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Subject: A FLGS employee gripe thread rss

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The amazing & fabulous
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As some of you know, I am the 2IC at a large FLGS. I love my job. It is kind of my dream job. I get to play a lot of games, tell people about games, sell people games, meet people who like to play games, claim games as a tax deduction... Really - it is the coolest job that I could ever hope to have. And I know I am lucky. I could be working as a Public Servant and having my craziness crushed out of me by an office full of whiny suits all day.

But every now and again, people do the most annoying things in my store. And some people really don't treat you really well, either. The job is Customer Service, not Customer Servant. But in saying that, I like to go the extra mile for customers, offer them gift wrapping or whatever. Assist them in ways they didn't even consider. Whatever, it is my job, and I like to think that I am reasonably good at it.

But here are some of the things that people do that really grind my gears.

lemoncamel People who push in front of other customers who are waiting patiently to be served.

We try to staff our store so that there is more staff here at the busy times. At Xmas, we overstaff, and it is sometimes still too busy for 3 or more staff members in the downstairs section. So when someone decides that they are too important to wait for their turn, it can be very difficult to hold my tongue and not tell them off. We try to accomodate everyone in order, and give excellent service to all, so it can become so frustrating to have to deal with this kind of behaviour.

orangecamel People who say they don't want your help and then ask you a stream of questions.

It must be the easiest thing to say to someone when they ask you if you would like some assistance. "No thanks," or "No, I am just looking." But then they follow up straight away with a bunch of questions. It may seem like a little thing, but it is very, very annoying. I try very hard not to be pushy, or bother people who are browsing in my store. I don't like being bombarded by pushy sales staff when I am shopping. But please people! Have a little respect for the sales staff. Don't be arrogant or rude to them, and then expect gold star service. If you need help - Ask for it, or when someone asks you if you want help, maybe don't say no rudely before launching into your questions.

limecamel Every child is "gifted."

This is such a crock of camel dung. If I had a dollar for every customer who told me the child they are buying a present for is gifted, I would be a billionaire and be able to single handedly save the struggling economy.
Not every child is gifted. Sure, there are bright and smart kids out there, but in general, your 3 year old nephew/son is not going to be able to play World in Flames or ASL with you quite yet. And when you return 2 days later saying that the "other" sales assistant pushed you into buying it - it is not going to cut it. See, the joy or having your weekend during the week means that I was there on Saturday when you were insisting your kids was gifted and would be able to play the game. And I am almost the only girl who works here.

orangecamel Yes I am female, I have boobs. I also have a brain.

Don't treat me like an idiot because I am female. Don't talk to my chest. Don't roll your eyes when I tell you I love Diplomacy. Sometimes it does not surprise me that so many of my customers are single. Try to respect me, and I will try to respect you.

mintcamel Watch out for your children!

It is not cute when your child knocks over piles of stock, rips open boxes, sucks on any of the stock or climbs into our display window to wreak havoc. Try to dicipline your child, or at least make sure they are not damaging our stock. We have to try to sell it.

grapecamel We are not a day care centre or child care centre.

You would think this would be obvious. But I cannot tell you how many children under the age of 6 get left in our store while their parents go for lunch, coffee or whatever. We cannot mind your children. We are not qualified to mind your children. If there is an emergency, we cannot be responsible for your children. Sometimes we don't know who your children belong to. They may leave with a stranger. Do you really want to risk that? It amazes me the stupidity of some people. I cannot child mind for you because you are too busy,stupid, lazy, harrassed or caught up in your own stuff to do it yourself. Please don't put that kind of pressure on Sales Staff in a game store.

goldencamel COMMON COURTESY

I guess this all comes down to being well mannered and showing courtesy for your fellow human beings. If you throw up in my store, please tell me, and I will help you try to clean both the vomit up, and you too. Please don't snap at the staff when they are trying to help you. Respect your other customers too. They deserve it. We all do.
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Been inundated with mouth-breathers today, Sheb?
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mr_lunch wrote:
Been inundated with mouth-breathers today, Sheb?


mebee... And what of it?
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Everyone who works in retail has some variation of this list. Manual labor leaves scars on your hands. Working in retail leaves scars on your soul.
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Gritdog wrote:
I'm male. I have a penis but, I also have a brain.
I think you're the one who needs to get over your boobs.


Yes, and I don't stare at your crotch whilst I talk to you.
I don't need to get over my boobs. I like them. It's guys who talk to my chest that need to get over them.



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shebby wrote:
grapecamel We are not a day care centre or child care centre.

You would think this would be obvious. But I cannot tell you how many children under the age of 6 get left in our store while their parents go for lunch, coffee or whatever. We cannot mind your children. We are not qualified to mind your children. If there is an emergency, we cannot be responsible for your children. Sometimes we don't know who your children belong to. They may leave with a stranger. Do you really want to risk that? It amazes me the stupidity of some people. I cannot child mind for you because you are too busy,stupid, lazy, harrassed or caught up in your own stuff to do it yourself. Please don't put that kind of pressure on Sales Staff in a game store.


Put the cops on speed dial and call them to report abandonment every time this happens.
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shebby wrote:
Gritdog wrote:
I'm male. I have a penis but, I also have a brain.
I think you're the one who needs to get over your boobs.


Yes, and I don't stare at your crotch whilst I talk to you.
I don't need to get over my boobs. I like them. It's guys who talk to my chest that need to get over them.





Obviously not all guys are like this stereotype, but its pretty common. It's a stereotype for a reason. In male-dominated hobbies, a lot of guys have the reaction of:
- ZOMG LOOK AT UR BOOBS!LOL!!!11WANNA GO OUT?!
or
- You're a girl and therefore dumb.

Yeah, there are unfortunately a lot of these guys out there.
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Mr_Nuts wrote:
Everyone who works in retail has some variation of this list. Manual labor leaves scars on your hands. Working in retail leaves scars on your soul.


Yeah, but working in gaming retail is SOOOOOOO much worse. A lot of these people have no clue, and most seem to fit the stereotypical geek-nerd archetype with no social skills. Then there are the wierdos.

Okay: one day in my awful, horrid year in game store retail this teenage boy came in. Not only was he dressed like a bum and gave off the aura of one of those kids that shoot up their school, but he had not brushed his teeth as he kept following us beleagered store employees with his questions. "So what," you say, "he did not brush his teeth. You're just being a snob." Well, my friends, you could smell sperm in there everytime this f**ker opened his mouth. This was one of the worst freaks we had.

Then there were the worshippers of certain game systems who would regale you with the spiritual benefits of converting to their chosen faith. They made the ones that wanted to tell you about their characters seem tame.

Now there were also a lot of cool people who came in, some of whom worked in the industry, and others who had interesting things to say. About 1 in 20 of those who were regulars fit this profile and would be the guys and gals I would hang out with. But they were a pittance compared to the social misfits and other dregs of humanity that mostly walked through the doors.

Shebby, my sympathies are with you. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, and earned the battlescars.
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byronczimmer wrote:
shebby wrote:
grapecamel We are not a day care centre or child care centre.

You would think this would be obvious. But I cannot tell you how many children under the age of 6 get left in our store while their parents go for lunch, coffee or whatever. We cannot mind your children. We are not qualified to mind your children. If there is an emergency, we cannot be responsible for your children. Sometimes we don't know who your children belong to. They may leave with a stranger. Do you really want to risk that? It amazes me the stupidity of some people. I cannot child mind for you because you are too busy,stupid, lazy, harrassed or caught up in your own stuff to do it yourself. Please don't put that kind of pressure on Sales Staff in a game store.


Put the cops on speed dial and call them to report abandonment every time this happens.


I would *really* do this.

You don't want the liability.
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As a former FLGS employee, I truly empathize with you on most of your points (the female thing is certainly out of my realm).

If I may comment:

Quote:
lemoncamel People who push in front of other customers who are waiting patiently to be served.


After informing the offending party that there are others in line ahead of him/her, if they insist, I'll simply reply, "Sir/Madam, I'll be happy to ring up your sale, provided each and every person standing in this line ahead of you are willing to oblige you." It truly does wonders.

Quote:
orangecamel People who say they don't want your help and then ask you a stream of questions.


This is not a game store thing. It's a retail thing. Consumers are conditioned to give the obligatory "I'm just looking" response, even if they do have questions. This one you'll just have to lump.

Quote:
limecamel Every child is "gifted."


And every baseball card someone's selling is in mint condition.

You really have to put on your Sherlock Holmes cap and deduce for yourself just how "gifted" they truly are, then steer the family towards games in the appropriate age/maturity level. The trick is to not let on that you're dismissing their claims; if you appear that you are interested, they'll likely be enthusiastic towards your sales pitches.

Quote:
orangecamel Yes I am female, I have boobs. I also have a brain.


Sorry, boardgaming truly does have a disproportionate amount of introverts, due to the restricting social nature of a boardgame (you're typically only dealing with 1-5 other people at a time). The result is a large number of gamers with little to no social skills.

Even in the world outside of the shop you're going to be objectified simply because you house xx chromosomes. The only way to prove yourself as a gamer is to pull off stabbing Germany as the Italians, and to get away with it! Or call them out..."my face is up here!"

Quote:
mintcamel Watch out for your children!


Ain't it the truth! I never blame a child for being a child. I always blame parents for not being parents.

Quote:
grapecamel We are not a day care centre or child care centre.


So true, so true. Thank heavens I never had to deal with a child abduction at the store I worked at. The only solution to this is to be quick to act and firm with parents, informing them that you and the store is not responsible for children being left unattended, and that they (the parents) will be held responsible for any damages incurred by their children if left unattended. Strike a little fear in them by pointing out the abduction thingie.

Quote:
goldencamel COMMON COURTESY


I remember a local store creating a credit/demerit system for courtesy and behavior for the shop regulars. 1 demerit for each infraction (more for serious ones), and 3 credits at the end of the day. 10 demerits kicks you out of the store for the day (too bad if you're in the middle of a game), but resets the number back to zero.

But, overall, yes...courtesy is in short supply these days. You're there to help, not to receive abuse.

Be sure to point that out to abusive customers. Warn beligerent phonecallers that you do not have to be verbally accosted, and that you can (and will) terminate a call if disrespected. Remind customers that the establishment has the right to refuse service, EVEN WITHOUT ONE OF THOSE STUPID SIGNS.

But most importantly, keep up the good work, the enthusiasm, and keep on spreading the joy of gaming to those who enter your store.

Good gaming to you!
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Just a quick story of the other side of retail too.

From 1978-1993 or so, my parents ran a retail games and book store. It never did particularly well, but it had a core of loyal customers.

My dad is currently in hospital. The man who shares his room there is also local. Both wives spend a lot of time in at the hospital, understandably.

Mum was talking with his family yesterday and the daughter (who would be in her 50s or 60s) broke in with - "Oh my goodness! You're the lady from the book shop! YOU were the person who turned my son into a reader! Thank you so much!"

They gave her a lift home, too
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shebby wrote:
Sometimes it does not surprise me that so many of my customers are single.

LOL, oh so true, so true.

This brings flashbacks at my days at an FLGS (although there was less talking to my boobs, although maybe I didn't notice).
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shebby wrote:
mr_lunch wrote:
Been inundated with mouth-breathers today, Sheb?

mebee... And what of it?

You can always come in here to vent

I've been told by several people that I shouldn't do retail. Apparently I'm a little too much like Bernard Black.



I worked in a department store one Christmas while I was going through Uni.

I was in the toy department. goo
I've never had to be nice to so many undeserving, pushy morons in my life.

EDIT: Hope your day gets better!
EDIT2:
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Thanks for your feedback Mr J.L Robert, and pretty much everyone else who has replied so far.

I don't for one moment want anyone to think that I don't love my job. I do. It is awesome and cool and I lurve it! I guess like everyone else, you just need to occasionally let off some steam. Mostly, people are wonderful and nice. Occasionally the bad apples turn up.

Retail can be soul crushing. I have worked in a Call Centre too, and this was the most crappiest soul destroying job thst I ever had. Ever. I don't know how anyone does that for a living. It almost broke me.

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One of the major reasons I buy the predominant amount of games online is because I want to avoid the very people you are discussing here. If somehow those people would start buying solely online I would be buying solely at the FLGS. Unfortunately, sometimes the staff can also be described using the same list. I feel for you if these are your peers.
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melissa wrote:
byronczimmer wrote:
shebby wrote:
grapecamel We are not a day care centre or child care centre.

You would think this would be obvious. But I cannot tell you how many children under the age of 6 get left in our store while their parents go for lunch, coffee or whatever. We cannot mind your children. We are not qualified to mind your children. If there is an emergency, we cannot be responsible for your children. Sometimes we don't know who your children belong to. They may leave with a stranger. Do you really want to risk that? It amazes me the stupidity of some people. I cannot child mind for you because you are too busy,stupid, lazy, harrassed or caught up in your own stuff to do it yourself. Please don't put that kind of pressure on Sales Staff in a game store.


Put the cops on speed dial and call them to report abandonment every time this happens.


I would *really* do this.

You don't want the liability.


I wasn't kidding, and no, they don't want the liability. By showing concern (and reporting it to the authorities) you are demonstrating due diligence.

And not 9-1-1... just the local dispatcher or non-emergency number.
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Quote:
grapecamel We are not a day care centre or child care centre.



Actually I knew a store that worked out a babysitting fee with the parents of their little precious. They looked at it as a way to make some money off the parents and it worked on both ends. The kid bought alot of Warhammer product(though never painted them) and the parents were happy.
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shebby wrote:
summary = wah wah
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bolter wrote:
shebby wrote:
summary = wah wah


Very eloquently put. As I admitted. Blowing off steam.

Thank you for your informative addition to the thread.

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Osiris Ra wrote:
They made the ones that wanted to tell you about their characters seem tame.


You ran into that guy too!!!! Small world!

Yeah , unfortunately it's alllwwaaayys the same guy. Always the same far away look in his eye. The same speech. The same smell.
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I see you deleted your blog Shebby, but didn't there use to be a bit of complaining about customers there too?

Maybe retail isn't for you?
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shebby wrote:
Gritdog wrote:
I'm male. I have a penis but, I also have a brain.
I think you're the one who needs to get over your boobs.


Yes, and I don't stare at your crotch whilst I talk to you.
I don't need to get over my boobs. I like them. It's guys who talk to my chest that need to get over them.


You see, I have a problem with this.
I like boobs. I look at boobs, I'll openly admit it. BUT, I'll only TALK to boobs if you are cute enough and your boobs deserving... so consider it a compliment.


Now, I also find a womans jaw and neck lines to be a turn on... but no one ever complains about me staring at that...

Chevee
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lokides wrote:
I see you deleted your blog Shebby, but didn't there use to be a bit of complaining about customers there too?

Maybe retail isn't for you?


Actually, there may have been one or two posts about retail work on my blog, but mostly it was about missing my husband, and dealing with his being away for extended periods of time. Also, the death of my Grandmother. And my relationship with my siblings. And workmates.

I deleted it as I decided it was really just a diary, and only really stuff for me to write for me. I should prolly have never made it public. I wasn't comfortable with people knowing so much about me when I work in a fairly public position. And so I deleted it.

I think retail IS for me. As I have said earlier, and Ill say again now, I LOVE my job. I love almost all of my customers. I have worked for Corporations, at a quarry bacthing concrete and driving a Front End Loader. I have also worked with children in daycare, sold food, made coffee, solved complex complaints at a major Australian Telco and cleaned industrial worksites. I think I have found a niche here.

So, no. I think you are incorrect. Retail IS for me, just some people AREN'T for me. But I suck it up, am incredibly nice to them, and occasionally vent.


edit: for spelling etc.
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shebby wrote:
Yes I am female, I have boobs. I also have a brain.

Don't treat me like an idiot because I am female. Don't talk to my chest. Don't roll your eyes when I tell you I love Diplomacy. Sometimes it does not surprise me that so many of my customers are single. Try to respect me, and I will try to respect you.


Yes, yes you do. In fact, judging by your profile picture, they are definitely worth staring at, as is the rest of you. Don't take it so seriously; we guys are a little bit like that, we get easily distracted by pretty. By the same token, many of us can also limit such admiration to those times when we are not actually in conversation (or gaming!) with you. It can't hurt to be admired, and as irritating as it might be, you may want to feel a bit of compassion for those who can't otherwise help themselves. All they will ever get is to admire you in this fashion, which at the end of the day, is just a wee bit sad.

Having read your profile and seen that photo, I'll tell you this: if I met you at your store (wherever that is), and you told me you enjoyed Diplomacy... I'd be handing you my card, inviting you to dinner and asking for your number, definitely not rolling my eyes*

* yes, I know there's a husband, I really did read your profile
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lightnng wrote:
shebby wrote:
Yes I am female, I have boobs. I also have a brain.

Don't treat me like an idiot because I am female. Don't talk to my chest. Don't roll your eyes when I tell you I love Diplomacy. Sometimes it does not surprise me that so many of my customers are single. Try to respect me, and I will try to respect you.


Yes, yes you do. In fact, judging by your profile picture, they are definitely worth staring at, as is the rest of you. Don't take it so seriously; we guys are a little bit like that, we get easily distracted by pretty. By the same token, many of us can also limit such admiration to those times when we are not actually in conversation (or gaming!) with you. It can't hurt to be admired, and as irritating as it might be, you may want to feel a bit of compassion for those who can't otherwise help themselves. All they will ever get is to admire you in this fashion, which at the end of the day, is just a wee bit sad.

Having read your profile and seen that photo, I'll tell you this: if I met you at your store (wherever that is), and you told me you enjoyed Diplomacy... I'd be handing you my card, inviting you to dinner and asking for your number, definitely not rolling my eyes*

* yes, I know there's a husband, I really did read your profile


Hey lightnng,

Thanks for your post. Look, mostly, it is nice to be appreciated. I guess I am trying to emphasise that respect is lovely. Like most woman I know, I appreciate a good looking dude. I guess I try to admire them in a less obvious way. There is another young lady that works here, and she says the same thing. SHe is a BIG roleplayer, and is amazed how many otherwiswe great customers wont believe in her knowledge, or talk to her chest.
But most of the time, this is not the case.
Most of our customers are fabulous. Lots of them are interesting and educated and funny.

I am WAY more worried about the parents who leave their kids in my shop, and the ones that let their kids roam wild in my store, feeding on game boxes and jigsaw bits.

Speaking of Diplomacy - I ALWAYS seem to end up with Italy. It works for a while, but I always seem to get shafted by those pesky Turks.
Alas, it has been some time since I played. I seem to be too busy selling people games than playing them. Sad, but true.

And for everyone who put their 2 cents in and assumed I was/am a whiny/juvenile female - Bugger off. Actually, write whatever you want. It doesn't matter to me. You don't actually know me. Judge away!
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