Putting the F-U In Fun

June 12, 2007

Store: Funcoland
Location: North Haven, CT
Employee Description: A veritable retard rodeo
Submitted By: Chris Kohler

So as bad as EB Games and GameStop employees get, these days, just be glad you never have to go to a Funcoland anymore. Good gravy. That store (now part of the great EBGameFunSoftwareBabbageColandStopGames Etc. monolith) was a hundred times worse, since there didn’t seem to be any oversight at all against rampant employee hoarding and awful customer service.

Employees could and often did take any game that was any good (remember, this was back when the store carried everything all the way back to the NES) and put it in a drawer for themselves until such time as they felt like buying it. Then they’d brag about it; I remember one employee actually showing me a perfect copy of Baku Baku for Saturn, which he was holding on to until the price dropped in the system.

They seemed to hate all customers. Here’s a typical incident, which occurred as I was buying Panzer Dragoon Zwei:

Guy: Hey, would you like to be a Fun Club member? You get a subscription to Game Informer.

Me: I’m not interested.

Guy: (Mock incredulity) You’re not interested in knowing what’s going on in the video game industry?

Guy: Naw, he likes reading all those magazines filled up with ADS.

Remember, this was in 1995, back when Game Informer was one giant ad.

One more before I get back to work: In the summer of 1999, all Funcoland stores got Dreamcast demo units with Sonic Adventure. So I headed in there to see if our branch had one. Nothing. Just as I was about to leave, the employee’s three buddies walk in and I hear him say to them, “Hey guys, wanna play the Dreamcast?” So he goes over, unlocks a display case, and there’s the customer demo unit — kept locked up for the enjoyment of the employee and his pals. Of course, having just given away the secret, he pretty much had to let me play it. But he wasn’t happy.

The store’s still there, except it’s a GameStop now and not nearly as awful a place to be. I’ve never been so happy to see a brand get dismantled.

3 Responses to “Putting the F-U In Fun”

  1. David Says:

    The Funco Land in my area must’ve been quite unusual because it was the coolest place in the area. The people were always nice and chill. They were very helpful and knowledgable about the games and always let us try out whatever game on the systems.

    Now that it’s a GameStop, it’s still a nice, relaxed store, but it’s not nearly as chill as it used to be.

  2. ruiner9 Says:

    Haha, that sounds about right…. I worked at the North Haven store up until just before the Saturn was released… I actually got fired because I couldn’t sell enough of their cleaners and mag subscriptions to make quota. I just didn’t have it in me to make fun of customers for not wanting to buy a bottle of rubbing alcohol to clean their SNES carts.

  3. sackofwallnuts Says:

    Aw man, I have some nightmare stories about the Funcoland in North Haven on Universal Drive. I used to go there back when the N64 first came out and it was always an uphill battle to just leave without buying those stupid cleaners. They really are useless, I still play my 64 now and again with absolutely no problems, and I have never cleaned the cartridges.

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