Part 214: The Rules 2

RECORD STORE TALES Part 214:  The Rules 2

One of my most popular posts from the first year of this site was Part 19:  “The Rules”.  We had a lot of rules.  Some made sense, some were ludicrous, but one thing’s for sure:  we had them!  I’ve talked about the store play rules, the piercing rules, and others.  Here’s some more!

  • Don’t point.  This is a good rule.  Don’t point.  Customer comes in and says, “Hey, where’s your Lady Gaga?”  Don’t point.  If it was that easy, they would have found Lady Gaga on their own.  Take them out on the floor and show them where it is.
  • Don’t make fun of the music your customer is buying.  Nobody likes that.  Some people unfortunately have that unpleasant experience while buying music.
  • If a customer has first dibs/a reservation for a specific title, and it comes in used, that customer gets that title.  Simple.  Some staff members abused that rule if the item was rare enough…myself included!
  • Don’t eat your fuckin’ lunch at the counter.  Gross.

Some of the rules I had problems with included the following:

  • No sitting.  Our original store had a chair, that we were not allowed to use.  But when I first started, standing for 8 hours straight with no break was really hard.  It took a while to get used to that.  Since we worked alone at that time, it was really exhausting to work that long without a break.  If you’re working alone for 8 hours straight with no breaks, a chair is helpful.
  • You must be 15 minutes early for every shift.  Only problem – they didn’t pay you for those 15 minutes!
  • No hiring family or friends.  My sister, who is a world class musician with loads of customer service experience, didn’t even get considered for a job when she applied.  I was even given shit for letting her apply!  Meanwhile, friends of other people somehow got hired, perhaps because they were friends with the right people?

But it’s all good, no hard feelings.  With hindsight, my sister is doing pretty good now anyway.

Here’s a selection of rules that I would have liked, in a perfect world:

  • Getting paid for all the time you put in.   That would be a good rule.
  • No Macy Gray.  When her first album came out, one employee played it constantly.  I never need to hear a Macy Gray song ever again.
  • No eating subs with onions at any time, any where, before or during a shift.  Gross.


6 thoughts on “Part 214: The Rules 2

    1. No sitting. I worked by myself for 8 hours every other Saturday for over a year.

      The attitude was, “I know you guys are sitting around doing nothing when the store is slow, so you don’t need to rest.”


    1. Knowing what you know now, would you still want to work there?

      Funny how the rules worked. We couldn’t make fun of a customers music (obviously), but they fun of mine all the time! I was twice told that I only had one staff member with good taste in music (and it wasn’t me).


      1. Hmmm…hard to say. Back then I had a string of crappy jobs and bosses. I think I probably would have enjoyed it for a year or two. Being surrounded by music is better than serving sandwiches in a cafe, but I definitely wouldn’t have been able to stick it out for the long term.


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