Earlier this month, GameStop attempted to side-step shelter-in-place directives that saw all but essential businesses forced to shutter their doors to curb the spread of the coronavirus in several cities and states.
The US games retailer justified keeping stores open by describing its retail operations as providing ‘essential products.’ The company pointed to the rising demand for products that ‘enable and enhance our customers’ experience in working from home.’
Mounting pressure saw GameStop introduce a curbside Delivery@Door pick-up service . Customer can no longer enter stores, and must pick up items ordered online at the door.
To keep the operation running, GameStop has issued some questionable, not to say reckless, instructions to employees in Massachusetts.
As reported by the Boston Globe , GameStop is asking employees to use plastic bags to protect themselves from the virus during contact with customers. This appears to only apply in situations where payment hasn’t been processed online.
Employees must wrap then hands in a plastic bag then ‘open the door a crack’ to retrieve the customer’s credit card. After running the card, GameStop tells employees to turn the bag inside out, drop in the purchased item, and pass it on to customers through the ever so slightly ajar door.
An email sent by the district leader last week reads;
Lightly (you want to be able to get it off easily) tape a Game Stop plastic bag over your hand and arm. Do not open the door all the way —keep the glass between you and the guest’s face — just reach out your arm.
GameStop’s measures appear all too lacking for a highly contagious virus as a manager explained to the Globe;
I have to make a choice between doing a job that nobody needs during a pandemic and not being paid, and possibly infecting people or being infected. We know for a fact the disease is contagious even when you’re asymptomatic.
The rudimentary plastic bag technique exists despite assurances from GameStop that it was working diligently to provide the ‘safest environment possible’ for employees and customers .
Given GameStop’s steady decline in recent years, the desire to keep the lights on and ensure sales is understandable. Yet, the company seems comfortable with jeopardizing the health of employees and customers to achieve this.