This past weekend, I had a conversation with some of my younger cousins through a group message and they asked me if they should work at their local GameStop (since I worked there for a couple years when I was younger). I wanted to tell them, "No, whatever you do, don't do that." But that's not being a supportive guy. That's not being the cool cousin from the East Coast. Instead I told them to apply and try it out.
But the truth of the matter is that working at GameStop is horrible. And most people who work at GameStop are horrible people that take advantage of the system that the company puts in place. I think by now, a lot of this information is pretty much available to you if you do a quick look-search on Google. But for anyone else who is looking into working in a GameStop, I wanted to give you the reality of what that might be like.
First off, you should know that you should probably be friends with someone who is working at a GameStop that's hiring. Applying is fun and everything but the chances you get the job because of that little application is so slim that you'd probably have a better chance at winning the lottery. But let's say you did it. You're in the store. And you're working there. Here's what you should know:
1. You Won't Be Getting Paid A Lot
You'll probably be getting minimum wage. Whatever that is now-a-days. And usually, this is like, "Oh cool. We all have to start somewhere." But unless you're willing to play the weird corporate game, you probably won't get promoted unless you put a couple of years into the company. So, just keep that in mind.
2. But You'll Be Expected to Do A Lot
Every GameStop I've worked in (I've worked in multiple stores) has been the same. Being employed at the lowest position in the store, everyone above you will think they're a part of some weird gang where they could make you do everything else. And, trust me, you will because you'll want to keep your job. So your manager, will probably be super lazy. They'll probably make you do everything and dangle the metaphorical promotion carrot in front of your face until you freak out and quit.
3. Your Discount is Hardly a Discount
Hey, video game discounts right? No, not right. Unless it's all changed, the employee discount at GameStop essentially gets rid of tax on whatever you decide to buy. It isn't much and it's hardly enough to keep you motivated to keep doing your job. It's kind of horrible. Except that one Employee Appreciation Week, that... that was a good week for discounts.
4. Be Prepared to Lie
Like, all the time. You'll probably end up lying to all of the customers that come in to talk to you. Your value in the company comes from how many Power-Up Rewards cards and magazine subscriptions you can sell to the public. Every manager I had, told me to tell the customers whatever they wanted to hear just so they'd we could get our store's ranking up (because this means something apparently). And speaking of customers...
5. They Will Hate You. All of Them.
The meme attached to this card is all too true. So when unsuspecting people come in to trade in their games and you tell them they're worth a fraction of the amount the store will probably end up selling it for, they'll probably start questioning you and hating everything that comes out of your mouth. Most people that come in to the store won't have respect for you. So, just be prepared to help people who wish they could just beat you up for buying their game for 3 bucks and then putting it on the shelf for 50.
6. Be Prepared to Change Your Morals/Values
This one might be surprising but it's true. Since everyone gets paid so little in the store -- aside from the manager -- you'll end up running some weird schemes to get games for cheap. Or, you'll have co-workers that'll hold on to the last copy of something and tell you not to sell it to the public. Or, you'll be scanning peoples trade-ins and then you'll "accidentally miss one" so you can keep it for yourself. Or, when a new game comes out that you don't want to buy, you'll probably end up renting it from the store (which is something that you can do) for four days and then selling that game to someone by telling them not to worry because no one has played it before (which is an obvious lie).
And that's essentially what it's like to work at GameStop. Sure, it's fun sometimes. But most of the time, it's a terrible experience that will slowly kill you inside and then you'll turn to the dark side. It's horrible. So avoid it if you can, or don't. I don't know. I'm not your dad.