I used to work at GameStop when I was younger (original XBox/PS2/Gamecube era). Two things come to mind immediately.
I was working early one Sunday morning, when a kid came in who was there pretty regularly. He was about 12; he wanted to trade in his PS2 slim console and a few games for a Nintendo DS. Makes sense. So, I started doing the trade while he got his mom from the car. She signed off on everything, and the kid left happy. About an hour later, someone came in browsing and asked if we had any slim PS2s. I told him we had gotten one traded in earlier that morning. He bought it and went on his way.
Then, around noon, the kid came back. Only this time, he was with his dad. He wanted to get the PS2 back because his son hand’t asked permission to trade it in (despite the mother being there to authorize everything… hm. Someone didn’t know how to communicate). He clearly hadn’t given his son a moment to talk, and the kid just looked miserable. I calmly explained that it wouldn’t be possible, as I had already sold the console that had been traded in.
Dad. Went. Off.
I was legitimately concerned he was going to come over the counter at me. I’m a fairly large dude, but I don’t think he cared at that point. Once he finished his tirade, I explained that his son had come in with his mother, and that she had authorized everything. Showed him the signatures and all. He didn’t say anything more, but i felt so bad for that kid. Having been dragged all the way back to the store just to see his dad scream at someone. If he yelled like that at a stranger, I can’t imagine what happened when they went home. It was really just a bummer of a day.
The next one is a little gross, but significantly less depressing, I promise.
[HEADS UP: If you don’t like bugs, stop reading]
By far the worst thing that ever happened was when I had to do a return on a cockroach infested XBox.
I knew something was off when a woman, about 45ish, came into the store carrying a paper bag that appeared to be stuffed with a plastic garbage bag. She came up to the counter, put the bag down, way off to the side of the register, and got in line. Strange, I thought. Maybe she just doesn’t want to hold it the whole time.
How wrong I was.
When she got to the front of the line, she explained that she was the mother of a GameStop employee at a nearby store. She said her son (the employee) had bought an original XBox from our store the previous day. I remembered it clearly, because this was right around when Halo 2 was out, and the XBox was tough to get. We had been the only store with one for several miles around. He asked us to put it aside for him. I mentioned to him that it looked kind of rough; not that it was damaged or anything, it worked fine when we tested it, but that it was fairly dirty. This didn’t deter him, though–he was hellbent on playing Halo 2 online. So, it was put aside, and he came in about an hour after calling. He bought the system and a couple of games, including Halo 2, of course.
That night, he took it home, turned it on, and played Halo 2 online for a number of hours. After calling it a night, he turned off the console. As the heat an noise dissipated from the console, dozens of cockroaches scattered from it. They got everywhere.
The woman returning it was incredibly polite, given the circumstances. I ended up calling our district manager and getting her pest control paid for, a brand new XBox in exchange for the infested one, and some crazy amount in gift cards. I got the unfortunate job of packing up the system to be sent off for refurbishing. Yes, refurbishing, not destruction.