Geeky Stuff Opinion Tech/Web

Big Box Electronics Stores:

Buying electronics should be a pleasurable experience, but somehow it never is. The stores are built like labrynths with things in the most unlikely, illogical places ever. You’re always searching and waiting and listening to somebody crank annoying music to test out a hot sub or a super crappy iPod speaker set. There’s always someone who spoils the fun of your first moments with your new gear.

Now granted, I’m not your average electronics purchaser. I know my shizz. I go into a store knowing exactly what I want. And I want to get it in less than 30 seconds. I don’t want to discuss the features, or talk about extra warrantees, or hang out in the Mac section opening and closing iLife apps waiting for somebody to notice how cool I am. I just wanna get my gear and get it home and turn it on and realize I’ve bought the wrong batteries.

I get so frustrated in electronic stores that I have to actively fantasize about an alternate reality where annoying people are suddenly taken out by mythical demons and large beasts of the underworld…

Help Department:

Me: Do you know where I can find external HDs?
Dude: Uh… that’s not my department. [turns to guy next to him] uhhh, Dan do you know where the HDs are?
Dan: Uhhh… [looks at me] You should really get blue ray.

Suddenly, a crazy-eyed Spartan with a glistening sword leaps out from behind the USB cables. FOR SPARTA!!!!!!!!

Camera Department:

Me: I’d like to get the Canon G9.
Pale, skinny dude with spiky peroxide hair and slight lisp: Oh yeah. Super great deal. Great choice. Yeah, I’ll just go get one from the back for you.
[16.5 minutes pass. I see skinny dude yakking to his buddies in the Xbox section. Steam literally starts to come out of my ears. Camera dude finally notices me standing in front of me.]
Dude: Can I help you?

Just then a gigantic tarantula burrows out of the earth. ATTACK!!!

Mac Department:
mid-20s over primped girl with Gucci purse & high heels looking at MB Air: Do these Macs come with Facebook?

Just then a snaggle-toothed T-Rex leaps out from behind the Mac Pro… CHOMP!!!

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  • Reply
    Jacob Burke
    April 12, 2008 at 9:08 PM


    This post made my night! I was just in Best Buy the other morning and wanted to scream because I was approached by what had to be 10 different associates when I was looking at iPod accessories. They sure can be pushy in there!


  • Reply
    Chris Magnusson
    April 12, 2008 at 9:35 PM

    #1: “…me standing in front of me.”

    That’s physically unpossible. At least in this universe.

    #2: G9? Duuuuuude… Mine ships in two days! Two days!!!1!!

    #3: If you know your shizz, why do you go to the physical locations in search of it? Why not order online and have it delivered? If you really need to get out of the house, arrange to pick it up in-store. That way, you’ll have fewer retail droids to deal with, and the biggest problem you’ll have with the ones you do have to deal with is spelling your name for them.

    Them: “Lisa? Spelled with a Q?”
    Lisa: “No Q.” (shaking head)
    Them: “Q?”
    Lisa: “No Q.” (shaking head harder)
    Them: “Q?”
    Lisa: “L I S A. No Q.”

    (With apologies to Monotasker.)

  • Reply
    April 12, 2008 at 10:29 PM

    The next time one of those Best Buy Lemmings does this to you, fire back with this question:

    “Have you ever killed a man with a spatula?”

    Gets them every time :)

  • Reply
    April 12, 2008 at 11:22 PM

    That’s priceless. Bring a camcorder next time around.

    Maybe the guy that asked you about macs works there, hehe.

  • Reply
    Duane Storey
    April 12, 2008 at 11:23 PM

    Sales people suck at those places.

    And ps – you missed a fun nerd camp!

  • Reply
    michael wilson
    April 12, 2008 at 11:55 PM

    so….. does mac’s come with facebook then? I’m really curious now????
    Could have been a lot worse. He could of asked you if your use your mac to get on your myspace page? Worse chat up line part 3 could have happened.
    michael x
    P.s Just found out bruce willis isn’t in season four of battlestar so maybe she’s not dead after all!!!
    p.s.s your itunes secret is still safe with me.

  • Reply
    Dennis Bjørn Petersen
    April 13, 2008 at 1:14 AM

    I’ve been to many various BestBuys’ I just love to torment myself and compare prices. USA vs. Denmark. Xbox360 Elite US $350 vs. Xbox Elite DK kr. 3000 ($600). Same hardware.

    I’ve seen the Spartan and huge tarantula, but I missed the T-rex. It must have been in another store.

    Damn squad rotation system.

  • Reply
    Michael Mistretta
    April 13, 2008 at 4:22 AM

    Wow. Thanks for that. Made my morning.

    I’ve had the exact same experience. I bought my MX Revolution on Boxing Day (day after Christmas in Canada), and it was broken. Come back the next day to replace it, and apparently they have “no customer service for that weeK”. So I wait for a week, return, and get another broken Revolution. Finally after a month, and 3 different mice, I get one that works.

    *sigh* I’m never shopping at Best Buy again.

  • Reply
    April 13, 2008 at 8:58 AM

    So odd that the places which should require more tech savvy personnel hire the un-savvy. Is there that bad of a “tech savvy” shortage?

    There is no such shortage in Hawaii… in fact, the tech savvy are getting together for a Hawaii Geek Meet. This may be just the place to recover from a BestBuy browse.

    And, it’s an excuse to go to Hawaii! Seriously, though… if anyone is in the area on the 20th, stop and check out our first annual meet.

    Oh, and the Mac/Facebook girl? You should have imprinted her face into the Mac. Once you explained what her question was, you would have been awarded rather than arrested.

  • Reply
    April 13, 2008 at 9:15 AM

    “Do these Mac’s come with facebook?”

    That is classic. She does not deserve a MacBook Air.

  • Reply
    Rebecca Gillis
    April 13, 2008 at 9:30 AM

    Sad but True. I don’t often venture into stores anymore… just the thought of being hounded by the sales person is enough to make me break out into a nervous sweat. I just want to see something… hold it even before making the final purchase… not anymore.

    Pasquale… completely agree.

  • Reply
    April 13, 2008 at 10:14 AM

    I always love that line about it’s not my department. I think it must be the most common line at big box stores. They should just have that on little badges on there ugly corporate shirts, instead of name tags.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2008 at 1:04 AM

    Ahhh, this reminds me of the battle I had with a shop assistant some years ago when buying a MiniDisc walkman. I basically just wanted to know if you could use a jack to jack cable to do analogue recordings because my big Hi-Fi didn’t have optical out… anyway:

    Me: Excuse me, I was wondering about this MD walkman. Obviously it can record but i was wondering about the methods of recording. Do you have to use the optical cable or can you use a jack to jack line as well?

    Clueless looking woman: I’m sorry?

    Me: *sigh* In what ways can you record content on to discs using this walkman? Is it ONLY the optical lead or is there another way?

    Woman: Oh right… well, I think you just put the walkman near your stereo and press record.

    Just goes to show, you don’t need to know a thing about electronics to work in an electronics store.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2008 at 9:00 AM

    YES!! You, darlin’, are made of win.

    I have no patience for salesweasels who direct all their comments to my spouse even though I’m the one doing the talking.

    Bring on MP’s killer rabbit.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2008 at 10:16 AM

    I’ve often had the same problems. I have a resident geek who comes with me whenever I show up at Best Buy ( Me – “so is this the right camera for Skype?” Him – “Yeah. Don’t ask them anything – they’ll screw up – they don’t know anything”). Sure enough, Raul asks the tech guy at BB… (I am stubborn after all).

    Me.- “Hi, do you know if the Logitech QuickCam will perform the same functions as the Microsoft LiveCam when used for Skype? I don’t want to have any compatibility issues and I’m PC-based. Also, does it have an integrated microphone?”
    Tech guy at BB.- “Huh?”
    Me.- “Never mind” (I want to strangle the guy).

    Next time I’m at BB, I should Twitter you. Have a good week, Lisa!

  • Reply
    April 15, 2008 at 12:49 AM

    This is the kind of Justice that pushy sales assistants deserve.

    I’d love to be able to do this.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2008 at 10:42 AM

    for the “Pale, skinny dude with spiky peroxide hair and slight lisp” I read that while hearing the voice of Sid the Sloth from Ice Age inside my head.

    That was a nice day dream. Thanks for the visual and the audio.

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