Working in CEX was the best/worst time of my life… ish

I worked in CEX for 364 days of my life, and in that time I realised they were the best and worst days of my life. Well, maybe not that far. It was the best and worst job of my life. Well, maybe not best. And it’s bound to be at least pushing for worst because I’ve had so few jobs.

Right, try again: I worked in CEX. I disliked the job, I hated the scum we had to deal with but I liked the people I worked with. We had a lot of fun taking the piss, getting drunk, planning to form socially-aware punk rock bands that also sing about dragons, accidentally going on strike after falling asleep upstairs, being threatened by morons, getting drunk, being unable to open phones and getting drunk.

It’s just a shame the bad points were so massively bad. Not only was it standard shop lore of working menial tasks for low pay (as opposed to now, where it’s slightly-more-than menial tasks for slightly-more-than low pay) and putting up with crap from the public. But CEX is a shop that buys things from the public, meaning this wasn’t the normal ‘crap’ you have to put up with. Oh no. This was a different breed of crap. Spectaculcrap. Some of the most idiotic, moronic, brain-meltingly infuriating dillweeds would come through those doors and stand in that long, long queue.

People – and I use the term loosely – subjected us all to myriad complaints, like the man who (three weeks after I started) hurled abuse at me and threatened to deck me (in front of his kids) because I wouldn’t buy a DVD burner off him for about £2. Oh, and it didn’t work.

Or the guy who tried to sell a game without a cover, which I told him we wouldn’t buy. He responded “oh, I’ll go nab one from Zavvi then”. Minutes later he returned, triumphantly brandishing the stolen game box from across the street and actually expecting me to still buy it off him.

Or the women who tried to sell a phone that looked like it had been gone at with a set of bolt cutters. And, of course, they kicked up a huge fuss when we turned them down.

The man in Hull who accused me of changing his password on his phone as a part of some kind of conspiracy so we didn’t have to buy the phone off him. He failed to understand the concept that I didn’t know his original password so couldn’t have changed it to a new one.

Hull in general. One week of my life I’ll never see again.

That massive guy who would come in 10 minutes before we closed every day with a scratched to balls game that clearly didn’t work to trade in for another. Problem was he was about seven feet tall and absolutely, completely and totally stank – I mean he smelled like he had died or something – to the point that we just wanted him out as fast as possible. He never got any trouble from staff. At least, the ones who stayed downstairs when he entered the shop.

The scrots who would use the front of their trackie bottoms as game/DVD-storing pouches, and would be surprised – shocked, even – if anyone ever questioned why the fuck they used their balls as a carry case.

The multiple idiots who were relying on selling something in order to fund their bus ride home, then had a go at us like it was our fault they hadn’t got ID, or the DVD didn’t work or whatever. Sigh.

The people who just didn’t understand the rules, even though they were printed all over the shop. Though I suppose reading isn’t a strong point.

I could go on much, much more but this will just turn into 3,000 words of bile.

I see CEX staff get a lot of stick on the internet and yes, I agree they can be dismissive, seem arrogant and work in a badly-organised shop that always smells of BO. But the utter dickheads – and these are a brand of dickhead you do not get working in any other shop, unless it’s a pawn shop – the idiots they have to deal with gives me nothing but sympathy for the chaps and chapettes who put up with this gutterscum.

CEX: you were the best of times, you were the worst of times. Well, actually you were just a bit shit. Without the workmates (and the booze) I would have been out of the door in a matter of weeks.


Filed under Prattle

45 responses to “Working in CEX was the best/worst time of my life… ish

  1. I remember the time a few years ago when you were telling us about some cretinous kid who came into CEX and tried to trade a game in, and when he got refused, he moaned about it saying the game had cost him “like a hundred billion quid”.

    Great characters I’m sure. I’m not sure why I remember that.

  2. Ash

    “Has it got bluetoof?”

  3. Tom

    It always amuses me that you worked here, as I can’t think of anyone else less suited, personality-wise, to a job that involves protracted negotiation with members of the public.

    Except possibly Ben, who is demonstrably unsuited to anything that involves… well, people who don’t know who Proust is.

  4. Theo

    how funny you should put this post up today, Cransfeld, as i was perusing a certain game related mag while lying hung over in the test bench today and none other than your lovely big face popped up at me! I regaled the staff of your undying cynicism and general hatred..ahhh, what times! My shop’s lovely at the moment :}

    ( and yes, we still have some amazing hero regulars…” do you buy stories?” ohhhhh snap)

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  6. Jen

    Amazing how working with decent people can keep you in the shittest of jobs isn’t it?
    I currently know that feeling far too well. Although at least it’s not quite as crap as CEX sounds!

  7. angryjedi

    I know the feeling too! Having worked in a couple of horrendously tough schools, I can say that shit places produce the best camaraderie. Everyone is in it together, so everyone helps each other out.

    Which is good. But it doesn’t mean “nice” places should be full of cliquey assholes like many of them are!

    Great post.

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  9. Michael

    I start a job with CEX next week.
    I was (and still am) looking forward to it. Even the people involved in the induction just made it all seem even cooler.
    I thought it would be a job I’d probably be good at, and hopefully enjoy, you’ve made it sound that this not the case, ahh!

    • Don’t worry about it – you have to take into account the fact that I do utterly hate people, and as such was never going to thrive in this kind of environment. A lot of my friends still work there solely because there’s a kind of camaraderie you don’t get elsewhere.

    • kiisu

      I just want to say to anyone thinking of working for Cex, I’d think twice. I worked in the Hull store and even though it is very true about the team being great ( well until new management arrived and cut our hours and werent exactly the nicest people. Oh and a supervisor who has no people skills or any skills at all)
      The company as a whole is a shamble. I was working for two months when I was informed I wouldnt be getting paid because the supervisor (acting manager at the time. Crap actor at that) had lost all my paperwork. I was then informed she would add hours onto the rota I wouldn’t have to work to make up my pay. That didn’t happen. So nearly two years later I’m still waiting for my two months wages. And after contacting head office who have “lost” the sign in sheets proving when I started they say they’re not willing to help. As this disgusted me I asked to be called. I was told the manager would call me, I’ve been waiting four days and heard nothing.

      • Job

        Hi…Sorry to interject but I’ve been doing some research on CEX and one of the simple things I’m finding hard to achieve is just getting a phone number for them thats working…! (company antics fishy so far!)
        To the point… Do you still have any numbers for them ?
        Any help welcome & thanks for your time.

      • Our manager sends all our rotas via our internal store email, so if there is a mess up we have digital evidence. In absolutely ANY retail shop you will deal with shite argumentative abusive customers, day in day out. Cause people are shit. But I’ve worked a few places and CeX is by far the most relaxed in terms of putting pressure on SA. It’s so easy going and actually has many benefits. I think that assuming all stores are bad to work in because of experiences you’ve had in your own (talking to anyone and every here) is like assuming all blondes are airheads just because one or two you’ve met are. It’s all down to the manager in charge 🙂

  10. Francoise

    I bought some computer memory from them making sure the initial spec was right. I googled the serial number and found out the memory was for servers. I took it back the next day asked for a refund prducing a print out, which I thought might be of help to them, I was told, to get a refund I would have to open an account. Nonsense! and against consumer law. I was then told I would have to wait for up to 30 days for the refund to be placed in my bank. I accepted that on visiting the shop the following day there was the same unsuitable memory back in place being sold as p.c. suitable. Now you spend £40.00 and they get the interest on it for 30 days not bad business, form their point of view. Just what you might expect from a spiv company.

  11. ed

    purchased two hard drives from edinburgh
    took them home

    run smart software and found they has 35,000 hours each on them and making horrible noises that I didn’t think existed in the human world….

    Took them back to the horrible girl who hates me and said no thank you – unfortunately got a credit note – meaning I have to visit the store again

    it smells… not the staff…. the customers…. just as well there isn’t any carpet

  12. Francoise

    Ed you got a credit note. You didn’t have to accept it! Too many people seem unaware of the ‘Sale of Goods Act’. You have protection when you’re sold goods that are not fit for the purpose you’ve just got to face a reluctant seller down – calmy but persistently remind them of the Act. The law is on your side use it!

  13. Raindance

    “Or the guy who tried to sell a game without a cover” but CE try and sell DVD’s and games without covers so they are not exactly better than this kind of customer

  14. Thompson

    “We had a lot of fun taking the piss, getting drunk, planning to form socially-aware punk rock bands that also sing about dragons, accidentally going on strike after falling asleep upstairs, being threatened by morons, getting drunk, being unable to open phones and getting drunk.”

    And that explains the incompetence of every staff member of CEX. You worked for rip-off merchants. I hope you feel proud.

  15. Han

    Every job has a group of people that go out and drink. It’s just whether that person can handle going to work the next day, that doesn’t mean the whole store! Also, you all need to remember when complaining that second hand stores have different trade laws and consumer laws.

  16. rmraven

    Cexfest meet lots of staff there

  17. Jason

    I had an issue with goods bought at the Coleraine store in Northern Ireland……I had bought a (wireless) controller so i could use the xbox with my son and of course it didn’t work….so i returned the next day with the receipt and the poor guy behind the counter (nice guy really) had to give me the chapter and verse company policy bullshit about having it tested…..i told him he could test away after i’d got my hard earned walla back lol…he said he was verry sorry but he couldn’t give refunds without testing….at this point i asked him for a printed copy of his credentials to read in order to verify that he was suitably qualified to go poking around in the guts of my property….guess what?….no such quals….no such training…….not sure if he had a brain at all!!…certainly no micro-soft approved training etc etc…….dumb dumb then got his manager who was smoking a tab at the front door and i politely told him to phone the police as i beleived a fraud was taking place….Guess what?…full refund…..he then advised me not to come back haha….I then advised him of my statuatory rights……MY ADVICE…..Don’t recruit from the colouring-in class at schools.

    • Mike Awesome

      Thats pathetic on so many levels.. no wonder they dont like the customers

    • ChrisBenoit

      A shop reserves the right to analyse any returned item for signs of misuse or water damage. The item wasn’t going to be opened up, they would simply have wanted to see if you’d decided to drop it in the toilet.

    • Matt

      You don’t need qualifications to put batteries in an xbox wireless controller and press the sync button.

      You also appear to be of less than stellar intellect yourself.

      You know why you got a refund? It’s simple really. It’s because sane, rational, overworked people on minimum wage don’t want to waste their time on ignorant brain-dead douchebags who go round screaming tripe at the drop of a penny, simply put. The unspoken policy regarding nutters such as yourself is to just issue a refund on the basis that if we don’t, you’ll hang round being annoying, or choke on your own tongue out of terminal stupidity or something.

      Oh, and “Microsoft” doesn’t have a hyphen in it you cretin.

    • Steve

      You know that we don’t open it to test it right? In fact most stores have a window to the test area so you can see what we do. For a controller, we sync it to the xbox and check if it works, e.g turns on, charges, buttons all work, buttons aren’t sticky, thumbsticks work and are in good condition. We don’t mean we’re going to open up the controller, simply test and see that it is in fact broken and not just a case of poor batteries etc..
      We also need to make sure you didn’t just buy it, use it for a day or two, then pretend its broken just to get your money back.

      The fact that you insult the guy just doing his job and actually trying to help you out, considering if you had in fact been wrong and that controller worked he just saved you getting rid of it when you wanted to use it in the first place.

  18. Ex cexer

    I worked for cex for many years and I dont think I could sum up your experience any better.

    Full filling the financial requirements of so many down and outers on a daily basis slowly whittles away your soul this must be said! They day however is broken up by only a hand full of regular customers who are an actual delight to serve, and that you would genuinely go out of your way to do anything for (no cheeky hand jobs or owt sketchy like that).

    Management is usually some piss poor affair of cluelessness but they are 90% of the time awesome people to have as a boss.

    Ans then we get to the drink, and the drink. … and all the silly notions of making pod casts and doing drunken reviews of games ect… or just drinking and being idiots! Never will I work somewhere that I will want to socialize with my colleagues so much out of work, even if half of them were clueless and had odour problems them self!

  19. jo

    is there contact details for any of the cex’s?? metro centre? thanks

  20. emma

    I worked at CEX for a while. I didn’t think it was crap although there was a few people that came in and caused bother when I refused to buy a phone that wouldn’t switch on and failed the test. Or games that looked like they had been thrisbied around. All together I really enjoyed it and the staff were amazing people to work with.

  21. Codename

    See, the store I work in, nobody has BO. In fact, given all the stick that CeX has had from online, the smokers are so overly conscious of smelling of smoke that they choke themselves in Lynx.

    The disgusting part of work is having to go around the shop and spraying it to oblivion with some sort of air cleaner because the previous customer(s) hadn’t had a shower since the 90’s! So much so that their stench has managed to ween it’s way into the air-con for the next 20 minutes.

  22. georgina

    Hi my name is georgina douglas and I am 17 and have u got any jobs pleasse

  23. Oh Christ….I’ve just gone for a job interview with CEX and I should be hearing back from them today or tomorrow…..kinda want them to say no now haha!!!

  24. Peta

    Hmmm, I thought as much about CEX shops, must be hard to treat all folks ‘fairly’ when you have to deal with a-holes all the time…the local one at Wrexham had some volatile situation a few months back, police got involved because some fool got ultra-awkward – probably drugged up like many of the punters are lol …I just go there for cheap DVDs of old and forgotten films – oh, and to ogle the very fit, tattooed large breasted girl that works there…dang I’d like to tap it, but would anyone working in CEX want anything to do with the public?

    I did think of offering her money – after all, she is a CEX worker lol

    Interesting to read folks comments about the sale of technology there in CEX, I’ve worked in IT for some time and am always shocked to see static sensitive devices like memory and even processors just sitting on some plastic mount…covered in dust usually – I do wonder what the failure rate is, manufacturers could use the study to improve their products lol

  25. Johhny

    Im not a chav, not unemployed and Im respectful to others and rather polite. Despite this, the folks I encountered at CEX were very rud, dealt with customers at a snails pace and I finally decided never to step into another CEX store after being verbally abused by a scummy customer who accused me of queue jumping whilst the staff stood and did nothing. I am an avid dvd collector and consequently they have lost a great deal of income from me. I understand many of the customers are worthless but its no excuse to treat decent ones like dirt.

  26. Keb

    I often think working in an environment with gamers would be awesome but I’d never really like to work in CEX due to all the customers. It would drive me insane with those massive queues all the time, even more so, the scumbags you are talking about, I wouldn’t know how to keep my cool with them. I’m very nervous around big groups though.

    All the staff in the Bradford store seem nice so far, always trading stuff in to that store and they always seem super friendly. Sometimes it does stink too bad that I walk straight back out but most times it’s ok

    Though really, this job isn’t for me. I’d just love to meet more people with similar interests to me.

  27. deadbeat999

    Have to agree with Johnny, as much as Cex tend to have the rare blu-rays/games at cheapish prices, there customer service is just a shambles. The times I’ve looked online at items to buy at Cex’s near me, literally driven 20 minutes to find them ‘unavailable, lost or stolen or the incorrect edition’ is frequent. The staff are hit and miss some friendly mostly unprofessional, they seem to take all day serving peolpe and like to have running joke commentary as they serve – this can come across as patronising. Only last week there systems were down so to buy an item I couldn’t use a voucher I was saving to use up for this particular item, waste of time much? Yeppp, the worst part, there online customer services team, slow, rude and even worse than shop staff – AVOID!!! presumably people who can’t get a job at asda, get one at Cex? Lol….

  28. Hey again…..just over a month later since my last reply, I’ve been working at CeX for three weeks….it’s not too bad. Something’s could be more organised but that’s about it. It’s probs because up ‘ere in good old West Yorkshire everyone’s a legend. However, there are a family of customers who sometimes live on the streets and smell so bad, I actually threw up the other day. I’d ask my boss if we could ban them from the shop, but retail bosses love the money don’t they? They just wouldn’t do it…..

  29. DeeDee

    My son works at Cex, and is a contentious and kind young man. They work long hours and take a lot of flack, but he calls his colleagues his friends!


    Hard to make a pound ha

  31. adam

    I got tired of telling people a notice of bail is NOT a form of identification… good old Swansea!

  32. I am sure this sounds moronic but has anyone dealt with a company called Book Aeashore? They sell oods through Amazon. I cannot find any reviews on/about hem. thank ou folks
    Jack jones

  33. Reading crap written by a twat

    What a twat.

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