Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dear Best Buy: YOU SUCK!

Have you ever shopped at a Best Buy? If you're reading this, you likely know something about tech, and so the answer is yes, you have shopped at the conglomerate that has driven all other electronics retailers either out of business or into obscurity. Perhaps because you have no choice. Perhaps because, like my blogging cohort you can actually overlook the store's shortcomings and just be happy to be surrounded by devices none of us can afford but all of us want. That being said, can you honestly tell me you enjoy the experience? I doubt it. This is because, as a tech enthusiast (I by no means claim to be an expert; I'm merely an 'advanced' user by any standard. I know very little about any and all other tech applications--be they hardware, software or otherwise) as a tech enthusiast, however, I know enough about what I'm shopping for to make an educated purchase. At the very lease I can do some educated browsing. What I'm getting at is the frivolity inherent in the Best Buy employee. I have never (I repeat, never) met a single Best Buy employee worth their weight in grass clippings (except the one that cashes me out--otherwise, how would I ever purchase the things I refuse to wait to have shipped to my door?). I'll prove this statement by walking you through my trip to Best Buy today. I was shopping for one of the most simple items you might ever walk in to an electronics store to find: a pair of headphones with an in-line microphone for use with my Motorola Droid (and a second pair for my wife to use with her HTC Incredible). Simple enough, yeah? WRONG! Best Buy is incapable of finding these simple pieces of hardware amidst a plethora of the devices. Witness (or just read, as it were):

I walk in. I am immediately greeted by the only two employees in yellow shirts. That's right--I'm greeted. What does that do for me? I don't feel welcome. In fact, I feel alienated because the two yellow-lettered employees in a place with sixty + others in the building have decided to acknowledge that I can put my feet in successive motion in order to enter a building. Now boys, I know that's a foreign concept, but I assure you, it's all too human. So now, not only are they the freaks in the joint, but I'm a freak because the rejects have noticed me. Aside from my general aversion to these door-drones, all they do is GREET. How about asking, "can I help you find something?" or, "do you need any help?" or "what can I do for you" or "..." (that last one is silence. That's my favorite. Just post a sign over these assholes that says "HELP HERE IF NEEDED" in blinking red neon). Nevertheless, I get no help from these polo-shirt wearing, khaki pant having, walkie-talkie toting door jockies. Not immediately, anyway...

So I continue shopping...for half an hour. Yes, I spend half an hour reading the packaging for every reasonably priced set of in-ear headphones, looking for those that might actually advertise an 'in-line microphone.' Here is the new trick: advertise something as 'iPhone compatible,' suckers will fall for the trick and then Best Buy's inadequate return policy will keep manufacturers from losing any dough. Nice. Well, any flipping set of standard headphones will fit in an iPhone. That doesn't mean they're fully functional. So I read several dozen of these packages, find several sets of headphones that explicitly claim to have the inline mic, and my confusion rages on due to some online reading I'd done that claimed the same pairs I'm looking at now do/don't have mics, and all that info is conflicting with what I'm reading in the store. A confusing sentence, you say? Yeah, now you know how I felt.

So, here comes one of the door dummies, looking helpless in his own place of work and mouth-breathing harder than ever despite the air conditioning pumping through the place. He looks at me; I look at him; he takes several steps past me; I turn back to the rack of headphones; he turns back, looks at me again and asks if he can help me; I give him a lengthy and accurate description of my problem leaving no pause in which he might be expected to produce an answer from the thick-craniumed skull he's sporting; he proceeds to page someone to ask for an answer. There is not a strong enough expletive to show how I felt at the time. My shopping continues for another ten minutes as I humor this fool and his co-worker. His co-worker shows up, hands him a cheap, generic adapter that will add an inline mic to any set of headphones and all I can think is, "%$()*%$)*%_#@$&*(#@^$(#@^)$%@&$*(&%(&#$*&%$@ YOU! That is NOT what I asked for, and THIS is why I NEVER shop here you BUFFOONS!" So, out of the five or six pairs of headphones with in-line mics I'd already looked at, they couldn't even suggest I look at one of those. I didn't ask you for an adapter, you flipping Cro-Magnons, I asked for HEADPHONES WITH AN IN-LINE MIC!

My question unanswered, I left Best Buy today for the last time. Doubt me? I haven't been there in nearly a year as it is (my last trip was for a Canon digital point and shoot--the young punk that helped me then had no clue what he was talking about, either). I'm thinking about starting an online counter where you can see how many days it has been since I last entered one of Lucifer's last bastions of suffering on this planet.

As far as the headphones are concerned: I just got a killer deal on two pair on eBay. And I didn't have to suffer anyone's ignorance to find them.

(The author of this blog would like to add that he hates the exclamation point, and has only used it in this post in lieu of cursing. He had to fight the urge to post nothing but several lines of exclamation points.)

My final word: stay out of Best Buy unless you have no damned clue how to read, speak, wipe yourself, blink, walk, close your mouth, breathe--with and without your mouth closed, or do any other thing that you should be capable of without being told by some random simpleton. Flip.