Saturday, January 27, 2007

Shoot The Core update and game T-shirts

My other website, Shoot The Core, just underwent a huge redesign. So if you like shmups at all, you should go check it out. Or if you don't know what a shmup is, go check it out.

Also, to celebrate, I'm offering STC T-shirts pictured above. It's gaming related, so readers of ADITLOVG might be interested.

The store has been relatively normal lately. I sold about 4 used PS2s yesterday, and almost all of them were replacement models for systems that had worn out or broken. Granted one was a brick model that they probably had since launch, but with all this Microsoft bashing, I can't let Sony feel left out and find them crying in the corner due to lack of attention.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The 5 Commandments of Retail

I couldn't come up with 10 at the moment, so I'll start out with these five general rules of retail, and probably add more later.

1. Somebody will always come in 5 minutes before you close, especially when you have somewhere important to go after work. I even had someone call and after finding out that we close at 9, inform me they would be in at 8:50 because that's when the bus schedule worked out for them. At least this time I had fair warning.

2. Don't go in to work on your day off. Once I had to stop in for a memory card or something stupid, and it turned into 45 minutes of answering questions about the 360 for customers and digging through inventory for one lost movie. And the fun part? You don't get paid for that time.

3. Don't hold up the line trying to find exact change at the register. Seriously consumers, I know you get warm and fuzzies thinking your 37 cents will save me from having to give you change, but we're well equipped to handle payments that are over the invoiced amount. In the four minutes it took you to dig through the purse, count the change, drop the penny, chase the penny across the floor, pick up the penny, then recount all over, I lost a customer who got tired of waiting.

4. Don't leave ANYTHING lying around the store that doesn't belong. The reason for this is the "small child from hell" will pick it up and cause trouble. We have metal doorstops near the front door for nice days, and during one busy session I remember looking up to see a monster kid running around with it and poking at his brother. The mental picutre of a metal doorstop stuck in some kid's eye socket flashed before me, so I grabbed it and hid it behind the counter.

5. Be ready for stupid, general technical questions that have nothing to do with your store. One guy called me, said he bought a game online and it's not working for him. He then went on to explain that it says PAL on the cover, and what's that mean? I said it was the European version of the game, and started to look up our Amazon records to find out how we sold a PAL game through our Amazon business. He then said he bought it on ebay. So......rather then contact......I dunno.......the SELLER of the item, why not try a game store to figure out your problem. Or just ask the guy pumping your gas. How about writing a letter to the president of the United States? He can help.....

Monday, January 15, 2007

But I'm with the Band!

One of our competitors has announced a Guitar Hero 2 contest. Having earned a battleaxe in both GH 1 + 2, I figured I had to give it a try. After checking out the website, a sinister sounding text tried to trick me into signing up for additionial information, but if you read the fine print:

By clicking below you acknowledge that any information you submit may be used for marketing purposes.

What?! How evil! I want to service society by rocking and you want to give my information out to people other than groupies! Being totally turned off by that, I went to my local you-know-where and asked about the compo there, expecting to get a blank look. The clerk however handed me this cool looking all access pass, and said that his store was one of the torunament locations and that he can only accept 10 Eddie Van Halens to compete. So I'm in! Nobody knows how the details pan out yet: What songs we're playing, if it's head to head or highest score based, or even what the prizes are, but it should be lots of fun. I'll let you know how things turn out.

In related news, Red Octane announced Guitar Hero: 80's version. I hope they don't include a manual, cause I don't need no instructions to know how to rock.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

360 woes

Seems like everywhere I look these days, someone is mentioning an X-Box 360 that has died on them. I've read it on a few gaming blogs, I had a customer bring back a red-ringed set the other day (what a hassle this is - first you suggest for them to contact M$, then when they don't feel like doing that, swap the set for another one and send it back to M$ yourself, or lose several hundred dollars.) What ever happened to product quality? I remeber back in the 90's buying video games was a complete 100% no-hassle deal. I buy a SuperNES, it works, I take it home and play it. End of story. Granted systems were not mini computers like they are today, but it seems that as "progress" increases, the frequency of headaches rises proportionately.

I've been holding off buying a 360 as long as possible - since I'm a huge shmup fan, the deciding factor is Treasure's upcoming project, which probably won't go cross platform. I've got my fingers crossed that the new wave of 360s will fix all its woes and make it a console I can rely on.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The WTF moment of the year

Working at the store has its perks: I can borrow used games/movies for a day or two and try them out. The boss usually springs for meals. I'm the first one on the block to try out a new game. Someone will trade in a game I've been searching out for a while. But all that doesn't negate what I had to deal with yesterday. It's what I like to call the WTF moment of the year, and it's only January 6th.

There's a pile of games to be stocked on the shelves, and the boss and I are processing them: cleaning discs, checking for instruction books, pricing, etc. I come across a MLB06 The Show, and on top of the instructions is a white card. Many times people will jam receipts in a game, so I figured that's what it was. I turn it over, and to my complete dismay, it's a picture of two naked guys in a hotel room.

Now stop and read that last sentence over again. Yes, you read it right. I've read stories of traded PSPs having porn on them, but at least that make's a device that plays movies, so the media fits. Finding that picture is F'ed up on so many levels. I tried to think of every possible scenario of how it got there, and came up with these theories:

1) Someone has a grudge against the store, and was trying to sabotage us. Imagine if hadn't caught that, and little Jimmy finds it in his PS2 game?

2) They were transporting the picture to somewhere else, forgot about it, and traded the game in.

3) Is this the opposite of the hook us up girls?

Talk about something being completely out of place......anyway after the initial shock, I got a pretty good laugh out of it. Only now I'm afraid to open game cases without parental supervision. Should MLB06 now get an AO rating?

I considered for a second being a total jerk and posting the picture. That will teach you to trade in games with naughty surprises! But common sense got the best of me, and I don't want to subject the readers to the same "easter egg" that I got. Hot coffee, eat your heart out.

Douchebag of the day!

Today is a 70 degree day in the middle of winter so i expected it to be slower than normal because people are prob enjoying the weather. Although we had a good day number wise so far its because mostly of big hit sales....then tons of sitting around. Its boring but i get to catch up on news and things like that to keep myself ahead of the game when people ask questions about games. Of course though this is usually a magnet for something strange to happen.

I'm sitting around preping movies for our automated rental machine in the back of the store and this couple walks in they ask if we have Tiger Woods 2007 and i told them where it was and they brought it up to buy. They traded about 4 games we normally wouldnt take..i basically gave em a gift to make some money in the store. Everything was fine and good until they wanted to use our value card.

He asked how the value card works...i explained how he could get trade depending on how much he spends. Then he asks how come he doesnt get the points for the trade in. And i explained that when he bought the games here he got the trade in for them. but he said he didnt buy them here so i explained that u only get the points when you buy games from us. His girlfriend unstood...but he seemed to have issues and get really pissed off at me.

Now let me sum this up a little bit....he wanted to trade 4 games which i gave him 14 dollars in trade...he wnated to get a used tiger woods 07 which we have for 20 in the store...i gave him the 20 credit on the value card for the game...but he wanted the other 14 for trade in from the games which we dont do. so he wants 34 points when he only pays 20...

Ok so now he is pissed at me...and doesnt understand why i wont give him the 34 i say to didnt buy the games here so why should i give u any points for the games. Obviously i'm getting upset at this point..and i sent the hint to em...and he shrugs it off shouldnt be in this buisness if you cant help the customer. No.....i can help the customer..i cant help retards who cant think for themselves...His girlfriend is next to em saying its okay its okay i understand...and he is there not being able to comprehend i cant do anything for him cuase he didnt buy the games here. So then he looks up at our TV on the wall...(the one pictured in Postman's post about the ps3) and goes..oh now i get one of these TVs and your all smug...i wanted to laugh..So of course i throw in..yep..thats how it is man...and then he goes back to the card and is like..well if i cant get the points for my traded in games then what do i need this card for and throws it on the table. Then I say okay..i obviously cant do anything about that. He then wants to talk to a manager and i say thats me....then he wants the corporate number...and i tell him thats us...then i offer my boss's card to him..if he wants to call and complain about me. And he yells at me saying you dont even care if i never shop here again and lose my money. No...i really dont wanna deal with a complete asshole who cant figure things out on his own and needs his girlfriend to tell him whats going on cause he is making a complete douchebag outta himself.

Through this whole thing i was fustrated about how stupid this guy was but in no why was i trying to be mean..i just answered his questions and it seemed to make him more mad everytime i told him i wouldnt suck his dick for em. So he gets a refund on his game..which i gave him happily...and then he left..5 minutes later he came back in and rebought the game and left without saying a word......go figure....then some lady who was in the store came up to me and was like is that guy for real..and we had a laugh about it...

about 10 minutes later he called on his phone to file a complaint...haha...asking for my boss...i dodnt even think he realized it was me on the phone.....and every minutes that goes by i thank myself i dont have to deal with that douchebag ever again...i'm not for kicking people out or banning them..but if your going to act like a complete dick then goodbye...have a nice life cause i dont wanna deal with your ass anymore.

Great way to start the year...

few added notes....he spend 14 dollars in this store...big loss there....
the games he wanted trade in were...Starsky and Hutch, Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm, Wakeboarding Unleashed, Tiger Woods 2001......14$ is very good if u ask me...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Prices Are Right!

We have this guy who is in his late 30s...he comes and says nothing. If you say hi to him...nothing...ask him for help...nothing. I hate when people don't answer you when you try to be nice and say hi....but anyway.

He has never bought anything in the 4 years i been here....and he comes in at least once a week.... So of course i always wonder why he even bothers to come in... day he comes in..and brings a gameboy advance to the counter. Needless to say i was shocked...i start to ring it up..then i look at the price...and my boss who put it out forgot a number...usually we sell them for 49.95.....but this one was marked 9.95....and so...i now understand why he comes in. Of course i told him no....and he gives me a hard time...but i win of course...its not like the guy is our best customer or something and actually spends money. So i told him no and he left mad. Two weeks later..hes back at it...acting like nothing happened.

To this day everytime he comes in and leaves without brining something up to the counter we know "The prices are right! woohoo!" I been here 5 and a half years now...and he still hasnt paid a penny in our store...and he comes in every week...i dont get it...i guess he must be bored or something....and it makes me wonder what other stores he goes to and does the same thing...

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 07 everyone! It's been mad busy at the store, but that's a given with the holidays upon us. Not only has it been hectic with Christmas, the frenzy has carried over to the new year since people now have gift cards and new consoles they need to feed games into. I'd have to say that Nintendo is the big winner this season - everyone coming into the store is either looking for a Wii or a DS Lite. First runner up is the PSP - there's a sudden explosion in that area too.

While on the subject of the PSP, could Sony make that thing any more complicated to use? I had a customer in asking how to use the PSP remote play feature with a PS3. I only used our demo monolith set to play Resistance, so I have no idea, but told him I'd research it on the net and get back to him. I printed out THREE pages of instructions on how to set up PSP wireless networks and input the SSID codes and calculate the DHPC key rounding off to the nearest whole number and answering the questions three and dodging the posion darts to put the replacement idol on the PS3 stand so the giant Sony boulder doesn't roll over you. Sony needs to understand that this is America. Most people can't handle something more complicated then turning on a power switch. What they need is a little icon of a PSP with an arrow pointing to a PS3 set and a big happy face. One click on that should set up remote play.

Anyway, have a great new year everyone, we've got a lot of gaming to do, with the Wii and PS3 just getting off the ground, and the 360 hitting stride with Gears of War and Halo 3.