From Cincinnati, OH — 05/01/2010
I loved Gamestop. Worked there for 3 years, but then for monetary reasons had to switch to a competing company- however, now that I've picked up a new job in a different industry, I've been offered my PT job at Gamestop back, and I'm certainly taking it.
Pay: Not so great. Definitely the worst aspect of working at Gamestop, in my opinion; if you're looking for something to pay the bills, this is not it. However, as a supplement to school or a once-a-week thing on top of another job, it's great, because you're not expecting the money anyway. Started off at minimum wage ($5.15 at the time), got a bit of a raise every year, EVEN the years minimum wage went up. Ended up at $7.35. So, again, not great, but you get higher raises based on good performance and I applaud the fact that they gave us a raise, in a bad economy, even on years they technically didn't have to.
As for anyone who's complained about the pay being too little for what you're asked to do, try working at a grocery store and then say the pay at GS sucks. I had about three times as much work at a grocery store for equal pay... and please people, grow up. It's not particularly difficult to run the register or alphabetize games.
Respect: Varies. As a female GA, I always had th odd customer who completely ignored me or told me I knew nothing about video games, but you'll get arseholes anywhere, so it didn't bother me that much- especially as my SM, ASM and SGA all knew that I was the best GA in the store. Within the store, I got respect from pretty much everyone. I always kind of felt like our DM didn't like me a whole lot, but I never talked to him much and pretty much just tried to stay out of his way and do my job the best I could whenever he dropped by. And of course, like in any corporation, store level employees don't get a whole lot of corporate respect, but that's to be expected.
Benefits: Meh, I'm pretty neutral here. I was offered some sort of health care- got the information package in the mail at least twice a year- but I'm still on my parents' insurance until I graduate, so I never bothered to see how expensive it was. Other than that, 15% discount on new isn't terrible, 15% on used is not great, but for the $14.99 GI magazine (which I subscribed to before even becoming an employee anyway, as I enjoy reading it) you aslo get an extra 10% off on used, bringing to to 25%, and you get a 10% bump on all game trade ins. Also, checking any game out for four days at a time is great- sadly, you can only check out each game once a month, but that's in the interest of actually keeping it in the store for paying customers to buy duh.
Security: Not once did I ever feel like my job was at stake. Even some of the less ambitious GAs were kept on for longer than I thought they should have been. Gamestop encourages managers to not fire people so unless you do something particularly idiotic, don't expect to lose this job unless you quit. I've heard it gets a little rougher when you move up the ranks, but then, more is expected of you, so I'd assume it's a bit tougher anyway. Basically, just do your job, don't steal from the company, and don't be a brat.
Balance: As a GA, don't expect many hours. Each manager is expected to have a certain amount of employees at his or her store, and because most of the hours allotted to each store go to the ASM and SGA, that leaves generally around 20-30 hours per week to split between anywhere from 3-6 GAs. This, of course, allows for a pretty open social life. I never felt that I was treated poorly for not being able to cover someone else's shift, and I was given the days off that I needed, even when I forgot to ask in advance. With so few hours available anyway, it was easy to work around pretty much any schedule.
Growth: Pretty decent. I've been offered a promotion to SGA several times, and I've seen a lot of other GAs actually move up into the position. After that, I've noticed it goes down just a bit- I think I may have seen more outside hires for ASMs, but I've only seen two new managers in my time there, one of whom was inside promotion, the other was an outside hire, so I can't say for sure. Overall, decent if you want to try for it, I suppose.
Location: What is there to say, but the fact that they're everywhere? Seriously, Gamestop is the Starbucks of the gaming world. You can pretty much pick and choose your own store, so I'd suggest getting to know the people who work at any location you might be interested in- of course your experience will change depending on your coworkers. I was lucky enough to live in an area with 3 really awesome stores all right next to each other.
Coworkers: Depends. I've seen good and bad. A few idiots have stolen from the company, and a few of the highschool or college age kids who I've worked with have just been lazy, but you'll get that anywhere. Again, just check out the place you're interested in first, and get to know everyone there.
Work environment: Generally as good as you make it. If you get upset about every snobby customer, or let yourself get worked up over every little kid who wrecks your store, then yeah, it's not going to be a fun place to work. But if you accept it as part of the job and try to have fun, you'll probably have a great time like I did. Also, again- make sure to familiarize yourself with your possible coworkers! Also, beware your area- Gamestops are likely targets for robberies. Try to pick somewhere in a mall or some relatively nice suburbs, if you can, as it make you feel much more at ease.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Gamestop to anyone who just wants a fun, laid back job- just make sure you get to know people first so you can know what to expect from your coworkers and bosses.