I suppose at this point I should talk a bit about what brought me to the point of running the store. One thing that you need to keep in mind when you’re on the outside looking in, is that there isn’t much changing of the guard when it comes to gaming stores. Generally there is the guy who opens it, maybe one or two additional employees, and that’s it. Those people stay in their positions for the rest of their working lives, and mostly due to the fact that it is such a passionate job that they wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.
I got my first job working at the store when I was still a pimple faced high school student, and never looked back, much like a lot of other store owners in my position. I wound up applying simply because I spent so much time in the store that I probably knew it better than anyone else who wasn’t working there, so I may as well have been paid for it. Fortunately the owner took a chance on me, and I hope he never grew to regret it, though I have the feeling he didn’t.
When I was out of school and taking college courses online, the owner found out that he had a pretty bad illness, let’s just say there wasn’t much chance that he would be able to continue operating the store in a couple more years. This left him and I in a pretty bad position, I didn’t want to lose my job, and he sure didn’t want to lose the store. And as his illness became worse, more responsibility fell onto my shoulders. It was after a year of going on like this that he sat me down for one of the more serious talks of my life.
You see, he didn’t have any other family in the area, and he was worried that if he passed away, that the store would simply close, and the next business would erase the memory that it was ever there. So he talked to me about how comfortable I would be if he signed the business over to me, paid for all the legal stuff to be done and out of the way, and left his insurance to the bank in order to take care of the financial burden that it would be until I was in a position to be self-sufficient.
In your early twenties, this sounds like an amazing deal, but it also broke my heart. He was the soul of this business, and I didn’t think that I had it in me to be able to fill his shoes when he was gone. After a month or so of ironing out the details though, we decided that it was best for the store to do it in the way he laid out. One final heroic sacrifice from him to ensure that his store lived on, and all his hard work wasn’t for nothing.