The 7 Types Of Employees You Meet At Best Buy

Gizmodo paired up a former Best Buy employee with a professional illustrator and created a taxonomy of seven Best Buy employees you’re likely to meet whenever you shop there. The two who probably get the most coverage on our site (and who are probably the most annoying in general): Pervy Geek Squad Guy and Slick Careerist Manager.

“The Seven Types of Employees You Meet at Best Buy” [Gizmodo]


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  1. Yankees368 says:

    I miss circuit city :-( At least there, you knew you were not going to get any help from the staff, but they occasionally had cheaper prices.

  2. larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

    I wore the yellow shirt for awhile. I wasn’t the guy depicted here, but we had two of them … The difference is that I took the job to tide me over after a layoff, the scary guys were cop wannabes who saw LP as a good career move.

  3. LostTurntable says:

    I know the sad department manager, a college roommate of my old friend. I stop by Best Buy sometimes just to feel better about my career.

  4. illtron says:

    It’s missing the “I’m just here until the market for real jobs improves” part timers and the “dude, I’m just seasonal and working here for the discount” employees.

    • illtron says:

      @illtron: Seriously though, that grizzled home theater veteran guy looks just like a dude who worked in home theater when I worked there.

    • theblackdog says:

      larrymac: I knew a guy who fit the second category and went into LP for Wal-Mart. You could tell how much he wanted to be the “hero” because he talked about being in training and only witnessing one shoplifter during that time, he was hoping for way more of them to take down.

      He got fired a few months later because he busted someone who was a known shoplifter, except she had not lifted anything yet.

    • Cyco says:

      @illtron: I wish I could get back on as very part time just for the discounts. I don’t know if it’s changed since the last time I worked there, but the discount used to be cost + 10%. Everything in the car audio section is marked up a minimun of 50%. The discount is a great deal on some of the stuff there.

      • anduin says:

        thats why online is king, markup is to be expected in a store but I mean something like HD cables which I got reinforced strength cables for like $11 online were $89 in store :/ yea thats enough to never have me buy anything they can markup in their stores

  5. milk says:

    Marginally Cute Customer Service Girl (who looked just like that picture) misspelled my name when I got a BB card. When she was entering everything she even asked me to verify my name because she thought I added a superfluous vowel.

    Then I got to go back and forth with over the phone customer service people who didn’t want to change the spelling or give me options to do so. Finally I told them I wasn’t going to pay the bills addressed to [misspelled name] because I don’t know who that person is. My bluff worked rather easily.

  6. AshleyKeen says:

    Does anybody else read this as the Cast of Chuck at the Buy More?

    They’ve got everything but the Grizzled Old Guy and the Car Audio Thug. To wit:

    Marginally Cute Customer Service Girl: Anna

    Pervy Geek Squad Guys: Jeff and Lester (I guess one could make the argument for Jeff being the Grizzled Old Guy)

    Sad Deparment Manager: Chuck

    Slick Careerist Manager: Buster Bluth who’s character’s actual name I can never remember because he will forever be Buster Bluth.

    Terrifying Loss Prevention Guy: Casey.

    Yeah. Nerd Alert. I know.

  7. JustinSane07 says:

    This wasn’t funny when it was posted on Giz either.

  8. burnedout says:

    With the exception of the merchandise specific roles (car audio thug and geek squad perv), these are the people you find in pretty much ANY retail chain. I worked at American Eagle for ages, and we had all of them except the tech roles. I quit when they offered me my own store because I was afraid I’d become a Sad Manager, although I didn’t know the name of the archetype then…

  9. cherveny says:

    I still remember when I was buying a replacement TV a few years back at Best Buy:

    Me: Can you tell me the difference between these TV models?

    Best Buy Guy: You know, I don’t work on commission. *wanders off*

    • bohemian says:

      @cherveny: That is probably better than the routine I got when looking for a TV.

      This was when they were phasing out analog TVs. Best buy smarmy sales dweeb tries to push me towards the flat panel that is on sale. I ask if it is analog or digital. He shuffles a bit and tries to tell me it is digital. I ask where on the features list or the box it shows that it is a digital TV? He gets a panicked look and claims he has to do something in the back and never comes out again.

    • wrjohnston91283 says:


      At least he was honest. He can’t tell you the difference, and he did say “know”. At least he didn’t give you bad advice. That’s the best you can hope for at Best Buy – no advice is their best advice.

  10. Megan Squier says:

    I’ve seen ALL of those at 3 Best Buy locations in 2 states (the only one’s I’ve been to). At one location the stereo guy was a guy I worked with at a supermarket in high school; rough but nice.

  11. militarydave says:

    In my Professional Opinion… they left out 3 key people:

    1. the “emo” or “punk rock” chick that wears glasses, tons of makeup and converse all starts with piercings and different colored highlighted hair.

    2. The guy/girl that texts and gossips all day that stands in the middle of the entrance / exit who only says hi if you look and acknowledge them or come in with an item to return

    3. The Night Janitor who takes the cd’s that are on sale, drinks the 20 oz. sodas who nobody pays $1.89 for and mops the first just before everyone comes in the morning.

    you’re welcome!


  12. hi says:

    He forgot the “shady guy/girl who is dishonest and abuses the employee discount”. btw: I applied at Best Buy a long time ago and obviously I didn’t fit the porfiles because they wouldn’t hire me.

  13. redskull says:

    Why isn’t “Pervy Geek Squad Guy” wearing the traditional white short-sleeved shirt, black tie, black pants & white socks?

    • Zeke_D says:

      Becasue he is a “Best Buy services” re-tread. When BBY aquired GS and made all the “black shirt” services employees into geeks.

  14. katstermonster says:

    Wow, I worked at Blockbuster, but the Grizzled Old Home Theater/Computer Sales Lifer could have described one of my managers perfectly. Love him. He’d make me and the other female employees take breaks in the employee room when he caught nasty old men ogling us. And he hated upper management as much as we did. And the regimented cigarette breaks…ahahaha so true. I miss Bob.

  15. Moosehawk says:

    “This guy has seen some shit” lol

    But seriously uh, I’ve always been intimidated when walking in to the car stereo department.

  16. "I Like Potatoes" says:

    Is this one of those Facebook pictures where you’re supposed to tag your friends?

  17. diangelo says:

    Ahh nothing like sterotypes.. Retail is a hard business guys, maybe you should give them a break. 99% of the time its the head offices that are the problem. But then again I am not even from the USA so why do I care!!

    • Shadowfire says:

      @diangelo: No shit. I can’t imagine what my wife is going to think when she reads this later.

      Seriously guys? Stop with the ragging on BB employees. Specific stores may run like shit, but not all of the employees are morons.

      • downwithmonstercable says:

        @Shadowfire: I don’t think they’re saying all BB employees are morons. But those stereotypes are people we’ve all seen there, or any electronics store for that matter. They hit the car audio thug spot on, as well as the LP guy.

  18. cametall says:

    Christ that’s hilarious. We had those people at Circuit City too (before they fired all the employees with product knowledge).

    The car audio guy caricature is perfect.

  19. halothane says:

    I cashiered at Best Buy for a summer when I was in college, and the “Slick Careerist Manager” especially rang true. She would constantly lecture me on not selling enough service plans. When I asked for advice on how to sell more plans, I got the standard company line of “just ask if they want one and explain it if they seem interested, but don’t push the issue.”

    I did exactly that, but still got the “you act like this is ‘just a job,’ you need to step up if you’re going to go anywhere” lecture. It simply never occurred to her that I wasn’t planning on making Best Buy my life.

  20. Outrun1986 says:

    For the few times I have been into a best buy the majority of employees were between 18-30 years old and I didn’t see any of these types. However the store was so hot and smelly that I walked out shortly after walking in. It was worse than the smell of Gamestop. This is a college-heavy area though so that probably explains it.

    I could say a lot about retail here, but I have seen more, lets call them cookie cutter employees at GS than anywhere else. It always seems to be the same type of person with the same type of personality behind the counter at Gamestop!

    Kmart – full of “lifers”. These people will never quit retail and they have dedicated their lives to working in the store. There are a few young kids but they don’t last long, probably because they don’t want to become a lifer. The employees here act like every penny is coming out of their pocket when they have to do a price override or make a price change to a lower price. The employees here would probably implode should the store decide to close up.

    Walmart – variety, mostly old people (with white hair) who still don’t know how to ring up a coupon even though their tag says they have been with the company for 15 or 25 years. The customer service people here can process a return transaction in 10 to 30 seconds. They are insanely fast.

    Sam’s club – exact opposite, almost all young people as employees.

    Target – Friendly employees, mostly young and good looking faces for both genders. If you want your cute girls or guys this is the place to shop or work.

    Various grocery stores – generally good with the few odd people thrown in (like the 50 year old cashier with tons of piercings, at least she is really nice). Mostly young workers, some barely look 16 and kind of on par with target.

    The best employee morale here seems to be at Target or the grocery store, the lowest is at Kmart because those people just won’t budge. Don’t buy anything that you will have problems with or need to return at Kmart to avoid dealing with the employees that feel like everything is coming out of their pockets.

    • diangelo says:

      @Outrun1986: Well arent you shallow basing your opinion of a worker on how they look or where they work. I am guessing your a super model then?

      • JustinSane07 says:

        @diangelo: This entire thing is about judging people on where they work and how they look and you criticize him? Criticize the completely unfunny article.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      @Outrun1986: Geez come on have some humor, and no I am not a supermodel. But there is no denying the fact that each retail store attracts a particular culture of both employee and shopper. In the BB case each department is attracting a distinctively different type of employee.

      If you walk into Walmart and 50% of the workforce are people 60 and over you will notice it, and you will notice that Target is mostly a young preppy workforce. Kmart the same people have worked there for 30 or more years, its literately the same staff as when the store first opened. Maybe I am just overly observant of the things around me. Of course its going to vary regionally but this is for the stores in my area.

  21. I Love New Jersey says:

    A savvy consumer will not meet any of them since they know better than to shop at Best Buy.

  22. threeoutside says:

    I’ve tried three times to read that article, but it freezes up my computer every time. Maybe Consumerists are flooding the site, or maybe BB didn’t like the article? Or maybe it’s just my computer. Just thought I should mention it…

    • militarydave says:

      @threeoutside: you should probably go to BestBuy and have your computer checked out by the professionals at GeekSquad, or, purchase a New Computer, with full extended warranty and licensed accessores at Best Buy because they have every day low low prices and friendly, knowlegeable staff!

      (sarcastically smirks)….


  23. Zeke_D says:

    After grand-opening a store, a year in Home theatre, a year behind the geek squad counter and a year in the geekmobile I can say that with the exception of the missing goth/punk chick in media, these caricatures are ABSOLUTELY spot-on. I can envision a person from the best buy I worked at for each one. Especially since the perky CS girl and the car stereo thug indeed got together.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      @Zeke_D: The goth look is kind of out IMO, was popular about 10-12 years ago at least around here. Might be why its missing from the modern caricature of Best Buy culture. The people working at Hot topic don’t even look like goths anymore over here and that used to be the most extreme example.

      Its more of a punk/rock/emo look these days. Dressing in mostly black goth style is definitely out, I haven’t seen it in at least 5 years. Is the term emo still in? I have no idea.

  24. SlappySquirrel says:

    Gotta say, it really bugs me that the “Thug” has the darkest skin tone.

  25. Android8675 says:

    Heh, I found child porn on a couple systems over the last few years. I don’t even need to look for it, the filenames alone are reason enough to call the cops.

    You people with porn need to wise up and delete that stuff before your computer totally shuts down.

  26. fantomesq says:

    Best Buy’s CEO’s response. Hillarious!

  27. Zeke_D says:

    It’s totally obvious that the writer of Chuck has worked for BY in the past. No one but a former employee could get buymore to be so n tune with the BBY culture.

  28. comicgeek77 says:

    well they forgot the standard goth chicks who love to roll their eyes at your tastes in music/movies/games/etc.

    they also forgot the constantly texting/gum chewing yo-boy.

    and the skinny (usually asian) girl that tries to convince you that buying a better car stereo system will get your fat sweaty ass laid.

    they forgot the lardy console fanboys who try and steer you from the 360 to PS3 section or vice a versa depending what section your browsing in and what their preference is. all of these guys have a long story about how gamestop screwed them over by firing them for insulting customers just because sony does what nintendont that they will share with you even if you beg them to stop.

    the worst of the worst of the bestbuy people are the shills of monster cables. i guess they get huge commissions on them so have every right to push them but if i ever have another bestbuy employee try and upsell me monster cables for video and audio even when i am just trying to buy a videogame or dvd set i swear i will burn the store down.

    “oh. hey man! i can’t help but see your buying deadwood season one on dvd. do you have a surround system because that show is made for it? oh, you do? let me ask this—-what sort of cables do you use? because if you are using cheap cables for the video or surround sound you are shorting yourself. you really need monster cables-thats the only way to do it.” i swear to christ every time i enter a bestbuy store i get roughly this sales pitch regardless of what i am buying or in what section.

  29. Spaceboy says:

    I am so glad Best Buy didn’t hire me as a teenager.

    Gamestop did instead. I lasted an amazing 3 months before choosing not to have a job. So worth it.