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An Open Letter to Videogame Customers

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Dear customers,

Salutations! It’s your local videogame saleswoman here. You know, the one that you ask advice from but never listen to. The one you angrily come back to when you don’t listen and proceed to get even more pissed off because you don’t fall within our return policy. The girl you ignore because you think I have no idea what I’m talking about because I’m simply “a girl.” Shall I continue? I could go on and on, and so I shall in this open letter to videogame customers.

I’m not pretending that I have a glamorous job. I mean, I do work retail, and no retail job is usually a grand old time. My time at the retro store has been considerably better than the corporate hell hole I worked at for three years, however, one thing that has never changed is the attitude of some customers. So I’m here to explain to you a few things, in hopes that maybe you’ll get the message.

Firstly, we are not babysitters. I don’t know how many times parents simply leave their children in a store simply because there are videogames to occupy them. Now, some kids are perfectly polite, however, a majority of these kids that are left with no supervision are not only unruly and rude, but they have a tendency to make legitimate messes. Not to mention if the child walks out of our store, (we are in a mall after all,) some parents thoroughly get pissed off. Dear parents, I am not getting paid to watch your child, and in the state of Connecticut where I work you legally cannot leave your child unattended in a store. I am getting paid to take care of the store, and only to take care of the store. Period.

Secondly, please don’t discount me just because I have boobs. While I have plenty of creepy people who come into the store because they see a girl behind the counter, I also have plenty of customers who seem to believe I’m simply a pretty face and have no idea what I’m talking about. I could rattle off the correct answer to their question, show them the correct wire they need, etc, and they still will wave me away or wait until one of the boys are free to ask them the same exact questions just to get the same exact answers. Here’s the thing: If I ever am unsure about a question, I am the first to ask my superiors, or even go to the internet to look it up. I want you to walk out of the store with everything you need and I’m not about to pretend I know information I don’t. I’m employed here because I like videogames and have a butt ton of systems of my own. My boss wouldn’t have hired me simply for my boobs. He hired me for my knowledge and my nerdy habits.

IMG_1879Which brings me to my next point about being a girl. Just because I have boobs doesn’t mean it’s an open invitation for you to hit on me or any female working behind the counter. Being any type of female geek or nerd does not warrant getting formally creeped on. I’m lucky to have phenomenal male coworkers that constantly have my back, always taking over if someone is lurking, trying to get handsy, or flat out won’t take no for an answer when they start to sweet talk me. I can appreciate a compliment here and there, and I even expect that stuff, but in no way shape or form should I have to put up with bullshit. I shouldn’t have to constantly tell people my boyfriend looks like Wolverine in order to get people to back off. By the way, my boyfriend looks like Wolverine. I’m not joking, and it usually shuts most men up very quickly.

Lastly, yet the worst offender of them all, quit jumping the gun and listen to our advice for once. For the love of God, I don’t know how many times I’ve had unhappy customers come back angry because they decided they didn’t want to listen to us in the first place. Here’s a perfect and fairly recent example that occurred under my watch.

A guy came in looking to get back into the handheld scene, however, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to go the retro route or go full on 3DS mode. I spent a half hour asking him question after question about what games he liked, what he was looking to play, what was the last handheld he had played, etc. Essentially I followed my rules on recommending a game/console to a T. By the time I was done I was fairly certain a Game Boy Advance SP would be his best bet because the new games didn’t seem to be his thing, however, he’d have a ton of old school Pokemon games to play, which was what he was leaning towards. However, because I don’t get paid by the sale, I showed him all the handhelds plus the games and suggested that he go home to do some research just to make sure that he’d make the right decision. After all, I wanted a happy customer. He left smiling, saying he’d probably be back tomorrow.

Much to my surprise, he was back fifteen minutes later from the other game store in the mall with a brand spanking new 3DS. Certain this was a bad idea, but sticking to the “customer is always right” mantra, I sold him a few used games, making it clear that the games could at least be returned if he didn’t like them and prayed that he would enjoy the new handheld. When I came in for my next shift a few days later, the 3DS had been traded in, complete in the box. Not only could he not return it to the original store, he lost a ton of money on it obviously. We made sure to pay him a bit more than the other store, but still, he ended up losing a lot of money. Granted, he got all his money back on the games, but I couldn’t help but shake my head. Not only had I told him I didn’t think the 3DS would be something he would like, he never even bothered to go home and do the research like he said he would.. So yes, while it ultimately ends up being on him, it still drives me crazy because here I am simply trying to get the customer what they want.

I’ll say it one last time. I do not make commission. I get paid hourly. I get paid whether or not you buy something. Sure, I’d like to sell you something, but I’d rather you go home and think about what you want to buy, come back and leave happy on a different day, instead of buying something on a whim and wind up incredibly pissed off, especially if it’s a new item. Because like most places, once a new item is opened it cannot be returned. I don’t want you to be like the guy above.

Oh, and as always, please treat your retail workers with respect. It can be an incredibly stressful job.

Sincerely,

That Gamer Chick

 

About Emily Horton

Emily is just your average twenty something girl who discovered her love for gaming at the age of three or four, all thanks to her older brothers. Mario, The Lion King, Aladdin, Zelda were her first loves, but Pokemon, Final Fantasy, Tales, and pretty much all Japanese games eventually fell into that category. She has an unhealthy obsession with Pikachu, hoodies, her 3DS, t-shirts, plushies, and purses. She may also fancy herself as an excellent lawyer due to number of times she has played through the Ace Attorney series. Outside of videogames, she is a Disney, Harry Potter, and Tolkien fanatic, while also recently discovering that she is now a hardcore fan of Supernatural thanks to Netflix allowing her to watch eight seasons rapid fire. She has elvish writing, the Deathly Hallows, a rather large Tinkerbelle and a large Yuna from Final Fantasy X all tattooed on her body, with only more geeky stuff to be added. Currently working on her own fantasy novel, she hopes to publish it eventually once all the kinks are worked out.

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