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.