Game Over For This Store

| Working | July 26, 2014

(I work at a small video game shop that sells new and used games as well as new and used consoles. This includes retro consoles. We have, on display, many different consoles and games. Our business is set up so that if we have a game or console in stock customers can play any game before buying, and can trade in pretty much any game regardless of console. In fact, it was even in the name of the business that someone could trade and play games. We also do console repairs. Along with working the floor, I’m the only person who repairs these consoles. The owner of the business, however, starts getting more and more restricting toward customers.)

Boss: “So, everyone, the new policy is that customers cannot play any games unless they are going to buy it.”

Me: “How do we know they are going to buy it, or for that matter how do the customers know if they are going to buy the game without playing it?”

Boss: “We’re doing this so parents will not drop off kids to play games and leave us to babysit.”

Me: “But that’s half of our customers that would buy video games.”

Boss: “Just don’t let people play games!”

(The boss posts a big sign in the window about this and, as a result, we lose about half of our business. He also fires most of my coworkers within two weeks, leaving just four of us.)

Boss: “Okay, everyone. Since we’ve somehow lost a lot of business, you’ll notice I’ve had to let some of your coworkers go. We’re also not going to host any more of the weekly game tournaments.”

Coworker #1: “But those tournaments bring in more money in two hours than any other whole day!”

Boss: “Well, we aren’t going to do them any more. We aren’t bringing in a lot, so I can’t afford to have all of you here at once for tournaments. That’s final.”

Coworker #2: “What about new releases? We’ve lost a lot of customers to [Big Chain Competitor] because we haven’t gotten in any new releases this week.”

Boss: “I didn’t buy any of the new releases this week. I don’t want to buy any more new releases until we get more sales. We don’t have enough customers so we can’t afford to just have these on the shelf. That’s why we are also stopping all trades. We need to move this old stuff before we take in any trades. I don’t want a single trade in unless it’s for some other old thing. Trades are no longer allowed to be used towards newer games.”

Me: *after we all unsuccessfully tried to reason with him* “And what about repair parts? I have about 40 consoles that have been here for weeks and I still haven’t gotten the parts in. Can you check on the parts for me?”

Boss: “I’ll buy you those parts. Just give me a list of what you need.”

(I give my boss the same list of parts I had given him weeks before. Since he didn’t want more than one person working at a time, I was put on repairs only. This meant I was only paid commission on repairs. After four total weeks of no parts and no paychecks, I went to the store to talk to him.)

Me: “[Coworker #1], have you seen [Boss]? And I thought [Coworker #3] was working today.”

Coworker #1: “No, I haven’t seen [Boss], and [Coworker #3] quit. He was yelled at for locking up the place so he could go to the bathroom.”

Me: “So let me get this straight. He was forced to work all alone from opening until closing and got yelled at for locking the door so he could go into the back to pee?”

Coworker #1: “Yep. I’m just glad I’m actually getting paid.”

Me: “Yeah. I’m still waiting on those parts to come in and I haven’t gotten a paycheck in a month!”

Coworker #1: “He hasn’t talked to you?! He said he wasn’t going to order them until we had more sales.”

Me: “What?! So [Boss] has stopped letting people play games, stopped hosting game tournaments, stopped buying new releases, stopped taking in trades, and stopped console repairs?! And he expects more customers and more sales?!”

(I printed some receipt paper and wrote, ‘Since I haven’t worked for the past month, let’s make it official. I quit. Signed, [My Name]’ and taped it to his office door. Not surprisingly, the business closed a few weeks later.)

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