Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Radio Shack Rant

Repost of my rotten Radio Shack trip. The scoop, again: I recently had a crummy experience at Radio Shack that prompted me to write an "old man letter" complaining. But while there, enough nostalgia hit me that I wanted to write about that as well, because blogger is really just a pointless way to hammer out inane thoughts that are read by no one and that you clear from your head and then proceed to forget you ever wrote in the first place.

First, my letter:

To whom it may concern,

I went to the local Radio Shack the other day for a power adaptor, and when I entered the store the one person working there basically ignored me and my children. I stood at the counter for a very long time waiting for customer service (the one person working there was helping another guy at the time with a cell phone, and basically ignored me the whole time until this other guy left.) I've done customer service before, and although I swore it off, I do still remember that one of the important things about customer service is that you greet EVERYONE when they come into a store, and even if you are busy with someone else, at least take the time to say, "Hey there, welcome, I'll be with you in just a minute!"

Another observation: on the television in the store was a cable channel playing the pilot episode of "Battlestar Galactica". While waiting for the service, I noticed that this program featured plenty of profanity, but thankfully no sex scenes (although that was a prominent feature of this program, and a large reason I stopped watching it.) I would urge Radio Shack to be cautious with what they play in their stores, as there were children present, and they don't need to be exposed to half-naked sex scenes involving androids in a Radio Shack.


(and a worthless aside here, but I HATED the new Battlestar Galactica. Much like George Lucas and the Star Wars prequels, they basically took something really cool from my childhood and totally transformed it into something awful and belonging in a septic system. I sat through the BG pilot, and a couple episodes, before coming to the conclusion that in the future, there's lots of cussing, loose sex, and inane moralizing by androids. I also speculated that Edward James Olmos was basically recapturing his Lt. Castillo character from Miami Vice, but as he would look and sound after Sonny Crockett had elimited all criminals in Miami, and Castillo, in a lethardic fit of boredom, packed on 50 lbs. with some donuts, then abruptly decided to join the space program.)

Radio Shack USED to be a really cool place, that was more or less packed with electronic do-dads and gizmos and cool stuff, like robots and "build your own radio" kits (do they even sell those at their brick-n-mortar stores anymore?) Now, you walk into Radio Shack and it's just an ocean of cell phones. Blah. I realize that Radio Shack is trying to stay relevent, but that just stinks to me, that the novelty of the store has given way mostly to stupid phones.

My first computer was a TRS-80 model 3, which was a hoot, writing code in some sortof derrivation of the BASIC language that would randomly make irritating beeping noises, draw colorful blocks on the screen, or serve no other purpose than to be a spagetti tangle of GOTO statements. Lots of fun, especially considering I didn't have that incredibly-cool cassette-desk thing to back up my programs, so I basically wrote them on the fly and let them go. Hey, I ever remember how the constant running left a yellowish discoloration around the ventilation lines near the back of the computer, possibly from all of the radiation. Great stuff. That toy computer was a prerequisite to my work many years later and spending my days looking at lines of code that DON'T make amusing beeping noises but rather just frustrate with oblique memory exceptions.

But I never wanted to be a software tester at all. I always wanted to be.... a lumberjack!....

Radio Shack stores even used to have a distinctive nerdy smell, but even that seems to have vanished as of late (especially at the mall. That location smells more like a cinnamon pretzel.) Maybe I'm just getting older, and things of youth just don't have the same appeal anymore. Or maybe I'm just nostalgic for dead technology.

Or maybe not... I don't miss 8-track, VHS, or vinyl, for that matter.


Further thought since I originally posted this: I'm starting to see this more and more as the trend these days, that electronics stores and places that sell televisions and films don't give a flip about what they show, and quite often something far more mature that needed is playing on the TVs, regardless of who's in the store. The store clerk just throws on something they wanted to see vs. just playing the generic, repeating advertising video that they play on all the televisions at Walmart. Reminds me of this guy I used to know who worked at a video store, and he'd play things like "Pulp Fiction" on the televisions of the store when people were there. I don't think the managment approved.

No comments:

Post a Comment