Pre-order Stalker

July 29, 2007

Store: GameStop, Software, Etc.
Location: Bay Shore, NY
Employee Description: Some punk teen with bad acne who thought he was big because he was a manager/man with a glass eye in his left socket
Submitted By: Andrew

I went to my local GameStop located near the South Shore Mall in Bay Shore, NY. I wanted to pick up Guitar Hero II and an adapter to play it on the PS3. I asked this fragile looking kid who was probably around 15 years old yet acted like some pro wrestler on steroids, if they had the adapter. He said that he had just sold out that morning and then proceeded to ask me if I wanted to pre-order Guitar Hero III for PS3. I said “No, Thank you” and left the store.

I then walked across the parking lot to the mall and went into Software, Etc. I was able to find the adapter and a copy of Guitar Hero II. As I was about to make my purchase, the man with the glass eye behind the counter pulled out a huge binder and asked if I would like to pre-order Guitar Hero III. I again said no thanks.

This was when things got weird for me. The kid from the other store walked into the same store I was at and went behind the counter and was talking with some of the guys. He then proceeded to push me to pre-order other games I had no interest in. I asked him if he had followed me and he said exactly “I like you and I didn’t want you to miss out on the hottest game of the year when it comes out.” I told him “No worries, but Best Buy will have GHIII when it comes out” and left the store.

What weirdos.

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Store: GameStop
Location: Garden City, NY
Employee Description: Sweaty Chubby Store Manager
Submitted By: Marisa

The store is packed. I’m standing at the 360 display getting ready to school two teenagers in guitar hero. Behind me at the register the two employees are in an argument with an African-American customer. I have no idea over what, my back was towards them and it was none of my business. The customer walked out of the store cursing, still doesn’t phase me, these things happen.

As soon as he was fully out of the store, one of the employees said, “Some nerve saying that in white America.”

I froze for half a second and then I threw the guitar down, turned around and said “who just said that.”

One of the kids at the register looked me dead in the eyes and said he did, almost like he was proud of himself. I went into a complete blind rage. I have no idea what I yelled at the kid. All I really remember is my boyfriend physically holding back to keep me from attacking the kid and dragging me out of the store. Once I was taken out of the store I called GameStop Customer Service to place a complaint about their racist employee, whom I found out was the store manager during my call. After I told the representative what happened, his first question was “Did you purchase anything?” As if my complaint wasn’t warranted unless I bought something in their store.

While I was in the middle of my call the store manager called mall security on me, to make sure I didn’t hurt him.

The district manager called me this morning to tell me how disgusted he was by the comment and that him and human resources are taking care of the issue. He apologized a ton. But i told him that apologizing won’t make it better, and the only feasible outcome is for the kid to be fired. He told me he would update me on the outcome of the problem within the next few days.

Store: EB Games
Location: Crossgates Mall – Albany, NY
Employee Description: Nondescript, and about to become annoying
Submitted By: Good Vs. Evil

This morning, I go out to get my copy of God of War 2 (since I couldn’t get it on the “release date”). I swing by a few stores right after they open. Many of them had it but hadn’t had a chance to check it in yet, and therefore it wasn’t available for sale. This process apparently takes an hour.

Fine.

I finally got it at an EB Games store in Albany, N.Y. However, this transaction had a few hitches.

I walk in and wait in a small line. When it is finally my turn, I ask if they have a copy of the game. The clerk asks me if I pre-ordered it. No. No, I did not. He tells me that I am “lucky” because I am getting one of only two copies that they have for sale (aside from the pre-orders, which are obviously spoken for). I tell him that I am thankful for this, since all the other places I stopped at hadn’t checked it in yet, and his was the only place that seemed to be on the ball.

Then the conversation got interesting.

He proceeds to tell me that had I pre-ordered the game from them, I wouldn’t have had to go through all the troubles that I had gone through that morning.  He tells me that the game is really popular, and had I pre-ordered it, I would have guaranteed myself a copy of the game. He then says the line that sparked it all:

“So, what have we learned today?”

I responded:

“What we have learned today is that a store whose sole merchandise is games and gaming accessories that resides in the largest mall in the capital of N.Y. only ordered 2 spare copies of a game that will end up selling millions of copies. What we learned is that you have more f*cking advertisements for a game than you do actual copies of said game. We leaned that despite the fact you know this game is going to be wildly popular, you have more empty boxes of the game on the shelf then you actually have copies of the game that are for sale. We learned that by your ordering model, a typical shopping trip would go like this:

You stroll into your local grocery store on your way home from work because you need milk. You go into the cooler section and grab a carton of milk only to find that it is empty. Odd. You grab a few other cartons to find that they are all empty.

You go find the nearest clerk to ask them about this, and they tell you that that milk isn’t for sale – it’s only a display to show customers that you do indeed sell milk. However, if you really want milk, you need to go up to the counter.

But then he tells you not to bother, because they are all out of milk anyway. All milk. No 2%, no skim, nothing.

When you inquire as to how a large grocery store could be out of milk, he tells you that milk is a very popular beverage, and if you had wanted some, you should have stopped in earlier to pre-order your milk. This would guarantee that you had your carton of milk when the shipment came in. However, they only have enough to fill all of the pre-orders, and have none left.

Just like your 4 empty Wii boxes in the window. Just like your 8 empty copies of God of War on the shelf.”

I then told him how amusing it was that a store who only sells games and nothing else would order only 2 copies of a game that would sell 100 in the first day alone.

A game store in the largest mall in the capital of N.Y. only has 2 copies of the most anticipated game of this year so far for sale on release date. Stunning.

I finally told him how odd he should think it is that if I couldn’t have gotten the game at his store, I would have had to go to a store that sells not only games, but refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, DVD players, computers and all sorts of other junk, because they would have had the foresight to get enough copies to meet the demand, but his store that only sells games, couldn’t pull this apparently magical feat of supply.

I then left with my game.

Store: GameStop
Location: New York City, New York in Greenwich Village
Employee Description: Employee in HD
Submitted By: Mike Drucker

I’m not entirely against pre-orders. Sometimes they let me get my hands on a game and lay down the money while I have it.

But tell me if you’ve heard this one, because it lost GameStop my business for a long while.

“I’d like to pre-order Halo 3.”

“Great. What edition?”

“Oh, I don’t know, just regular.”

“Really? You’re going to reserve just regular?”

(Beat.)

“Yeah.”

“You know the champion edition* comes with a helmet.”

“I… I don’t have anywhere to put a space helmet.”

“It’s a collector’s item.”

“I don’t collect space helmets.”

“And it has better graphics.”

“I don’t think that’s…”

“No, it is. The regular edition comes only in standard. The special editions are HD. If you buy the regular edition, you’re missing out on half the game.”

“You know what? I’m going to pass on that pre-order.”

*the employee called it Champion instead of Legendary

Store: GamExpress
Location: Flushing, NY on Northern Blvd & Main St, long closed
Employee Description: 20something kid
Submitted By: Rich

This was early 2000. I happened to be working with my friend running a somewhat successful interwebs/mailorder import video game store, but would occasionally get that pang for browsing retail. So I headed down to the gameshops in the main shopping area near my house.

While browsing the rack I overheard a customer expressing his love for all things Resident Evil, and the employee either trying to convince them to buy a $700+ Japanese PS2 or wait for the US one later that year.

“Dude, you really should get a PS2 – Resident Evil 4 is only going to be on Sony!”

‘Uh, what about Code Veronica?’ (not out quite yet in US, I think it might have just came out in Jpn)

“…. well, uh, that’s not a real RE game. No number. Sony owns all the numbers!”

And that’s when my brain had a little stroke. Right in front of me on the rack was a used Jpn copy of Biohazard 2 for Dreamcast (US RE2 didn’t come out til much much later). To add insult to injury I recall there being a nice new copy of RE2 for N64 rotting on the shelf behind the employee.

I chuckled to myself, bought a copy of PSX Mort The Chicken (yeah, MORT THE MOTHERF**KIN CHICKEN, B***HES), and went home to check to see if my Game.Com RE2 was still there and not erased from existence by Sony. 😉

At the time I guess, PS2 would have been the defacto system Capcom would have dropped RE4 on I suppose…

Store: EB Games
Location: Pittsford, NY
Employee Description: Toothless Gray Manager F**k and Goatee Pervert Asst Manager
Submitted By: Mass Debater

For 6 months I worked in my local EB Games. I was told to push preorders, and “GPG’s” (Game Play Guarantee’s) and at the time the company offered you “SPIFF” (No idea what that stood for) – SPIFF was a commission on the amount of GPG’s you got.

Well a month after I started there they introduced the magazine give away. The shadiest thing I’ve ever seen, if you paid for your bill with a credit card, a slip would print out for me to give to you to sign up for a magazine. You got the first 2 months free, but then your credit card got billed for a 1 year subscription. We got a few bucks (SPIFF) for each one of these we pushed. I never felt right about this promotion and I always told customers that they would eventually get billed.

Toothless Gray pulls me into his office, to tell me that I need to push the magazines better. That I needed to stop telling the customers they would get billed, not to say they wouldn’t just to stop saying they would, so I could get more of them to go along. I told him I had a really tough time doing that, then finally I resorted to lying and told him that I would work on pushing them more.

A week goes by and I haven’t a single customer signed up, so Goatee Pervert pulls me aside and tells me how to handle getting them to sign. “All you do is tell them they paid with a certain amount of money, for example their total comes to $25.99 say ‘You spent over 25 today so you qualify for 2 free months of as many magazines as you’d like’ (meanwhile the more magazines they signed for, the more the company would get) then if they ask if they’ll get billed, just tell them no.” I watched him pull this tactic several times. To many unsuspecting people just trying to get their games and leave.

Store: EB Games
Location: Syracuse, NY
Employee Description: Guy who thinks he knows all but more than likely still lives in mom’s basement
Submitted By: Adelle Starr

I had just finished God of War and was dieing to play GoW2 so I went over to the closest store to my house (instead of going to the one where I know everyone there). I walk in and Know All Guy stares slack jawed and open mouthed at me for a while as I browse. I go up to the counter with a used copy of Phantasy Star 2 in my hands and tell him I would like to get the copy of GoW2 he has behind the counter (where they put the new games).

Guy:“Are you sure your boyfriend wants GoW2, it’s pretty hard”
Me:“Actually my boyfriend doesn’t want it at all because he doesn’t like the game much. I’m getting it for me.”
Guy: (blinks a couple of times) “You mean YOU play games? I didn’t know girls really played games!”
Me: (cringe) “Yes I play games”
Guy: “You sure you want GoW2, it’s hard. How about Nintendogs? Thats fun.”
Me: “I prefer ripping people to shreds to breeding fake dogs thanks” (pay for the games)
Guy: (Deep breath) “What other games do you play?”
Me: (I proceed to ramble off a list of everything from classic to new, RPG to FPS to puzzle to online games)
Guy: “You really play ALL those games”
Me: “Yes!” (wrenches purchased games out of Guy’s hands so I can go) “Good bye”
Guy: (as I walk out I hear him whisper to himself) “Wow girls play games, amazing. She was so hot too! I think I know who I’m thinking about later tonight *snicker*

I almost went back to punch him but knew he would be alone for the rest of his life anyway so I left him to his sad little life and laughed all the way to my car. Yes dude, girls really play games.