Tales from The Trenches Archive

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Gamestop, Hell in a shopping mall.

I used to work in Television- eight years in Production, then one year the home office sells our station to a local business that managed to scrape together $60,000,000 to buy the station.

After that I was jobless,  I was listed as having “Quit,” so no unemployment benefits.

My friend was the manager at a Gamestop, and he saw that I was having trouble and offered me a job.  “It won’t be many hours but any extra that come up are yours.”  True to his word, any extra hours that came up were mine…. up to the corporate mandated maximum (at the time) of 28 hours per week.

I knew it wasn’t the best, but I needed the work,  so for two years I worked there and saw the steady push for more power-up memberships despite the fact that our numbers didn’t show it was possible.

After the first year I got a 1/2 percent raise. 3 cents.

That AMAZINGLY generous raise put my hourly at $6.78. Did I mention I was making three times that just over a year before?

I bit my tongue and kept plugging along while trying to find another job, it was the later half of 2006, and the job market was non-existent.

Another year passes, and my boss/buddy tells me he’s put me in not only for a raise that would add $2 an hour, but a promotion to a key position and more hours.

My raise was turned down by the DM,  I got 3 cents again.  My promotion was also turned down as they were eliminating the key position I was being offered not a week before.

Our store took a blow when the DM stomped through and fired two employees whom we had working 4 hours per week.  They were our reservists - during the holidays or when one of the regulars were sick, they were called.

So if you got sick, the store gets screwed, and your co-worker/friend had to work a double and caught shit for it for going over hours.
As time goes on, I find out that the DM gave NO ONE in the district a raise beyond 10 cents, and that stores all over the district had lost people. We later learned that the DM was promised anything from the raise budget and 10% of anything she could shave from the pay pool as her yearly bonus. We got screwed so she could get a fat bonus.

When the crew found out about this my buddy put in his two weeks, as did everyone but me. I couldn’t afford to.

“You don’t want to work for her or anyone she puts into this place man, believe me,” my boss/buddy told me. I believed him but I needed the job.

On the 14th day from the crew’s two weeks, he worked the close shift with me. We were SLAMMED. Easily 300 trades that day. The back counter was PACKED. Best day of business the store had seen that quarter.

As we locked up, he had me vacuum and straighten while he handled the bank.

He then organized the guts on the counter, made sure the pricing tags were with them. Then he called me over.

“You’re fired.” he told me and marked me as no longer working for Gamestop in the system.

I was stunned.  He then handed me a slip of paper with the phone number to set up my unemployment benefits.

He clocked out and hit the lights.

“Not that I care at this point but what about the guts?” I asked, standing by the door waiting to be let out.

“Store’s clean, everything is in order, we just didn’t put it away,” he said and added, “Besides, we don’t work here anymore.”

It was kind of a dick move, but in all honesty the filing would have put me over hours, and he was to be out on time on his last day by order of the DM.

The next day I slept in a bit then called unemployment, request for benefits denied. In the two years I worked for Gamestop, I had not earned enough money to qualify for unemployment.

My friends kind final act was for naught.

Just a word of advice,  NEVER work for Gamestop.