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It’s Madden-ing

| OH, USA | Technology, Time

(I’m talking with my friend over the Internet. He works at a video game store, and at the time of the conversation it is exactly one day before the latest Madden NFL game is released.)

Friend: “You know, the week before Madden is always a fun time for the phone. Every five minutes, the phone rings, we say ‘[Store]. Madden comes out tomorrow. How can I help you?’ and they ask, ‘Do you have Madden?’ Every f***in’ time.”

Me: “Hah.”

(He pauses for a while.)

Friend: “Either that, or they just hang up.”

The Decks Are Set Against You

| Cambridge, MA, USA | Game Store | Money

(We’re running a promotion where customers who buy cards for a specific game get a free deck box. I’ve just finished ringing out a customer.)

Me: “…and you get this deck box with your purchase today!”

Customer: “Whoa, really?”

Me: “Yup! One per customer, while supplies last.”

Customer #2: “It’s free?”

Me: “Yes, if you buy a pack or a deck.”

Customer #2: “So, if I get multiple packs…”

Me: “Sorry, just one per customer.”

Customer #3: “Did I just hear something about free deck boxes?”

Me: “Yes. One per customer; you just have to buy a pack.”

Customer #3: “Wow, one per pack?”

(…and so on. This went on through a good half-dozen customers, all in rapid succession.)

Making A Mute Point

| IL, USA | Bigotry, Extra Stupid, Technology

(I am at visiting a game store that I go to quite often, to the point that most of the employees consider me a “regular”. Due to a throat injury I received when I was younger, I am mute. I’m there to see if they have a copy of a game that had, at the time, just come out. There are only two employees working at the time; both are behind the counter as I walk in. Any ‘dialog’ of mine for this story is actually just me scribbling into a notepad and showing it to whoever I am speaking to, as it’s my main method of communicating.)

Employee #2: “Hey, [My Name], are you looking for something?”

Me: “Yeah. I was hoping you had a copy of [Game], since I wasn’t able to reserve a copy.”

Employee #1: “Yeah, we have a few. I’ll show you where they are.”

(He shows me to where they are, and leaves me to do some extra browsing. He returns to the register, where his coworker is, when another customer approaches them. He appears to be in his late-teens/early 20s.)

Customer: “Hey, you really shouldn’t encourage her like that.”

(The customer gestures to me, and isn’t even being subtle about it.)

Employee #2: “I’m sorry, sir, but I have no clue what you mean.”

Customer: “That girl over there! If you treat her like a normal person, she might get the wrong idea!”

Employee #1: “With all due respect, what are you even talking about?”

Customer: “Don’t play dumb! She’s clearly retarded! Won’t it look bad for business if you let a [slur] wander around? And besides, she’s a girl! She probably doesn’t even play video games!”

(Unfortunately, people assuming I am either deaf or mentally handicapped because of my inability to speak is a common occurrence. I’ve gotten used to it, but it doesn’t make it any less annoying. Still, I do my best to ignore it. The assumption that I don’t play video games because I’m a girl isn’t as common, but it does come up once in a while.)

Employee #2: “Please forgive me, sir, but I’m going to have to ask that you not speak about her that way. Not only is she a regular customer, but she’s definitely NOT mentally handicapped. She just can’t speak because of—”

Customer: “Right! Because she’s retarded! I don’t think it’s safe to let her wander around the store. What if she ends up making someone else retarded?!”

(All three of us are completely dumbfounded. As mentioned before, I’m used to these sorts of assumptions, but this was a new one.)

Customer: “So are you going to kick her out or not? People like her don’t deserve to be in here!”

Employee #1: *visibly angry, and doing his best to keep his cool* “No, we’re not. However, if you don’t stop insulting out customers, we are going to have to ask YOU to leave!”

Customer: “What the h***, man?! I’m just looking out for your best interest! If you wanna treat that [slur] like she’s a person, that’s your business, but don’t come running to me if it hurts your business!”

Employee #1: “Okay, that’s it. We tried being civil. Please leave and don’t come back.”

(The customer is clearly pissed off, but before he can say or do anything, I walk over and slip a note into his hands. He instinctively reads the note.)

Me: “By the way, you can call me retarded all you want, but at least I’m not the one with their fly unzipped.”

(He looked down and confirmed that his fly was, indeed, unzipped. His face turned a shade of red, and he then stormed off in what I could only assume was a combination of rage and embarrassment. We still laugh about it to this day!)

Not Game For The Games

| Canberra, ACT, Australia | Bizarre, Technology, Theme Of The Month

(A lovely, little old lady is wandering around the game store where I work. She picks up a copy of ‘Empires’ and turns to me.)

Customer: “What is this?”

Me: “It is a turn based strategy game. You control an army, the opponent controls an army, and you take turns to—”

Customer: “Yes, but what is it?”

Me: “Well, it’s kind of like the game ‘Risk.’ There are some games that happen in ‘real time,’ where you and the opponent move at the same time, but this one—”

Customer: “Yes, but is it a book, a CD, a board game?”

Me: “It’s a computer game, madam. This is a computer game shop.”

Customer: “Oh…”

(She wanders off, picks up another game, and asks another sales associate.)

Customer: “What is this?”

Grand Theft Insolence

| Oxfordshire, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Technology

(A mother and son approach my till with a carrier bags full of games to trade in. Some of them are 15- and 18-rated. The boy is approximately 11 years old.)

Mother:  “We’d like to trade these in for credit, please.”

Me: “No problem. Do you know what you’d like to buy with the credit?”

(I start swiping the games through the till. The mum looks at the boy, who shakes his head.)

Me: “That’s okay. I can put it onto a gift card for you, or I can give you a price for what we’d give you in cash, instead?”

Boy: “A gift card.”

Mother: *to the boy* “Please!”

Boy: “A gift card, please.”

Mother: “But won’t this leave you without ANY games?”

Boy: “Yeah, but Dad’s going to come to town with me tomorrow to get GTA Fi—” *trails off and looks up at me… knowing he’s put his foot in it*

Me: “Oh… uh…” *to mother* “I feel I should mention that GTA is an 18-rated game for a VERY good reasons. In the game there is a torture scene—”

Mother: “What?!”

Me: “… Your son’s character can also pick up, have sex with, then murder prostitutes. There’s also—”

Mother: “ABSOLUTELY NOT!” *turning to son, who is now looking like he’s been caught in a lie* “You KNEW about this, didn’t you?! NO WAY are you having that, and NO WAY your dad would let you have that either. Oh, god…”

Me: “I, uh… could go on, but I guess I don’t need to.”

(The mother is obviously shocked at what she was about to buy for her son. I explain the video game ratings system to her so she can make informed decisions in future, and write down a good review website I know of so she can research. All the while the kid is getting more and more frustrated realising he’s not going to get what he wants.)

Boy: *to mother* “I’m NOT talking to you.”

Mother: “Oh, really? I think you’re forgetting who bought you all of these games.” *turning to me* “I’ll take the cash price on these, please.”

(The mother then proceeds to sell ALL of the son’s games to me for cash, which she puts into her wallet. She then thanks me for my help, turns, and leaves, leaving her son shocked and GTA-5-less at my counter.)

Related:
Grand Theft Innocence, Part 9
Grand Theft Innocence, Part 8
Grand Theft Innocence, Part 7
Grand Theft Innocence, Part 6
Grand Theft Innocence, Part 5
Grand Theft Innocence, Part 4
Grand Theft Innocence, Part 3
Grand Theft Innocence, Part 2
Grand Theft Innocence

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