GameStop employees were less than enthusiastic when their company announced a holiday contest where the winners essentially worked overtime.
GameStop removed its TikTok dance challenge contest from its website after a quick reaction from employees and the public. A dance competition among other stores seemed like a great idea to boost employee morale as the retail world heads into the holiday rush. Even in 2020, retail stores will more than likely be bombarded and the game store has two big consoles on the way. However, the corporate think tank at GameStop headquarters came up with a rather bizarre price: 10 hours of work on Black Friday.
To enter the contest, GameStop asked its employees to upload a video to TikTok that showed them dancing to UB40’s hit single, “Red Red Wine.” The official website page read: “Be creative, partner with your team and have fun with it!” However, the page has since been removed after employees learned that they were essentially entering a competition to work more hours during the holiday season. The winning store would also get two Amazon Echo devices, a $ 100 Visa gift card, in addition to the “10 extra hours of work.”
“Imagine what you could do with all these prizes! Exclaimed the GameStop contest page. However, few shared GameStop’s enthusiasm for working longer hours and dancing for them in public. Working more hours isn’t exactly a big price, as many have pointed out, with many calling it a slap in the face. The official GameStop site has since erased all memory of the contest from the web. As of this writing, the company has not addressed the competition or its reasoning for withdrawing it.
GameStop’s vacation hours are limited, as are many retail jobs. Working a certain number of hours would mean that the company would have to pay for health benefits. “Hours have always been a sensitive subject for managers,” said a former GameStop employee. “They usually run their stores on strict hours, which means that managers are overworked or run their stores with limited help.” The company has been criticized for its holiday schedules, including the store opening on Thanksgiving. While hours may be limited during the holiday crisis period, some employees would prefer not to have to dance to TikTok for additional help. “Some of us have vacation help to hire and train in 3 weeks and would rather not be on TikTok,” said another employee.
This isn’t the first time GameStop has come under fire this year. When the public health crisis first set in in March, the company tried to pretend it was a core business and kept stores open with employees who felt uncomfortable staying in a store and dealing with the public. Several stores closed before the public health crisis, and it looks like the business will likely lose more in 2021. Kotaku was one of the first outlets to report on GameStop’s Unorthodox Vacation Hours TikTok contest.
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