Very Dangerous, Remove Immediately

In the middle of October, Jess and I travelled down to Newcastle. I had just won an eBay auction for ‘Ere We Go and Freebooterz, two of the few remaining out-of-print Games Workshop Ork sourcebooks I did not own. This was tremendously exciting for me; previously these books had always escaped me as I was either outbid or I could not make it to the place required to collect them. But this year, fortune smiled and they popped up in sunny coastal Newcastle, only available by pickup, and I happened to be in the right state at the right time. The seller and I even agreed to meet, fittingly enough, at the local Games Workshop store in Newcastle. It was perfect.

Little did I know, when we undertook this labour of love, that this would be the very thing that would cause me to lose my own job with Games Workshop.

You see, while we were waiting for the seller, I took the opportunity to converse with and get to know the manager and staff at the Newcastle Games Workshop store. We chatted about this and that, about how their store was doing, what it was like to work at my store up at Castle Towers. We got along. When they asked me what brought me down this way, I gleefully exclaimed – over the moon as I was – about how I was finally going to pick up these Ork books that had eluded me all these years, and that I had arranged to use their store as a meeting point with my eBay seller.

It turns out this was a huge mistake. Because you see, the first thing that the Newcastle manager did upon seeing my manager at last week’s manager’s conference, was to step over and inform him that one of his staff – he even remembered my name for the occasion – had used his store as a meeting point to purchase goods over eBay.

Apparently the fact that the item in question was an out of print supplement from eighteen years ago and that eBay is the only place it can be found was irrelevant: I, a Games Workshop staff member, had purchased Games Workshop goods from eBay and was publicly announcing it at a Games Workshop store.

The Newcastle manager also went on to add that I had “acted like a smartass” by discussing the Ten Commandments of Customer Service with him and his staff. Specifically, when I was first approached by him, I congratulated him on completing the First Commandment (“Acknowledge and approach everyone who enters the Hobby Centre”) and introduced myself as a fellow employee. Now I don’t know if Newcastle has some fucked-up personal definition of “smartass” but where I come from, that’s called breaking the fucking ice. Finding common ground. Starting a conversation.

At the time he laughed and we got along fine, as did the other staff member whom I had roughly the same conversation with. I was not to know that the hypnotic conditioning in his brain had kicked into overdrive, and that my name, rank and serial number were being filed away to be reported later.

After spending maybe ten or fifteen minutes in store, I realised the seller was late and decided to go stand outside to look for him. I made my excuses and left; not knowing that when this whole story would be reported to my manager, the ending would be completely fucking rewritten to the Newcastle manager asking me to leave the store.

I had no idea of any of this at the time; in fact I had no idea up until today, over two weeks later when Jess and I went into my store to do some painting. My manager had asked me to come in so he could speak to me personally before he drew up the roster for the week. I jokingly asked when I arrived if I was being fired. He looked at me sadly and said “Yes”.

After having the whole ridiculous farce of a situation (complete with bonus alternate ending courtesy of the Newcastle manager) explained to me, he went on further to add that in any case he didn’t think I was a very good “fit” with Games Workshop – primarily, because I was not loud and energetic enough. You see it’s very important, at Games Workshop, that you make the hobby fun and exciting – which according to the company policy, means shouting all the time, something I struggle with. And Games Workshop take their shouting their “fit” very seriously; through some contacts, I’ve actually had the chance to read the Little Red Book, which is the top-secret management handbook written by the CEO of Games Workshop himself, Tom Kirby.

At the time of my hiring, I mentioned to my manager that I possessed this illicit knowledge. Recalling this fact, he used it to illustrate why I was being fired.

 

VERY DANGEROUS. REMOVE FROM GW IMMEDIATELY.

 

You see that top left corner? That, he explained, was where I was. Talented, yes, but not a good fit. “You’ve read the book, Tim,” he said, “You know what Games Workshop policy is about this.” Oh yes, I do.

When it comes right down to it, I still don’t know why I was fired. I can see why I might have been told it wasn’t working out a few months from now and perhaps asked gently to leave, or just quietly given less and less shifts until I quit of my own accord. But fired?

If enjoying the Games Workshop universe enough to collect all their sourcebooks is a crime, if trying to find common ground with other Games Workshop staff through entirely reasonable conversation is a crime, if being loyal veteran of fourteen goddamn years is a crime, then lock me the fuck up, you guys. Because I will re-offend.

UPDATE: Holy shit that’s a lot of comments. If you’re reading this, could you please leave me a comment showing me where this is being linked from? I’m dying to know. Thanks!

Published by

Tim

Used to run games.on.net, now runs Point & Clickbait. Thermonuclear shit-wizard from hell. Timeless being of perfect granite, dickhead union thug. On Twitter here.

72 thoughts on “Very Dangerous, Remove Immediately”

  1. I… I don’t even know what to say. Wow.

    I hope finding a new job somewhere that isn’t so exceptionally creepy goes well for you, dude.

  2. You forgot to mention the fact that you were planning to leave in a month or so anyway! The fact that your manager is an Orks collector and understands the situation with the sourcebooks, and that he knows that you’re leaving, you’d think the guy would give you a stern warning and continue to give you the 4 or 5 more shifts you have until we’re leaving for another state anyway.

    Jerks.

  3. That’s incredible! Presumably the shadowy GW manager cartel meeting has sullied your name amongst all GW managers? I know a guy, I’ll see what is up

  4. holey shit Tim.. i read that with my mouth open in surprise! i cant believe how fucked that is. No one loves that goddamn place more then u.. just cause your not a screeching annoying loudmouth jerkass. i really hate going into GW cause instantly the employees flock to me and spout information at me when i just wanna look at stuff and maybe buy some frogmen guys!
    that truly sucks and I’m really sorry its happened to you.

  5. I like how if you’re a highly-effective yet poor-fitting employee, it sounds like you make bombs in your spare time, and hand kids apples laced with arsenic and razor blades.

  6. That is incredibly bullshit. Losing a job sucks, and losing one in such a bizarre and retarded fashion must be extra frustrating, but if that’s the petty sort of shit the local GW high command is deploying, then in the long run you’re probably better off rid of them as employers. But again, sorry you had to lose a job at a place you liked for such shitty reasons.

  7. “Not loud and energetic enough”.. I spat my beer out when I read this line. You’re one of the most enthusiastic and happy people I know. If I ran a retail / geek-friendly business, you’re -exactly- the sort of person I would want on my team.

    You knew I’d probably point this out – and it’s probably irrelevant if you intended to leave them after a month anyway but, actually it’s illegal in Australia for them to fire you without at least a solid reason or incident they can point to. If you still don’t know why you’ve been fired, you should try and find out. If they can’t give you a solid answer, you can apply for compensation. I’m sure at a corporate level they do not want their brand dragged through the dirt over some middle managers’ personal vendetta against you.

    I’ll be digging you for this dude, people need to hear what fuckers these guys are 😛

  8. Welcome to the trials and tribulations of retail. Take the stereotypical socially maladjusted nerd that would work at Games Workshop (sorry), add power, remove camaraderie and viola!

    Of course you couldn’t explain your situation to your manager, as his mind was already made up. But nothing is preventing you from airing your grievances with regional or national human resources. If you did care enough to follow it up, I’d advise keeping it tacit.

    But I do believe ego jihad is in order. I would institute tall poppy martial law that sees managers like the one in Newcastle brought down to the earth. All glory to the Ego Jihad!

  9. I feel your pain Tim. I got the same sort of thing back when I was with GW in 2005. I could paint, sell, was a generally happy enough person that didn’t take advantage of the discount too much, but I just didn’t get into “Waaagh-ing”so, I was asked to leave. Although, since then I’ve probably given more painting lessons and beginner games than when I was staff, so they have no problems asking me to help out for free…

    Sucks that the other manager was an ass about it though, did your guy even try to listen to your side of it, or was it a mind made up type of thing?

  10. Buh? Wuh? Huh? Well that ain’t right.

    You certainly look like you’ve got a case against them. You might consider having a go at them simply to clear your employment record. Don’t need a black mark on your CV just because of a rabid weasel attack.

    http://www.aussielegal.com.au/informationoutline~nocache~1~SubTopicDetailsID~870.htm

    Personally, I despise the happy clappy brainwashed types that get up in your face in the GW shops, but they are disturbingly common…

  11. Wow Tim, that’s the bee’s anus.

    I’ll stir the pot by asking a real question though, despite your love of the world will your experience and knowledge of GW business practices affect your buying habits and how much of your hard earned money that you put into the company’s pockets in the future? Same query is open to anyone who reads this story.

  12. Holy shit, thanks for the comments and the support guys and gals! It is good to know I am not the only one who thinks this whole thing is irredeemably fucked-up.

    To everyone who mentioned legal claims/unfair dismissal, unfortunately this isn’t open to me: as a casual employee I cannot claim unfair dismissal, and in any case Games Workshop’s contract contains a six-month probationary period during which I can be fired without recourse to any of Games Workshop’s policies regarding disciplinary action or terminations. They’ve covered their asses pretty well unfortunately 🙁

    Dan, you raise a good point! I already knew Games Workshop had some dodgy business practices when I started work there, so I’m not too shocked, but I had hoped my devotion would not be so poorly rewarded! If I change anything, it will be simply to ensure I never (instead of occasionally) purchase anything directly from Games Workshop stores, and only make my purchases from independent stockists and eBay.

  13. The manager of the Chermside store is an absolute asshat to everyone, it must be what GW is looking for in managers.
    He goes out of his way to disagree with whatever anyone else says. i.e. The new storm banner is not overpowered, you just need to man up for games.

    Lucky they have some of the minons there are very decent or I wouldn’t bother to go…

  14. I’d have fired you, but that’s just me resenting other people’s happiness. Par for the course, y’know?

    I am, however, shocked and awed that you couldn’t talk your way out of it and totally on-board with Alex – there’s a certain dissonance in considering your boisterous self quiet and lethargic. Or quiet at least.

    Rest assured they’ll never see my money. Soon as I work out what and where GW is, I’ll avoid the arse out of it. When you return I’m totally up for an abstract picket line (whispering veiled insults at prospective customers, winking suggestively at passer-bys outside the store, that sort of thing) or any other suitably oblique protests at local stores.

    I’m not above exposing myself to minors, I think you need to know that.

  15. Damn dude. That is SO NOT COOL. What the hell is wrong with this company? Are they totally braindead or something?

    Burned for daring to own the Ork books from RT.

    My first Ebay purchase was Ere We Go. I feel for ya. (I still need Vehicle Manual and 1st book of the Astronomican and I think I may have the entire RT line.)

  16. This does not surprise me at all…

    I uncovered a manager at Meadowhall about 10 years ago who was faking sales figures, using petty cash as his own loan, mis-recording stock and much more.

    I reported it straight to the top… He was fired for multiple minor and gross misconducts.

    The truth affected the ranking of the store and because of this the local powers that were showed me the door, because I’d gone above them and they were upset that their sales figures were down as a result.

    Several weeks before at a training session in Notts, the very same people were telling other staff at the same event to ‘listen to this man’. Oh how the mighty are fallen!

    For me it left a taste of crap in my mouth. It also meant that if I see anything now.. ‘I don’t’. Let someone else ‘do the right thing’ because with GW, the right thing cost me my job!

  17. On a lighter note…

    The same store a few years later…

    ‘Hi, do you know what you’re looking at?’

    ‘Unfortunately, YES…’

    ‘What brings you into the store…?’ (hint not taken)

    ‘Well actually I thought I’d sniff some blister packs and maybe get a little hot c**k action…’

    HINT TAKEN!

  18. Frankly mate, they did you a favor. I’ve got quite a few friends who work within the company, and more than a few who are no longer with the company – and your story is nothing different. For every store opened and product sold, there are a string of former employees who trail behind it as a casualty. Employment is cheap at Games Workshop. Because of the hobby community, and it’s fan base (who are typically it’s employee’s as well), GW doesn’t have to play nice with it’s employee’s. They are for the most part easily replaceable, and will work for paltry sums, because they get discounted products. I would be interested to see what the average turnover for GW is – it’s a safe bet it’s high, and that’s the way GW wants it.

    Use this experience to understand why retail is a vicious business to work in, and hopefully in your future endeavors, you get into a career field that’s less combative and draconian.

  19. Wow – just wow. How messed up is that?

    I used to go to Games Workshop religiously about twenty / twenty-five years ago, but lost interest because they stopped stocking other people’s games. Then, when Dark Heresy was coming out, I was excited – I decided to visit the store (this would be the Newcastle store in the UK) despite the irritating high-volume communication I’d encountered when looking at some figures.

    I asked the guy who boomed excitedly at me when I arrived if they’d be getting it in, whether they had anything planned to… you know…. mark the occasion, remembering a GW convention oh, twenty years earlier where Warhammer 40,000 RPG had first been mooted. Perhaps something to get folk to buy a pile of minis, even.

    Nope, never heard of it, what’s that? – turns out it wasn’t published by GW, despite using their universe, and therefore being perfect for their entire range of WH40K figures.

    I left, trembling at the crapness of it all, went to my friendly local game store who were well excited at the new product and decided I could live without buying figures for it. I hear they treat their figures so other companies paint won’t stick.

  20. @Anthony…

    Meadowhall?.. Sheffield?… Used to work there myself back in the day. LMAO..

    I know the place well. Retched Hive of Scum and Villany that it is.

    GW are a bunch of See Yuo Next Tuesdays when it comes to staff, I am VERY good mates with a former H/Office employee who has writing credits in several source books and he has some horror stories I can tell you. 😉

  21. Well, that explains a lot… I am American, and have only ever visited one GW outlet (in York, while on vacation), and the shouted greeting set me so on-edge, I left much quicker than I’d intended.

    I had no idea it was Official Policy, I just thought the clerk was on drugs.

  22. Came to this blog via the latest IP debacle online. Oh man… I could tell you stories….

    And I will, if you want to contact me in a non-public forum. Some of them are… special. I may be the reason the probationary period was raised from three to six months.

  23. Yeah, this sounds like my recent termination from Seneca Allegany Casino in New York state. Reveal to your managers that they’ve been wasting corporate funds and offer them a plan to stem the bleeding.

    That caused them to decide to save money by terminating an entire shift instead. Management and everyone.

  24. Goddamn! This is the most amount of comments I’ve received for any post anywhere, ever. Thankyou all for taking the time to leave your thoughts, I appreciate it.

    Also if somebody could leave a link to where they’re all coming to this blog entry from, I’d really appreciate that too! Thanks guys/gals/grues.

  25. WOW!!! I live in Chicago, and been playing this game since 2nd. so GW stores were very far away, and a 2hour car ride to the outlet in Gurnee(closed). My cyclist buddy became GW Mgr, and I see the difference in him already. These practices are Nerds on Crack. Imagine Steve Jobs telling you scream at people when they walk in Apple. LOL GW is run by a bunch tools born in 50’s. They have the 70’s version of mail order sales when the planet is all on the information age of 2010!!!!!

  26. Interesting comments, I wonder how many people tell the comany (as customers) how they actually feel? Tim I feel for you, you were treated disgustingly but in all honesty they did you a favour – go onto bigger and better things (plus, just look at GW wages!).

    On a slightly different note, which people have touched on – when are GW going to get it into their head that most of us HATE going into their stores? I really can’t stand going into their stores now (UK). Nine times out of ten I get some tool overdosed on sugar and caffeine asking me millions of annoying questions, none of which I want to answer as I know it’s their attempt to get me to buy something, it’s like the Spanish inquisition, then as you finally make a purchase they start trying to get you to buy more things, worst of all… White Dwarf. It’s like some stores with their store cards, they always try to make you get a 25% APR store card & I’m like, ”mental note, never shop here again”. Does modern marketing not get that people do not want the hard sell/hassle!?

    From now on I buy from independent stockists.

  27. By Freya’s perfect breasts, that is a load of horse crap. Look at the upside, though – you don’t have to put up with that asshat anymore. I’m starting to become disillusioned with GW, tbh.

    I remember the nearest store to me used to have this one guy who tried to sell stuff through a combination of shouting and hard-selling. WD subscriptions, paints, anything. I told him once ” who do you think you are, Billy Mays? (may he rest in peace) Get the **** out of my face.” It was worse than a Gamestop employee. I’m glad he got fired after a ton of people complained.

    Honestly… love 40k, the models, and the fluff, but by the gods I hate GW.

  28. Oh, and to follow the link trail further. That boingboing post was posted on belloflostsouls blog whic I presume, has a pretty nice reader base.

  29. I came via Bell of Lost Souls > BoingBoing > Here.
    That really is fucked up.
    I too chase down the old source books off ebay when i get the chance.
    I hope things work out better for you in the future.
    By the way, to which state are you moving. I’m from Sunny (read as bloody hot) Queensland.

  30. Cool, thanks everyone for clearing that up! Now to find out who posted it on BoingBoing.

    @Eltnot, we are moving back to Perth.

  31. I’ve been on that same end of bad GW business choices. My entire store staff was let go by the Regional Manager due to “poor sales”. They kept the part timer so they could identify the regulars from new bloods.

    Still, I’ve seen this “top secret” red book also. What was created with good intention has been lost in meaning now.

    The story: They expanded a second store in my area. At that time I was a part timer, I just lost my job with another employer and took the chance to go full time and go to that store as a manager trainee. I was excited beyond words, they hired a total new guy that never worked for GW before as the store manager because of his passion, granted he didn’t know jack about running a store, dealing with people or being a manager. The store was established in a mall, in a rather poor location I may add. We was placed down by Dillards , a Macy’s dept. store that was under construction, other stores was Yankee Candle, a shoe store, music store (FYE, one of the most overpriced stores in a mall), Old Navy, Military Recruiter and a sporting good store. Opposite of the food court, movie theatre, toy store, dollar store, arcade, book store…I think you can see already in a bad spot.

    When Games Keeper went out of business a few months later, we should have moved down to their new spot, paid the up charge for the space for a better location. Instead when store staff suggested this nobody really took care in what we had to say. Then GW opened a policy for Regional Managers to act as “recruiters” for Rouge Trader stores, offering them a bonus to anyone they brought in as an account. Now during this time, the Store Manager quit, having no confidence in the situation and didn’t want to get fired. They fired the area manager, whom was a tough, yet fair and honest manager that I respected greatly. Why? Because of sales and other silly excuses. The area manager took no interest in our store, we were not close, and we were not worth a bonus paycheck for him so we suffered in leadership. We had two stores within a few miles that sold GW product, which was at discount I may add. I had several customers come to us, talk to us, tell us, I advised to upper management the situation. It was ignored. Then each of us was walked out one by one, explained things “are not working out” and let us go. Next day they had a new staff. A less than a year later, the Area Manager was fired and another was replaced.

    The funny part is that area manager was also a thief. At the old store I worked at, I saw him at a register, pick up a battle force, work the till, and take some cash out. I checked the store inventory. We was over an extra boxed set now from last inventory. Oddly, he was just talking about going up to a manager’s trip and looking forward to buying some Forge World while at the HQ. I brought it up to the store manager, after a long discussion it was concluded the area manager was “part of the good ole boys club” and it would never amount to anything and just cause trouble for all of us as it is a serious thing to accuse someone of. I know the store manager had a kid, wife and wanted to keep his job. I was hurting also for work and could damage any chance of upward mobility also by bringing this forth.

    Funny thing is that once our regulars heard we was fired and why stopped going to the store. Good business choice? To alienate the few regulars you had? No. Was it a good choice to get rid of hard working, loyal staff that was in a bad situation by upper management choices? The store about a year later was closed down. It faded away quietly.

  32. If everything you’re stating in your post is correct, you have plenty of precedence backing you to begin litigation for an Anti-Trust Filing suit (if within the US) or, I believe it’s called European Community Competition Law

    – Translation:

    If termination is based on definition of “Threat” (I believe they worded it as “Very Dangerous, same implication) and competition (private or otherwise) to one’s IP is based as well on “Threat” then they, in a sense, created an inadvertent legal mishandling which defines your employment as competitors…Thus wrongful termination can follow numerous Anti-Trust suits.

  33. Edit:

    For reference, I was directed here by my Professor. I’m a law student with an immense interest in corporate exploitation / Anti-Trust Violations.

  34. wow i know how it is. i worked for the store here in lets just say the south eastern US lol. i too saw the magical red book. They are the evil empire and i hate it…and im in the 501st i should like them lol. unfortunately i hate the company but love the game. glad i just worked there for the discount anyway lol. but just stick it too them and only buy stuff off ebay and other second hand retailers. the ridiculous amount of money they make off a box of marines is a joke…its cost 60 cents US they told us to make a sprew…..and 4 sprews in a box for 45 bucks….its a joke…anyway thats my 2 cents.

  35. I hate going into their stores if they don’t know you. They flock to you and try to get you to buy starter sets and play a game. The guys who ran my local store were top-notch, but damn, that hard core never talk bad about the company or management, even when they are closing the store? Thats some serious crap. It sounds to me like you had a loser in charge at the other store and why he would be such a jerk, is beyond reason. Sorry to hear it. GW has always been rather uppity and has made it clear that they don’t really care about what their fan base says. They don’t run GT’s much anymore, and they never rewarded people much for winning anyway. Alot of clubs have to organize such things around here these days. I love the game, and the story, but I have no regard for their leadership. They have none for us.

  36. I just wanted to chime-in that I found this page from a post on 4Chan’s /tg/ (Traditional Games) Board.

    Sounds like you got a raw deal there, Tim. I myself quit 40K shortly after starting, but it was more over my disgust at the power-creep (and GW’s SPASH MAHREEN favoritism, but let’s not go there) then at GW’s policies.

    I have since come to loath the policies as well, and if I ever get back into the game (or any other GW product) I intend to buy everything either online from E-Bay or from other people selling second-hand.

  37. Really do feel for you mate, i’m from the south and got a good earful this afternoon when I went in to pick up the latest Heresy book.

    Customer service is a key, would really ask their direct sales training staff how they feel the GW experience compares with that of any other outlet/retail environment? Can they really expect that a quiet peaceful hobbiests that GW predominantly can be really want to be shouted at? Or kids with parents in tow? Or like me purely BL fiction readers who want the book, the change and a ‘its good that one’ and thats it?

    Joy of joys they are on Amazon

    Summary-rework the customer service skills please-they are dire

  38. There is no anti-trust protection. There is no law suits loosing your job. I worked in a “right to work state”. That states they can fire you and never give you a reason, much less need one. Thanks for playing, go collect your unemployment, etc…

  39. You have an employement tribunal case right there. Except you have to lodge it within 90s days of firing. Also you can appeal the decision (do, even it it’s says no).

    If you can get a Trade Union rep, then go to the ET based on unfair dismissal…

    The reality is have you broken the rules as laid down?

    Seriously people should not be so niave and treat all managers as scum that want to rape you.

    Seen it, heard it before and tired of it happening.

  40. Holy shit, I have been into this hobby for about the same amount of time, and only come like 5 years ago did things like this and there bs price hikes to milk there fans for money start to really surface and sink in for me. I am really sorry to hear that man. You should move over here to Canada, I dont know if the GW staff are better, but there isnt a GW store in my city just a hobby store and they are top notch guys.

  41. Jeez. That really sucks. Strange though, from my perspective, how much of an ass that manager was. The employees here in Ottawa are pretty damn nice though, and not too annoying. Sucks how you had to get stuck with a total asshole. Good luck on getting another job

  42. I have gone though the manager training in the uk for GW and worked for them for over 4 years. Retail staff are seen as expendable.

    BUT and its a big BUT its not the red book. I have a copy of that book and its a great book to refer to if you are a manager.

    The table show has been kind of taken out of place. Its trying to show that some people don’t fit with the way GW does not want to do things but they still get good results. Now if you are getting good results the wrong way why would you ever change? You would never change so you cant work as part of the team and that’s why you need to be spotted and asked to leave.

    What’s wrong in this case is also covered in the book in one chapter

    Honesty humility and courage.
    The Newcastle manager failed in this by not saying that he had an issue with you picking EBay items form the store and again later by lying to your manager.

    They also have a great line about you know when you are doing things the right way or the easy way… always pick the right way.

    I am in no way condoning what’s happened to the OP or any one else. I’m just saying that the little red book is a great management book but a lot of GW don’t understand that.

    Best way to look at it any job you get now is a pay rise 🙂

  43. Sucks for you, man.
    I settled for pdf copies of the RT/2nd ed books I didn’t have.

    The staff are the One reason I don’t go to the Newcastle store (and I live here) anymore.
    I used to drop in all the time when Jim was in charge and it was a cool place (with crappy, smelly aircon). Now it’s just another creche with hard-sell hard-cases.

    Oh, link via Warseer.

  44. Well, over here in europe we old gamers are more and more often asked to leave the store if we only show up a certain number of times and don`t buy anything. But we had a similar story like yours at our local GW store and the guy that got fired was the guy that really kept the store making money.

  45. That “manager” pretty much sums up my entire experience of Games Workshop stores.

    I have not been to a single one where the staff have done anything but ignored me, or approached me with the most disingenuous “can I help you” patter. As such I’ve never spent a penny in them; get my stuff off ebay or from the more passionate independents.

    Hope you have found a much better job by now!

  46. Uuufff incredible,oh holy shit….what crackpot idea..Mr Kirby is definitely retarded.
    In the GW are all fucking crazy,is the ultimate evidence.
    Greetings from Spain!

  47. As a one-time 7 year veteran of GW this kind of shit is just another easily found example of how a company which under-values it’s staff manages to push the envelope of crapness. I can totally empathise with your whole situation, man. I found out that I was being replaced as store manager when my replacement turned up for his interview in my office downstairs! Still, at least I got to live the dream – I quit taking all my staff and customers to the local indie hobby shop 🙂

    Geeky as it sounds a friend of mine once summed it up as,
    “We’re fighting under the right flag but Horus is giving the orders now”
    In other words, a hell of a hobby, job, company ruined by tards.

  48. Yet another reason why I refuse to ever purchase or read another GW product.

    It started for me with their mini’s and ended with their attack on internet Blood Bowl.

    Buy Reaper! lol

    ie

  49. Hey man…That sucks…makes me glad i dont have a GW store in my town. by the way i got this link from a friend on FaceBook

  50. Very similar to my experience with GW retail in Canada. The hard sell. The scripted conversations. The whole idea that if you yell loud enough then people will think they must be having a good time. There’s a place for that, it just wasn’t appropriate all the time.

    I had a special technique for those embittered customers who liked the product but obviously loathed being in the store. I’d do the exact opposite of everything I was instructed. Aside from a genuine smile and a ‘hello’ I’d pretend to ignore them, focussing on whatever I was creating at the time. Eventually, simply because they were fellow nerds, they’d take an interest and I’d tell them about the project, what my goal was and the concerns I had about it. They’d always have advice (as people do) and soon they would be telling me about their own projects, often shelved. And so it would go. Just by treating them like people their defenses would come down and their dieing ember of interest in the hobby would come back to life. Treat the customer with respect. Take an interest in what they actually want out of the hobby, not what you want them to buy. Build a relationship and sales follow.

  51. Wow that sucks, the guys I know here in are real top blokes , some they even encourage other hobby stores in town for goods, the managers at both of the stores I visit are pretty good guys, sounds like you dealt with an asswipe.

  52. Well, I cant say anything for any other GW stores, however for the few I have been to (USA), I can say that they have been nothing but great help. I have been playing since 3rd and been going to same 2 stores forever (well almost) and I have seen crew come and go (as is the norm for most retail stores of any kind). At my two stores I frequent the staff is friendly, knowledgable, and of normal tone. Infact, on many occasions I have brought in friends and they have said the same thing. I often go in to help paint or play (my number is left at the store and I can show up with an hour notice most everyday). I dont see pushy sales people and I have a great relationship with most staff. Yes of course if something new comes around they tell me about it even if its not my army (SM) but thats normal for even an Indy store. The fact is dont let a few bad apples destroy your love for the hobby. I dont buy from ebay (mostly because I want GW and the local Indy store to have my profits-not some duoche I never met who may have even stolen the books and models–Yep seen it happen). I am a loyalist of GW and WH40K.
    Do I think GW goes overboard with the whole internet thing…not really. Its like downloading free movies off the internet, its just wrong, even though the FANS want it, to bad its wrong. If the people who made the product arent the ones getting the money then its wrong, pretty simple. There are still some great sites out there full of GW info…my favorite by far is http://www.scholaprogenium.com/
    It has the most info I have seen thus far and so well put together.
    If most of these sights that have been shut down gave the credit to GW (like in some cases just putting the GW copyright on their site they would still be active) or even some of the profits (since some-not all of course- are charging money for the services that were created by GW…I mean come on folks its REAL SIMPLE…if GW made the product then noone but GW should get the profits…EVERYONE on the planet that is sane thinks the same if it were their products out there. I have never heard of or met anyone who makes a product (which cost them money to make) and then just gives it to everyone for free.
    In conclusion dont hate GW because you think they are evil incarnate…they are not. They are just a buisness without whom I would be stuck playing D&D.

    These comments are in no way the ideas of GW and are the intellectual property of their owner.

    Jason L.
    Scuba Instructor for life!

  53. In Australia we have laws in place protecting our rights to import from pretty much whomever the hell we want. Fairly recently, the Aussie dollar surged, rising above the US dollar for what I believe is the first time in my lifetime. Consequently it became a lot cheaper for Aussies to buy products from overseas via the internet. One particularly relevant example is that it would have been cheaper for me to buy GW products from European retailers and have them shipped here than it would be to walk to the Newcastle GW store and buy them there*.

    Guess GW’s reaction. Did they:
    a) stick to their greedy over-inflated prices and lose customers?
    b) reduce their prices to remain competitive?
    c) improve their products and services while maintaining the price and remaining competitive?
    d) take their greedy, over-inflated prices to whole new levels of disgusting, greedy immorality bordering on illegality?

    Answer – (d) Unable to prevent Australians from IMPORTING at fair prices determined by the open market, GW forced their overseas retailers into new agreements forbidding them from EXPORTING to Australia, neatly violating the spirit of my country’s laws but not the letter, with absolutely no apology for the shamelessly transparent price-gouging. (Random examples: Battlefleet Gothic Rulebook: US$49.95, AU$83; Necron Monolith Us$66, AU$110; Orc Warboss: US$26.50, AU$44. I’ll repeat, our dollar is currently worth MORE than the US dollar!)

    Jason won’t buy from ebay because he doesn’t want to deal with “some duoche (sic) I never met who may have even stolen the books and models”**. He SUSPECTS that there is a CHANCE that someone might be trying to rip him off.

    I KNOW someone is trying to rip gamers off: Games Workshop. I will not buy products from a company run by some douches I never met who are exploiting legal loopholes to deliberately charge me an unjustifiably overinflated price while maliciously stifling fair trade and competition.

    Jason also thinks that GW don’t ‘go overboard’ with “the whole internet thing”. Really. Apparently the company that sent a Cease & Desist notice to Librarium Online for using a double-headed eagle (an emblem that was used by the ancient Hittites and Sumerians, later by the Byzantine and Holy Roman empires and currently by Russia, Serbia and Albania) wasn’t going overboard. The company that has repeatedly attacked enthusiastic and dedicated fansites such as TalkBloodBowl or the Warhammer Alliance for the horrible crime of daring to name the games they support*** wasn’t going overboard. The company that, having failed in their earlier attempts to stop anyone else selling their products at better prices online, forbade online retailers from showing pictures of the products they were selling, wasn’t going overboard. I’m curious just how far they have to go before Jason thinks they’ve gone overboard.

    “If most of these sights (sic) that have been shut down gave the credit to GW … they would still be active”. Rubbish. When Greed Workshop decides to throw a legal tantrum at the entire internet (as they did in November ’09), Disclaimers mean nothing. It’s C&Ds for anyone they see daring to support or enthuse about their products. Happy customers and loyal fans are the enemy. Sites like TalkBloodBowl and The Warhammer Alliance were thoroughly equipped with disclaimers identifying GW as the owners and creators of Blood Bowl & Warhammer, themselves as being totally unofficial and unaffiliated, etc. They still received GW Legal’s traditional Kick In The Teeth(TM). They didn’t survive by adding more disclaimers, they survived by cutting out mention of the games they were devoted to.

    All of this gets really weird towards the end, when this “loyalist of GW” claims to have never heard of Games Workshop: “I have never heard of or met anyone who makes a product (which cost them money to make) and then just gives it to everyone for free.” Uh, not so long ago, GW had a few old games including Dark Future, Gorkamorka and Mighty Empires available as free pdfs (although I can’t find them now), and they still have the ‘Specialist Games’ rulebooks**** downloadable for free.

    In fact, if Jason wasn’t willfully ignorant he’d be well aware that many miniature manufacturers offer either their complete rules (eg Mongoose Publishing’s Judge Dredd miniatures game) or an abridged ‘quick start’ rulebook (eg Privateer Press’ Warmachine) as a free download. This is because they realise that giving away their secondary product (rules) generally INCREASES purchases of their primary product (miniatures). Also because they actually like their customers (not just their wallets). For the record, these are frequently downloaded using either Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, and almost exclusively read using Adobe Acrobat Reader, three more products given away for free that Jason has apparently never heard of. He must lead a very sheltered life.

    For more on how and why giving your product away can be part of a successful business model, drop by one of my favourite places to be freely given a product: http://www.baen.com/library/

    The one thing Jason does get right is that GW aren’t evil incarnate and don’t deserve to be hated. Absolutely agree. GW aren’t worth hating. Just shunning. Their business practices are a fair way short of evil incarnate (no slave labour yet), but they are certainly the worst in this industry. GW is a games company that has lost touch with gamers and is run (unethically) by businessmen and lawyers. Spend your money elsewhere, it’s the only message they understand.

    Getting back to the subject of the unfortunate frontline minions of the evil empire, my last experience in a GW store was … interesting. I had some time to kill one day in Sydney, spotted a GW sign and wandered in for a browse. One of the staff approached me, thankfully less exuberantly than I recall being the norm, and asked me a couple of the usual questions: Do I play any of their games, what armies do I collect, you all know the drill. I rattled off a list starting with the recently nerfed Night Goblins, then the never-quite-a-real-army Kislevites, then moving onto the abolished Squats & Chaos Dwarfs, the effectively out of print Blood Bowl teams, Necromunda gangs and Gorkamorka mobz, then the truly out of print Man O’ War fleets. By the time I reached Blood Bowl he looked kind of bug-eyed. When I finished he said something along the lines of “Wow. You poor bastard*****.” Then quietly added: “I probably shouldn’t say this at work, but I loved the Squats.”

    Which to me is another symptom of GW’s problems. A good, cheerful, friendly employee felt uncomfortable expressing his support of his own company’s product, albeit a discontinued one. I can’t imagine, for example, that Volkswagen salesmen are prohibited from reminiscing about the classic Bugs or Kombi vans while they’re selling a customer a shiny new Tiguan; or a KFC employee being chastised for agreeing with a customer that yeah, ‘Hot & Spicy’ is fantastic and it’s a shame it isn’t available anymore. But GW staff seem to be either explicitly forbidden from talking about Squats, or implicitly pressured not to. And I’m guessing that goes for other deleted background, races and units, too, like Zoats, Half-Orcs or Sensei. Which must be fantastic for morale.

    * Ignoring, of course, the fact that GW are never seeing another cent from me.
    ** A bizarrely hostile and paranoid view of the internet, but let’s not get into that except to ask one question: since the (incredibly slim) chance of purchasing stolen goods is a risk one always runs when buying second-hand, and Jason is clearly strongly opposed to piracy, how does he suggest people go about acquiring out-of-print games like Man O’ War, Warhammer Quest or Tyranid Attack?
    *** At this point fanboys typically claim the excuse that GW has to protect their Trade Mark or they could lose it. Which is rubbish. Part of GWs right as a Trade Mark holder is the right to grant others the license to use their Trade Mark. GW chose to act like jerks.
    **** Except for Blood Bowl, which only has about half a rulebook, which looks like it was edited with a chainsaw. As far as anyone can figure out this seems to be the result of some anonymous jerk at GW HQ enacting a personal vendetta of some sort against Tom Anders, who volunteered thousands of unpaid hours over the course of several years helping to develop the rules, liaising between GW and the Blood Bowl community and editing the previous three or four ‘Living Rulebooks’. Whoever he pissed off by doing more to keep their game alive than they ever did decided that all Blood Bowl players should be punished. Very mature, GW.
    ***** For the benefit of foreigners, I’ll just point out that the word bastard is not neccessarily offensive or insulting to Australians. It can be, depending on context, tone and so on, but it can also be quite affectionate. In this case it was a friendly expression of sympathy for all the games and armies that had been cancelled out from under me. If, on the other hand, I said “GW is run by a pack of complete and utter bastards”, it would be insulting, offensive and completely true except (as far as I know) in the most literal sense.

  54. I worked as one of the new trainee managers in the gw store in metrocentre, uk. I was bullied, pressured and constantly threatened with the sack for not being savvy enough with their 10 commandments despite exceeding kpi’s by a long way. I was hired on a 3 month probation, this was extended to 4 months. I was fired on the fifth month after essentially being told I wasn’t hard-sell enough. I met my manager on about 8 occasions over 5 months as he was constantly on dodgey holidays or managers meetings, or I was off running shops across the country and spending weeks at a time in a piss poor hotel away from my family, therefore I received little in the way of training.

    Their whole outfit is turning into some ruthless hard sell operation, and judging by the finecast, embargo and white dwarf controversies as well as the price hike, I’m kinda glad I’m out.

  55. Reddit as well.

    Idiocy happens in any company, no matter how good, and I have, sadly, not heard all that much good wrt GW’s internal policies.

  56. Way back in 2003 I was fired from my red-shirt job at a GW in Southern California for what were probably similar reasons, in that I didn’t ‘fit’. The silver lining to the story is that when my manager fired me he didn’t give me all my wages that were then owed, which you had to do in the state when you fire someone. It took them, no joke, a month to get me last paycheck. I filed a complaint with the state labor board, who in turn fined GW for my daily average pay for the course of that month. I got the money and a few months later the manager got fired for making the same mistake again with a different employee.

    Getting fired by GW sucked, but at least I stuck it back to ’em.

    http://whencannonsfade.com/2011/07/13/wtf-wednesday-gw-hates-gw-employees-who-like-gw-products-threat-level-red/

  57. Well shit. I’ll just torrent all the fucking books then. I’ll be damned if I give GW another fucking dollar.

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