Thursday, June 19, 2014

Getting the "F" out of FLGS

Today was the first day I stopped into my new FLGS and realized the two main proprietors, Brad and Joe, were not around.  Some of the "inner circle" (family) had opened up the store on time and were waiting for the imminent arrival of the guys from their real jobs.  I wandered over to the Magic cards and leafed through a few binders. 

There was a table of late teens/early twentysomething guys playing Yu-gi Oh and as the game neared a close, they began dropping F-bombs like drunk sailors on leave.  No one else said anything, and it appropriate that some random white dude would reprimand them, so I let it go and observed.  When Brad and Joe got it, everyone caught up, and I discovered, to my horror, that one of the kids had been hired to work a few hours!

There's a lot of things you can't completely control when being away from the store.  Staffing is one of them. Customer behavior is another.  I have to say I was 50/50 when it came to hiring staff.  Some were beyond phenomenal, and others I had to double count tills/inventory, and even send in a secret shopper to verify wrongdoing.   One problem I didn't have was language, especially more f-bombs than a squadron of B-52s over North Vietnam.  People are willing to go in some seedy holes in the wall to get a product they need, they're willing to deal with "interesting" people, but drop a few casual curses in a sales setting, and second thoughts come back faster than anything on Earth.

What if I was just a random dude coming into the store for the first time?  That would make me feel rather uncomfortable, if not completely unwelcome.

Now change things to a professional mom, looking to get guidance towards purchasing a box of Magic cards, hot new Eurogame, or even a GW army deal.  The ones with still more sense than money would eith turn right around and never come back, or finish the transaction, and keep the kid away from the store indefinitely.   

True, stuff happens, and words slip out.  I'm certain that my run in game stores from '93 to 2000 I let a few choice words escape my lips with customers about, but I would hope if I died and went to gamer heaven, most of those occurances were either after hours or in specific company.  The smartest thing to do is drop that portion of your vocabulary at the door regardless if your a customer or employee.

And while others may argue, cursing left and right while playing Yu Gi Oh is the same level as someone getting stabbed while playing Chutes and Ladders. Cursing Furries might be the only thing lower on the geek scale.

I did shoot off and email to the owners, just as a friendly FYI. 

Edit: And I did get a nice timely response from Joe and I will consider the issue taken care of. It doesn't mean I'm retracting this post. It was written in such a way that I don't mention my FLGS by name, that was intentional. It's an important topic for any shop owner, their employees, and anyone who frequents stores for game nights.

No comments:

Post a Comment