AS PART of an occasional series about life at work, the socialist recently spoke to a young worker who worked for the computer games retailer Game.
“I was a part-time worker but during each shift we were constantly monitored. They checked how many customers you served, the amount of money you took, how much hardware and the amount of reward cards that were sold.
As well as having your target monitored at the end of the shift, at the end of the week they were sent off to head office. If you had a couple of bad days it was ok, but anymore and you would be hauled in front of the manager and hounded into pestering customers.
What annoyed me was that the manager actually told us the best ways to screw people over. She told me that the best way to get someone with a young child to buy a hand-held console was to give the console to the kid, because they have far more pester power than any of us. Also, I was told that if people believed what we said, it was their own fault for being stupid or gullible. I thought that this was really genuinely awful; so horrible a mentality to have.
The other thing that annoyed me, was that if a person came up and asked you about a game, you weren’t meant to give an honest opinion; you were meant to get the sale. I used to get into trouble about this, because if I thought a game was crap, then I’d say so!
Not only were you competing with other assistants within the store, there was also competition between the different stores. There were league tables and if our store was down in the table the manager would get a bollocking, who would then give us a bollocking.
The manager said the scheme was good, because it made everyone competitive. I just felt everyone became ruthless, it was purely about profit. You couldn’t help customers because the whole process was so target-driven.
Mystery shoppers would come in, and if you got the patter wrong you would be bollocked. If someone came in and said they were just browsing, I would leave them alone until they needed assistance, this got me into trouble. If someone came in to buy a game you were supposed to push them into buying something else.
The rate of pay was £5.10 with no commission, not a bloody thing.”