I'm not sure if you're all aware of this, but the world is going through an increasingly high wave of Coronavirus cases. This is particularly true in the USA, daily cases now being much higher than in the first wave, where GameStop (NYSE:GME) primarily operates. Deaths, fortunately, aren't as high. However, we, and the experts, are still not sure what (if any) long-term ramifications there could be from COVID.
Throughout this global pandemic, the best way to describe the actions taken by GameStop would be "abysmal" or "Somebody bind and gag the management before they kill somebody". The company's leadership, in its infinite wisdom, decided that employee lives and safety didn't matter as much as their profits and bonuses and self-declared themselves as essential. Of course, this came after many reports of stores not being provided with suitable PPE or sanitisation equipment.
After a recent bit of good news for the company, the partnership with Microsoft and also the fact that GameStop will be getting a piece of the digital pie for every console sold by the company, it seemed the higher-ups weren't happy to remain on a high. GameStop has now announced a TikTok competition, where the prize is more work. That too, during an on-going pandemic.
Originally spotted by and posted on Resetera by user Cheddahz, the notes for the GameStop conference include a TikTok dance challenge for store leaders. Before I go on a rant, just read the challenge:
Ever thought…I could do that TikTok challenge! Well the Event Team is launching a TikTok Dance Challenge sponsored by Incisiv.
Check out the dance here: https://youtu.be/qsaWwr4EPTQ
Be creative, rope in your team, and have fun with it! Don’t worry, you can’t look as bad as the event team does!
• Open TikTok and click the + at the bottom of the screen.
• Search for “redwinechallenge” and find a video with this song/challenge
• Click the song turn-table on the bottom right corner
• Click the record “Use this sound” button at the bottom
• Record your video!
• Click the red check mark to start editing your video.
• Once done editing your video click next.
• Either upload your video to YouTube or Instagram. This is the link you’ll need to submit to woobox.
The winner of the challenge will receive an Echo 8, Echo Auto, $100 VISA gift card and 10 additional labor hours to use during Black Friday week!
Imagine what you could do with all those prizes!
You can hashtag your video on TikTok too #redwinechallenge #gamestop #incisiv (you can also find our event team video on TikTok)
"This doesn't seem all that bad" I hear the slowest of people thinking, mouth agape. On the surface, maybe. Look into it, and you see how insidious this is. First and foremost is the seemingly optional (you aren't going to win if you're dancing alone) part to "rope in your team". So the team gets to dance to win the store manager an Echo 8, Echo Auto and a $100 VISA gift card. Fantastic. What does the team get? Well, they get to divvy up 10 hours of overtime.
The lucky GameStop employee/s who gets to work extra during the Black Friday week? Well, that lucky person gets paid what, $9.50/hour? But wait, there's more. In this store which now has extra staff, the lucky employee gets to be further unable to reasonably distance themselves from others, putting themselves at a higher risk of a visit from Mr C. Virus, the symptoms and potential death he brings.
Now there's the part that annoys me the most. I've worked in retail, and I know how much of a pain it is when store hours are cut back, especially when you're detailing. The fact that GameStop has the gall to point out that these 10 hours are going to be so useful means they are well aware that the shops need these hours during what is one of the busiest periods for any retail store. Rather than staffing it properly to meet demand, the company wants the managers - and staff - to dance like chimps.
The real beneficiary of all of this? GameStop and the managers, of course. These videos will be used, published, by the company alongside lines like "look at how much fun our workers have". Can I blame any employee wanting to work these extra hours? No. Again, we're in a pandemic that is stretching every facet of life, and it's just infuriating that GameStop is abusing this situation and their staff to benefit from it.