Working at a Hot Topic means interacting with some unusual customers. From a man claiming to be a dragon to awkward encounters with bronies, Hot Topic horror stories are similar to GameStop employee stories - a very interesting read. In the following Reddit threads, former and current Hot Topic employees share their experiences about working at a store that's thought to be a refuge for teenage goth kids.
Not everything is terrifying, though. There are some refreshing stories about the lax dress code and relatively non-judgmental nature of the staff. Does that make up for foul-smelling customers and demanding middle-aged mothers? You can be the judge of that. If you've ever wondered what it's like to work at Hot Topic, these responses should give you a glimpse into that world.
From a former Redditor:
It's just so awkward sometimes to talk to these kids. I get the appeal of the show, I've seen many episodes, but please stop telling me who your favorite pony is and why she's the best and how people just don't understand that being a brony is cool. I will be honest. I think that culture is a self-sustaining culture of the glorification of introversion.
I have had so many women that come in, not realizing the guy they are dating is a Brony, and standing there awkwardly while he picks out what new pony shirt he wants or better yet, the older father (40 to 50 years) who mentions he's looking for MLP for his daughter and his wife comes in and blows his cover by mentioning their son is a brony. The look on the father's face is always delightful.
From Redditor /u/exhtemployee:
There were several crazy people who shopped at the store on a regular basis. One man spent a good 15 minutes yelling at me about how zombies could never exist after seeing the cover of a Fangoria magazine we had in stock with a George Romero zombie on it.
Lots of parents came in demanding refunds for whatever their kids bought or the gift card they received because they thought the store was evil.
And every employee of the store has stalkers. The kids find you online and friend request you until you accept. And then they spend their weekends in the store trying to talk to you while you are trying to work.
So basically, the customers in general are crazy.
From Redditor /u/drewisawesome14:
You start to lose your mind working at HT if you don't try and have some fun.
I once had a big buff dude come into the store, asking me if I had "guyliner." I had to have him explain to me what he meant.
I had a girl dressed in a witch costume try and put a spell on me to make me fall in love with her. It sadly did not work.
And I had a parent order a Jack Skellington bedcover in-store and she continued to call in every day until it came in, even though we told her it would take between 7 to 14 days.
From Redditor /u/azuyin:
Customer: "They were able to resurrect my flesh, it's healed. And it's time for me to go home."
Cashier: "Oh, my god!"
Customer: "And I... They even told me my scales are turning gold as my father's were. My father was a piece of creation itself. He was the protector of god himself."
Cashier: "Well, that's good then."
Customer: "That's the thing. People damn power. It's not evil, it's how you choose to use it."
Cashier: "Oh, yeah, most definitely. That's pretty much like how everything is."
Customer: "But the dictation of true power is lost to this world. I'm returning home, but I'm going to come back. But I'm going to make it so that no human is permitted to use power without sanction."
Customer: "You must give your soul to me."
Cashier: "Oh, my god!"
Customer: "I am the Sovereign of Power and I'm going to become what my father was before my birth: 'Eternal Guardian Dragon of Time.'"
Cashier: "Oh, wow!"
Customer: "My father gave up much of his power when I was born. Because she... H-he... His mate was Hecate, mother of angels. I was the only true born... My brethren. Even Lucifer, down in the pit... , he was my brother."
Cashier: "Oh, my goodness!"
Customer: "I am not a fallen. I am a lost. I fell to Earth from my own folly - not following that b*stard."
Customer: "Honestly, look into my eyes. Do I seem mad to you?"
Cashier: "Not really."
Customer: "Most humans denounce anything that is outside their realm of..."
Customer: "But that is my dictation. I do not demand your soul as payment. It is moreso protection that if you abuse your power... Then your soul is going to be bound. You keep your soul within your flesh, but your soul will be bound never to touch power again. That is the dictation of the blood contract. I give you my blood, you give me... A piece of your soul. You do not lose your soul. I am not the father, I have no rights to your soul. But I do have rights to claim how you use my power. And that is the only reason I bind your soul like that."
Cashier: "Oh, yeah, for real... Like... That makes sense."