Home Beauty salon ‘GameStop Daycare’ is a thing and the staff are tired of childcare

‘GameStop Daycare’ is a thing and the staff are tired of childcare

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Image for article titled 'GameStop Daycare' is a thing and employees are tired of babysitting other people's kids

Photo: Michael M. Santiago / Nintendo / Kotaku (Getty Images)

Players of a certain age have fond memories of that first time they played Super Mario 64 or another Nintendo classic at the mall’s demo station. It was like touching a piece of the future. Maybe you’ve been playing for hours. What they probably don’t remember is how pissed off the person paid minimum wage to work there. Years later, GameStop is one of the last places you can still find video games in the wild, and employees say they’re tired of parents using it as an excuse to drop off their kids while they are shopping.

“Yeah, a lot of us are fed up with parents thinking they can just leave their kids with us while they shop,” said a current employee. Kotaku in an email. “For example, if you leave your child somewhere while you shop, leave them at home with a babysitter. Your children are not our problem. We already have enough to deal with.

Frustration has peaked recently on the GameStop subreddit where staff come to romp about a company in which executives get golden parachutes and investors see unprecedented deals on meme stocksbut the base sees hours cut, workloads have increasedand wages are stagnating. “So what do you do when kids randomly walk in while their parents are shopping elsewhere? Or when parents simply drop off their children? one user asked. Suggestions poured in, ranging from calling mall security to trying to sign them up for Pro memberships. “Literally a mom walked in [and] ask ‘did they behave?’ after leaving her kids here,” one user replied. “But as for real? What the fuck is this.

But this is far from the first time employees have complained. “Literally ran a daycare tonight,” job an employee three years ago. “Why are we considered a childcare service? ” somebody wrote in 2016. KSome call it “GameStop Daycare”, a phenomenon where minors of various ages are left to roam the racks of games and Funko Pops until their parents return from shopping elsewhere. Sometimes that means fixing a bunch of neatly organized shelves that have just been trashed. Other times it means dealing with an angry parent when they return and their child has already decided to move away elsewhere.

“We have Switch demos,” said a current employee. “Someone stole one. Most of the time they play them quietly, but they don’t put them back. Kids tend to take all the games off the shelf and don’t put them back, our games being alphabetical so we have to reorganize afterwards. The fluff also spreads throughout the store. This tends to happen even with the parent present.

Read more: This is what child care could look like

Often employees are simply trying to convince parents don’t leave them there in the first place.

“There was one instance in particular where a woman came in and asked me if she could leave her kids here while she went to get her hair done,” said another current employee. “I told her that not only could she not leave her children at the store because it is a retail space, but that it is illegal to knowingly leave your children unattended. She didn’t like my answer too much, and I was a bit more aggressive with my phrasing at the time if I’m being honest.

The staff Kotaku spoke with said the children left in their store average between six and 12 years old. This usually happened more in the summer months when the school was closed, and again around November and December when parents were shopping for their children for Christmas. “Every holiday season we have issues where a child is left unattended and the parent returns much later and the child has left the store,” said a longtime employee. “Fortunately, to my knowledge, they were always found safe.”

While kids bothering them with a ton of questions and making a mess in the store was the most common complaint, a bigger concern was kids leaving the store unattended. “I once had a kid come over, ask him questions and play a little on the demo booth,” said a former employee. “He was polite so it didn’t bother me. He left the store, which was in a mall. Next door was a beauty salon. The mother comes to my store to ask where her child was and I told her that her child is not in my care and he came out five to 10 minutes ago. She tried to blame me for not watching her child, but I told her we weren’t babysitters, let alone for free. He added that GameStop would probably fire him even if he left the store to pick up. GameStop did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Another couldn’t believe someone would give their kids to a video game store employee in the first place. “I’m not a parent, but I’ve had small children in my family for years and the eldest just turned 12,” they said. “If any of these children were left alone under the ‘care’ of a GameStop employee, I would be livid.”

But no one, it seems, is more livid than GameStop employees who are fed up with other people’s children. “And here’s the worst part, parents can feign ignorance and blame us for not doing our job,” one employee said. “Well sorry Karen, but I’m not your child’s babysitter. I have a job that I’m supposed to do, but I can’t do it because your little brat keeps messing things up. in my fucking store.