Tales from The Trenches Archive

Submit your own Tale from The Trenches

The fun stops when you get keys.

I worked at a major game retailer. Let’s call it a place you’d Stop. For Games. I started as seasonal help, but I was good, so I got keys a couple of weeks before Christmas. Within a year, I had a store of my own.

The thing is, selling games, particularly on the preorder/buy used model, turned into a hard sales gig a lot faster than I was really comfortable with. I saw district managers order store managers to break the rules to boost numbers, then fire them for said violations in order to look good to Loss Prevention. After all, high turnover rates mean you don’t have to pay anyone more than 28 grand a year for a 50 hour a week salary position. It was a mess. I was one of the few managers making quota without doing anything shady, so I knew my time was limited.

They transferred me to the middle of nowhere, 50 mile commute each way. I was given 3 months to fix a store that had been run into the ground by three years of bad management. I figure most people could have turned it around in half a year, but I still almost made it.

Funny thing though, I kept getting really tired, started showing up late. I thought it was from working 70 hour weeks with that hour drive on each end of every day. After a few months of that, they fired me.

Two weeks later I found out I had cancer. With no family history or chemical exposure, stress was considered the main contributing factor. But hey, they gave me rehire status…