Microsoft Store Employees Cruelly Forced To Dance For The Internet

Engadget has alerted the internet to a video of Microsoft store employees being cruelly forced to dance. We made it about 30 seconds into the video before we felt that it would just be mean-spirited to continue. Why, oh why, is this 4 minutes and 44 seconds long?

Anyway, here’s the real question: Do you want clapping and dancing when you visit the Microsoft store? Does this enhance your retail experience?

Microsoft Store employees perform dance of the cringe [Engadget]
Microsoft Store Breaks Into Song [YouTube]

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  1. Zanorfes says:

    Absolutely it enhances the annoyance factor.

    • RogerTheAlien says:

      @Zanorfes: I don’t understand why stores think this kind of “zany and wacky and ‘fun'” bullshit makes us want to shop there. If anything, it makes it awkward because I’d feel rather embarrassed for the employees who probably REALLY don’t want to be making asses of themselves in front of strangers, and are probably embarrassed themselves. I highly doubt Microsoft pays these people enough to look like total tools.

      And, yeah, that kind of does look like a wannabe Apple Store. They’ve just replaced all the white surfaces with oak. Pretty lame overall.

    • Toffeecake says:

      @Zanorfes: All it seemed to accomplish was making the customers look really uncomfortable. Except for that one guy about 50 seconds in.

      And really? Dancing the Electric Slide to a Black Eyed Peas song??

  2. t0ph says:

    Reminds me of Cold Stone Creamery, where they break into song if you tip them. I always request that they DONT do that right before I tip, I find it kind of annoying and probably demeaning to them. If I was working at this store I would have been in the john when that was scheduled.

    • TCinIowa says:

      @t0ph:

      If you listen carefully to the tapping of the scoops, the morse code spells out P-L-E-A-S-E-K-I-L-L-M-E

    • KTK1990 says:

      @t0ph: I applied to work there once (cold stone)… that stunk and turned me off to the company. 4 hour group interview, it was more of a performance in the mall… I never got called back. To this day, nearly 2-3 years later never got the call they said they would do if I was hired or rejected.

      We also never got any 1 on 1 time with anyone…

    • Brain.wav says:

      @t0ph: They expect tips at Coldstone? That’s news to me. I don’t tip unless there’s a waiter/waitress or it’s delivery. Maybe I’ll toss my loose change in the jar, but that’s it.

      • thisistobehelpful says:

        @Brain.wav: That’s the extra crap thing. In one near us teenagers would go and throw a penny in just to make them sing. If they don’t sing of course they get complaints.

  3. temporaryscars says:

    I blame Ellen.

    Remember when we Americans used to be tough as nails? What happened?

  4. floraposte says:

    I would bolt from that store like a frightened rabbit.

  5. mommiest says:

    Maybe they called this an exercise routine and got a discount on medical insurance? But not for mental health disorders.

  6. evilrobot says:

    Nothing looks more humiliating than forced antics. Also, white people dancing in the safe confines of a group makes baby Jesus cry. It’s just sad on many levels.

    • FaustianSlip says:

      @evilrobot: Um… is it also sad that I’m pretty sure I recognize that dance as the electric slide? Because as a veteran of numerous weddings, I’m almost positive that that’s what they’re doing.

    • bohemian says:

      @evilrobot: It reminded me of this lame line dancing routine they force LoneStar Steak House employees to do.

      I wish businesses would quit forcing employees to do things that are clearly not spontaneous or genuine. Don’t ask them to make it look more believable, just stop doing it. This was cute in maybe the 1970’s. Please let this trend die.

  7. hinaku says:

    Well in Asian cultures, the number 4 is considered a bad omen due to being a homonym for ‘death’…

    And I’d run from the store too. I don’t even like it when I’m subjugated to clapping and singing at restaurants for peoples’ birthdays.

  8. Scoobatz says:

    This would make me feel very uncomfortable, and I would leave almost immediately. (Agreed, about 30 seconds of this video was more than I could take.)

  9. AbsoluteIrrelevance says:

    They are doing the electric slide to the Black Eyed Peas? What audience is this supposed to reach or impress? Or add any value to the store?

    Excuse me, my mind is about to explode.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @AbsoluteIrrelevance: They did it to avoid confusion. If they did the electric slide to the right music, people would start thinking they had walked into someone’s wedding reception.

      They could have gotten a litle closer with “Fantastic Voyage,” but they probably would have screwed that up by using Coolio’s version, which would have accentuated their rhythmlessness.

  10. BoredOOMM says:

    Who bought the new Saturn again?!?

  11. ColumnarPad says:

    All of the customers are standing around bewildered even to ask for help.

  12. t0ph says:

    I love that they had to pick a 4+ minute song. I mean come on. Reminds me of the time I was doing (drunken) karaoke and chose Meatloaf’s “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” NOT realizing it was a freaking7 or 8 minute song..LOL

  13. Vermifuge says:

    A: No, and it looks like that stores shrink rate just went up.

  14. kathyl says:

    Can I submit the alternative viewpoint that this employee behavior is far preferable to the surly “you’re lucky I’m helping you and I wish you would go away” attitude you get in some stores?

    I agree that it would be better if employees who were uncomfortable doing this kind of thing were exempt from it, but if I had to choose between getting a suggestion from a store manager to dance occasionally or having them tell me my job was on the line if I didn’t sell X amount of extended warranties this week, I’ll dance. The point of that is, there are worse things to be asked to do at work than engage in a little frivolity.

    • BridgetPentheus says:

      @kathyl:
      If they let employees pick the songs and have fun with it (maybe not 4+minute songs) I say go for it, esp if it gets you out of selling extras that you know are wastes of money and standing on your feet all day, movement like that can make a world of difference of how you feel when you go home. It allows you to get out tension and feel better.

  15. Digitizer says:

    Would be more interesting if someone was in the background unplugging and burglarizing a few Win7 laptops…

  16. Benny Gesserit says:

    Being made of pure, molten evil, I watched the whole thing. Bwa ha ha ha ha

    I’m thinking someone in Redmond saw one to many “flashmob” vids on Youtube the other week.

  17. ionerox says:

    I bet they do this everytime they sell a Zune… so maybe once a week? It’s also way longer than necessary for an “impromptu” celebratory dance.

  18. failurate says:

    The Oompa-Loompa-fication has begun. Prepare yourselves.

  19. Mr_Human says:

    Microsoft: Always in touch with what’s not cool.

  20. Alys Brangwin says:

    @KTK1990: One of my hallmates in college was hired by them. She went on an “audition,” and I was appalled at the idea that she had to dance around and “be funny” just to sling ice cream. I’d be glad not to get a call back.

  21. hicks says:

    This is so sad. I mean, I know the economy’s tight and jobs are hard to come by, but have some self-respect, people.

    Unless they all got paid $1K or more to dance that one time. Then whore away.

  22. NeutronDecker says:

    My cousin pointed this out..pay attention @ 2:13 you can see someone steal something..

  23. akyiba says:

    It’s electric, boogie woogie woogie.

  24. axiomatic says:

    GUARANTEE – Not one of those people dancing was an MCSE. And if there was one he/she should be stripped of their certification immediately.

  25. admiral_stabbin says:

    Line dancing + Complete knock-off floor plan/layout = Epic Fail.

    I am trying to be open-minded about Microsoft going into retail.
    They are trying to prove my initial instincts were right.

  26. Anto103 says:

    And in the shadows hides clippy the paper clip, laughing maniacally as his plan to return comes to fruitstion. So he can annoy us with tips and dance routines.

    • colorisnteverything says:

      @Anto103:
      I miss that guy. He used to entertain me in 8th grade computing, where we didn’t learn anything and I just sat there playing with paperclip in a word doc the entire hour.

  27. PinkBox says:

    Most of them looked ok with the dancing.

  28. henrygates says:

    I think it’s sad that most of the customers seemed to be ignoring them.

  29. snowmentality says:

    WTF.

    No really, WTF.

    I don’t even know where to begin with this.

  30. jdmba says:

    The philipino prisoners did a much better job at dancing THRILLER. I bet they were paid more, too.

  31. GabrielleYDOB says:

    I blame the recession for this humiliation. Managers know employees will do just about anything to keep their job. And they’re clearly testing what “anything” might be.

  32. ARPRINCE says:

    Most of the employees have donut bellies so they really need the exercise. Good workout if I may so myself!

  33. hicks says:

    I live near to this store, and actually went to the mall to check it out (come on, you slow down at car wrecks too). They had way-too-cheery people at the door handing out goodies and it just looked like 1) It would have been one of those multiple “HiSirHowAreYouCanIHelpYouFindSomething” experience–there were about 25 employees in there, and about 7 shoppers (this was Halloween, 2-3 days after opening) and 2) It would have just been depressing–it really does look like an Apple store with wood instead of white plastic, and they’re desperately trying to be as hip without actually knowing how, and being classically Microsoft, in that they’re doing it in desperately wrong and overwhelming fashion.

    Apple stores make sense because Apple sells hardware and software, along with accessories and whatnot. MS sells Windows and Office, some crappy mice and joysticks, and Flight Simulator, every single one of which you can buy online, for less money, and every single one of which has to run on some other computer maker’s hardware. There is no tactile advantage for their products unless they’re planning on blowing people away with the Zune experience.

  34. savdavid says:

    Is this a new cult?

  35. The_IT_Crone says:

    Nothing like being on your feet all day than to add forced dancing to it.

  36. luna1701 says:

    this is so wrong. glad I’m on a Mac more than ever.

  37. Ben Popken says:

    This is the same song that the all those people did that “flashmob” dance danced to for Oprah:

    I wonder if the Microsoft store thought people were going to join in. Maybe that’s why it was so long.

  38. masonsturtle says:

    That song is so overplayed. I really hate it now.

  39. l0nd0n says:

    What’s really sad is the amount of time and money that was put into “creating” this. It reminds me of the sad waiters that are forced to do this for whatever various reasons.

    In the end just a waste of time when all you want is help with trying to find out why you have 50 pop windows showing up and multiple virus’s in your brand new system even though you’re running 3 virus software programs together.

    Thank goodness I use Mac and don’t have even a slight interest in visiting one of these stores.

  40. glitterpig says:

    I don’t shop at stores that feature singing/dancing salespeople; WAY too uncomfortable. I was so happy when the Coldstone Creamery near me got sold to another ice cream place – yay, finally, frozen treats! But it turned out that the new owners also adopted the singing thing, so I left before buying anything.

    But this is probably ok, because I doubt it’s something they’re making a habit of. I would have left *this* store, but I might have come back some other time when they weren’t being ridiculous. (Assuming I’d ever go to a MS store in the first place; I wouldn’t, but it’s not because of the *dancing*.)

  41. KarlB says:

    Ha! I’m tougher than you; I made it past 30 seconds, all the way to 1:10. Then I ran away from my computer crying.

  42. Meg Marco says:
  43. discounteggroll says:

    @pecan 3.14159265:

    and one of them actually cross-dressed

  44. iron_chef says:

    @pecan 3.14159265: and more dignity than MSFT.

  45. ExtraCelestial says:

    @Meg Marco: Yay!!

  46. Onion_Volcano says:

    @discounteggroll:
    filipino

  47. MostlyHarmless says:

    @MisterE: AAAAAARGGGHHHHH Now I have to listen to that song. And it will buzz me for the rest of the day.

  48. t0ph says:

    @pecan 3.14159265: I am gonna go out on a limb and guess that this is not going to be a common occurrence, rather a one-off to get some buzz for this new store.

    Of course Coldstone is a better alternative. A cold, sweet, delicious alternative, my friend.

  49. h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

    @t0ph: Yeah, probably just a one-off.
    Coldstone’s reputation preceded them the one time that I went there. I tossed my spare change into the tip jar and told them they didn’t have to sing. Kris just reminded me that Johnny Rockets also has the required singing/dancing thing going on too.

  50. bendee says:

    @h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes:

    I don’t think they are required to sing anymore. At the very least, no Cold Stones in Philly had the signs this season, and I don’t think last season either.

  51. bohemian says:

    @Smashville_Flippin the Bird Before Bud Adams: I quit tipping there because I felt bad that they were forced to do tricks like a dog if someone put some change in the tip jar.

  52. magic8ball says:

    @h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes: I didn’t even know there was such a thing as line-dancing lessons. My world just got a little bit scarier.

  53. FaustianSlip says:

    @h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes: Oh, dear. That’s… well. I hope you’re sending her your therapy bills.

    Then again, if this video is anything to go by, you could totally parlay those lessons into a job at the Microsoft store!

  54. oneandone says:

    @magic8ball: Oh, definitely. My synagogue offered them as part of bar/bat mitzvah preparations. They called them dance lessons, but other than some slow-dance etiquette, it was all line dances. Electric slide, achey breaky heart, many others that I don’t remember. It was co-ed, and made even more fun by following 2 hours of prayer lessons. My 12-year-old self dreaded few things more than Wednesday night Hebrew + line dancing lessons.

  55. witeowl says:

    @Onion_Volcano: Really? Not capitalized?

  56. Kyin says:

    @pecan 3.14159265: You assume they were forced. I worked at a place once that did these kinds of things once in a while to get tension out. No one was forced, but eventually everyone joined in. Even ones who were at first unwilling.

    P.S. No, we never went that far.

  57. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    @Kyin: No, it was kathyl who first presumed that they may have been forced.

  58. mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

    @Alys Brangwin: What? And have every person nearby with a videocam post the hijinks to YouTube themselves?