This past Christmas, I decided to get a second job as a seasonal temp working at a nearby Gamestop. I started there in early November, and was on staff until the first week of January or so. All told, I worked at the store for about eight weeks. I just received my W-2 form the other day, and was somewhat surprised to see that while working there, I had managed to earn a whopping $174 (before taxes). At my hourly wage of $6/hr, that means that I worked a grand total of 29 hours over those 8 weeks, which is an average of 3.5 hours a week. What’s even better is that due to my prior experience working at EB, I was one of the temps who got the most hours.

I’m not even sure exactly how many temps that particular Gamestop hired this past year, but I believe it was close to about 8 or so. My old EB, which was much busier because it was in the mall (this Gamestop was in a small supermarket plaza), usually only hired about half that many people during the Christmas season, and would usually have them working about 3 days a week.

It’s really hard to do a good job when you’re typically only working 1 shift every other week. I don’t mean that it is hard because you develop a bad attitude, or you don’t have enough time to gain product knowledge; I was fine in both of those areas. But it’s really hard to learn how to do the actual job when you have so little chance at retaining anything you learn. I was constantly forgetting where we kept things, how to ring up transactions, whether or not we carried certain items, and just about anything else related to the store itself that I really needed to know. As a result, I ended up being little more than a go-between — someone who would hear a customer’s question, and then repeat it to a more experienced, knowledgeable employee to get their answer. “Do we have any PS2’s in stock?” I don’t know. “Where are the Xbox controllers?” Good question! “Can I return this?” I don’t remember, let me ask Gary.

And I was considered one of the “good temps”.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems kind of counter-productive to hire far more employees than you can possibly give hours to. The next time a customer enters the store and sees nothing but idiots that don’t know how to do their jobs, they can probably chalk it up to inexperience. Even if those guys have technically been working there for a while.