P

    That's not even the worst thing they had to upsell. Magazine subscriptions were much more difficult to sell, because for the average person it would be an additional $12-14 on whatever they were buying.

    If you think trying to get someone to put 5 down on something they may actually want was hard, subs were way worse.

    Other fun fact: Whoever handled the preorder cancelation had it count against their gained preorder for the day. Even if they didn't handle the preorder originally. So if you ever had a hard time canceling, that's why.

  • AurichAurich Registered User regular
    I've heard these things about Gamestop, but I've never been asked if I want to reserve something more than once, and never been asked to subscribe to a magazine at all. And I've known a few people who worked there really well and they LOVE it. I thought the things I was hearing were exaggerated.

  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    Yeah I remember from the retail thread we used to have, employee's said that whoever took a cancellation on a preorder had it count against the person cancelling instead of the person registering it. I stoped going to gamestop after the second time I was verbally harassed by multiple employees for not preordering. Haven't been back since. I mean when you think about it, it makes sense, stop the customer from registering that they were ever in the store, if they aren't actively going to preorder and make your numbers look good. an empty store is an excuse, low attachment rates is a termination.

    Also devaluing an entire mmo's currency probably isn't the decision of a brand new recently promoted developer. Also I am surprised noone nerded out over the Dr.Who mug.

    steam_sig.png
  • pirateluigipirateluigi Registered User regular
    Aurich wrote: »
    I've heard these things about Gamestop, but I've never been asked if I want to reserve something more than once, and never been asked to subscribe to a magazine at all. And I've known a few people who worked there really well and they LOVE it. I thought the things I was hearing were exaggerated.

    Different managers have different tactics to hit sales numbers. An unfortunate fact of business is that many people (managers included) have no idea what they're doing, and then we get stories like this.

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  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    The last time I went into a gamestop was when I got the "make the customer angry" tactic. Dude wouldn't' ring me up till I told him I was walking out if he didn't immediately sell me the game.

  • King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
    I
    Also devaluing an entire mmo's currency probably isn't the decision of a brand new recently promoted developer. Also I am surprised noone nerded out over the Dr.Who mug.

    Its brilliant. Makes it look like it was a planned event rather than an over sight. A giant planet of corpses does seem like an evil plan to me.

  • agilemaniaagilemania Registered User regular
    Q probably didn't make the decision - he's just the one telling the QA guys about it.

  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka Registered User regular
    ronzo wrote: »
    The story is about Gamestop

    I've heard they've gotten better as a whole, but a couple years ago, depending on the store, some places were absolutely terrible to work at. Basically, they made you work like you were on commission.

    Except, instead of upselling to make a little extra money, it was to not get fired.

    Reminds me of when I worked at Target. Ever been harassed to get a Target credit card? It usually meant the difference between whether someone was kept around after the initial hiring period or not at the store I worked at. There were even people there that were completely useless, but because they could badger people into getting a new credit card, they were "valuable and great employees"

  • halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    On the subject of the comic, and speaking from personal experiance.
    IP clearences are a royal pain in the rear. I know someone who worked in clearance for a movie studio, and the main characters in the movie walked into a music store. Good god her her life was hell for a few months.

    c7CT45p.png
  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    Warlock82 wrote: »
    What's up with Q's legs in the first panel? Is he secretly a little person?

    Glad I'm not the only person who thought that. :P
    Aurich wrote: »
    I've heard these things about Gamestop, but I've never been asked if I want to reserve something more than once, and never been asked to subscribe to a magazine at all. And I've known a few people who worked there really well and they LOVE it. I thought the things I was hearing were exaggerated.

    yea, I haven't either. but I usually say that I've already reserved the game, since I buy all my new games online and that's been that. mostly go to gamestop since there aren't any more local game stores where I can find old used games.

    “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
    ― Bill Cosby
  • JayeEmmJayeEmm Registered User regular
    Also I am surprised noone nerded out over the Dr.Who mug.

    *raises hand* Guilty. Just a little.

  • Dark Raven XDark Raven X Stylin' Profilin'Registered User regular
    I uh, don't see how Midas Comet makes anything better? "Turns all coins to gold" - are they not interchangeable already?

    camo_sig2.png
  • marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    I uh, don't see how Midas Comet makes anything better? "Turns all coins to gold" - are they not interchangeable already?
    Apparently not. It's possible that coins are for amounts less than what units of gold are worth, or it's possible coins come a variety of metals (copper, silver, nickle, etc.) with gold coins being worth the most. Or gold is just a base element, that can be sold for coins.

    However it's arranged, turning all coins into gold will apparently devalue gold to the point that it wont be desirable anymore, stopping people from going to the asteroid and leveling the playing field between those that had a lot of gold vs those that don't.

  • Viktor WaltersViktor Walters Registered User regular
    Anyone notice the connection between this and Planetary Resources? The devaluing of gold/platinum, the mining of asteroids. CLEARLY THE TRENCHES HOLDS SECRET PROPHECIES FOR THE FOOOCHOOOOOOORRRRRR

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  • FyndirFyndir Registered User regular
    Cabezone wrote: »
    The last time I went into a gamestop was when I got the "make the customer angry" tactic. Dude wouldn't' ring me up till I told him I was walking out if he didn't immediately sell me the game.

    I'm not sure I follow why you'd still give them the sale if they're treating you like that, did you really have no other alternative?

  • Shakes999Shakes999 Registered User regular
    The only time I ever go to gamestop is if every other retailer ive tried does not carry it. Ive perfected the art of looking really mad without yelling or being rude at gamestop. And about 95% of the time they see my face go from friendly to "stormcloud" ,as my girlfriend decribes it,and are smart enough to shut up and just sell me my damn game. The left over 5 percent end up with a bad day.

    Sorry to Gamestop employees who have had to deal with people like me, but if I have to listen to upwards of 2 minutes worth of your sales garbage or if I have to refuse my phone number to you multiple times, you have to realize there are inherent consequences.

  • King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
    I uh, don't see how Midas Comet makes anything better? "Turns all coins to gold" - are they not interchangeable already?

    If I had to guess Gold is sold for high amounts for whatever currency. By turning all the currency into gold they can drop the sell price to nothing and introduce a new currency based on a the next rarest element.

  • ApolloinApolloin Registered User regular
    Yeah, massively devalue the inflated currency so that it's worthless when being exchanged for actual goods and instead pin your economy to a completely brand new and uninflated currency.

    Kinda like Zimbabwe did with the US dollar.

  • Zilla360Zilla360 Spaaaace! In Space.Registered User regular
    Bread for One Billion Rand... might as well return to trading seashells. A limestone economy. :P

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Zilla360 wrote: »
    Bread for One Billion Rand... might as well return to trading seashells. A limestone economy. :P

    The players will stick together as it's a real bedrock community.

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    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

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  • Duke Of NukesDuke Of Nukes Registered User regular
    Honestly it's been a while since I really had any issues with Gamestop employees. All my local stores tend to be friendly...yeah, they ask about pre-orders, but don't pester me if I say no.

    I've been working in retail for years, and the truth is that corporate always tells you to "overcome objections". If someone tells you no, you ask why not. Credit Cards, for example..."No, I'm going to just pay it off" should be met with "Oh well if you do that on one of our cards, you get a $10 Gift Card back!" Every company has their things that make money, and they can be forceful about it. Gamestop has pre-orders and game trade-ins, Target has the Red Card, Best Buy has their credit card and services...even some fast food places try to annoy you into purchasing Gift Cards...plus, "Would you like fries with that?" came around for a reason.

    It's part of the problem with corporations...most the higher ups have never actually worked in the actual stores.

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