View Full Version : Why do you hate Redshirts?

He Who Laughs
03-06-2005, 02:47
Now before any of the mods try to shift this post to the Chaos Wastes - let me explain myself.

I never realised that there was so much animosity towards GW redshirts (aka casual GW store staff members) before joining Portent. Not only does it pop up periodically in posts - normally rumour related - but I remember in the previous version of Portent 1.0 there were even quite a few forum members who had anti-redshirt messages in their signatures (you know who you are). ;)

And not only do redshirts cop it from members of the general gaming public, even the Games Designers give redshirts stick when they can.
Don't believe me? Look at the Specialist Kit in the Kill-Team rules. And look at the conversion article in the latest WD on combining 'nid bits with other races.

So, what is it about redshirts that makes them the target of so much angst?
Please give specific examples - as I know for a fact that not all redshirts are created equal - and any generalisation would certainly offend the other redshirts that inhabit these forums.

Note: This is not a thread dedicated to flaming redshirts, if you feel the need to mindlessly vent your spleen over them, start a thread in the Wastes.

Cpl. Calvin
03-06-2005, 04:02
I don't spend a lot of time in GW stores, as little as possible actually, but I have been in many times over the last 10+ years. I would say the main reason to razz the redshirts is they are the low guys on the pole. Like any team, organization, business. The new guys get the cruddy jobs. The new guys make the most mistakes. Its easy to pick on the grunts!

Other than that they sometimes come off a little over-enthused at times. A softer touch with the customers, especially we older ones would be better I think. But as you say, some are better than others.

In general I would say give 'em a break.

03-06-2005, 04:50
I'd just like to point out the redshirt gag in kill team isn't GW staffers related so much as a general nerd gag based on the Star Trek series. The redshirts in the series are always the ones to die.

03-06-2005, 05:08
I think it's save to say that as with all groups there are those who "give all the others a bad name" I've heard "horror" stories about staff, but most of staff I know are good.

And yes, the red shirt thing in kill team is Star Trek related. :cool: :p

03-06-2005, 05:45
Don't believe me? Look at the Specialist Kit in the Kill-Team rules. And look at the conversion article in the latest WD on combining 'nid bits with other races.

Just to elaborate on what's been said, the "Red Shirt" in both those circumstances are refferences to the originla Star Trek TV serise. When ever the five or so named characters went down as an away team, they always took at least one unnamed crew men that just happened to have a red shirt on (like scotty's). This crew member was always the first to die by some horible grusome way, be it eaten by a monter, boiled in lava, infected with a fast acting toxin, infested and eaten from the inside out by critters, etc. Hence "Red Shirts".

It's just kind of developed into a saying in much the same way as the old addage that "The black guy dies first" in war and horor movies.

Wow, I'm kind of pathetic...

03-06-2005, 06:04
Note: This is not a thread dedicated to flaming redshirts, if you feel the need to mindlessly vent your spleen over them, start a thread in the Wastes.

In that case why the thread title?

I've edited it to be more in line with the intent of your thread.

03-06-2005, 07:14
My main gripe would be the excessive "enthusiasm" they display to anyone who looks like they might walk through the door.

03-06-2005, 09:03
I have had no really bad experiences with staff (except coming on to my gf, which is understandable - "it's a girl, a real girl, in our store!!" :eek: ) but i don't like the obviously forced sales techniques i've seen some use.

They start a conversation about an army and then say "you know what works great with this army? These! You'll want 10 blister packs!"

(i recall a story like this happening to an old portenter - it was claimed that exactly the above happened, but the staff member then proceeded to take said 10 blister packs off the shelf and start ringing them up, before the guy could protest!)

03-06-2005, 09:09
I have almost always had problems with GW staff.

Some of them are really great, but the majority are over enthusiastic weirdos who know nothing about the hobby that isn't 3rd ed or later and are generally, thoroughly annoying. One time I went into GW with my girlfriend to quickly pick up some chaos black spray and two of the guys just stood their staring at her jubblies while I was trying to buy paint from them!

03-06-2005, 09:34
I don't really have much of a problem with redshirts, except when they stand uncomfortably close behind you when you are trying to decide what to buy. This is usually followed by "helpful" suggestions that annoy me, especially when they could beleaving me alone and stopping the four kids next to me from dropping blister packs into a GW carrier bagf (true story, the kid literally nicked about Ģ50 of stuff, and they ran when I spotted him; if the damn redshirt was listening he'd have stopped them!).

But most of them are generally nice guys, and some of them are even pretty funny :eek:

Salty :)

03-06-2005, 10:59
Well, I cant really hate redshirts, I used to be one.

I can, however, hate GW managers.....

The boyz
03-06-2005, 12:26
I dont really have much of a problem with "Red shirts" but they can be a bit over kill on the friendly side. They do I find Generally treat me and my mate when we go in there, like 10 year olds.
But I suppose they do have to deal with a lot of younger people who are perhaps starting of in the hobby.

03-06-2005, 13:43
i generally have so problem with redshirt in general.. some of them are great people.. just don't belive them when they tell you about rumours and remember that they are the ones who have to deal with that kid and his mum who wants those WEELY KWEL models tey saw their friends with.. and then they have to deal with the arents complaining that thier models are not painted like on the box..

03-06-2005, 14:18
I find them to be something of a mixed bag. I know some very, very cool ones, and some really, really annoying ones. Most of the former are in one store, and the latter are in another. They can also be a tad overbearing and somewhat arrogant, especially towards the younger players.

03-06-2005, 19:01
At my local i never have any problems, been going along with my brother for about 8 years now, although it is funny when they hire new staff that dont know you and they see you for the first time and eventually come ask if you need any help lol.
Only hassle i get there is when im not in for a while (stopped for almost a year a while ago, just getting back into it) but then the hassle is usually along the lines of "Where the hell have you been? What you been up to?" so good hassle.
There not known for dodgy rumours either as there pretty competent, usually knowing whats nonsence and what could be true. But never say its absolute fact unless they have the new book or whatever its about in their hands as evidence.

03-06-2005, 21:05
I've seen them make total ****-ups even with the book in hand. One redshirt assured some guy that he should buy Thunderers for his Slayer army for a good five minutes before finally checking the store-copy SoC book at the guy's insistence.

Captain Brown
03-06-2005, 21:23
Do not hate the poor red shirt. He has a job to do and a sales quota to reach just like any other person in sales. For many this is their dream job (right now) so any enthusiasm should be understandable.

03-06-2005, 21:36
Aye, I know, but that particular guy is something of a ********. He's from the latter of my two nearby stores.

Emperor's Light
04-06-2005, 01:25
Their sales tactics are far too aggressive. This is something decided on the managment level, so you can't blame the individual redshirts. But it is annoying.

The second is what I call the "ubergeek" factor. You can see this phenomenon at EBs, comic book stores, and game shops in general. Basically, some redshirts seem to take the attitude that they hold some power over other people in the hobby because they work for Games Workshop. They are the high priests of the hobby and commune directly with the higher power that is GW. They know release schedules, they get product previews, and they love to lord it over their customers.

Truth be told, this isn't too bad at GW. That type of behavior is worst at EBs.

04-06-2005, 01:49
I agree. Most redshirts are real people under those shirts. Other redshirts... well, they *are* the shirt, if you know what I mean. Paperthin personality that is only as wide as a fanboys perspective. Not very.

Delicious Soy
04-06-2005, 02:32
Must be something in the water elsewhere. The only bad experience I had was during a sale when I was advised that the only way to beat a Khorne army in WFB with Tomb Kings was an all chariot army. He kinda failed to convince me :p.

The guys in Australia (at least the three GW stores I've been to :)) have it pretty much sussed out. For us older gamers they're laid back, having a joke or two while discussing the hobby. When the kids come around they adopt the more 'enthusiastic' persona. I for one would not want to be so loud and chipper every time an 8 year old walked in the store.

04-06-2005, 02:57
Hmmm I hate to admit it, but GW staff can be a bit overzealous at times. Not to generalise, but it's a sad fact that most GW staff believe in nothing BUT the hobby. Without it, their lives would not actually have meaning.
There is a lot of beardy, unsportsmanlike play around on "veterans" nights also... it's actually frowned upon to not max out on the beardy aspects of your army a lot of the time, which i feel is extremely sad.
Oh, and don't ever get into an argument with a redshirt... you'll never win. Or they'll pretend not to hear you anyway.

04-06-2005, 10:22
My experiences with redshirts have usually been ok, the only problem I've really noticed is that once you become something of a regular, some of them think its ok to start swearing at you and taking the ****. They tend to forget that the relationship is still that of customer and staff, once your known to them, the relationship does not suddenly change.

The other problem I have stems from my experiences with a particular GW manager from the north of england... More on that later...

04-06-2005, 10:32
nah .. of you get in to an argument with a redshirt you always win.. they just preted that you are not there

04-06-2005, 21:48
*Shrug* I like redshirts. Basically because I know the local ones; and even if I didn't, they don't seem too overzealous about the hobby. I mean, today the manager was visibly pleased about selling quite a few nid codices (sp?), but he certainly wasn't ramming them down customer's throats.

Rabid Bunny 666
05-06-2005, 01:15
the staff in my store are alright, we did have a "fanboy" devoted to the hobby who treated the vets as 8 year olds, talked about morrowind with his mates, but quashed me and my mate talking about it

the two who rescently left (rats off a sinking ship ;)) were awesome, mainly messing around and joining in with the vets and treating the n00bs fairly, also the stories involving booze and sleeping in the store were awesome, especially the fridge being unplugged for 2 weeks and smelling odd

managers are a mixed lot, the best one sluff has had was Ben Brooks, awesome and fair bloke, nice army and a good manager, but some managers are kinda crappy

and the redshirts in my store are good for rumors, the only false one i heard was about 3 months before RoS, about plastic kroxigor, apart from that SoC rumors fine just fine as well as EoT ones

05-06-2005, 01:30
My first encounter with Redshirts was awful, but itīs been getting better. GW had just started opening shops over here and me and my friends (age 16 or 17) had been playing Epic for some time (2 years for me and I think 4 for the others). So we were thrilled that GW was opening. We also wanted to start playing 40k and this was "start your army" day. So we got there and what we got was hostility. Just for our usage of English game terms. I can see why they donīt want that 14 year old to get confused over someone saying "scatter dice", but they could have sorted that out in some other way than "Thereīs no such thing as a scatter die"... They expected us to get some years of gaming out of our heads - this instant. It got worse when we asked them whether Epic would see a release over here. "Thereīs no such thing as Epic". So we took the blue book (Catalogue 1 for the young ones) from the shelf and showed them the Epic part. "This is not a Games Workshop product". We were there for 2 hours picking out army components (one blister of old Plague Marines, one loyal Terminator, 5 SM box in my case), because thatīs when our train would go and got imensely pissed off.

Flash to present: I walk into the same GW and see somebody my age. We start discussing Squats (basically because that was my first army) and a redshirt comes over and says... "Squats? What were these?" And we told him. I feel like their attitude has cahnged, and having been there so often, I feel this change was gradual and is not likely to reverse. These days redshirts in that store are willing to expand their knowledge of all things GW and the way to get it is hobby vets.

And right now I feel more comfty with them, than with my local comic store (which is cheaper, so Iīll check in for discounts), where I get branded as cheesy for buying models (no, I donīt even game there. I picked up one (in numbers: 1) Tau crisis suit and that was enough, same thing when I bought a box of gaunts. Thatīs their staff as well.).

05-06-2005, 13:20
The staff down at my local GW store all seem like nice people. They're fairly laid back, they chit chat with the customers, are very patient and never act unpleasant. Then, the lot of them have, like, 15 years of gaming experience each. :p I haven't heard any rumours that proved to be fake, but then, the only rumours they talk about are the ones that have been known* for a while.

So, nope, no bad experiences here.

*as in "confirmed on trustworthy site"

05-06-2005, 13:46
Hmm, I just realised this thread is called "Why do you hate redshirts?" as opposed to "Do you hate redshirts?" :p

05-06-2005, 14:52
I don't hate them as such, occasionally they **** me off. Like once the new manager of our store was talking about this guy who used to work there in a way that was really deroagatory, which was a shame because the guy was one of the best people I knew in the stores around my area, he was funny, he knew his background well (even some rogue trader stuff), and was willing to talk to the little kids like they were 20 year veterans as a result they would listen and the store had some serious fluffnut 12 year-olds.

Adding insult to injury my oldest opponent is now a redshirt, this is really annoying because i had to make him phone up mailorder to confirm that Ordo Xenos were alien hunters and not assassins, his standard of painting is "there we go basecoat, done." and he often converts by just adding blobs of green stuff or bluetac to his models. And he plays unfluffy, unbalanced "lost primarch" charachters in min-maxed armys. In drives me mad. I have to buy my own copy of any army book he plays because I wont get to see what rules he is using otherwise.

Sorry about the rant but my point is that most of the time they are fine but occassionaly one comes along who is just unfair.

05-06-2005, 14:55
I don't really dislike any of the chaps at our GW. sure they can be a bit bitchy at times, but I mean, they have to put up with US for God's sake. can you imagine a worse job than being held accountable to portent? :P

actually, I don't think I've ever seen a better staff for a store. you can tell our guys are great... how?
-they all play specialist games
-they play american footy as a team, after work on saturdays I think, so they're all friends as well as co-workers
-one of em is my old tae-kwon-do instructor, another is a black belt, one is an ex security guard (and damn good one at that) and another is a boxer/street fighter (that's his style at least). We have a lot of fun with shoplifters, suffice to say.
-they won't pester you unless you want them to. they're strict, but they're fair.
-only 2 of them are teenagers, and only one of them is seriously annoying sometimes (he has decided that as a redshirt he automatically gets as many re-rolls as he wants. I swear he made me re-roll every dice and re-rolled every one of his one game.
-most of all, they're just great chaps, friendly, considerate, funny (mostly) and generaly pretty polite.

all this while coping with idiots, people who think it's fun to moon the store (I still remember that day), girls who come in for a dare and giggle so loudly that you can't hear yourself think and so forth. They have my greatest respect.

05-06-2005, 15:39
Just a bit of advice... if you're in Nottingham and need anything from GW, go to the Friar Lane shop. Warhammer World may have a better range and in-store mail order but the staff are useless, whereas at the GW Nottingham store in town the staff are helpful and one time gave me a bunch of freebies left over from some conversions.

05-06-2005, 19:28
redshirts are generaly okay exept when they keep offering you help and advice when you know what you wnt to buy and when you play with scratched models made from non-gw stuff and they wont let you play with em

05-06-2005, 20:16
Our GW hires most of the red-shirts from the pool of regular gamers who would be hanging around most days anyway.

05-06-2005, 21:08
Never had problems with redshirts, but there were 2 blackshirts that were less than cool. One was a guy who couldn't be bothered to properly run the store, the other was his boss (former Dutch Cell Manager David "Swaney" Swan) who was obsessed with money and thus with working. He'd even stop by on his day off. Oh, and he had no people skills either.

Redshirts however are more relaxed and the only annoying thing about them is their crappy knowledge of the rules (they even rang me to ask me a rules question once), and the tendency to make up rules to compensate for this ("heavy cavalry can't enter forests!"). Aside from that, just guys you could hang with (a friend of mine was a redshirt once too).

05-06-2005, 23:43
I hate redshirts because I was one. Lame reason, and only half-true.

06-06-2005, 10:56
I'm surprised that so many redshirts seem to know so little about the games. I mean, I've had a look at application forms. Knowledge of the games is near enough mandatory. I've seen a non-LotR-playing redshirt ordered to learn the rules, just so he'd be able to give a demo if no other redshirts were in...

06-06-2005, 12:02
I'm surprised that so many redshirts seem to know so little about the games. I mean, I've had a look at application forms. Knowledge of the games is near enough mandatory. I've seen a non-LotR-playing redshirt ordered to learn the rules, just so he'd be able to give a demo if no other redshirts were in...I always thought of that as a perk. You can flip through codexes, army books and rules while the shop's quiet, memorising the rules and sketching out army lists without paying.

06-06-2005, 12:08
I always thought of that as a perk. You can flip through codexes, army books and rules while the shop's quiet, memorising the rules and sketching out army lists without paying.
...and when you do pay, you get a baddass discount!

The best reason to work for gw!

06-06-2005, 15:55
...and when you do pay, you get a baddass discount!

The best reason to work for gw!

Believe me, the discount doesn't make up for all the other crap you get, i once considered a job as a red shirt but was talked out of it by a staff member at the store i used to play in. I have given demo games to young children on Sundays, i have seen the crap that staff members have to put up with, young kids, shoplifters and randoms off the street who just want to cause trouble. I dont hate red shirts, but i dont envy them either.

07-06-2005, 15:39
The job has its perks, but it has its negatives. Like any "cult" hobby, there are good guys and bad guys, but in the same way, try walking into a supermarket and comparing the staff there, some are bad, some good... trust me, ive worked both!

Once staff get to know you, they warm to you nicely, except the special cases... who tend not to last that long anyway. So to avoid red shirt (or black as it is here in sunny england!) just be around to become friendly, dont ask irritating questions and be part of the hobby in a valid and cool way.

Lets all just be friends eh?

07-06-2005, 16:25

Progress on the '********' store.. the main ****** has moved on elsewhere, and we have a new manager. Who is awesome. I stood around talking to him for an hour today. The guy knows his stuff, is honest when he doesn't know about rumours, and is a really nice bloke to boot.

Yay for decent blackshirts ^.^

11-06-2005, 17:05
It seems great when blackshirts come up to you and ask what army(s) you collect, but the first thing most of them ever do is proceed to rant at you about why their army selection for that partiular list is better than yours, and why you should use an army just like theirs. Funnier when you beat them with said army and they sulk/accuse you of cheating/spread rumours about you to other gamers (true!). Luckily a few of them are alright. GW staff can be bloody arrogant at times, but 20% of them can be sound as.
However, I let them get away with it because of what they have to go through - all those kids have got to drive you nuts!!!

11-06-2005, 17:45
Ex Red Shirt here (and ex EB'er to boot)

I agree that as with anywhere you'll get good and bad. Generally the bad'uns are weeded out. I remember moving to be a MO Troll (a promotion!) and speaking to my replacement red shirt - what a *&$^. Thought he knew it all cos he wore red and wanst a customer any more....

Oh yes, the kids drive you absolutely insane (I've still not come off the medication....)

I head off to WH World more for the fact that you hang around in a castle, and Bugmans is pretty cool, but I agree that the staff are much better in the Friar Lane store. Remember talking with them a few weeks ago while they were painting 3 new Carnifexes, and were quiet happily atlking to all and sundry about rules, paint schemes, and handing round a nid codex weeks before it came out - bless'em

11-06-2005, 21:13
*I'm not trying to derail this topic, but I am making a political point in way of comparison. You have been warned! :p *

I don't hate redshirts (I reserve my hate for more worthy targets) but I do find them annoying. Aside from their hard sell tactics, general snotty attitude toward veteran gamers like myself, and lack of respect for the history of the game it's what they represent that gathers my distain.

Just as many leftist hate the police and military because they are the most obvious sysmbols of the authority of the state I dislike red shirts because they are the most obvious manifestations of the company I hate: GW!

Admittedly they can be fun to play with. I routinely answer their obligatory "what army do you collect" question they greet new customers with "Squats" or "Space Slann". Most of the time this shuts them up and gives me a very satisfying blank look in return. A friend of mine and I have been threatening to show up at a busy weekend "open gaming" day with some of my old figures. Imagine the look on the employee's faces (not to mention the customers) when we play a highly visible Rogue Trader game with Squats, Space Slann, and Zoats in a GW shop!

Finally, what's wrong with generalizations? All stereotypes have some basis in reality if you dig deep enough. That is how they became stereotypes in the first place. Also the rarity of the exceptions help to prove the rule.

"Trench Raider"

Crazy Harborc
11-06-2005, 22:17
I have met/known a few redshirts. A couple were from "not around here" too. Only known one blackshirt..........One was a poor attitude jerk. He was encouraged to "move on" to other employment locations. I knew/know several outrider/redshirts too, good people.

I have had business dealings over the years with some GW jerks, a couple of three were in management. I never had decent luck when dealing with GW mailorder.

The Judge
15-06-2005, 19:37
I am great friends with all of the staff of my store, probably because I knew them all before they worked there, and in the end I reckon I'll end up there too.

The main reason most people have bad times with them is because most of the staff want people they can either sell stuff and leave alone, or people they can have a good laugh with. When veterans come in and hang out for the veterans night, if the veterans start looking down on them for not knowing what a zoat is, they'll get annoyed - I'd get annoyed if one of the visitors at the hotel I worked in started telling me how to do my job, even if they were right.
GW staff are surprisingly stressed (regardless of what you believe) and work as if they were on commission, depending on their superior's attitudes. They have a list of things to remember - the Ten Commandments, and these include "annoying" anyone who enters and asking questions; establishing a rapport with the regulars as well as the newbies etc. If they seem over enthuisiastic, maybe it's becuase they work in a store where a massive percentage of the customers are kids. It does not pay to mope around looking depressed - maybe in Tesco, but not GW.
GW does not come as high as it does in the Best Customer Service awards for nothing.

Insane Psychopath
15-06-2005, 20:05
I only rarely had problem back when I start the hobby that there where a few that I hated. But luck they no long work for the company.

I have had problem like few year, like one staffer who'll not let me use the phone when my mobile went & so forth.

Tho I do want to be a GW staffer due to it be a job I like. You got to take it in all the s*** GW staff have to put up with. Noob, Sat kids & dum@$$ people eg Neds/ Townies all of how will get on your nevers & there are a few of the gamer in my GW who get on ever one never. Why right now one of them will not drop the fact that I won best painted army due to I had 2 more vote than him. It coming to a point that well not end good.

Any way the GW staff do have to put up with baby sitting noob, keeping a eye on Townies/Neds as well as keep there cool with dum people.

Far due there are a few a$$ who do work for GW, but that is going to happen anywhere you go really.

Just my view.

16-06-2005, 16:03
I like the redshirts at my store. The manager there is really cool a bunch of his friends ended up working there. Too bad the entire staff is changing in a few weeks.

16-06-2005, 17:44
I have actually only met Redshirts once and that was in the Clayton Street shop in Newcastle. Before I came in I was well familiar with their repuation (mainly from Portent) but I have to say that I was surprised in a very positive way. They didn't try to shove anything on me and talked to me like regular people.

Crazy Harborc
17-06-2005, 00:59
Having a head half full of gray hairs.......I may be treated differently. I haven't had much of a problem with over eager red shirts.

I am a people watcher. I have seen teens and pre-teens react as if being said "hi can I show you....." OR "hi, what can I show you, sell you, etc is being said just like, "time for school", "take out the trash", "do your homework".

Attitudes are two way not one way.

17-06-2005, 05:19
I realise that they are trained to act like over-excited puppies, but the hard sell tactics and "in your face" attitude of GW retail staff is a real turn off to many people. Me included.

Here is the kind of exchange I apreciate upon entering a retail store and what I usually get at the local non-GW game store.:

Employee: "Good morning sir. May I help you find anything today?"
Trenchie: "No thanks, I'm just browsing".
Employee: "Not a problem. let me know if I can help you with anything."

Sounds great, right? Well, the reality at the two different GW locations I have encountered is usually more like the following:

Employee: "Hey!! What army do you collect?"
Trenchie: "Squats and Space Slann."
Employee: "errr....umm...Ok. Say, Isn't it about time to collect a new army. Say something that is new and better?!! I mean that old stuff is so.. err...old! We have these new Space marines over here! The new commander figure comes with enough bitz to make three more figures!"
Trenchie: "No thanks, I'm good. I just need a couple of odds and ends."

*Employee follows Trenchie around the store and points out at least three other items on the racks before Trenchie picks up a bag of slotta bases that he plans on basing his 28mm Vietnam skirmish miniatures on and heads to the register.*

Employee: "So do you need anyglue to go with that?"
Trenchie: "Nope. I've got plenty of super glue at the house."
Employee: "How about flocking material or paints or sealer?"
Trenchie: "Come to think of it, I do need some more black paint but I'll stop at Hobby Lobby on the way home. So no thanks."
Employee: *after ringing up the slotta bases* "You sure I can't interest you in the new Space Marine Commander? Every Veteran player like you has a marine army and this guy is just what you need."
*Trenchie Walks out of the store in disgust*

This is not too much of an exageration. You can see why I prefer to go to non-GW retailers were possible.

"Trench Raider"
Who tries to be polite to GW employees, but his hate for their employer and their own behavior makes it very difficult....

17-06-2005, 06:34
Trench, your GW store sucks. At the store I go to its always the first treatment, not the second.

The boyz
17-06-2005, 16:23
Yeah I know what you mean Treanch_Raider, GW staff can be quite persuasive and demanding that you by a certain product. which is wrong really. They shouldnt trie and persuade you into buying stuff that you dont want.

17-06-2005, 21:24
This doesn't apply to all of the Redshirts that I've met over the years but it seems that most of the angst people have with them revolve around 2 things...
1) hyper puppy sales techniques
2) lack of product/event/company knowledge

Yesterday I stopped in at the local GW to pick up some stuff before the price "adjustment". I was greeted with the usual blather. When he got to the part about what brings me in I told him that I was there to pick up some stuff to flesh out my guard army before the adjustment.

He nodded with acknowledgement. The funny part was that I ended up having to tell him what products were being effected by it. :eyebrows:

And that isn't the best part. While he was ringing up the stuff he looks up from reading the back of the Cadian heavy weapons squad box...
Redshirt: Wow, there's 3 teams in here.
My internal thought: :eek: No #$&* Sherlock.

17-06-2005, 22:03
And that isn't the best part. While he was ringing up the stuff he looks up from reading the back of the Cadian heavy weapons squad box...
Redshirt: Wow, there's 3 teams in here.
My internal thought: :eek: No #$&* Sherlock.

So, you can remember the exact content of several thousand boxes and blisters across 3 game systems? Give the man a break.

17-06-2005, 23:07
I visit the same GW store for about 8 years now (as long as it's been there), and I've never, ever had any problems with the staff.
My local Redshirts (and their manager as well) are great. I have, in the time I've been visiting the store, never seen them 'pounce' on unsuspecting visitors or veterans, trying to shove the latest release down their throat.
They have a very good knowledge of the hobby, even the obscure and ancient aspects of it. They can paint, they can convert, they can help you make cheesy army lists, they can help you make fluffy ones. They are generally great people to be around.

In short, I like my local GW-staffers!

17-06-2005, 23:27
So, you can remember the exact content of several thousand boxes and blisters across 3 game systems? Give the man a break.
I may not know everything there is to know about GW products but I also don't work for them. I do know pretty much everything there is to know about the company I do work for and the products we produce. The things I don't know the specifics on I at least have a base working knowledge of them.

So to answer your question no I don't know the exact content of several thousand boxes and blisters across 3 game systems. I also don't think it's out of scope to have a base working knowledge of what your company does sell though.

Some guy (UK)
17-06-2005, 23:30
Ill give you two examples:

1) my closer independent store. I walk in, and the owner usually being at the counter will say hi. He's such a great guy. Then he'll ask how you are and thats it. You are left to do as you please. Go upstairs for a match, (he'll even let you lend his models) browse at the models to buy. Give you info on tournaments, models anything- but only if you ask. he put no pressure on you, and is very friendly and has exceptional mannors.

2) my nearest GW store: I usually go in with my mate, (who aint into the hobby by the way) and he hates the place as much as me. Sweaty, goofy, redshirts. You cant even browse without being asked; 'what are you looking at' or something similar. Once he put his arm up against the wall giving me and my mate a whiff of his armpit. :cheese: I almost spewed up! Then another time, my mates wanted glue for something, asked the price, and he already scanned it through adn was saying 'thatll be Ģ4 please'. I mean come on the cheek! :D I can never wait to just grab what i want and go.

At least i got my independent store now!

c ya, some guy

19-06-2005, 06:48
Is it jut me, or are australian stores (as a stereotype) nothing like the rest of the world?

Usually, if they know me, they'll just say something like hi, how's things? Or another, non-pushy greeting.

If they dont know me, they'll usually ask me what army I have etc, ask if I've seen what's new - but here's the difference, they accept no, and dont ask if I'd like some paint with that, a carry case for those terminatours, or a battleforce to go with that scout blister. They're usually very cool about buying stuff. There are red-shirts that I'm not fond of, but that's usually because of a personality clash, and I like quite a few just the same.

I suppose we get good stores and staff as a trade-off for crappy events.

19-06-2005, 13:13
The latest thing I find bizarre with redshirts is that they don't seem to understand I can buy paint for one thing and it will not be used on the minature I just bought.

So no I'm not using blazing orange to paint the robed space marines I bought with it.

The boyz
19-06-2005, 15:09
I must admit though that in my local GW, there is one "Redshirt" who is pretty good. I dont go in there often but he is always reconises me and says hello and what have I been up to and stuff. Just friendly chit chat that does'nt involve me being showed every single latest re-lease and being told that I should buy it for my own good.

19-06-2005, 16:10
Now I have an issue with the term Red Shirt. In my GW they wore Black Shirts until today when they have moved to Blue Shirts.

The boyz
19-06-2005, 20:41
Yeah I have noticed that actually some of them used to where red shirts and the store manager would wear black. But now they are all black.

23-06-2005, 15:51
As an ex-staff member (1998-2003), I appreciate and agree with the majority opinion here that Redshirts mirror the general population: mostly nice but with some grade 'A' gits. Unfortunately the unpleasant guys are usually far more memorable than than the pleasant ones, which goes a long way in explaining why many people have a negative view of the group as a whole. It does not help that the staff's sales technique is so aggressive and insistant. Still, in my experience, I found most of my colleagues to be amiable, knowledgable and fun chaps who were always interested in non GW matters.

I think the major problem, from what I saw, was a gradual shift from the "intelligent over keen" to the "keen over intelligent" staff member. I noticed that the usual type of guys who would be asked to join were not interested in becoming staff as they saw that it was really not worth the hassle. Instead, the application pool was made up with the nice meaning, but ultimately too keen for their own good, set of players that most of you will be familiar with. These guys are decent people, but are too caught up in the excitement of gaming and hobbying that they cannot stand back and understand what it feels like to be a normal customer. They like to treat everyone as if they were themselves. I am sure it is not meant in a negative way. They just assume everyone is as keen as they are. When I first started, there was an unspoken understanding that we had to know the sales commandments, but we need not apply them if common sense said otherwise. Intelligent and relaxed people can appreciate that. Many of the new recruits simply do everything they are told because they do not spend a great deal of time considering the customer. They are too focussed on the game.

When I go into a shop now, I know where some of the complaints on this thread are coming from. I just think that instead of 'hating' the people, it is the system of staff training that deserves the enmity. I have nothing against GW. I left because my plan to have 2 jobs (one real one hobby) was a bit too ambitious. I like the fact that they try to work as a proper company. I just feel that if you are going to do something, it should be done all or nothing. There is no point creating an image of proffesionalism in manufacturing, marketting and the like if sales are still depressingly amatuerish.

If I over generalise, then I apologise. I am sure that many decent staff exist all over the world. It would explain why people are still visiting the store at least. They are, however, a dying breed.

Malen Kharn
24-06-2005, 12:00
I regally go to warhammer world (well once a month) and have to say that the majority of the staff there are way over the top.
There are maybe 4 or 5 that I like, and get on quite well with though, they are the ones that can talk about something other than 1 inch plastic men, and are relaxed. One of the staff there, who has been there every time I have been, still looks like he is panicking, and trying to memorise the script.
The best experience I have had with a red shirt, was about 3 months ago, when there was just these two blokes there, and me and my friend were the only customer. They decided to get the stormbolter out of the cabinet, and were mucking about, playing at terminators, with us taking photo's of these grown men, pulling snarly faces, and pointing huge guns at us.

25-06-2005, 16:44
Having been a red shirt (for four months!) and going into every store in the Sydney metropolitan area and also Newcastle and Belconnen, I can say that Australia's laid back attitude prevails, particularly in the Castle Hill store. The manager there (can't remember his name, or if he's still there, big bald bloke with a North American accent) is awesome. Loves a chat and is happy to sit and have a paint while you wander around the store, without pestering you. And as a red shirt, we were never told to sell, just chat to the customers and see if you could help them out.

25-06-2005, 20:18
Just a bit of advice... if you're in Nottingham and need anything from GW, go to the Friar Lane shop. Warhammer World may have a better range and in-store mail order but the staff are useless, whereas at the GW Nottingham store in town the staff are helpful and one time gave me a bunch of freebies left over from some conversions.

Actually I've found this as well.

On the day of the SM codex release I'd been in the pub all day (with non-40K playing mates), I was quite excited by the Codex release & had a few (a lot) too many shandies..
Come about 6 I panicked as I remebered it was nearly closing time & I had to get the Codex that day, so I had to leg it across town.
I managed to stumble into GW about 10 minutes to closing, I probably smelled like a brewery, and apparently they'd long been sold out of Codexes (understandable).

One of the redshirts sold me either his own copy, or a store copy (I wasn't in much of a state to remember fine detail like this) rather than me have to spend a fiver on a bus the next day (or monday) once they'd got more stock & thus not have it for the weekend, oh & he could tell I was battered.

Really it was quite good of him. He had to scrap around for ages to find it, when they were all wanting to get ready & get off, & it's not like I made the job easy for 'em, I really appreciated it.

25-06-2005, 20:59
Actually, I really like the local blueshirts.

The Ape
28-06-2005, 21:20
Unfortunately staff are encouraged to be "over-enthusiastic" and gush about how cool everything is. The idea is that we dont sell things by pushing them on to people, but people get caught up in the excitement of the staff and want to buy the new stuff as well.

Go into a store on a day when there are no managers around, and go to a store when the manager IS around. You will notice a big difference in the "hassle" you get from the staff...

Delicious Soy
29-06-2005, 10:47
Is it jut me, or are australian stores (as a stereotype) nothing like the rest of the world?I think its best we don't question it and enjoy the sanity of Australian GW stores.

Beach Head
01-07-2005, 07:20
Good lord people, do any of you complainers have any idea how difficult working for GW can be? Did any of you know that we are required to greet you at the door and attempt to converse with you regardless of you corpulence, stench, or beardy vetranness? Do any of you understand how increadibley unrealistic it is for every employee to have every rule and every bit of background story going back to Rouge Trader memorized? And no we do not have "free time" when the store is not busy to memorize rules, we have to clean, restock, work on store painting projects, build new gaming tables, and anything else the managment team feals like tasking us with. And when we are busy we have to run demo games and mega battles for an unending swarm of 10 year old kids who have been in the hobby for all of 5 seconds. I appologize if I sound ranty or overly dramatic but you have to realize that we are not perfect. We choose to work for the company for love of the hobby. That is something that we all share. So next time you are frustrated with a redshirt just remember that 10 minutes ago he was dealing with some guy who is still realy angry that twin-linked heavy bolters are no longer a weapon option for space marine dreads even though he had no part in designing the codex.

Son of Morkai
01-07-2005, 08:16
I think redshirts do deserve a bit of slack. I've had indy stores that didn't have a single person who knew a thing about Warhammer. They were always coming to the vets for help or telling us certain products didn't exist. The crowning moment was when an indy store employee started arguing with someone over the phone about the existance of a CSM Havoc Autocannon blister pack. When I pointed out to the employee that such a thing did exist, he demanded to know if they had any in stock, like I worked there. And that was the store's GW "expert."

Forget that.

As a volunteer for one game company, I have many times had to pick up the slack for employees, answering questions about games beyond those I was supposed to handle, because the employees only knew anime or comics, and not a single thing about gaming.

Zoats or Squats? HAH! I wish they knew the difference between a dwarf and a Space Wolf, or even Warmachine and Warhammer.

In my experience, at least the redshirts know something about what they are selling. Power trips, pushy service, faulty info - you can get those from indy employees just as easily. And I have yet to hear of a GW store charging for playing space.

I have had indy store employees steal from me, so I love redshirts. The only people I have to worry about at GW stores are unsupervised kids.

Jaq Draco
01-07-2005, 15:09
My only experiences with redshirts would be in the GW central Melbourne store here in Aus

and as far as that experience was concerned, i wasnt even bothered, unless it looked like i was going to buy something

good attitude, dont bother someone until they need help

GW Melb done good

heard through the grapevine though that central Brisbane red-shirts suffer from the over enthusiastic factor something fierce

Crazy Harborc
02-07-2005, 02:02
Maybe it's because I am older...........I like to think it's because the St.Louis Mills store has black and red shirts who are NOT into overbearing, pushing of products.

02-07-2005, 18:06
[Rant Mode Enabled]

The thing that puts me off visiting my local store on a regular basis is the preponderance of beards and rules lawyers some of which happen to work there.

I dont care about new rules and i dont want to know how many attacks the new carnifix can have. If it looks good ill buy it reagardless off the fact in may or may not have reams of specal over the top rules. I love to model and paint that is the hobby for me. Sure i like the odd game with my friends, making a rules legal army is a good focus for my modeling and painting but winning that game is not the be all and end all of my life especally if i have to degrade my self to petty minded beardeness to do so.And yes i am wearing a football shirt, shock horror, im into sports as well as 40k. Yes i am indeed a traitor to the hobby.

But in all seriousness why cant GW staff at least attempt to realate to me as an ordinary 18 year old and not some sad geek? The GW hobby is just a hobby not a lifestyle, i dont have to eat sleep and breath GW.

My local store has one black shirt i particullar who is an inexcusable dictatorial w*&ker. Give him a pair of shiny black knee lengh jack boots and he could be marching into poland.
Me:"Yes i have left my dead models on the table."
Adolf Blackshirt:"Get them off the table."
Me:"My opponent is fine with it."
Adolf Blackshirt:"So the rules say you should remove your casulties from the table."
Me:"So, i have paid a lot of money for my models and spent a lot of time painting them so ill do what i want with them and show me where it says that."
Adolf Blackshirt:" (sighs) ill get the manager."

A few weeks later in the same store, with same guy, i ask if i can use the toilet as it had a disabled sign on the door he replies "id have to break your legs first." I just smiled nervouslly and used the toilet anyway. Talk about inapropriate humour.

It made me laugh when i saw the look on another staffers face when i said i didnt like what GW had done with the new Space Marine stuff. It was like i had just said i had slept with his sister. Hillarous.

Sorry about the long rant but hey thats what the internet is for right? ;)

02-07-2005, 22:42
I relate to 99% of what you've just said. Except the Space Marine part. Pure genious - I'll have to try that one out.

04-07-2005, 16:09
I don't have any major issues thith my local staffers, they're all nice enough blokes. In fact, i'll tell a funny story. When I bought IA1 from my local store, they were so shocked/surprised they asked me to repeat my request (to be sure i wasn't mad). They then put on some cheesy 80's gameshow "you won something music" on the cd played, and let off party poppers. That was cool.

Dave out.

05-07-2005, 01:00
I was a red shirt for a good 3 or 4 years, you know.. before i realised i could get 3 times as much money if I left and worked somewhere else though (from GW to the government, what a jump!).. still, I miss the staff discount of 50% ;]

Its been mentioned a few times that australia must be different, and i guess my experience is testimony to that, NZ is part of the australia GW region, and ive never seen any of the aggressive sales tactics mentioned here.

I know that when I personally was a red shirt, I treated the veteran gamers with generally deserved, and saved all that pent up entheusiasm for the younger guys.. the teenagers I treated like adults, which went a long way I think. In saying that, if someone was an arrogant tosspot to the point where they made others uncomfortable, I generally made sure the message went accross that they wernt all too welcome.
In saying all of that, I was a casual rather than a full timer, so the majority of my focus was ensuring everyone was having a good time - not that everyone was emptying their wallets.

05-07-2005, 15:04
ive only had one problem. a store i used to frequent introduced a raft of rules about swearing etc etc. not my thing but some of the younger kids (you know the ones whove just discouverd 4 letter words) were getting loud and annoying.

so after talking about this around the painting table on eof the new redshirts starts making racist jokes. now i'm sure he was just taking the **** and not harbouring any kkk tendencies. however, me being me, i couldnt resist pointing out the irony of him starting up with tasteless jokes after introudcing a code of conduct and just having spent 5 minutes discussing it.

he then proceeded to say it was all cool becasue he was black. :wtf: at a pinch you might say he was greek or italain looking. i told him by the definition, he wasn't black. he was siply melonin deficient. he then got highly ofended, insiting becasue some ****** in russia had beat him up, calling him a ****** etc, that he was black. i pointed out being beaten by obviously colur blind bigots does not make one black.

it devolved from there and untill he was told to be quiet by the manager and i was asked to stop arguing with him. usually i cant be bothered exposing other peoples dleusions or lies but his claim to be black was just so aptently absurd i couldnt help myself.

apart fromt that most gw staff service ive had has been good (except one time whe i was in england, where i had to threaten to walk out without paying to get a canterbury staffer to leave his mates at the painting table to serve me :rolleyes: ).

05-07-2005, 15:36
Gimili you could have also pointed out his presence in a GW store is enough evidence to the fact he is not black. I dont know about you but ive never seen a single black person in any GW store or in fact any GW publication be it White Dwarf or whatever. Though there are exceptions to every rule you must admit the GW hobby is as white as your average KKK march. Ive always wondered why that is.

Crazy Harborc
05-07-2005, 19:29
Oh really??? Funny that, here in a redneck area, the GW store has had a black employee. He has since moved on. He was just one of the employees not a quota.

The same can be said of Chicago GDs and non-GW cons across the USA, like the one here a couple of months ago.

IMHO, blacks being gamers is no surprise. I've seen them in Florida, Oklahoma, my area of the midwest too. Of course that's just the USA or parts I have seen.

06-07-2005, 00:41
Primary reason is that the UK is the source of GW, and the UK is predominantly white. Particularly, the UK middle class is the primary source of GW players and staff, which is even more slanted towards WASPs. Although I do seem to recall a coupple of chapies of darker skin colour down south at one point.

Delicious Soy
06-07-2005, 00:46
In Australia I've played against people from all different decents, then again, we don't usually make a big deal out of it (unless we're taking the ****)

06-07-2005, 02:12
The "Red Shirts" at my store are very nice and helpful. I could make jokes but a... they might be here. One of them knows I use Valhallan as my name on forums.... eeep! Damn you space cops!

I've never heard any of these... "Stories" about red shirts. I've heard "Stories" about, a zombie! <ducks> A'hum. As I was saying, I've heard stories about judges at conflicts but thats it.

Ya.... Hyper!

06-07-2005, 03:09
I could count the number on one hand how many times i've been in a GW store but to be honest i never encountered this.

The redshirts were decent enough, served me well and were not annoying..i came in, they took a glance at me and let me browse the shop..no hassle or harrassment. However it may be because i was at least in my early 20s when i went these few times to a store so they possibly left me alone on purpose.

I normally go to my local retailers since i know the people personally and the audience is much more mature (at least agewise :rolleyes: ) so that we can talk about everything else besides gaming.

The only really negative thing i have to say about GW (asides from the usual price rant) is the german Games Day..it is horrible.

Luckily enough each GD i was single and so couldn't take my grilfriend with me but if i did i'd have to die of embarrasment and shame. Seriously..late teens and early twens yelling Waaaagh at the top of their lungs, one GW redshirt did an Orc impersonation on me while wearing an orc mask (you know..doing like he'd want to attack me and so on) and was this close to getting his ass handed to him and the general attitude of a fanboys wet dream all put me off of official GW events.

I was 3 times there..at the first german GW ever (very bad idea), second time because i had nothing better to do and got there real cheap and third time because i was already in town while visiting friends.

I am normally somewhat embarassed when i tell foreogn people that i wargame (being almost 30) but if they saw a typical GD i'd have a hard time convincing them i'm not a full nerd :D

06-07-2005, 06:43
Primary reason is that the UK is the source of GW, and the UK is predominantly white. Particularly, the UK middle class is the primary source of GW players and staff, which is even more slanted towards WASPs.

Thats certainly the reason i was thinking of. Its no big deal but its just something i always noticed. Im not some raving BNP supporter if thats what your thinking.

Of course for every bad staffer ive encountered i have met at least twice the number of cool staffers. The old manager of the Aberdeen store Lindsy used to be something of a legend. He seemed to be stick in the early ninties fashon wise but a nice guy none the less. He was the laid back type of staffer id like to see more of. Once as i handed over my latest purchases we got so distracted talking about music when i left i realised he had forgotten to charge me. So i promptly walked back and paid for them, now if that had been the resident rules lawyer serving me i doubt i would have done the same. I would have considered it compensation for enduring his company.

06-07-2005, 10:57
i'm not sticking up for the redshirt... but i do think that everyone is entitled to have a bad day at work. i know that if i had to work in a job which involves dealing with small whiney children, i'd end up killing several of them...

06-07-2005, 11:11
i'm not sticking up for the redshirt... but i do think that everyone is entitled to have a bad day at work. i know that if i had to work in a job which involves dealing with small whiney children, i'd end up killing several of them...

Only several? :evilgrin:

06-07-2005, 13:03
Primary reason is that the UK is the source of GW, and the UK is predominantly white. Particularly, the UK middle class is the primary source of GW players and staff, which is even more slanted towards WASPs. Although I do seem to recall a coupple of chapies of darker skin colour down south at one point.

Actually, it's just GW playing to their market rather than being a regional thing. The fact of the matter is, for good or ill, wargaming is a very white hobby. This seems to transend region although it's even more the case in the historical side of the genre. Whatever causes it, blacks and other minorities are very under represented in wargaming circles. For example here in the US black are something like 15% of the population. I've been to gaming cons and stores all over the country and have yet to see a gaming group with racial demographics that aproach that percentage. I live in Waco Texas, which is a medium sized urban area with a largish minority population (I don't know the actual percentage but it's higher than the national average, especially were Hispanics are concerned) yet the regular crowd at the game shop has two black gamers that I know of an about the same number of Hispanics. Down at a popular Austin historical game shop I often game at, I don't ever recall seeing a black face.

It's not some sinister plot to exclude minorities, but clearly some sort of cultural thing going on.

"Trench Raider"