another growing peeve of mine...
July's issue of Hemmings Muscle Machines has an article on a 71 429SCJ Mach 1, so I stopped by "Books-a-Million" in the mall to pick up a copy.

I was hoping this was how it would go:

I walk in the store, no body bothers me. Maybe an employee would give me a friendly smile and head nod if we happened to make incidental eye-contact.
I make my way casually over to the magazine section, find what I am looking for, and browse for a minute or two to see if there is any other magazines I might want.
Take my selections to the counter, a polite employee rings them up, asks if there is anything else I am looking for, and then tells me the total.
I pay, she says "thank you", I leave with my purchases.

That would be great.

But no... this is the ordeal you get now:

You walk in the store, immediatly an employee from about 20 feet away fairly screams at you "Welcome to Books-a-Million! What can I help you find?!"

I respond "nothing, thank you."

As I walk away towards the magazine section, the overly-cheerful employee says still-too-loudly "OK! If you change your mind, just ask any employee for assistance...thanks again!"

As I get about half-way from the jacked-up greeter to the magazine rack, another employee who is obstensibly stocking/ arranging books down one aisle, but is really laying in wait to pounce on a defenseless customer springs out in front of me, and temporarily stuns me with a blinding flash of teeth in a huge company-required smile, says "Hello, sir!...what can I help you find?".
I say "I'm OK...just picking up a magazine" as I try to continue on my way.

With his skillful way of "stepping aside" to let you pass, without actually getting out of your way to really let you pass, he says "Great! That's in the periodicals...follow me, I will show you where it is!", and then starts to lead me down an aisle that is clearly the long way to the magazine section.
"What type of magazines are you interested in today? We have an excellent array of just about anythi...",
I interrupt with "just a car magazine" as I try to continue on my way and not get sucked into a conversation about nothing with someone I don't even know.
Arriving at the magazine rack, I get "What you want is right down here in our 'automotive' section! Are you interested in used car values, new car reviews, enthusiast publications...?"
"I'll just browse around, thank you very much", and I give a polite head-nod and tiny smile.
"OK, just let any Books-a-Million associate know if you can't find what you are looking for!", and off he goes, I assume to his daily big-smile and laser-staring eye-contact training session.
A few seconds in I spot the rag I'm looking for, reach to pull it out and then I am startled by another raptor-like "associate" who has effortlessly sidled up beside me, more smoothly and silently than "Grasshopper" could have ever done in the old "Kung Fu" TV show.
"Ahh...classic cars. I love those old beauties..." After I startlingly register that there is suddenly another living, breathing person right next to me in my close, personal space, I silently say thank-yous that it wasn't a serial killer right next to me, for I would never have felt the cold sharp steel across my neck until it was too late.
Then I realize...maybe he IS a serial...and I step away a bit, keeping my one eye looking to the side.
"Do you have an old car like one of these?", he says flashing that industrial grimmace the belies his deep-seated hatred of me and every other customer in his minimum-wage job that he dreads going to every day.
I lie: "No, just picking this up for a buddy."
As he starts with his "Oh, well that's very...", I quickly move away ( not quite a "sidle"...I don't have the technique).
I somehow make my way to the register, subtly craning my neck every which way to try and ferret out any other enemy combatants hiding in strategic corners, waiting to pounce...
When I get to the register...the fun really begins:

I lay my single magazine on the counter, smile at the cashier...and with her best "Joker" grin she says far too loudly ( they are all too loud), "Thanks a million for shopping at Books-a-Million today!, what else are you looking for today?"

"Nothing, just the magazine."

"How about a candy bar, they're 2 for a dollar...great price!"

"No thanks...just this."

"OK, no problem! If ever you want something you don't see on the shelf, we can always order it for you! Was there anything you wanted to order today?"

"No thank you. Just the magazine...nothing else."

"OK! Just to let you know, we have these selfie-sticks on sale! What kind of phone do you...?"

"No thanks, I've already got one ( I lied again). Just...the...magazine."

"Fantastic! Do you have one of our book-club discount cards?"


"Oh, well let me tell you all about it! It saves you 10% off ALL future purchases at any Books-a-Million, and it only costs $10! With today's purchase that would save you..."

"Yeah, I'm not interested ( not a lie), just this."

"OK, with today's purchase you get three FREE magazine subcriptions of your choice from this list.Which three magazines do you want?"

"I get free magazines at work, no thanks." I am so desperate and frazzled by the relentless assualt that I don't even realize that my last lie doesn't even make sense, considering that I am buying a magazine right now.

"No problem! Your total is $4.24!"

I swipe my card, the machine beeps and out comes a 3-foot long receipt from the register.

"Would you like your reciept in the bag with your magazine, or would you like it seperate?"

That one threw me, simply because I don't know how to make a decision on something so totally inconsequential and meaningless.
Its all just another part of their game though, for it set her up to say "Here is your reciept! If you ever want to get that book-club membership card, I have circled the number and the website right here for you!".

Just a nod from me as I reached for the reciept. Finally...I can make my escape!

She was having none of that. Continuing on, she says " Down here at the bottom of the reciept is a number for a quick survey so you can tell them just how fabulous I am! Complete that survey and you get $5 off your next purchase!".

I limply took my reciept, put it in my bag, and clomped like a zombie to the same exit door I came in
Several more book-ninjas may have attempted to intercept me on the way out...I wouldn't have noticed...I was too numb.

When I got back to the car my obviously-annoyed wife said "What the hell took you so long...and why are you crying?"

I may never read that magazine...

Awwwww Buck up They were just doing as they are trained! I don't think Ninja's are put through that much training? Fighting0082 578254 They do get a little intense at times, as I've had very nearly the same situation my self, I have found if you walk in look at the first one like your gonna kill someone and growl "Loudly"at them they will usually depart guickly, then just keep the grimace on you face and the rest will scatter like cockroaches! Most of the time this is quite effective. If not, face plant the first one, and the rest will surely leave you alone. -------- At least till the cops get there! Just my 2 cents JTS 71 Mach1
OM gosh,
That was the funniest story I've heard on this site to date.
Awesome funny detailed story.
I hear ya Kit.

I had a similar experience recently at Best Buy but I was able to turn it into a fun game of "You don't know shit".

I'm a network engineer, have been in IT for around 20 years and am certified by Cisco, Juniper, Microsoft and a few others. A couple of weeks ago my dad calls me and says that his home router has died. He lives in a small Eastern Kentucky town and really doesn't have a good place to purchase something like this. So I offer to get him one and bring it down when I visit in a few days.

I stop at Best Buy and slide back to the network stuff. While I'm pondering about paying way too much for what they have, a Blue Shirt engages me and begins telling me everything they taught him in training about this shit. I tell him; "I know what I need. Thanks for your help but I'm good."

Not good enough for him apparently.

"What operating system do you run? Windows? Mac? It's imperative that you get the correct router for your operating system." (which is BS)

I throw him a curve ball; "ESX. Running Ubuntu Linux server virtual machines." (sort of a lie - I run that but not my dad - not very common for the average person)

Him: *blink blink*

I swear I saw his eye twitch like he was having a seizure.

"Well let me check with the manager. I don't think we have one that will work with that."

Grabbing the one I decided on, I say: "No need to do that. This will work."

He grabs another like I have and says: "Well it doesn't say it will work with....what did you say? ESP? Only Windows and Mac."

"It doesn't matter man. As long as it supports IP it'll be fine."

"Sir I hate to tell you but you are incorrect. It most certainly does matter. If you get the wrong one it wont work" He had contempt in is voice which pushed me right past civility.

Sigh. I whip out my Cisco CCNP credentials, hold them up to his pimply face and tell him; "This card here means it absolutely does not matter. I have been building networks since you were pooping your pants. I suggest that you read up on basic networking before you attempt to sell or recommend anything to anyone. Maybe you should head on over to the batteries and see if someone needs a 9 volt."

*blink blink*

I make my purchase and leave. Its probably not funny to you guys but my nerd friends love the story.

Yeah, it can get frustrating when you're more knowledgeable that the person helping you. I try to let it go. Tell them you know what you are looking for. They're usually doing jobs nobody else wants for minimum wage with some manager watching their every step, just trying to make a few dollars. I certainly wouldn't want those retail jobs.

Yeah it's still funny!Biggrin And I'm definitely not what you call computer literate. JTS 71 Mach1
(07-17-2015, 06:43 AM)1969_Mach1 Wrote: Yeah, it can get frustrating when you're more knowledgeable that the person helping you. .... They're usually doing jobs nobody else wants for minimum wage with some manager watching their every step, just trying to make a few dollars.

I can forgive the minimum wage guys but what about the salesman at the Ford dealership who doesn't have a clue? What's his excuse?
Okay Steve, good point there. A car salesman's excuse could be lazy, don't care, say what you want to hear to make a sale, the list goes on and on. I haven't had to talk to one in 20 years. My cars are old and I'm fine with that.

I actually subscribe to Hemmings Muscle Cars. It comes in the mail...end of my story578254
I was a car salesman for many years...and a very good one. I did it because I wanted to, and i knew my products (Fords, naturally).

But, I wasn't a "good one" simply because i was better than the other surrounding "good ones". That would have been the way it should have been.

Nope, most other car salesman i have worked with were terrible...not someone who wanted to do a good job.

The sad truth is that MOST car salesman (or salesman of anything) are just not that good. Some are, and some are great...but just not that many. Most suck.

Many car salesman are what i refer to as "transient employees", employed "bums" who are just biding their time waiting for something slightly better to fall into thier laps. certainly not motivated to be a "good one".

I sold Fords in Texas, California and New York, so i have a pretty good range of experience to speak from. Mostly the same issue wherever you go.
1) Lots of alchohol/ drug abuse amongst sales staff at many dealerships, and gambling issues in NY.
2) Primarily single men, partiers and "players"
3) F&I (Finance and Insurance) dept employees are the biggest crooks (and the biggest money-makers) in any dealership. They are NOT your friends.
4) All used-car dept managers are scum-bags who are only concerned with how much they can rip-off the customer. If they were not that way, they could not be effective.
5) Service department MIGHT have one or two ASE mechanics...the rest are just wrench-monkeys who screw up as much as they fix...all at the customers expense.

Today, with the intrnet, things are a little different. Not as much haggling if you are they rip you in new and inventive ways:
1) outrageous dealer fees/ DOC fees/ Courtesy fees ( typically arounf $1500 or more)
2) Lots of last minute "add-ons" and "adjustments" to in-house financing deals
3)Mandatory dealer add-on packages on every vehicle (paint sealent, rustproofong, scotchgaurd, etc...) $3000 or more for about $5 worth of chemicals in most cases.

Boy am i glad i don't work in that environment anymore.

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