GameStop, the video game retailer, sent employees in Massachusetts back to work on Friday — despite the statewide order shutting down all nonessential businesses. But instead of allowing customers inside, the store is doing curbside pickup, and employees have been given a set of specific and highly unusual instructions to let people pay at the door, according to a manager at a local store.
Workers have been told to wrap a plastic bag around one hand to protect it from exposure to the virus, open the door a crack, and take the customer’s credit card, the manager said. Employees are then to run the card with a hand still encased in the bag, flip the bag inside out, leaving the card inside, put the purchase in the bag, and hand it back through the door.
The instructions e-mailed from a district leader to managers on Monday almost seemed like a prank, said the 24-year-old manager, who asked to remain anonymous because he feared retaliation.
The message, titled “Chip card best practices," says: “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.”
"It's like they're an animal or a pet," said the manager.
The manager said it was “infuriating” that he is being sent to work at a video game store and and being told to protect himself with a plastic bag while a pandemic is raging.
“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,” he said. “We know for a fact the disease is contagious even when you’re asymptomatic.”
GameStop is allowing customers to make purchases from outside the door and is instructing employees to wrap a plastic bag around one hand, open the door a crack, and take the customer’s credit card, according to a manager at a local store.