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21 July 2009 @ 02:13 am
Nothing...I repeat...NOTHING you can possibly say is important enough for you to stand in front of the register and block traffic.  Unless someone is dead in the parking lot, or the building is on fire, get the fuck away from the point of sale and let me take care of the steadily building line of people who just want to buy their item and get the hell away from you.  No one cares about how you broke the game with X character, not even me...and it certainly doesn't justify the captive audience that's racking up behind your turned back.

Protip:  When a clerk says to you, 'Damn, I'm just -so- busy,' that is your cue to fuck off.

Lots of clingy people on the register today...when clearly my head is down, buried in paperwork (and there is a great deal of paperwork involved in geek-herding) it seems like people begin skittering out of the woodwork to talk to me.  There comes a point when I stop making the nice and start making the mean...that point nearly arrived this evening when Mr. Taxi began his usual pot-stirring routine, shit-talking another member of the staff in an attempt to lower them in my eyes, never-mind that Taxi rotates who he complains about depending on who's on shift that day.  My memory is long for that kind of passive-aggressive crap.

Taxi, since realizing that I've taken the customer-service 'clinical' tone, has taken to apologizing for everything he didn't do...and he's already slavish and servile, which has rankled me since we met.  I don't care if he's 'sorry that I'm so busy', if he were really sorry, he would get the hint, go the fuck away, and let me work in peace instead of baby-talking in the way only a sex crazed, retard-strong wannabe halfwit can.

-end snarl-
20 July 2009 @ 08:49 am
Protip: Standing at the counter and one-upping a gaming store clerk's hobbies and interests does not win you brownie points with the staff. It's not impressive, and it doesn't make you special. It makes you a Douchebag Customer (tm) and it makes us HATE YOU.  We don't care about the size of your Geek-Pen0r...we really don't.

So Pink and I are standing around one day talking about the horror movie spectrum, which happens to be my pastime, everything from very high quality horror movies to the bad, b-grade stuff they show on Sci-Fi channel in the middle of the night, the stuff that plays like a trainwreck, it's so terrible you can't stop watching. I also adore the Japanese horror and V-Release markets, and I own a great collection of them and am very familiar with those industries...I like to make myself an expert. What it comes down to is that in that field, as well as in the RPG industry, it's hard to out-geek me...just like you can't out-geek Pink in the manga or anime market, she is going to know more than any customer who is not a direct part of the industry. 

Most people grok this and accept it.

So we're in the middle of a conversation about V-release, (the Japanese direct-to-video market, which is actually much different and more well-looked upon than the US straight-to-video market), I think it was probably a Miike Takashi flick, and I seem to remember commenting that when Miike directs anything involving violence or rape, he doesn't beat around the bush. I'm not afraid to admit that some of his work is hard for me to watch...hell, that's why I like it.

Some guy standing at the counter who saw an opportunity to unzip and show off his massive geek-penis, throws down on the conversation and starts talking about how he's never seen a horror movie that phased him, and that, "Once when I went to see X horror movie, I ended up laughing so hard that some asshole reported me and I was asked to leave."

Well fuckbag, I was probably the asshole that did it

At some point, Pink quipped that she doesn't go to premier nights (even though we have a press box spots and guest tickets to most relevant movies) because of people who heckle it and ruin it for other people...and I have to say I agree...but Douchebag's geek-pen0r swinging was already well underway and steadily gaining momentum, and he was going on about how he eats during movies like Saw and Hostel, etc.  It's funny how at some point the geek-pen0r makes its owner deaf to the conversation's progress in the name of just getting one... more... douchebag... comment... out... because you know, God, us little geek-girls must be so impressed with the sheer SIZE of it.

Movie-Douche eventually walked out, 
climbed into his massive Hummer H2,
and drove into the sunset.
16 July 2009 @ 03:58 pm
Five and a half feet of pure, unwashed crazypants. One day I reported for duty and found him standing near the counter, rolling a cigarette and humming to himself. Everything about this man screams 'I'm homeless and I failed my last sanity check! I will KILL YOU while your BACK IS TURNED and FEED YOU to the DARK GODS of MAD DOG 2020.'

Now, before I proceed, please understand that I have a lot of sympathy toward the homeless. I don't immediately assume that they are all batshit insane, and I help them when I can, but that doesn't change the fact that this is a retail environment with an exceptionally edgy, socially-awkward customer base.  If they feel threatened or troubled in any way, they disappear pretty quickly...we also have families and children here, and parents don't take well to seeing that in their favorite family-friendly store.

So he's standing around talking to the clerks...it's sort of a half-coherent mumble from what I can tell, and although some of the other geekslaves are okay with him, either because they are benevolent in a deep and meaningful way (Lulz is one of these kind souls) or because they want to seem 'edgy' (Beastie is one such person).  It's hot outside, I know that, and I feel bad, but at the same time, when one of our biggest spenders walks up quietly to Pink and asks, 'Is that man here often?  I'm not comfortable with leaving my child here....' a choice has to be made.

Now, as much as I feel slightly guilty for turning him out, there are other factors to be considered.  The health and safety of staff and customers.  The guy has open wounds on his forearm, a bandage oozing through with something too disturbingly yellowish to be blood.  My sense of smell is pretty keen, and there was the distinct smell of infection whenever he passed - so with swelling, uncovered, oozing wounds on one hand, my first concern is that he could be leaving staph on the surfaces he touches.  Maybe the other Geekslaves laughed at us for doing it, but both Pink and I took to sterilizing anything he touched on his way out...I have no desire to collect any more viral/bactieral 'presents' than we already get.

I like my extremities, especially my fingers, well enough not to risk them.  There's just something about the idea of them rotting off that sets me on edge. 

But, of course, it doesn't end there.  We tried to be nice, we told Crazy Horse that he couldn't come back into the store, that if he did, we'd have to call the police...so the morning shift made it very clear.  The Lamb and the Cajun were not to be disobeyed...so instead of getting the point and fucking off, he'd wait and watch until both the Lamb and Cajun had left, and then creep back to the store, expecting the evening staff that were 'cool' with him to be sympathetic.

He finally realized what was going on, and he stopped visiting, but the other night we saw him, like a distant, scraggly shark, hanging out in the parking lot...so this might not be the end of...Crazy Horse.
15 July 2009 @ 11:46 pm

Uh...hi there.  (O_O);;  
My hitcount has,
in the last half hour,
jumped to 6x the average.
So hello there, happy anonymous people. 

I'll just stand over there.
More snark tomorrow.

15 July 2009 @ 10:57 pm

"So," she said to me over the computer monitor, looking all-too-pleased with herself, "you might hear that I was griping about you a little bit.  I was just a little snarky that you haven't been returning my phone calls."

Wow...what to say to that?  I could always go the direct route, look into your aging, milky-looking eyes, and say, "Well, if there was ever any doubt in my mind that you are a no-life passive-aggressive brass-gilded cuntface, said doubt is now gone."  This is certainly what I was thinking at that moment, but thankfully for both of us my brain-to-mouth filters are considerably more stalwart than your sense of self-satisfaction.  Instead, I flick on the clinical, 'get out of my store' customer-service tone and say, "That's fine ma'am, is there anything else you need help with?"

First of all, it was one phone call and it was on my day off.  Despite the fact that I am often fine with answering work-related calls on said days off, you have already established yourself as a high-maintenance fuckabout, and therefore I want nothing to do with you if I am not being paid to tolerate your presence. 

Second of all, I am not emotionally invested in your well-being...we are neither BFF nor attached at the hip.  You bring *nothing* positive to the table...at most, you are a sink-hole of time and effort that no one wants to put up with, so they dump the responsibility of talking to you on me.

Bitch all you want.  Bitch until you choke.  It just means that when you frantically need me to support you, I'll be busy with something more important.  You are definately old enough to have heard the expression, "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar," so you can't say you weren't warned.

Oh, one last thing:  Eat me, you passive-aggressive nutjob.  Dig right in.

15 July 2009 @ 03:13 am
So we have a customer that I'll call Identity-Crisis (IC) because of his pathological lying.  On any given day, he'll tell you about his time in the Russian Army, his time in the West German Army, his time working in a West German interment camp, the fact that he was 'asked to come here' by the US Government, that they 'watch him constantly' and read his email, etc.  He also, since discovering that I have a fetish for intelligent, well-educated men, likes to go on and on about his extensive education, his many Master's Degrees, all the while his hair is unwashed, his clothes are old and torn, and he clearly earns next to nothing with his awesome spectral education.

He is what Pink and I refer to as a 'Harmless Crazypants.'
I generally take everything he says with a small Siberian salt mine.

Identity-Crisis likes to play, you guessed it, war-reinactment tactical games.  He considers himself a very good painter, and for his part, he is.  For the last few years, we have allowed him to put his miniatures in our glass display cabinet to show off his skill, but lately we've needed that space for actual products that can be sold and therefore benefit the store.  Because of that, we've had to ask our painters to remove their minis from the cabinet, and there's  been varying degrees of understanding and anger depending on the person.

This apparently just ruined I.C.'s day.  Granted, it was already on a rough start.  He wore an eyepatch to the store, and because he is a well-known pathological liar, we all sort of shrugged and went about our business as though nothing was wrong.  Generally, if he is seeking attention, most of us just ignore him.  The Lamb decided to make a comment about it, asking if 'he was being a pirate' that day, which pissed in I.C.'s Cheerios.  Now granted, it was a shitty thing to say, and as soon as he realized he'd upset I.C. the Lamb was immediately apologetic.

It should have ended there. "Oh damn, I'm sorry, I didn't realize," should have ended it.

But no.  I.C. was butthurt and feeling righteous geek-rage.  I entered into this little bitchfit by walking into our video room and finding him ripping all of his terrain out of the wooden cabinet we still let them use.  I asked what was wrong, to which he replied in his pseudo-Russian accent, "Fuck this place, I'm not coming here anymore."  I was sort of surprised, since he was lashing out at me for asking him what was wrong, and so instead of getting in his face without knowing the situation, I just left him alone and watched him flounce out of the store in typical butthurt-geek fashion.

We started placing bets on how long it would be before he regretted the flounce and came back.  I was betting it would be at least a week, maybe more.  Lulz was confident that he'd return sooner.  Lulz ended up winning.  This evening he was at the store, and as I walked in, I called a greeting to them.  Generally everyone is happy to see me, but I.C. completely ignored my existance, which is fine, my opening serve was already dealt.  For the rest of the evening he skulked around the store, ignoring the employees with all his fuzzy little might, meanwhile we were nothing but kind.

Maybe he realized that our store is the only one that will tolerate his brand of B.S.?
14 July 2009 @ 09:02 pm
So our air conditioner is broken.  It's been broken for three weeks.  It's the height of summer right now, and despite being partially functional, the store is still a nasty, stale, 80 degrees.  Gamer funk is on the rise, and there's only so much Lysol or Febreeze that can be sprayed without giving everyone a headache.

The Lamb?  The Cajun?  Unhelpful.  They claim to have handed off the problem to the Uber-Manager and their Evil Assistants...but when I contacted one of the Evil Assistants, they were under the impression that our A/C was fully functional.  I sense that the Lamb has decided that since he's adjusted to our 80 degree bake, that everything is okay and nothing should be done...he also doesn't work in the evenings, when the temperature begins to ramp up and up and up.  When I asked him, his only reply was, 'well, it's better than it was...' to which I say, 'it's still 80 degrees in the store.'

Geeks like their A/C.  I've noticed that there are less people in the store since they begin to fail...ergo...it doesn't matter if he's comfortable.  The store is still hot, and the geeks aren't sticking around and doing business.  So in my usual fashion, I've decided that the best way to get something done is to bitch.  Loudly.  I know he hates me for it, but because he cannot be relied on to get this done, it forces me to commune with the Uber-Manager and potentially our Robot Overlords to get this fixed.

13 July 2009 @ 02:59 am

Our store, like hundreds of others, ran Games Workshop's 'Ard Boyz' Tournament for Warhammer 40k this weekend.  It's something that all of our players look forward to every year, and usually one of our busier tournament dates.  The Law of Perversity was already in action, as one of our A/C units is on the fritz and the store is fetid and lukewarm toward the end of the afternoon.  I made the mistake of asking a friend of mine, 'how could things get any worse?'

So why is it that the one group of people that NONE OF US want to see decides to show up on that day?  Do they just sense that they'd be the most annoying if they came on that particular date?  Have they as a family evolved some kind of messed up gland that allows them to be aware of loathing and inconvenience on a subconscious level?  If someone has this answer, I'm keen to know.

The Aristocrats.  A family so-named for a comedic in-joke that I could actually see them acting out.  They consist of Tit-Grabber, Grease-Monster, Nasty-Senior, Bitchfit, and a wad of greasy satellites who decided to show up alongside them for a game of 1st edition D&D.  Degenerate behavior fostered within three generations of the same fucking family.  (Here's a prior entry about that.)  These people, collectively, have the worst case of gamer funk I've ever been forced to tolerate...each is a walking stereotype, and they give every other geek I know a bad name.

Of the Aristocrats, Tit-Grabber is the most disturbing.  He appeared from behind like a creepy little herald, his arms wide and his eyes hopefully focused six inches below my chin.  "I missed you!  Hug?"  Either because of how busy I was, or because of how suddenly the awful crept up on me, I snapped at him, "No," and away he scuttled to warn the others.  I used to consider it a polite gesture because the customers were accustomed to hugging another female staff member, but it's been a long time since I've played nice with these people.  Tit-Grabber earned his name from a hand-gesture he made repeatedly one afternoon that nearly had him banned permanently from our store - reaching with open hands at my breasts, then opening and closing his fingers a few inches away.


Word spread between their oozing gestalt, and by the time I had a second to keep them in check, they were all glancing over at me with discontent.  The Grease-Monster (the father in this orgy of yuck), all 6.5 feet and eight tons of him, managed to wobble to the counter carrying his 2 liter of Dr. Pepper like a teddy bear, and forms his chronic wheezing into a question:

"Are there any rooms open for gaming?"
"Let me take a look for you."
  I stride off to look.
Pink and I meet eyes in passing.  The realization is born.
"Sorry, we have two large events right now, we don't have any space."
I was being honest, but it was wonderfully convenient.

We all wait in hope as he wobbles back to his group, Bitchfit coming to the counter to flirt casually with the Lamb.  The Lamb, for all his pleasant virtues, is vulnerable to friendly women, even the most crazypants ones, and so she quickly entrances him with her playful antics, despite that the rest of us recognize her as a psycho-hosebeast with no good adult role models to stem the tide of her hormone-soaked behavior.  She's a cat in heat with a mighty need for the penis and no hygiene...and when she passes, it's with the distinctive monkeyhouse reek of female gamer funk.  (An insidious and thankfully rare beast.)

Once Bitchfit is deployed, Nasty-Senior makes a beeline for me...and he's unusually guarded, probably from the Tit-Grabber's warning.  I greet him, but I make myself busy elsewhere.  This is the same man who insulted Pink to her face because he disliked her chosen haircolor on that day - as though we're there to please his fucking aesthetic.  I fully blame him for the moral, social, and hygenic collapse of his family...as the self-proclaimed patriarch of that nasty little brood, it was his responsibilty to instill good values on them.  Epic Fail.

Just as the others are about to tuck in at one of the store-front tables (I was about to go into the back and hang myself with old coat-hangers in despair), Grease-Monster announces that they will be gaming at Tit-Grabber's house instead, and they begin to say their goodbyes.  Again I am asked for hugs, from both TG and the Grease-Monster himself, but I quickly made my hands full and said goodbye as I "Looked Busy(tm)"

We breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Now if only they'd fix our A/Cs.

09 July 2009 @ 11:40 pm

So I'm listening to someone moan their name into the phone, a three-name phrase that they are managing to put into two syllables and getting angry when I don't understand them, and I realize that I've been working at this store for over a year, and all of the phone calls are the same.  Some are really great, and I love those customers, but the vast percentage of the calls fall into one of the following categories.

1.  Calls from people wanting to sell comics, cards, and toys.  We give them the same answer -every- time they call, that we aren't buying, nor have we bought in a long time, and every month, the same people call back and ask again.  The next question upon being told, 'No, we aren't buying.' is usually, 'Do you know who is?  What's THEIR phone number.'  We are not fucking directory assistance.  Google it, look in the damned phone book.

2.  Calls from subscribers who believe we should all know them by name.  This one drives me up the damned wall.  Strangely enough, no one else seems to get these, but it always starts with the standard phone greeting:

Me:  "Thank you for calling [], how can I help you?"
Them:  "Hi.  I'd like to check my box please?"
Me:  "Sure!  What's your name?"
Them:  -pause- "You mean you don't recognize my voice?"
Me:  "I'm sorry, no I don't.  Your name?"
Them:  "Awww, come on, guess."
Me:  "I'm sorry, I don't know.  Last name?"
Them:  "I know -YOUR- name...you don't know mine?"
Me:  "We have hundreds of subscribers sir, shall I begin with 'A'?'

We have one specific female customer thats cosplay-neko 'normal', but sounds like a dying buffalo on the phone.  She grunts her name into the receiver and expects you to be psychic and somehow know who she is and what she wants...however, the law of perversity states that if you assume, even once, they will change their mind and think you're a moron...so I just start off on the wrong foot and get it over with.  I go into super kindergarten 'use good pronunciation' mode.

Me:  [standard store greeting]
Her:  "This is *GRUNT*"
Me:  "I'm sorry, I didn't catch that?"
Her:  "This is Cl(grunt)una."
Me:  "Thanks, what can I do for you?"
Her:  -irritated pause-  "My box."
Me:  "Hrm?  Oh!  You want to check your subs?"
Her:  -another irritated pause- "Yuh-huh."

3.  Customers who call to ask whether or not eight million different comics came in.  Seriously?  We send out a newsletter with all of the new releases.  Just drive to the fucking store and look instead of tying us up for half an hour.  (This has the equally unpleasant sub-sect of customers who want me to describe covers for them.)

4.  People calling to ask if we have console games.  No.  Never have.  Never will.

5.  People who are insecure working with more than a single employee.  We have customers who call for a specific employee, because they want only -that- demigod of geekdom to help them, nevermind that there are plenty of other people happy to assist them.  Some of them get bitchy when their personal geekslave is not present to cater to them.  The misogynists fall into this category as well - on more than one occasion, Pink and I have been asked, 'Is there a MAN there that I can talk to?'  Because apparently they are incapable of accepting what someone with a uterus says.  They just have a MIGHTY CRAVING for the PENIS.  (There will be a sub-rant at some point regarding the pain of being equipped female in a largely male industry later.)

6.  People asking what time we close.  Never mind that on busy nights, the standard greeting usually includes 'Open Till ______', they still ask, because their mighty need to ask a question made them deaf to the freely offered information.  People are so, so stupid sometimes.

7.  Customers calling to ask if their special order came in.  When we take the information for a special order, we state to the customer, 'We'll call you when we receive your items, and let you know to pick them up.'  Yet we still have tons people on a daily basis calling to ask if their stuff came in.  My default response to these questions is, 'Did you receive a call?'  It doesn't help, I know, but I can fantasize, can't I?

I'm sure there are some that I'm forgetting, but that's about it.  /rant

15 May 2009 @ 09:15 am
Now, you've already read about Mr. Taxi, who's degree of creepy seems to depend on the day, the moon cycle, and how much attention he seems to need at that time. He's taken to showing up at the store almost every day, hanging around the counter, and occasionally following customers around the store and 'helping' them with their Warhammer purchases.  He wants desperately to be considered one of our regulars, someone who we like to see and are very good to, and although the staff is nice to him, everyone is more than a little tired of putting up with him every...damned...day.  As always, there's that infantile side of Mr. Taxi that makes everyone's skin crawl, which gives off the impression of a sex-crazed retard.