Nov 09

Hi! My Name Is Craig Themanager!

To Whom It May Concern at GAME:

(and believe me, it should concern someone)

My name is Douglas and I want to let you know about the level of customer service I received tonight at your Sauchiehall Street branch. I’m trying to think of how best to sum it up. “Disgusting” seems too cliché, too Daily Mail for my liking. “Awful” is ok, “Terrible” gets more into the line of the things I am looking for. I’m probably going to settle for something between “shocking”, “appalling” and “horrible”.

So it’s the 8th of November as I write this. Modern Warfare 3 is upon us all. I go into your Sauchiehall Street branch at about 5:45pm –after work – with a preorder for the game. I’m met by a nice fellow at your front desk called Kenan, who pointed out (after a bit of opening banter) that I couldn’t get the £5 off the price through the preorder because I hadn’t brought along the two bits of the preorder, just the larger receipt. It seems there’s a big receipt and a wee receipt, and the smaller bit of paper is the actual preorder, as it turns out. I’ll admit to being unhappy about this – the receipt clearly has enough reference numbers on it (including the date / time of transaction etc) to surely find the preorder on the system. Kenan says no, and goes to get his manager.

(Kenan was, I should point out, polite and courteous at all times. I was a (very very) tiny bit irritated at what I thought was a pretty minor issue, but I assure you I was calm and nothing at any point got out of hand. I was just asking questions as to why the receipt couldn’t satisfy the function of the preorder. But Kenan did the right thing – tell the customer no, then if they don’t accept, kick it up the chain of command to the manager.)

That is when things took a sharp turn in a southward direction.

The manager (and we’ll come to his name in a moment, that gets its own little spot in the story) immediately took a belligerent and aggressive tone. Even his body language was confrontational. There was nothing about this man that suggested he was there to manage the situation, explain matters and possibly find a solution. This was a man who had decided in advance to say “No” and had got himself keyed up into an aggressive state to get that point across.

When I said that I thought the receipt would surely contain all of the information needed he repeated Kenan’s point that the smaller slip was required. When I asked why, he said that without it there would be nothing to prevent me “…presenting it tomorrow at another shop and claiming the £5 there too.” So, for those of you keeping score, that’s aggression and accusing the customer of trying to defraud the shop. I tried again, mentioning that the receipt would surely have a reference number to tie it to a specific pre-order, which would mean the system wouldn’t accept a second submission for another £5. Without a moment’s thought (this guy, I thought, must know the system inside and out) he said that there weren’t any common reference numbers and that I could – and this is a direct quote from someone who has been promoted up to be a manager in one of your larger stores“…take it or leave it.”

I’ll admit to being shocked.

By the way, the large receipt and the smaller slip have tons of similar reference numbers on them. Tons. I have circled them in red and counted. The barcode numbers are different but there are 5 areas with the same reference numbers, numerical codes, date and time references, loyalty card numbers etc. OK, 5 might not be tons, but it’s more than the “none” given to me by the manager. So can we add lying out of hand to the customer to the aggression?

I then asked to speak to this man’s manager. I was told that it was his shop and that he was in charge. When I asked to speak to his superior, he repeated this sentence. I asked for his name and got “Craig” spat at me. When I asked for his surname, I got “Craig The Manager”. Assuming, of course, that his name isn’t “Craig Themanager” we can now add to aggression, lying to the customer out of hand and accusing the customer of trying to defraud the shop with refusing to give his name so that I can refer this matter on to customer services. Several times at this stage the “Take it or leave it” offer was repeated. He even said that it wasn’t his fault that I didn’t follow the instructions I was given when I made the preorder.

At this point – speaking as someone who is also a manager in a workplace that deals with customers – I asked if he thought it was acceptable that he was speaking to me in this way. He said that he was speaking to me the way I was speaking to him. At a query from me he clarified this, saying I was speaking to him “pompously and arrogantly”. When I disagreed with this he repeated the claim and again called me pompous and arrogant. When my wife (oh yeah, the wife was there too, meant to mention!) pointed out that I wasn’t being any such thing, he snapped, “We’ll just have to agree to disagree Madam!” at her. All of this, by the way, is with an increasingly raised voice and a stance that was far more “you’ve spilled my pint” than it was “how can I help you?” Still loving the bit where he snapped at my wife. That makes me tingle.

All I could do at this point was to repeat that I was shocked that he, a manager, found it ok to speak to a customer in that tone. He agreed that I was shocked because “…you’re not used to someone talking back to you, are you?” I mentioned I was going to report this issue in a complaint and was told that I could get the details of customer service “…from the door when you leave.”

Oh, and the raised voice? Still there. When I asked him to please not raise his voice at me, I was told that was how he chose to speak, how he would continue to speak to me and that he would not change it because it was his shop and he was the manager and in charge. He might have gone back to his old favourite of “Take it or leave it” at this point, I don’t know. The sound of a kettle boiling was ringing in my ears like one of those old Sylvester and Tweety cartoons by now. I asked Kenan if he felt I had spoken to him badly, which I do feel bad about – it seems this was Kenan’s first day and in retrospect it probably wasn’t cool to ask him to voice his opinion with his (aggressive, shouting) manager right beside him.

Upshot of it all is, I left. In the parlance so favoured by Mister Themanager I “left it”. I bought the game somewhere else where the staff used words and phrases like “Can I help?”, “Here you go” and “thank you”.You can imagine what I was like. It was like one of those war movies where you see glassy-eyed victims of some terrible battle fetch up in some temporary place of safety. Saving Private Themanager, perhaps.

I resolved to contact your company through email, Twitter and write this letter. I’m even going to go all 21st century and stick it up on my blog. I’m incredibly angry at the treatment I received. This man, this enigma, this Craig Themanager, is in charge of one of your big stores in Sauchiehall Street. That’s a BIG street. Lots of people shop there. I wasn’t being loud, I wasn’t being aggressive, and I wasn’t being abusive. I wasn’t even being pompous or arrogant, though I’m now worried that it’s both pompous and arrogant to say so. I wasn’t happy with the answer I was getting – to be honest I think a lot of shops and businesses get away with variations on “computer says no!” far too much and aren’t prepared for someone to ask questions like “Well, why does it say no?” and not just accept it like The Written Word Of God Almighty. But you know what? Customers are allowed to be unhappy. As long as they’re polite, which I’m pretty sure I was being. My dear wife usually lets me know quickly enough if I’m not, and fairly directly too. Customers are allowed to be unhappy and that’s why companies put managers in to…well…manage.

If Craig Themanager had calmly explained the situation, I would have accepted it. Had he told me that I could bring back the smaller receipt and claim my £5 back within 28 days of release (which one of your store staff confirmed to me tonight on Twitter) then I would have accepted that. Had he said, “Sorry sir, you’ll need to pay full price but if you bring the smaller receipt tomorrow I’ll give you £5 credit to your next purchase” I would have even gone for that. I would have gone for ANYTHING that didn’t involve being aggressive, raising his voice and treating me like something that kids usually stick in a paper bag, set fire to and leave outside someone’s front door while ringing the bell and giggling.

Oh, and one thing – if the customers need to bring along the two slips of paper to get a preorder, you know what you should do? STAPLE THEM TOGETHER. Nowhere on either slip does it say, “You need both of us”. Staples. Seriously. I use them all the time. Go into any shop, you really can’t miss them. End on, they look like really thin space invaders. They’re brilliant for sticking important bits of paper together.

So, here’s what I would like:

 1)    A response to this letter from GAME.

2)    A written apology from GAME head office.

3)    A written apology from Craig Themanager, paragon of GAME customer service.

4)    The £5 refunded – not in store credit. I’m sure you understand.

5)    If possible, a meeting with the member of GAME staff who has overall responsibility for the shops in the Glasgow area. Craig Themanager is, I think, an aggressive, abusive liability who either needs intensive retraining or a move to a non customer-facing role.

Given that Saville has gone and carked it, I’m hoping you’ll fix some or all of the above for me. If you could possibly do it while wearing an inordinate amount of gold, yodeling “now then, now then” and handing out badges, so much the better.

But I’ll settle for some emails or a letter.

Yours sincerely,

Douglas Theaggrievedcustomer

86 Responses to “GAME: Take It, or Leave It”

  1. Josh Says:

    Good on you! You should see the issues I’m having with GAME/Gamestation. Not in store, but online. Both my online accounts got so bugged where I could not remove items from my online carts that I had to close the account and open them with another email address. No one from head office or customer services bothered to try helping more than “We’ll place the order for you.” That doesn’t help the 22 items in my cart I can’t remove.

    Also, the fact there are two items on their site you can not even place an order for as it keeps rejecting the order (Happening to 4 of my friends as well) and customer services are not interested in helping.

    It’s like they don’t want my money. Item in question is the Final Fantasy XIII-2 Standard edition for 360/PS3. You just can’t process an order for it. This is also the item that ends up bugging your shopping cart where you end up with multiple copies of it in your cart if you’re not careful.

    I refuse to shop in their stores due to their attitude when I ask about how much they are charging for a game that’s being released that Friday. One manager said “It’ll be £45. There’s no set price for games and if you usually pay £39.99 then go buy it from that site which clearly is making a loss.” He utterly confused me with that comment since it was for Batman Arkham City, which they were charging £5 more just for a few challenge maps.

    Absolutely shocking behavior from them, and if they didn’t have a lot of us by the balls in regard to exclusive versions, I know I would happily go elsewhere permanently.

  2. FawnDoo Says:

    I’m not all that bothered about exclusive versions so I’m not too bad there. The occasional game I’ll want to get the fancy version, but for the most part I’m happy to go with the bog standard. The online behaviour sounds terrible – someone else in one of the comments made a similar point about the online experience stacking up to the real life one! :-)

  3. Robbie H Says:

    Well done, sir!

    I’ve not lived in Scotland for 9 years…but I have a good image in my head of the sort of person you’re talking about.

    I worked in a call centre in Bellshill for Cable & Wireless /NTL. I agree with your stance on surnames. If I gave the truth to customers who felt I wasn’t being fair, then I always gave my Full Name, Employee Number, my team leader’s name and the address for written complaints – when usually they’d only asked for the address.

    I applause you for standing up to shocking customer “service”. I hope people don’t flock to the shop because of the old “even bad publicity is good publicity” saying.

    I look forward to reading the updates.

  4. WhoCares Says:

    By the way u reply to others on here, even your tone through text looks slightly aggressive!! Are u sure u are telling both sides of the story here??? Regardless of your wife being with u as a witness. Lets face it, she’s hardly going to say stick up for mr the manager!

  5. FawnDoo Says:

    I m sure r u ok w/that? OMG where hv all the wrds gn? ;-)

  6. FawnDoo Says:

    On a more serious note WhoCares, I don’t think I have been aggressive in any of my replies. Certainly I don’t think I have strayed into calling anyone a bitch, OTT, a drama queen or anything like that. I’m quite happy with the tone of my replies.

    Remember, there’s nothing that says I have to agree with what someone says. I’m quite ok to disagree – and express that, perhaps strongly – all the while managing to *not* go over the line into being aggressive.

  7. FawnDoo Says:

    Robbie, I’m sure you’ve probably got a good picture in your mind and it’s likely quite an accurate one. :-)

    Glad you agree with the stance on surnames, I’m not sure where that has come from lately but it’s weird. It’s not like the surname is some secret magic name that must only be known to a select few. As you say if you have advised a customer, feel you have done all you could and have kept things professional, I don’t see the problem in giving a surname. I’ve always done so – in fact, have even given people my business card if they ask for my details because everything is on there.

    Realistically, people are always going to flock to that shop. The sad fact is they don’t need to raise a finger and they know they’ll still make a killing.

  8. Gameemplyee Says:

    I think I should clear 1 thing up for you all before I go any further and to basically stop people giving false information. The loyalty redemption methods were changed several months ago and made to be more or less automatic the pre-order slip you failed to produce at the time is required to redeem the deposit and has a specific barcode which contains details of a serial number for your order and must be scanned for redemption! So contrary to what FORMER staff members have eluded to it’s simply a case of no slip no refund the system was changed to close a loophole which left the deposit scheme open to abuse and the ” no slip no deposit” thing has been conveyed to customers in the store I work in since the changes come into effect it is quite understandable that people can become frustrated when they forget to bring the slip and can’t get a refund on the deposit when they request it but the company or staff members should not be condemned for a customers failings! If you can’t follow simple instructions or read that the small slip is for a pre-order issue who is to blame? As for the Manager being aggressive and you being entirely passive when you stated you where stating to become annoyed with the situation before it was ” kicked up ” to the manager is hard to believe! I suppose it would be wrong to suggest some embellishment on your behalf here! I am not saying the manager did not come across aggressively but I am sure at some point you became aggressive/confrontational yourself I personally feel former staff members should not be suggesting what they would have done in this situation when they don’t know about procedural changes and that buy the attitude of his comment he is not a former employee of his own choice! whilst I am only speculating on the events as I wasn’t their I think people should bare in mind it was the end of the busiest day of the year to date and if you are the only 1 of the thousands of customers that are disgruntled after the thousands of customers served in the 13 hours the store was open for launch although it’s not perfect it’s not bad either people need to remember that this is a two way street as you don’t expect less than perfect service staff shouldn’t expect to be verbally abused or threatened for doing a job and after witnessing several people on my store ask ”whattime are you opening for the midnight launch” it is hard to not react when someone starts to complain about something so trivial which could have been prevented by following simple instructions! But as with most people who complain about the service levels within the company you didn’t get your way and from reading your post proceeded to throw your toys out of your pram the staff in the store are no robots and will react with emotion and if you don’t want to deal with human beings and all that comes with it may I suggest online shopping this way the standard of service will never change and I hope you don’t have off days at work as how much of a hypocrite would you be then??

  9. FawnDoo Says:

    Jesus, I’m out of breath reading that one. They’re called returns, they don’t cost anything! :-)

    As I think I have said already, I am not making the point about the pre-order slip of paper issue. If that was the case, fine, if the manager had explained that to me instead of wading in with the “take it or leave it” then I think the whole thing could have been avoided.

    Again though, I’m not going to accept the “this was the busiest day of the year” comment because you know what, I don’t care. I don’t care if it’s the busiest day of the year or one so quiet you could hear a titmouse giggle at the word “titmouse” three streets over. You’re there, you’re being paid, get the professional head on and do your job.

    And I do have off days at work – we all do. The difference is, I don’t take it out on other people that need me at my work. OK, so I might have had to count to 10 a few times in my working life, but who hasn’t? :-)

  10. FawnDoo Says:

    Besides, I do want to deal with human beings. I’d just prefer to deal with human beings who treated me like one, too. :-) But it’s great that I’ve got a GAME employee commenting on this story with a position that boils down to “If you don’t like it, piss off and shop online.” Which could be further boiled down to “Take it or leave it.” Jesus, do they tattoo this into your inner thighs or something? :-)

  11. Gameemplyee Says:

    No I don’t have it tattooed on my inner thigh nor the word mug on my forehead I don’t ask that you agree with my post but I don’t believe you should pick the bones of it and contort what you want to make us all appear the bad guy at no point did I say take it or leave it or piss off elsewhere or for that fact infer that you should do so! Maybe this was how you dealt with Tuesday’s situation and why it arose the common denominator here is you and may I suggest that you took from the situation what you seen fit as you did with my comments and I noticed that you are yet to deny any embellishment of the facts

  12. FawnDoo Says:

    So I shouldn’t “pick the bones” of your reply but you feel free to do it about my letter? Yeah, because that’s a fair way to proceed! :-)

    And I don’t need to deny or confirm anything – not to you, not to anyone. As I said in one of my responses to GAME, I’ve gone over the events of that night many times in my head. I’m one of those kind of guys who gets bumped into but is the one to say “sorry”. I don’t go looking for confrontations or the means to create difficult situations. I’m reasonably sure that my responses didn’t go beyond a very low level of “You’re kidding, seriously?” level of irritation.

    There was *no reason* for the manager to carry on the way he did. There is no excuse for that. In my experience, even when someone *has* been a problem customer, that just means I still need to remain professional and calm in dealing with them. If I can do it, so can others. Millions of people do.

  13. FawnDoo Says:

    And the inner thigh thing? Was meant to be a lighthearted way to round off that comment. Not meant as a serious theory. :-)

  14. occupyanotherstore Says:

    I’ve been following this since I stumbled upon it last night. And like so many others, I’m not surprised that you have received this level of service from Mr Themanager.

    I’m familiar with the man in question, and he’s certainly no stranger to poor customer service. Over the years I have heard various stories of this man’s continuous manipulation and abuse of his position as a store manager for GAME.

    I’ve heard of him refusing to sell sought after titles to customers during stock shortages unless the customer agreed to purchase premium add on content, strategy guides etc, refusing to sell games consoles to customers unless purchased with expensive insurance and all the while holding firm to the idea that he’s in charge, and the customer can “take it or leave it”.

    I don’t work for GAME, however I have a number of friends who do, and from what I understand, the majority of the company’s performance indicators prioritise the attachment of add on content over gross sales. This makes it very easy for a manager to get away with treating customers like this whilst still performing well on paper. Mr Themanager can turn away as many customers as he likes, so long as the ones whom do stick around buy exactly what he wants them to.

    I have been a GAME shopper for many years however, and I must say that on the high street, for me this company stands out for its overall high standards of customer service, and I’ll continue to shop with them for this reason. Mr Themanager from what I can gather was previously placed in the smaller store located inside the Buchanan Galleries, and it seems that poor service has followed him west along Sauchiehall Street. I personally choose to avoid shopping in this man’s store, and I do not doubt that there are others who take the same stance. And whilst that suits me perfectly, this is something that Game Stores Group should take into account when addressing this complaint.

    I hope you receive a satisfactory response from Basingstoke on this one, and trust that you’ll keep us all updated as you do.


  15. Murray Says:

    Wow, you’re a dick. Here you are publically calling for the guy to be removed/demoted from his position based on his single interaction with you? What an absolutely awful and ignorant thing to do. Do you know what had happened in this guys day? Maybe in his family? Is he having a good day? Is this normal behaviour? You don’t know the answer to any of these yet under the maxim of ‘the customer is always right’ you’re trying to get him fired? Make no mistake, that’s what your article calls for.

    And I’d probably agree with him a little bit, I bet you were pompous and arrogant (your article certainly contains hints of it) and your and your wife’s assertion that you weren’t being like that is worthlessly subjective. Not to mention that you were pompous and arrogant over 5 pounds.

    There’s no way the manager should have behaved as he did, his responses to you were unquestionably improper and he definitely needs to learn a lot to fulfil his role, least of which would be understanding his discretionary power as a manager. I reckon it was the combo of the small amount of money and your general attitude towards it that set him off, and he then lacked the skills to rationalise it and come to the right outcome.

    But at the end of the day, you’ve been a dick about it and aren’t really a very nice person. Congrats.

  16. Gatch Says:

    Gameemployee, here you go:
    “,,.,,,,,…,,,,,,.,,,,,,.,,,,..” – that should keep you going for a while. Merry Christmas.Other please insert these if you were having problems digesting that post.

    Firstly, I don’t think the issue of whether the slip is needed or not is, is the point of this story. The story is about the manager’s behaviour.

    Secondly, even if the customer got annoyed (and I don’t think he did, that’s my opinion given from the general conduct in this thread), that doesn’t give the manager the right to become abusive. Sorry guys, but if you work in retail, it’s something you have to accept. I’m a project manager, senior people can become over the top with me – that’s less acceptable (even) but I still have to deal with it.

    Thirdly, I have had terrible problems with Game, but online recently. I had to mail the CEO in the end, which to be honest worked wonders. Mr McManager clearly needs ‘retraining’.

    Have a nice day!

  17. Daniel Says:

    Sounds like a decent episode of Black Books.

    I’m blaming video games on this man’s aggression and hope you don’t encounter more of this in future. He’s not helping the many GAME stores that are closing down all the time. Amazon doesn’t talk back… Kenan for manager.

  18. FawnDoo Says:

    Hi occupyanotherstore: you make a very good point, which is what worries me about letting things lie. On paper, Themanager might well come off as an excellent person to have in charge if performance indicators and targets are the criteria for assessment. Up to now I have been quite fond of GAME, the staff at Glasgow Fort have always been great whenever I’ve been in, but Themanager has managed to spike any enthusiasm – or “faith” – I would have for the chain in the future. Interesting to hear that this guy seems to be a “known name” – you’re not the first to have said something like that here.

    Anyway, thanks for the response – appreciated.

  19. FawnDoo Says:

    Murray, I am a dick. Sometimes. You’re a dick. Sometimes. We’re all dicks, sometimes. We’re all human. Am I a dick at my work? Well, no. Because my work aren’t paying me to be a dick, they’re paying me to do a job, treat people well and leave them with a positive impression of my employer.

    I’m not saying that the customer is always right – I’ve lost count of the amount of times in the letters and in the comments that I have said that I wasn’t expecting the yes to turn into a no – but the customer always *has* the right to expect not to be spoken to poorly. And not wanting to sound uncaring, but I don’t care what’s happening in the manager’s day. He’s at work. Professional head should be screwed on. Tons of other people manage it, so can he.

    Thanks for giving me the lowdown on what you reckon happened, but I really wasn’t being a problem customer. I’m not going to kick off like a nutter over a fiver. Was I accepting something blindly? No. Would I have been happy to accept a solution? Yes. Was a solution offered? No.

    Thank you for the congratulations, though. :-)

  20. FawnDoo Says:

    Gatch, that’s a nice gift. Did you include the instruction sheet, “Sprinkle liberally through sentences to make them a bit more readable.”? :-)

    You’re right, the slip / no slip thing really wasn’t the issue. I’ve probably mentioned this already but I had the money in my hand and was prepared to pay when the first “take it or leave it” sailed over the horizon. The issue is that Themanager immediately went to the “Biffa Bacon School of Conflict Management” model instead of…well…explaining things. As one GAME employee on Twitter pointed out, the smaller slip can be reclaimed up to 28 days after the release of the game. So saying “Sorry sir, I can’t move on that, it’s company policy but if you bring back the slip and the receipt tomorrow you can get your £5 back.” would have sorted it. But no, it was raised voice, angry tone, being insulting and dismissive. Worryingly, there’s at least one other GAME employee commenting on here who would do the same thing!

  21. FawnDoo Says:

    Daniel – GREAT IDEA. There could be badges. Kenan for Manager! :-)

    Now you’ve got me wondering if Themanager might have had a little Subbuteo man stuck in his hair through the whole thing.

  22. weareallhuman Says:

    While i understand your need to publicly condemn some one to ranks of unemployment .
    I don’t understand the need to slate them as well if this was a trial in a court of law then it could be taken as slander why should any one be-leave your accounts that unfolded on that day could you just be a person who does not like the word no been said to him. Could your wife not be the sort of wife that just agrees to your every word . Could you just be the sort of person that goes into a store and if you don’t get want you blow up and make the situation happen could it all really be your fault .
    What about the other side to the story what about the managers side do you think he would not have a different version why have the need to mention your wife does she have to calm you down when you get easily annoyed and aggravation sets in could you not have just sent a email or phoned the customer service what do you do if he says you were threatening him were is the proof you did or did not was there witnesses beside your wife that would agree with your treatment by Craig themanager don’t you like the world does it owe you something this is just a perception but its my perception of you and i think you now owe me £5.00 for taken the time out to write this please feel free to respond

  23. FawnDoo Says:

    “Could your wife not be the sort of wife that just agrees to your every word”


  24. FawnDoo Says:

    Seriously though, where did you write this comment from? The early chapters of “Flowers for Algernon”? The Twilight Zone? :-)

    I like the world just fine and it owes me nothing. And what do I do if he says I was threatening him? Say “No, I didn’t”, I would imagine. Then have a pot of tea. Milk, one sugar. Which is a bad habit I’ve started falling into again. For ages I had tea without sugar. I even started drinking that Redbush tea. Now I’m back to standard old fashioned tea with milk and, yes, sugar too. Sliding into bad habits again, which like I said is weird. I mean, why start taking sugar again when I’ve been off it for ages? Suppose it’s like smokers. Sometimes they go back after giving up.

    Oh, I’m sorry, is this rambling, disconnected nonsense? Sorry, don’t know where I must have picked up that habit from. ;-)

    BTW “this is just a perception but its my perception of you” could be a lyric from an X-Factor runner-up’s Christmas single.


  25. Gatch Says:

    #weareallhuman#, this has nothing to do with the ‘right to refuse service’ and service was not being refused anyway. Also, in your talk of slander, etc, you are actually doing the same thing, just turning the tables.

    The fact of the matter is, that Mr McManager’s attitude stunk, and there’s a little too much of this going on nowadays. Essentially an employee not happy with their station in life and trying to ‘up’ their own feeling of importance. The fact is that in retail, you work for the customer. Under no circumstances should you treat them like crap, even if they *are* unreasonable (which again, I feel they weren’t in this case – and I maintain that from the tone of this thread).

    I personally think behaviour like this should see naming and shaming more often.

  26. Mario's Right Hand Man Says:

    Wow. For one thing this has been a great way to kill time while enjoying a coffee.

    Fawndoo, so you say that you have never had a bad day and never gave crappy service in your job? I’m gonna call you out on that one and say that you cannot possibly legitimise that claim. We all have bad days. We all wake up sometimes in the morning and say, ‘F*ck it, I really cannot be bothered today’, and this mentality stays with us for the entire day and is passed on to people we interact with.

    Retail is not a fun environment to be in but it’s relatively easy to get into and with the proper time investment you can work your way up the ladder within an organisation without the need for degrees, doctorates or even standard qualifications. But, and there is a but, working with the general public can be horrendous and retail staff have to endure all manners of abuse on a daily basis and while I am not condoning what you experienced, providing it happened as you report, you have no idea what might have happened before you entered the store.

    We don’t have reset buttons in our heads that we can flick and everything is made better. You don’t have one, and I don’t have one so don’t you dare say that you have given 100% service in your job 100% of the time because you have not, nor have I, or anyone for that matter.

    I am an ex Game manager who had six years with the company with my last year spent in that store and I know the manager well, we were deputy managers together and while we all enjoyed our jobs, sometimes, just sometimes, something happens to change our behaviour.

    You do not know what the catalyst was that affected your experience. All you can do is take that one little snap shot and assume that’s the way things are. Step back and see the bigger picture here…….

    We are all human, even Craig Themanager.

  27. FawnDoo Says:

    Hiya! My God, a week on and it still rumbles on! :-)

    I don’t think I’ve ever said once – or even tried to say – that I have never had a bad day at work. We all do. Some of it might even have showed in some of my interactions with colleagues and, yes, maybe even customers. Have I ever given crappy service? Knowingly? Honestly, no.

    But if you don’t mind my saying so, I think your response rather misses my point. I’m not saying that staff working with the public need to be perfect. I’m not saying that I demand 100% or give 100% all of the time. But there is a MASSIVE gap between “Wanting 100%” (which is unreasonable, and not my point) to saying “I think 3% is unacceptable” (which is more along the lines of what I am trying to say).

    What happened to the guy before I entered the store? I don’t care. I honestly don’t. I stand by my point that he’s being paid, he should at least be trying. I wouldn’t expect him to be all “Yes sir! No sir! Three bags full sir!” whenever dealing with me. I just want something that’s somewhere above getting the aggressive eyeball and “Take it or leave it” with a side order of crappy attitude. Again, I am not expecting someone to have a reset button but if you’re being paid, I want you to at least be in the rough area of being willing to help.

    Put simply: I’m not asking to be treated like a God. I’m just not willing to be treated like shite. I’m happy to accept something in the middle. :-)

  28. FawnDoo Says:

    And as an additional point – he might be a great guy. He might be a well beloved son, a doting husband and father to a heaving brood of little Themanagers. Doesn’t matter. He dropped the ball that night, badly. Someone might be a fantastic driver 99% of the time but they’ll still get a hard time if they spend that other 1% hammering into the side of a packed bus!

  29. Gatch Says:

    The fact is, taking your personal issues/annoyances/anger out on a customer is not excusable even if you do it one time. It’s not good. But if it happens just one time, then maybe you can learn a lesson from it. If you do it regularly, you either are not cut out for retail, or if you want to change, you need to learn to manage the causes of your behaviour.

    And bear in mind, if you lose it with a customer one time ever, that customer may have a blog, and attention to it may spread via Twitter. That’s the way ‘dealing with the public’ works.

  30. GSEmployee Says:

    Hi FawnDoo,

    Diving into this a little bit late :-P

    I was just wondering what (if any) kind of response you received from Basingstoke regarding this?

    I am an Assistant Manager (Ass Man for short ;-P) at a Gamestation store in the south.
    Just a couple of things I would like to clarify for you (though I understand these are NOT the point of the blog :-) ;

    Firstly, deposits are FULLY redeemable WITHOUT said slip, in fact, for major title launches, we usually print the deposit report in advance, as quite often we have customers who have forgotten or lost their pre-order slip. It’s actually rather easy. So I apologise for you being told otherwise.

    Secondly, deposits are (AFAIK) ONLY redeemable within the store you placed it with. So again, I apologise for you being mis-informed with the “you could take it to another store and get the fiver off” comment.

    As for the way you were spoken to and dealt with, well done to Kenan for doing the right thing. Should he continue like this, I’m sure he will have a bright future :-)
    Craig is another matter.
    All things going down as per your account of the situation (no accusations of falsifying or being biased here, it’s just that I usually only pass comment after hearing both sides of the story), I feel, at the very least, he should retake our management training course.
    I agree that even if he had a bad day he should keep his ‘game face’ on, in fact, I have myself done so. I have a bad customer, I resolve THAT issue as best I can, then I go out back, take 5-10 minutes out of the game, have a coffee & cigarette and get back on the shop floor.

    I would like to say what you encountered was an isolated incident, but having read all of the comments, I fear this may not be the case.

    My final point…..80TH REPLY!!! This makes me Level 10 Prestige 1, right? ;-)

  31. FawnDoo Says:

    Hi GSEmployee – you’re not late at all. Well, maybe a little, but fashionably so! :-)

    All of the responses I have received from GAME are up here – there are a few more I got from the @Gamedigital twitter account but they’re easily searchable. At last report from GAME they would be making a donation to Macmillan and their divisional / regional managers would be looking into the issue. Other than that, I have had nothing from them and to be honest, don’t really expect to hear anything else. I did get a tweet from another GAME employee in the area that hinted at the fact that this issue, open letter etc has made the rounds and seems to be well known but that’s about it.

    Your point about the deposit slip is an interesting one – to be honest I would be surprised if big launches didn’t see a lot of people forget a bit of paper, and it would seem like a good idea to have a “plan B” for that sort of situation. Still, as I’ve said, I wasn’t expecting Kenan’s no to turn into a yes just because I asked, but I felt I could at least ask around and explore the issue. I just wasn’t expecting such a combative response once it went above Kenan to the manager.

    Much like you I have dealt with problem situations / people in my job and agree with your approach – if you’re stressed out take a quick break, vent your frustrations on a cup of tea or coffee and get back into the swing of things as quickly as you can. I honestly don’t think I have exaggerated or falsified anything, but I understand the point you made there.

    It would be nice if this was an isolated incident (well, not nice, but you get the idea!) however it does seem like this guy is a “known name” to a few people and seems to have taken the “it’s my shop, my rules, my way” approach to a few people. All of which doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence, because he’s got to have passed muster with GAME upper management to get that post.

    And congrats on the 80th reply: you get an achievement. Give me a moment and I’ll even try to do the “bah-bing” sound the Xbox makes!

  32. ChristmasTemp Says:

    Having worked for The Manager I must say I near about pissed myself laughing at your blog. Fair play about the donation aspect at the end but for him to react that way at 5.45pm you must have been acting a wee bit different to the way you suggest.

  33. FawnDoo Says:

    Hi ChristmasTemp, you’re free of course to think that, and I’m free to say “No, I really didn’t act differently” but I don’t think that would convince you. :-) All I can say is…ummm…well…I didn’t!

    Like I said to a previous commenter I’m the kind of guy who says sorry when he’s bumped *into*. I value good manners. I’m an “After you” sort of person, I give up my seat for ladies and even go to the outside of the kerb to let women pass on the inside (which is what my old Grandpa taught me anyway). I’m also modest as hell, as you can no doubt tell. :-)

    I work hard to pass values like that on at my work and always refer to people in my office as “sir / miss” until the indications are that we can use first names. Maybe a bit formal, but that’s how I like it. I am not the kind of person to kick off about a computer game, a fiver or anything else that minor.

    If you have worked with the guy and disagree with my point of view, fair enough. But what I’ve related above is what happened. I don’t know what’s happening at Game just now (I assume the Regional / Divisional people must have looked into it by now) but that’s what happened that night.

    Anyway – back to the new Assassin’s Creed!

  34. FawnDoo Says:

    BTW ChristmasTemp, when you say that you near pissed yourself laughing I hope you meant in a good way. Mind you, is there a good way to piss yourself? Does it not become bad the minute piss comes into it? I’m not sure what the piss protocol is.

  35. hub223 Says:

    I know who you are talking about, I used to work with him in the greenock store, when he was the assistant manager.

    He moved up to manager in that store, then moved to glasgow.

    He’s ok to work for, however, he does go over the top sometimes. :)

  36. FawnDoo Says:

    I think “over the top” just about covers it, yeah! :-)

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