Video Game Store Employees Share Their Worst Experiences Dealing With Insanely Obsessive Kids
Working retail is a tough task—especially when customers lose their minds. Sure, your manager might be constantly breathing down your neck or your coworker might be trying to make your life miserable, but no challenge in retail compares to having a crazy customer. From cockroaches in consoles to little kids pulling off a Hollywood-style heist, it’s just another day at the office for these video game store employees.
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#45 Losing Out Big At The Opening
I was an assistant manager when one of the Madden games came out. This was maybe in 2004. We were doing a big midnight opening for it and everyone was having a great time waiting for the game, which we were picking up from another store about 30 miles away. Around 11 p.m., after people had been waiting for two hours, I got a phone call. The game wasn’t coming. I almost broke down, sitting behind the register, dreading the thought of telling everyone that they just wasted their time. To make matters worse, another store within walking distance of us got their games. I am so grateful that our customers took it well and didn’t get too angry.
#44 Big Bird Is Stunned
I 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 all over 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. They were standing there screaming at me. It was crazy. Their kid was bawling, the lady was swearing like a sailor, and the husband couldn’t finish a sentence.
#43 A Horrible Toy Story
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 until the toy was paid for. She seemed on the fence about whether or not she wanted to buy the toy, so I wasn’t glad that her kid was already ripping it open. She then proceeded to scream at me for being awful with kids. She said she would complain to the manager if I ever talked to her kid like that again. She then angrily paid and walked out of the store.
#42 When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go
A mom and her son came into the store and didn’t even look at merchandise. They just came up to the counter and asked to let the kid use the bathroom. She clarified she wasn’t there to buy anything, but “has spent thousands of dollars in our store previously.” We politely told her we can’t let customers use our bathroom because it’s in the back of the store with lots of expensive merchandise. That’s the policy.
We have cameras and corporate reviews the footage. Additionally, what I didn’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 where I had to do some impressive yoga to get to the toilet. I’m sure those consoles were a hazmat but I digress. Not to be unsympathetic to this kid’s plight, we told 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 or bottle of water.
She started flipping out on us and spewing expletives. She said that she had paid our salaries 10 times over in store purchases and that we’re going to the firey underground. Then, no joke, she told her son to “just go.” The kid used our carpet as his own personal bathroom. Then they left. I have never been so grossed out and dumbfounded. I had to close up for the day and the next day while our carpets were sanitized. This resulted in a loss of pay for the weekend.
#41 Were Those Roaches DLC?
A gentleman came in to buy one of our old 360 bundles (used, the old system that required the HD). He brought it back a few days later and complained that it didn’t work. We started our normal troubleshooting methods in-store and couldn’t figure anything out. So, I did a swap, took his old system in as defective, and then sold him a replacement bundle. I went through and tried to wipe the system so that we could ship it back to the warehouse. Cockroaches started crawling out of the system instead.
I freaked out. I threw the system in one of our giant shopping bags, threw that in a box, taped it shut, and threw that in another bag. My manager told me to destroy it in the back. I took it out to the parking lot and had to throw it around to destroy it. The cockroaches escaped and scattered like marbles on a floor. I was dancing around the parking lot on my tiptoes to avoid the flood of roaches. It was awful.
#40 Naughty Little Thieves
This woman came in with about four kids. They were all terrors, running around to different parts of the store, yelling, grabbing things, and rearranging them. It seemed like they were causing distractions while this woman tried, on three separate occasions, to get behind the counter. They ended up buying something, but then I noticed under this big box the oldest kid has picked up, he had stuffed his hands full of the little DS games that were on the counter. It gave me the impression that this was all coordinated by their mother. It’s one thing to see adults steal, but to see kids who are encouraged to do so is just wrong.
#39 Madness Over 25 Cents
A 10-year-old kid had been in and out a few times picking up games and running to his mom to get price approval. He eventually decided on a used game that was like $20, but he’s a Power-Up member so it would have come to something like $20.18. I don’t remember exactly but it was bigger than a dime and less than a quarter over $20. We told him, he went running out to her to get the money and came back with a $20 even.
We told him that he was short a bit of change and he was slightly confused. We told him to go get another quarter. He did so and came back with his mom. She was upset from the start, but she said he could get the game so she got out a quarter. She went through the whole transaction before she asked us why we didn’t just give him a quarter. I was the manager on duty at the time, so I calmly explained that our registers are counted to the penny and we, as employees, can’t just give out change even if it’s a small amount.
She told me that because “he’s just a kid” I should have given it to him. Not out of the register. Out of my own pocket. I kind of stared at her for a second and then, still calm but I will admit I probably sounded incredulous and maybe even snarky, I told her that I just don’t carry money at work and have no personal change to give her kid. She was offended and handed back the game and demanded a refund. A refund requires taking her name and address, which she gave me trouble about.
I explained that it was required for a cash refund and I couldn’t bypass it. She eventually gave me obviously fake information— like, 1234 Main Street— but I took it because I wasn’t not actively attempting to antagonize at this point. She ended this all by telling her obviously disappointed kid, who she’d just taken the game from, that they’d go to the store down the road and buy it in a tone that made it clear that was supposed to be a verbal slap in the face for me. I managed to wait until she’d left the store before laughing.
#38 You Snooze, You Lose
One guy pre-ordered a game and we made it very clear when he pre-ordered that if he didn’t collect it within three days of arrival, we would sell the copy held for him and he’d have to wait for the next order to come in. The game arrived. We left several voicemails telling him to come and collect it. Three days passed and we ran out of stock. Someone asked for the game, so we sold his held copy. He came in like an hour later and lost his mind. He tried to fight me in the store and we had to call the cops.
#37 Check The Labels Next Time
Once, a grumpy lady with a 10-year-old child came in. She asked me where the Xbox One was, so I showed her. She took one. Then, she asked her son which game he wanted and he picked up a PS4 game. I tried explaining to her that you can’t play PS4 games on an Xbox, but she wouldn’t listen. I still think about the horrors the child might have faced when he tried to play the game at home.
#36 Kanye West Shrug Over Stealing
A guy came in the store, walked around, and was kind of quiet. The door to the back was open as we were moving some stuff around and a part-time employee was back there tagging a few items. I was behind the counter. Suddenly, the guy came up to the counter and asked about something. I answered and he walked away. I realized that he looked bothered and I thought it was odd, but he continued to come up and ask random questions.
Finally, I turned my back to look at something (apparently, he was just trying to get me to turn my head) and he grabbed two GameCube controllers and hauled it to the back. Now, the part-time employee was walking out of the bathroom as the guy hit the emergency exit door and got body checked. He tumbled into some bags of trash. The guy got to the parking lot and who was there? Three police cars full of cops having a snack from the restaurant next door.
They arrested him, we got the merchandise back, and, wouldn’t you know it, GameStop not only refused to prosecute the guy, but they also said we couldn’t ban him from the store. So he continued to come in and I was forced to serve this jerk who stole from us again in the future, imagine that.
#35 Bending Over Backwards
One guy had come in for four months straight demanding a discount every time he shopped because we didn’t have an item he wanted. We found the item at another store, had it delivered for him, and he said that it wasn’t in good enough condition. I called every store within several hundred miles and found a second one for him. Keep in mind, this was a rare item. We made all of that effort for him and he still acts like we did him a disservice by not having it the first time he had asked.
#34 A Quick $10 In Their Account
I was an associate at Electronics Boutique (which got bought out and became GameStop). I worked there when they still sold PC software (not just games). TurboTax was a huge hit for the first quarter and all the non-gamers would come out of the woodwork to get it. This one guy came in to buy TurboTax. During the course of the transaction, he grilled us about the mail-in rebate and our return policy and then made a big deal about needing a second copy of the receipt.
The system didn’t allow for duplicate receipts at that time. He insisted that he needed two copies of the receipt because he wanted to mail in the rebate and, in case something was wrong with the product, he wanted to be able to bring it back. Something about his entire ordeal was fishy, so my assistant manager came to see what was going on. Turns out, the guy wanted to send in the rebate, use the software, and then return it. That way, he’d be able to use the software and get $10 for free.
When we told him that wasn’t going to fly, he got all huffy and said, “Do you know who I am?” He wasn’t really anyone, just some college instructor. Anyway, he wanted to return the software before even leaving the store, so we made him fill out a return slip. He wasn’t happy about that either. The whole thing ended with him declaring very loudly in a full store about how he’ll never shop there again. This was followed by me tossing his card at him and my assistant manager saying that he’s banned from the store.
#33 Genesis Does What Nintendon’t
This goes back to the ’90s. When GameStop was Funcoland. I was an assistant manager and closing up one night. About five minutes before close, we got a phone call asking us if we sold the Sega Genesis consoles. I told them we did, and the guy cheerily said, “Thanks!” and hung up. About 40 minutes later, we were wrapping up closing procedures and were getting ready to walk out when a guy and his two kids tried to open the door. He rattled it and, after finding it locked, immediately started to bang on the glass.
I walked up and apologized through the glass and told him, “We’re closed.” He started screaming at me through the glass about how I said we had the Sega and I should have told him they were closed. He was red in the face ranting about how I ruined his kid’s birthday. I apologized again and told him we had plenty in stock and they’d be here tomorrow if he came back. The tills were down, so there was no way to sell him one even if I wanted to be nice and let him in.
He went back to his truck and just sat there. He finally left after about 10 minutes—or so we thought. I walked out with the two employees closing with me and when I got about halfway to my car, he came barreling through the parking lot from the far side of the plaza straight at me. He swerved as he got close and I froze in the middle of the parking lot. There was little more than a foot between me and his truck as he drove past me. I was 18 at the time and that was my first crazy customer, but definitely not my last.
#32 Not A Daycare
Mothers and fathers would literally drop their kids off at GameStop to play the demo machines while they shopped. One day, a fight broke out between a few kids and I had to call mall security. I’ll still never forget Dave, the mall security guard, telling the mother of one of the kids she was a terrible parent for leaving her child unsupervised. She turned to the store, pointed at me, and said, “What about him?” I’ll never forget what the security guard said back to her: “Ma’am, that’s not even remotely his job.”
#31 A Battlefield In The Store
When Battlefield V came out, you could get this special edition with a statue. Loads of people ordered it (about 50 people in our store alone) and the day before launch, we found out that we would only be getting three of them. We would have to call the customers and let them know they couldn’t get their statue anymore, even if they paid for all of it. My manager made me call everyone and I spent the afternoon making phone calls and getting yelled at for something that was out of my control. Needless to say, I don’t work there anymore.
#30 Worse Than A Bricked PS2
About a month after the PS2 came out, a notice went up in the staff room that read, “Polite reminder: When processing any returns, please check if everything is being returned before giving a refund.” That confused the heck out of me because that felt like retail 101. A week later, a kid brings his PS2 back and said it wouldn’t load any games. We had just had a restock, so I told him that he was in luck and I could probably replace it.
The kid’s face turned white, he grabbed his bag from the counter, and walked to the door very quickly. I managed to get the attention of someone on the floor to stop him. Turns out, he was waiting until the store was really busy to return a brick in a PS2 box to get the refund and keep the console. He had duped three co-workers who were all too embarrassed to admit why the note had gone up in the staff room.
#29 Trading In Happiness For Sadness
I worked in EB Games as a teenager around 2010. There was literally nothing more frightening than the sight of a young kid walking in with a tower of PS2 games, ready to be traded in, with his seemingly already hostile looking dad. They walked up to the counter and started piling all the games on the desk, all with the original sticker on the front priced at $99.95 bought at EB Games.
I started scanning them and they all came up as $0.50 or $1 trade-in value. I finished scanning the last game and said to them that they still owed like $75 on the singular $99 game they were purchasing. I don’t know what was worse, the anger in the eyes of the father, or the crushed look on the kid’s face. Man, it still haunts me to this day.
#28 That’s One Foul-Mouthed Boy
I was an assistant general manager and had a little brat kid come in with his mother to return a previously new game that he opened. My suspicion was that he had already beat it and wanted his money back (it was $20 and a very old game that we somehow had a new copy of). I told them that they would get $4 for it and the little brat yelled, “No way! It’s a new game!”
I looked at the mother and she didn’t do anything. I explained to her that yes, she bought it new, but once you open it and play it, it’s no longer new, Kind of like a car. The mother was very understanding but the little brat started yelling at me. The mother told him to be nice and to lower his voice. Very much annoyed, I asked what game he was looking for. He grabbed GTAV and asked for a headset.
To my delight, I told the mother that it had inappropriate content on it. She told him no and he threw a huge fit. He knocked over a bunch of gift cards and told his mom to just get him the headset. At that point, I told them that I was refusing their business because her child vandalized our property. She apologized for him and finally told him that he wasn’t going to get anything because he was acting out.
#27 He Must Love Madden
There was a regular who would come in at least once a week to return a copy of Madden, just to buy another copy of Madden for his PS2. He never returned them with the box, just the discs. He refused to buy it without the original cover art. He would literally ask to look at every single copy of every darn Madden ’08 we had in the store to make sure he was getting the best one.
Sports games always go out of fashion as soon as the next year rolls in. They devalue fast and sit bricked on the stockroom shelves forever because no sane person wants them. We learned to do the classic retail move of “pretend to check out back” for more, ignore the 100+ copies of Madden ’08 on the shelf, and tell that guy we only had two copies in stock.
#26 With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
My best one is probably from Black Friday when we had a guy yelling at us for like half an hour because he was mad we didn’t have anymore Spiderman PS4s, even though he was like 65th in line. We were helping another guest the entire time we told him that there was straight-up nothing we could do. Eventually, we just pretended to give him the corporate phone number and took his phone number in case we got more, which got him to leave. A few hours later, I was moving products around on the back counter and I realized what we all thought was a display box for the Spiderman PS4 was an actual unit, which I almost immediately sold to a nice family of four. I had to give it to that guy instead.
#25 Gotta Charge Them Up Somehow
I was the only other full-time employee in this store besides our manager. I had the morning shift one day when I had one heck of a customer. This older guy, maybe late 40s to early 50s, came in to ask about some Wii remotes. I showed him a few of the used ones since they were all in fairly decent condition. I knew from previous experiences that I had to tell him that since it’s used, it didn’t have batteries included.
He’s said that was fine, I took him to the cash, told him his warranty, and sent him on his way. I thought that would be the last of it. Nope. A couple of hours later, one of my coworkers came in and this gentleman came back. He looked really mad. I figured the controller didn’t work, which is what usually happens, and that I’d just have to swap it out. Wrong.
He started going on about how I was a cheat and a liar for selling him a used controller with no batteries. I just stood there. I explained how I had told him before he bought it that it didn’t come with batteries. But he just kept going on about how he should have gotten batteries included. At that point, I gave up and just gave him some batteries from our basket that we used for other controllers. He left after also getting the corporate number, and I never saw him again after that.
#24 Maybe It Was An Xbox 2
We did have one lady who came in insisting that her son owned a “PlayStation 360” and wanted to make sure the game she was buying would work on it. We tried to explain to her that such a system did not exist and it was either a PS2 or an Xbox 360. We tried to show her the systems and the controllers to see if she recognized one of them. She got mad, screamed at us for being thieves and scammers. She said we tried to upsell her and take advantage of people who didn’t know anything about games. She stormed out of the store without buying anything.
#23 From A To Zero Care
I worked at a GameStop a long time ago. Our regional manager was visiting the store, so the manager asked us to organize and alphabetize all the cases on the shelves. After I finished organizing the PS3 section, some 10-year-old kid knocked over three full shelves. I proceeded to get yelled at by the mom because it scared her child.
#22 Running Off With Basically Nothing
Back when Xbox360 consoles were hard to find, my store had a small pyramid of empty boxes as a display. A 17-year-old kid saw the boxes and asked, ” Are those really Xbox’s?!” I jokingly told him, “Yeah, my shipment came in early.” As I was doing my rounds on the floor, I saw him eyeing the pile. He grabbed a box and made a break for the door. Since the boxes are empty, he had all of his weight forward and lost his balance. He flew face-first into the glass doors. This was followed by a cartoony screech as he skidded down the glass before running out.
#21 Break The Walls Down
I worked at a game store the Christmas that the Nintendo DS Lite came out. We had empty boxes on display on the wall, even though we didn’t have them in stock anymore. One guy had waited in a fairly long line and I had to tell him that we were sold out. I felt bad. When he asked why we had the boxes, I tried to be honest and said that Nintendo paid the company to advertise that they were sold here. He said, “Fine! I’ll prevent it from other customers!” He started tearing all of the boxes off the wall onto the floor. I kind of stared at him and then shrugged and laughed and said, “Sir, I’m just going to put them all back up when you leave.” He left fuming, and I put them all back up when the line cleared.
#20 Smell Ya Later
I was an assistant manager for about a year and had done retail before. Our store was right in between a fairly upscale touristy part of town as well as some of the poorer neighborhoods, so we got all sorts of people. The holiday season was in full swing and we were always crowded. On this particular day, we had a few seasonal hires in to help with the workload and I was behind the counter pulling games as people came up to make the transactions faster.
Then suddenly, a smell hit the entire building—like a hundred cats had relieved themselves in the air conditioner and someone had tried to dry it by starting a fire with burning hair. My seasonals looked at me with a mix of confusion and terror as a family of four approached the counter and it slowly became apparent that they were the cause of the smell. I’ve been nose-blind before from staying with an aunt who used to be an animal hoarder, but this was far worse.
I sent my seasonals on break, grabbed the hand sanitizer, pumped a small mountain of it into my hands and, as casually as possible, smeared it on my upper lip, hoping my facial hair would hold onto it and block the smell. It mostly worked. I was already in holiday rush mode but this was the fastest I ever got a used Xbox 360 and GTA V packaged and ready to go. When they left, we noticed that the store had actually cleared out of all other customers, who also couldn’t deal with the odor. Our other manager came out of the back, gave me props for not embarrassing them, and promptly proceeded to fill our store with Febreze.
#19 Gold Not Old
I worked at a game store for five years and witnessed one of the most elaborate heists by a group of young kids. Two young kids around, about 11 and 13, walked in and had bandanas over their faces. I told them that they had to take them off or they couldn’t be in the store. As I said this, they quickly grabbed a few older systems that we had in the bargain bin and sprinted out the door.
I rushed out the door as they leaped into the back of a pickup truck that quickly stopped in front of the store. As I looked at the license plate, it was covered up with a piece of cloth so I couldn’t even report the getaway car. All in all, it was evident that they had put in a ton of planning into that heist and it was executed flawlessly. They made away with about $100 in old consoles. I wasn’t even mad. In fact, I was thoroughly impressed.
#18 A Clash Of Christmas Gifts
Right before Christmas, back in 2003, this kid, who was about 10 years old, came into the store with his mom, grandmother, and aunt. Each of these ladies had an envelope with a bunch of cash, and each had a list of the things he wanted. He walked around the store like a spoiled prince and showed them all of the things that he wanted. After a few minutes, the grandmother came over and handed me the list and asked for help.
As I looked at the list, I noticed that it had three different colors of highlighter on it: green for the stuff he had to have, orange for the next in line if the item was not in, and yellow for the last-ditch item. I knew this because he had written a key to the list, and he also wrote the total amount of money that he had to work with… $500. Now me, being silly and thinking that all of these ladies were working with the same list, started helping the grandmother. We managed to have everything that he wanted and while ringing her up, the aunt came over and asked if I could help her when I was done with the grandmother’s list.
I said I had already found all of the items for the first lady, and she said her list was different. I just stood there with my jaw open. I then got the list from the aunt and, sure as heck, there were all different games and accessories! Also with a total of $500! So, on this list, we only had about half of the things. Some of the games hadn’t even been released yet. The aunt looked very, dare I say, scared? She came back with the boy and his mother and told him that he would have to preorder some of the games since they aren’t out yet.
The kid proceeded to tell the aunt that she needed to preorder all of the games, pay in full, and then buy him more gifts since he wouldn’t have anything to open on Christmas. She told him that wasn’t possible because she had already paid a lot of money. He then calmly told her not to speak to him until after Christmas and that he doesn’t love her anymore. Little brat. Also, the mother had a list as well, she fared a bit better than the aunt though.
#17 Some Elite Threats
I worked at an EB Games in 2005. The important thing to note is that EB didn’t use the term “used” for games. Instead, we used “pre-played.” I had a woman come in to buy Sniper Elite for her husband, but I didn’t have any more sealed copies. She didn’t mind and purchased it at the new game price. A few hours later, I got an angry phone call from a man who said I sold his wife a used game and charged her for a new copy.
He explained who she was and I told him what happened. He freaked out and said that the game was opened, which makes it used. I let him know that we don’t sell used games, we sell pre-played games, and assured him that the disc was removed from the case, sleeved, and filed, which means it has never been played and is, therefore, a new copy.
He got loud, asked me how old I was (I was 18), and went off about how he is older than me and is a lawyer. He demanded that he be refunded the difference between the prices, so I told him that my store manager would be in the next morning and he could take it up with her. To my knowledge, he never called her, so I think he just gave up.
#16 Those Xbox Ones Felt Lonely
There was a massive group of people stealing credit card numbers and printing new cards with their names on them. They would come into the stores and try to purchase the visa gift cards until we told them that they needed cash or debit. Then they would try to buy three to five PS4s at once. It was always PS4s.
#15 Might As Well Give It Away
A grandfather came in with his 11-year-old grandson. He was holding one of the dirtiest Xbox 360 consoles I had ever seen with one hand. The tray was loosely popping out whenever he angled the console to point towards the ground. He went up to the counter, said he wanted to sell it, and asked how much I would pay for it. My assistant manager checked to see if it worked and the guy said, “What, you can’t take my word for it? The thing is brand new.”
My assistant manager told him that it was store policy to check it, and still, the guy persisted. Now, this thing was the original Xbox 360. Even if the pounds of dirt and the loose disc tray hadn’t given it away, the console itself would have. Nobody is going to pay $200 for a 360 in 2018. So my assistant manager rang it up and said, “Since it’s defective I can give you $16 for it.” This set him off.
After yelling at my assistant manager (who was finding this exchange hilarious and was trying not to laugh), he turned to the other customers in the store and said, “$50! Anyone wanna buy this off me for $50?” I don’t think I’ve ever seen customers look that intently at the things on our wall than in that moment. They were trying so hard to look invested in what they were looking at so that the crazy man didn’t approach them. Afterward, he threw another little fit, he took his grandson, and he left. The poor kid looked so scared and embarrassed.
#14 An Unmerry Christmas
I worked at a game store during the launch of the Wii and two days before Christmas, an old woman came in to buy one for her grandkids. I explained to her that every store was sold out because it was the hottest item of the season and she told me that I ruined her grandkids’ Christmas. I looked her dead in the face and and said, “No lady, you ruined your grandkids’ Christmas.” The district manager wasn’t very happy about that.
#13 No Discounts For Him
I once had a guy buy $200 of new-ish used games. I tried to sign him up on the membership card ( which has an annual fee of $11) because he’d not only pay $50 less, but the card would pay for itself in the transaction. He looked at me and said, “I hate you, your company, and everyone who is associated with GameStop. No, I don’t want your freaking card.” Okay, guess you like spending extra money!
#12 DS Stands For ‘Dirty System’
A guy traded in a Nintendo DS in pristine condition, still with it’s original packaging. He was a nice guy and talked about how he always takes care of his consoles. Anyway, the next customer was a mother and her brat of a child. They tried to return a DS that was completely smashed and covered in food and dirt. She wanted to claim on the 12-month warranty. My manager dutifully obliged and just handed her the freshly-traded, pristine DS.
#11 Too Busy Flossing
When Fortnite first got big, we had this older lady who always came in with her grandkid minutes before close. I’m talking at 8:58 p.m. and we close at 9 p.m. Well, the kid needed V-bucks so the grandma would buy him whatever he wants. She’d buy him $10 for XBL but then find out there’s tax on the Xbox marketplace. She was floored by this. She came back complaining and said we need to warn people there is tax on the marketplace.
I asked her if she thought we needed this for all stores that tax their goods, and she told us no, just that we should inform all guests that online purchases are taxed—as if this was a new concept. We literally had to explain taxes to this woman all while her grandkid was screaming for more stuff. Later, we found out this kid gave up his XBL login to some other kid online with the promise of hard-to-get skins on Fortnite. The password was changed, so she had to call XBL support to get it back. She insisted that we should warn parents and guardians of that too. Lady, we are just selling this stuff, you need to educate yourself on your purchases.
#10 Left High And Dry
I opened up the store alone one morning and I was a new hire. It was Tuesday. We already had a small line outside for whatever games were coming out on that day. I couldn’t get the breaker box open to turn on the lights, so I had to call the general manager. She said open the store with the lights out and work on the line. I started the line, but the first guy was an absolute jerk with a Kmart bag full of 360 games, accessories, and the console itself. I rang it up and he said he wanted cash. I didn’t have that much in the register as I had just opened. He wouldn’t have it. So I emptied out all of the registers, gave him his money, and didn’t have change for the other people using cash.
#9 Figure It Out
On my first Black Friday shift, this one guy came in to trade in a whole bunch of Skylanders figures. Like two grocery bags full. This was at a time when Skylanders was relatively new, so there was no real streamlined way to get them all in the system. Since I didn’t know the characters, he had to look them up on the website while I dug through the system for them. It took about 30 minutes to get through all of them and the receipt was around six to seven feet long by the end. Following that guy, there was a line that went to the back of the store for the majority of my shift.
#8 Couldn’t Play With Friends
A short and bald male customer in his mid to late 40s with a Napoleon complex came in one night about 30 minutes before close. He slammed down a copy of Halo 5 Limited Edition, one day after release, and said he wanted a full refund. My coworker asked why, and the customer said it was because it didn’t have local co-op. My coworker proceeded to tell him that, because this is a new game that has been opened, he can’t do a full refund, but he can trade it in.
The guy wasn’t having it and just yelled at my coworker, “The game does not have local co-op! I demand a full refund because this is not the Halo that I was expecting!” My manger heard this and, being the jerk he is, told my coworker to refund the customer his money or he’d be fired. I have never been in a room filled with that much tension, especially over a video game.
#7 Frenzy At The Mall
We were located near the entrance to a mall, so it was a common occurrence for parents to leave their kids in our store and the candy store next to us. Every once in awhile, we would have a mom leave a kid with a huge box of games and systems to trade in. We had learned early to not allow kids to just randomly bring in large amounts of products for fear of it being stolen. However, if a parent accompanied a child into the store with the trade, we would just get a verbal confirmation that it was okay for the kid to proceed.
In this case, the kid had a huge box of PSX stuff. It was in really bad condition and off-branded. We’re talking 100 games easy. The trade in was less than $100 and I was being pretty generous on some of the items. The kid got his Xbox controller and a used copy of Fusion Frenzy. About 20 minutes later, his mother flew in and started screaming for a manager. I was acting manager, so I told her one wasn’t available but that I could help.
She was furious that her son had only received two items and not several games and an extra controller. I went over the trade in and showed her how beat up the items were since they had not yet been processed for resale. She continued to try to barter on the price of the trade but I would only offer the direct refund of trading her items back. This upset the kid so she just took the refund and told him they wouldn’t shop there anymore. The kid chucked the controller out of the store and she just laid into him while literally dragging him across the hall of the mall to get his controller. They still came in regularly but only bought items and never even tried to trade in from that point forward.
#6 All That Trouble For Nothing
When I first started doing transactions, this kid came in with a thick CD case full of games. There were close to 200. Since none of them had cases, I had to search each one individually for SKUs. That took me about an hour. One of my coworkers told me (once I was done) that I should have asked for his ID beforehand since there were so many. Of course, the kid didn’t have it on him. That was a big ordeal.
#5 Riding Their Way To A Discount
I worked at a tiny GameStop in the big mall in my city. Because it was so small, we had to utilize a lot of upper wall space and get really creative with it, which meant that we had to get an unnecessarily large ladder out of the back, which was always a nightmare to navigate for obvious reasons. Even more so when the store was crowded. During one winter holiday season, the store was particularly busy, and a customer asked me for a copy of Tony Hawk Ride.
So out came the ladder. The game was right by a large model skateboard that was up for display. I finally got the ladder situated and I was already stressed. Then, I reached up to get the game and accidentally dropped the copy behind it. When I looked down, a customer was holding it in his arms with a shocked look on his face, so I said, “Hey man, nice catch!” Turns out, I looked down too slowly and the large model skateboard had actually abruptly hit him in the face. It was surprisingly heavy for being a piece of plastic. His girlfriend was more upset than he was and our manager gave them the employee discount for their trouble.
#4 Wii Need Some Assistance
Once, during my shift, I noticed a few kids waiting out by our dumpster with duct tape. They were going to jump me when I took the trash out and steal Wiis just before the launch. Luckily, I didn’t take the trash out until three hours later, and by then, another store at the strip mall saw them and called the cops. I was completely unaware until I came back and my manager told me. Apparently, I had told people that we had Wiis and that put me in danger. I was written up.
#3 Anything For Those Tenders
This man, in his 30s, came into the store last week with his mother. She said that because he had been a good boy all week he could have an Xbox game. This guy saw two games that he wanted. His mom said he must choose just one. The man started to scream and his mother told him to pick one or they wouldn’t be getting chicken tenders later. He stopped screaming, picked a game, and they went on their way.
#1 The Ultimate Five Finger Discount
I worked in a store where theft was a very common occurrence. But there was one guy in particular who stuck with me. He nabbed one of the cheap controllers off the wall from the back of the store and put it in his backpack. Then, he came over to the counter, reached across the counter, opened a drawer, and stole a brand new game. He took it away from the register, opened it, waited in line, and traded the game in for $25. Then, he asked me to look for something in one of the bottom drawers and he stole back the game he just traded in for a second time! After that, he immediately left the store before I could notice he was gone. I have to give him credit, he had some slick moves.
#2 You’re A Mean One
An older gentleman came in looking for an Xbox deal that we had weeks before and I advised him that the deal was no longer available. We did, however, have better deals with better games. He came back to me five minutes later with his wife on the phone. I was put on the phone with her and was yelled at for five minutes because, apparently, I told her the deal would be on the next time she came into the store (this was my second shift, so I probably made a mistake). She then told me that if her husband isn’t walking out with the exact deal from weeks before, that I would be ruining a 12-year-old kid’s Christmas. I guess I was the Grinch.