July 15, 2007
Location: Randall Square in Geneva, IL
Employee Description: Short and greasy, we’ll call him “Oil Slick” Apparently he was/is the store manager
Submitted By: Scott Kaufmann
To set the tone, I’ll describe why I went to this store in the first place. I had been going to a very cool, roomy EB Games for 3 years and knew everyone that worked there. However, once the GameStop/EB Games merger occurred, it was clear the nice staff was soon to be history. I had to find a local store to switch to, and I couldn’t have picked a worse one.
I walk in with a couple of friends (I was 16 at the time) and check out a few things. While poking around, I hear Oil Slick try to get a young kid, who couldn’t have been over 9, to reserve Madden ’06. I thought that was odd but I continued to look. Finally I chose to get Counter-Strike for the Xbox. I bring it up to the counter and as Oil Slick is ringing it up he mumbles “…ggrum…18….”. I wasn’t sure what he said, but I heard 18 and I knew the game was recently dropped to $9.99 so I spoke up and said “I thought the game was 10 dollars, not 18”. Then out of nowhere he blurts out “I said are you EIGHTEEN? This game is rated M for Mature” Taken aback not only by his tone but also by him thinking I didn’t know what letter “Mature” started with. I hadn’t seen that it was M so I apologized and put it back. When I got back to the counter he asked if I wanted anything else and I said no. He then replied “THEN GET OUT OF MY F*CKING STORE!”. Stunned that he would say this with the same 9-year-old still in the store, I walked back to the car in utter shock.
It has been 2 years and I haven’t stepped foot in that store since, even though it is extremely close to my house. I instead do all of my video game business at a GameStop 60 miles away, near my old house before I moved. It really says something when you would rather travel 60 miles than go back to some place.
June 12, 2007
Location: Stratford Square Mall – Bloomingdale, IL
Employee Description: Pasty Kid and Nerd Girl
Submitted By: Dan
Shortly after the PSP launched in the US I was walking through a nearby mall with a friend of mine and passed through the GameStop. Shortly after walking into the store I got a spiel “Welcome to GameStop where we have PSPs in stock” as if the employee behind the counter was answering the phone. Since the PSP had only launched a week or so prior I asked how it was selling at this particular location. The employee said “Great, it’s killing that kiddie DS” and I responded very politely “Well, so far in its first week or two in the US.” The employee’s reaction was rather frustrated and said “No everywhere, it’s crushing it in Japan too.”
At that point it was the last straw, I’ve worked for video game magazines (both print and paper) in the past and I still keep up with the industry. I knew exactly how well the DS and PSP were doing in Japan since Famitsu’s sales numbers are extremely easy to locate and are updated weekly. At this point I corrected the employee with the appropriate differences in sales figures based on the most recent numbers I had heard.
The pasty employee (and then the nerd girl employee who came from the back of the store overheard) then said “No, you’re wrong. The Sony rep came in and told me they’re killing Nintendo.” I then said “He’s the Sony rep, he’s probably no better informed than that lady siting on the bench by the mall fountain” at which point he became more irritated. The female employee then came up to me and said “Like we’re going to believe you over the Sony rep.”
I decided to settle this dispute, my friend had a phone with web, though the resolution was low, reception was lousy in the mall (since it’s using a cell phone), I was able to bring up the numbers on the phone to show the GameStop employees I was correct. Their reply “Those numbers could be fake, anyone can make a website.” I then showed them several other sources, they remained quite unconvinced and eventually said “Maybe if I saw it in a magazine I’d believe it.”
Since Famitsu is the source of Japanese sales statistics a week or two later I picked up an issue at an overpriced Japanese bookstore in a Japanese mall nearby. While the magazine is Japanese I was very fortunate in the sense that this particular issue had a visual chart of sales numbers for the PSP and DS up to that point. Just for fun I decided to return to the mall (with a different friend and copy of the magazine in hand) a few days later.
To my luck one of the two employees (the pasty kid) was working. After he finished with some customers I brought up my earlier discussion and showed him the chart, at first he tried to deny what he saw since he couldn’t read it, but when you look at pictures of the two systems and numbers attached directly below it, the truth became inevitable. He then said “It doesn’t matter anyway. The Microsoft rep told me they are coming out with a portable soon, and it will kill the DS.”
June 9, 2007
Location: Chicago, IL on Cermak
Employee Description: Tall Chubby Dude
Submitted By: elberto
So Pokemon Diamond and Pearl had just come out a few days earlier and are
supposed to be amazing. I’ve played all the main Pokemon games and decided
why not get Diamond? I also didn’t have a DS so I thought I’d just buy both the game and system.
I walk into the store:”You guys have anymore DS lites?” “Yeah here you go.”
“Could I also get Pokemon Diamond?” “Yeah you see the thing is I can’t sell
you Pokemon if you don’t reserve a game. Any game will do, any accessory,
just five dollars. Okay lemme just ring you up…”
The employee tried to go ahead and ring me up until I stopped him. I kept
saying no and no yet he continued. He finally stopped when I told him I
didn’t want the game anymore. He then tried to ring up the DS. I stopped
him again there. I left and decided to go to a Target store nearby. Wham,
bam and I currently have 60 pokemon and counting.