Tales from The Trenches Archive

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Spend Money or Be Fired

While working my way through college, I held a position at a game retailer in my hometown. I was so excited, this was before I was actually working on games so simply being around them and talking about them as my job was fantastic. I was getting paid for telling people about something I loved.

But the job did not live up to my enthusiasm. Every day, we needed to sell a certain number of reservation for games yet to be released. The higher the number, the better. It usually took some persuading, but an employee could get a couple reservations every day and keep everyone happy. Sometimes, when no one was biting, we were told to really push the issue. I hated having that done to me, so I was hesitant. But I would push, because it meant keeping my job. That’s sales, right? We were then informed that if pushing would not work, don’t ring them up until they’ve become really angry with you. This seemed horrible - I don’t like people being angry with me.

It finally came down to, if you didn’t have any reservations at the end of the day, you had to reserve a game yourself to make the numbers look good. Cancelling that reservation later would count against you - so even if there was no game coming that you wanted, you had to reserve a crappy game to keep your job. This cost money from our paychecks.

I was fired not long after I failed to reserve a game and had a zero reservation day.