YouTuber CAMELOT331 Says These Are GameStop’s Internal Answers About the COVID-19 Pandemic

By now you’ve heard GameStop attempted to stay open nationwide throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, going as far as to provide store leaders with a memo to provide police if they attempt to enforce lockdowns ordered in many areas. While Ars Technica reports California stores are closing to comply with a state-wide “shelter in place” order, it’s clear GameStop’s corporate office will fight this tooth-and-nail, and it’s impossible to know how much damage is already done.

Yesterday, YouTuber CAMELOT331 took to Twitter to exclaim “…I did it…” sharing a YouTube video titled “I Sneaked On To A Gamestop Regional Conference Call | This Was The Result.”

“CAMELOT331 here, and I may have done somethin’ a little insane,” he says in the video. “I may have snuck onto a conference call for GameStop where they’re discussing this huge epidemic that’s going on right now.” He then plays clips of the purported call between store leaders and corporate decision makers. You can watch the video below, and we’ve listed interesting questions and answers (edited for length and clarity) from the video.

Statements, questions, and answers from the unverified video above:

Opening Statements:

  • <Paraphrasing some unintelligible terms> Travel and visits (presumably corporate) are on hold
  • “In terms of communication I ask you to really make sure whatever you hear…make sure it’s from a valid source, provincial, federal government, myself, Paul(?), right, Jeanine’s team, SSD(?), y’know, there’s gonna be valid communication comes up and there’s gonna be just craziness.”
  • “I know there’s been a lot of questions around cleaning, hand wipes, sanitizer and what have you…[unintelligible name] who’s in charge of supplies at the office is pushing out whatever’s left of hand sanitizer to you guys she’s tracking down more to come for next week. As you can appreciate with that, and also Clorox Wipes she’s got more coming next week, it’s very difficult to get and she’s been working real hard to get more for you guys supplies wise. So there’s gonna be more on the way, same thing with kleenex, tissues paper right? To help you guys out.” The speaker goes on to say store leaders can expense additional supplies (if they can find them).

Questions:

  • “Is there precautions in place in case one of the team members does contract this? And then what do we do with the rest of the staff in the store?”
    • “There’s different aspects to this. There’s different ways that we’re dealing with it. If we did have a situation in a store, we had somebody that tested positive of course we’d take that very seriously…We do have protocols in place to ensure that, first of all, if that did happen we would shut the store down, we would bring a cleaning crew in to ensure that the entire store was sanitized, certainly, and then we would look to next steps. But we do have protocols in place and we have discussed different scenarios and what would be our course of action to deal with it.”
  • Someone says they have an increase in transactions and foot traffic in the store. While other employers are offering compensation for taking time off, this person says they feel like they’re being required to choose between their livelihood and their personal health. He is indirectly inquiring about compensation while taking time off.
    • “We have had those conversations. Again, I think each situation is unique. We’re trying to provide information, however it’s not a perfect world, and I don’t have an answer that, yes, blanketly, we would be able to pay wages for everybody who chose not to work. It’s an ongoing discussion however, and I understand the concern believe me I’m concerned to…as all the leaders are. We understand the angst, we understand the concern and we have spent all day having these discussions with the store managers so we hear you loud and clear.”
  • “Is there a point at which we’re just going to put people over profits and just close the stores? Is this something you’re discussing actively? The company put up a post on Facebook today saying ‘don’t worry! We’re still open!’ and I don’t know if you’ve read the comments but there’s like 150 comments just saying ‘you’re terrible close your stores.’ I’m not saying that’s what everybody thinks, but it looks like a bad look. And at a long enough timeline we just sort of have to go y’know what we just need to shut it down for a couple of weeks and be proactive about this instead of waiting until all of our associates start to get sick”
    • “It’s a daily conversation…” This answer is actually quite long and repeats some version of “day by day” numerous times without too much else to go on.
  • “I know we’re still taking trades in right now. Would it be okay–just because sometimes they’ll bring in controllers and y’know they’re not the cleanest–is it okay for us to refuse to take those ones right now? Or…”
    • “…I’ve been asked this question…and also ‘are we still gonna take cash?’ because apparently the World Health Organization came out, but no government has really backed that up and they did say a few weeks back ‘y’know umm you shouldn’t take cash you could spread it’ right? and the government hasn’t really commented on that. In terms of the trades, we’re still gonna take them in without a doubt…knowing that…like any other thing you could handle anywhere. Y’know, but at this point we are still taking trades in…like anything else you handle you want to be careful with it.” When the asker presses further, he says items can be refused only if they’re in a condition such that they can’t be resold.
  • An asker says they tried to reach corporate customer service for a customer inquiry, but they were told the department was closed and to reach out through email.
    • “The department is not closed…they’re not taking calls right now. The majority of the communication that they get is via e-mail.” CAMELOT331 speculates this is because the corporate team is all working from home.
  • An asker brings up that part of the hiring process includes a question about how the candidate makes their own judgment calls. “As a company, what sort of judgment calls are we making?”
    • This is not addressed directly. Answerer reiterates “…It’s a day-by-day discussion…” Comments include:
      • “We’re taking it seriously.”
      • “We’re a hot location right now…with people deciding or having rather to stay home because the kids are off…hey you know they’re coming into our store and grabbing products and y’know what? We’re helping them to make a great experience. I know you guys are. It’s kind of the nature of how our business is…”
      • There’s also more specific discussion about working with mall management to control foot traffic into the store.
  • An asker requests that HR send out a communication to all employees expressing that they care and they’re on top of it.
    • “Umm well, I think that we already have done that.”
    • Answerer refers to several “communications.”
    • “…but I think they probably need to hear it from you. Because I think that y’know as a store leader, they don’t work for me. They don’t really know me…really that seems to be interaction with their store leader who can reassure them and have those conversations…but you’ve been heard and we’re taking it away and evaluating it.”
    • Someone else chimes in to express concern about coming across as “fake.”
  • An asker says they have staff members choosing to self-isolate, others are on edge. Says they can’t control people coming out of isolation to visit the store.
    • “It’s out of your control…it just is.”
    • The answerer compares it to the same risks as going to the gas station or to a different store as a shopper.
  • “It feels like we’re being very tarnished…we’re getting people to come in and pick up.” “By having these…sales we ARE encouraging people to sit in large groups..and come in…we’re encouraging close-quarters contact…”
    • “We are thinking ahead…and it’s part of the day-to-day discussion…I don’t have the answer for Friday right now…we look every single day what our next step is.”
  • “If we do wind up closing our stores is the staff going to be getting paid?”
    • “That’s part of the discussion we’ve been having…we’re trying to come up with a plan of action that is going to support everybody…”
    • “The truth is we just don’t have all the answers at this point…we certainly want to do the right thing…”
  • “Are you guys going to post anything social media wise saying you’ve heard those concerns from customers and that we’re doing everything that we can?…”
    • Someone says they’re not in charge of social media and they’ll take the question to the social media team.

Since the video went up, CAMELOT331 has tweeted more than one image suggesting his video is being reported to YouTube through privacy complaints, possibly in an attempt to have it removed.

We’ll update this story as more info becomes available.

Photo Credit:GameStop” by Mike Mozart is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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