They’re Not Making Fine Figure(ine)s Of Themselves

, , , , , , , | Right | January 31, 2018

(It’s release day of a game I’ve had pre-ordered for months. I’m mildly autistic and have social anxiety, as well as having busted my arm in a fall five days prior to the incident. I’ve been at home on rest with my arm in a sling. Normally, I would ask my husband to pick up the game, but due to being stuck in the house all week and the need for a pick-me-up, I decide to brave the store and grab the game myself. I reach the store at the shopping centre where I work, and I see that the queue is six feet out of the door. I join it in disbelief.)

Me: “Must be a lot of games coming out today.”

Customer #1: *overhears and turns around* “It’s a black Friday event, so there’s a huge sale on consoles and stuff. I’m here for a PS4.”

Me: “Ah, thanks.”

(I am now wishing I’d gotten here sooner, having heard of the queues and arguments that happen over in the USA around such sales. I wait in line for the best part of half an hour, and the queue grows behind me as I move forward. A mother and her son, who looks to be in his early 20s, join directly behind me and mutter about the length of the line almost constantly. It appears to be moving slowly, but without barricades outside the shop doors, the queue is more of a rabble. As we head inside the doors, we’re corralled into a narrow queue that sorts us into two abreast at the most.)

Customer #2: *very loudly as the queue narrows* “Has that girl always been in front of us? I don’t remember seeing her there before.”

Customer #3: “She probably pushed in. I bet she was behind us.”

(As the queue narrows, they attempt to push me out of the queue entirely, blocking the entry between the barricades by standing next to each other. Thankfully, I move faster than they do and keep my place in the queue, though I’m beginning to become stressed by the sheer mass of people adding to the pain in my arm. I distract myself from their mutterings by making eye contact with the busy staff that rush by, filling orders. Most are regulars at the food shop I work at and recognize me, smiling, which helps with the unease until I tune back into the conversation behind me.)

Customer #2: “That’s horrendously rude, pushing in. We’ve been waiting here for half an hour. She should have to wait as well.”

Customer #3: “Some people just want their games so badly they just don’t care.”

Customer #1: *turning, looking irritated at their raised discussion* “She’s been behind me the entire time. Cool it.”

(I smile at him for his aid; he doesn’t seem to notice and turns back to the front, but the pair quiets down for five minutes or so. Now, the queue has narrowed, and the line seems to be moving faster, though there are only two sales points so progress is still a little painful. I’m four places from the front when they start up again.)

Customer #3: “I bet she thinks it’s fine because she’s hurt herself.”

Customer #2: “I bet she did it on purpose to get attention.”

Customer #3: “It might not even be hurt; she’s not got a cast, just a splint. It’s probably fake.”

Customer #2: “Maybe she’s using it to scam benefits to spend on games.”

Customer #3: “Maybe I should squeeze her arm and see.”

(By this point I’ve had enough. I’m in a lot of pain and under a lot of stress thanks to my anxiety, and on the edge of tears from the comments. I step into the space next to me and motion for them to go ahead of me while trying to keep calm enough to not succumb to a breakdown in public.)

Me: “Please, if your game is so important to you, save yourself thirty seconds and step in front of me already, and shut up. I’ve already waited almost an hour; a few minutes won’t kill me.”

Customer #3: *as they take my place* “About time. You should have just joined the queue like everyone else.”

Customer #2: “Rude b****.”

(I bite my lip, but I can feel myself breaking. I refuse to leave the store after waiting in the line so long, and I try to repress it, but tears still fall. [Customer #1] turns around and gives me a concerned look, but I shrug and shake my head, knowing my breakdown will only get worse if I try to talk about it. Before long, [Customer #1] is called up to a till and the pair are at the front of the line. Looking around at random parts of the shop, trying to calm down, I notice that [Customer #1] has pointed to me and is talking to their cashier, a man I know well. I offer him a weak smile when our eyes meet, and he smiles back before going back to [Customer #1]. I feel embarrassed that everyone I know from this store is going to know I cried in line now. The pair are pulled up to the second register, pick up the single item they pre-ordered: the same game as me. It comes with a free miniature figurine. They leave just as [Customer #1] does, so I head up to the till with the employee I recognize.)

Employee: “Are you all right? The last guy said that pair in front of you were being pretty rude.”

Customer #4: *overhearing at her own cash register and turning around* “They tried to push her out the queue, accused her of faking her arm injury, and insulted her when she stepped aside to let them in front to shut them up.”

Me: “It’s okay. I just want to pick up [Game] and be on my way home. I’ve had enough.”

Employee: *smiling, bags my game* “Unfortunately, we just ran out of figurines to go with pre-orders, but…” *pulls out a figurine from under the desk of his coworker, who has seen the whole exchange at her own till* “…looks like my associate’s last customers forgot theirs, so you can have it.”

Me: *smiles back* “Thank you.”

(While he is still bagging up my order and putting a 10% discount on my transaction for my experience in the queue, the pair comes back into the store and demands their figurine. My clerk turns my transaction over to a colleague, so he can handle the matter as the manager of the store. They are told that the store has run out of figurines, and that they are ejected and permanently banned from the store for upsetting another regular customer by bullying.)

Customer #2: “Well… You’re upsetting my child!” *the 20-something man just looks annoyed he didn’t get his figurine* “We’ll complain to Trading Standards! I know my rights!”

Employee: “Please do. I look forward to regaling them with the whole story.”

(The woman huffed and stormed out, leaving me feeling a little better with a smile on my face. The staff all wished me well before I left. I still have the figure — a small plastic thing, about the height of my thumb, probably only worth 50 pence — it has place of pride on my desk to remind me of the wonderful staff at my local game store!)

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She Was Never At The Age For Games

, , , , | Right | January 18, 2018

(A customer with an eight-year-old child comes over and asks us to recommend a board game as a present for her husband. It’s immediately apparent she knows nothing about board games. I pull out our favourite gateway game and extol its many virtues: ease of learning, replayability, family-friendliness, etc. The customer seems happy, takes the box to look at, and fixates on game’s age rating, “8+.”)

Customer: “My husband is 36. This says eight.”

Me: “Ma’am, the age rating mostly informs about difficulty of rules. I know five-year-olds who play with family, and many adults who enjoy this game with friends.”

Customer: “But my husband is 36 years old. “

(I’m thinking, okay. Maybe the husband will play with his buddies and not with her. Something meatier, then. I take down a strategy/economy game and explain it, emphasizing required strategy, deep decision-making, and cutthroat player competition. She takes a look and sees a “12+” on the box.)

Customer: “It’s 12. He is 36.”

Me: “The age on the box is, roughly, when a player can understand the rules and play unassisted. An eight-year-old couldn’t play this alone; there’s too many things to keep track of. A 12-year-old could play, but not at a great level. An adult would be able to see and plan and use all the game has to offer. I promise it won’t be too easy or boring.”

(I go into this “teaching mode” for a few minutes, explaining and pointing out examples of how some of the most mind-bending, headache-inducing, multi-hour games only have “14+” age ratings and some of the greatest, most popular games worldwide are “8+” or “10+”. By the end, I can see in her eight-year-old son’s eyes that he understands. The customer is holding a box, thoughtfully looking at a picture of a game in progress. Then she raises her head.)

Customer: “But my husband is 36.”

(Eventually she picked out and bought an outdoor game of throwing wooden sticks at targets, presumably because it didn’t have an age listed anywhere on the box.)

This Customer Needs To Be Ghosted

, , , , | Right | January 15, 2018

Cashier: “Hello, ma’am. How may I help you?”

Customer: “I need a refund for this game!”

Cashier: “Was it defective?”

Customer: “It released evil spirits into my house!”

Cashier: “I’m sorry, ma’am. Unless it was defective, it cannot be returned once opened.”

Customer: “MY HOUSE IS CURSED BECAUSE OF YOU!”

(I see the title of the game at this point, Wii Play Plus, and know exactly what she is talking about.)

Customer: “YOU WILL GIVE ME A REFUND OR I WILL SUE THIS STORE FOR EVERY F****** PENNY!”

Me: “Excuse me, ma’am. The ghost mini-game does not actually detect real ghosts.”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “The Wii takes advantage of the Wii MotionPlus to detect where it’s pointing even if it’s off the screen. There are no actual ghosts in your house.”

Customer: “Well, I never! Who thought that was a good idea? People could get confused easily!” *flounces out, game in hand*

(The cashier wordlessly handed me a 75%-off coupon.)

A Couch Cheese-Potato

, , , , | Right | December 12, 2017

(I just started working at a game store that has an upper floor where people can go play games in private, and can also order some snacks. My new boss is telling me that before closing time I must go and clean the gaming rooms.)

Boss: “Be sure to check everywhere. You’ll be surprised by the ways customers can dirty up the place.”

(I go ahead and clean up the place. I do find a surprise while doing so, and when finish, I relate to my boss:)

Me: “Seems one of the kids that was here earlier didn’t finish his cheese snack and, for whatever weird reason, decided that the best course of action was to stuff the half-finished bag inside the couch.”

Boss: *chuckles* “I wish I could tell you that’s the weirdest thing I’ve found.”

Wish They Would Stop Trucking Swearing

, , , , , , , | Right | November 17, 2017

(The mall where I work has construction going on near our store, and the nearest mall door is closed off to customers. There are security guards posted to let construction and mall workers in and out. One of my employees has used the emergency exit in our backroom that opens up into the designated smoking area and the construction area. He returns from his smoke break and opens the door to the backroom to come back to work, followed by someone who shouldn’t be in my backroom. The stranger walks right past me and out of my store.)

Me: “What the…?”

Employee: “He’s a foreman or something for the construction, and the security guards aren’t there to let him in. I just did him a favour.”

Me: “How noble of you, but you know better than to let a random dude from outside into the backroom! If the managers or head office had come in, you’d be in a ton of trouble! No more randoms through the backroom door, understood?”

Employee: “Yeah, I get it. My bad.”

(Ten minutes later, the same random dude walks back into the store.)

Construction Guy: “Can you let me out through there?”

Me: “No, sir. I can’t have non-employees going into the backroom. [Employee] let you in to do you a favour, but I can’t let you exit through there.”

Construction Guy: “Seriously? I’ve already been back there; stop being a d*** and just let me leave. The exit doors won’t open.”

Me: “Yeah, and that was a one-time deal, and a mistake that [Employee] made. But I can’t let you back there again. The security personnel just walked past the store; if you catch up to them, they’ll be more than happy to let you out.”

Construction Guy: “What the f***?! My truck is sitting out there!”

Me: “If you keep being so ridiculously crass in a store full of kids, I’m going to have security remove you. [Employee], call the security office.”

Construction Guy: “F*** YOU, A**HOLE! IF SOMEBODY STEALS MY TRUCK I’LL F****** SUE YOU!”

Me: “You can try, and now I’m going to escort you to the door.” *starts to walk around the counter*

Construction Guy: “Whatever! Hope you have a great day, b****!”

Me: “Thank you; I will. You take care, now.”

(He started to walk out, head turned to continue screaming profanities at me, and promptly walked right into the massive glass window at the front of the store. All the customers started laughing at him as he picked himself up and stormed out, as I chuckled and waved goodbye.)

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