Experimentation

Posted: May 9, 2008 in Uncategorized

I watch a lot of TV, I’ll admit it. I am definitely not one of those people that say “Oh, I don’t watch TV,” just so they seem deep and uber-cool. Television rocks, period (and so do cartoons, but we’ll talk about that another day). While I was watching the tube the other day (though it’s not really a tube anymore, more like a projector and a big screen, but whatever), I came across a commercial for Best Buy. More specifically, this Best Buy commercial was plugging the Blackberry and Best Buy’s “Geek Squad.” The advertisement stated, in a nut shell, that if you buy a Blackberry from us (Best Buy), we (Geek Squad) will help you set it up.

Sounds reasonable enough to the uninformed, though I have one small problem with it…don’t you think that if you are buying a Blackberry (the world’s best device, by the way), you should have some idea on how to set it up. And if you don’t know how to set up a seemingly complicated handheld device up, don’t you think you should maybe look at a less challenging phone? If you, as a consumer, do not even know how to get the thing rollin’, what makes you think you will know how to use it properly, and thus flushing hundreds of dollars down the drain unnecessarily? Just a thought…

Anyhoo, if you haven’t figured it out, I have a Blackberry. I love it. I have had two different ones for two years now and they are by far superior to any other device that is out there. If I could marry my Blackberry I would, but alas, that would just be creepy and sex might be an issue, so I digress. It is because I love my Blackberry so much and because I absolutely abhor Best Buy (and all the stupid little morons that work there…no bong hits before work guys and gals), that I decided to do a little experimenting. This test would require a small, refundable investment on part, and a little investment of time, but let me tell you (tease) that it was well worth it.
I was really curious about this Geek Squad offer, so I tootled over to my local Best Buy and browsed the Blackberry phones. I knew this proposition would be a little tricky because, well, I already have one, but considering that I am the master improvisator, I knew I could get by unscathed. Long story short (or this part at least), I purchased the phone, and poor little helpless me, requested that the Geek Squad help me set it up, even though it cost me an extra 30 bucks.. The guy looked at me a little funny, perhaps I look like I’m pretty savvy, but I continued to play dumb (M O O N, that spells dumb) until this gentleman picked up the phone and summoned the masters at the Geek Squad.

I had to wait a little bit longer than what I feel as acceptable, but I was already in too deep to back out now, so I just played the Jeopardy music in my head (and I think audibly, which would explain a few more whiskey tango foxtrot looks from the other patrons inside the store) until I saw the guy in a Geek Squad shirt shuffling my way. Right off the bat, I am a little disappointed. I would expect a member of the Geek Squad to be, you know, a geek. Thick glasses, pocket protector, maybe a little acne (i.e.-Revenge of the Nerds). And therein lays the disappointment. This dude didn’t look like a geek; he just looked like a stoner. Guy was maybe 19 or 20…mop top hair, semi-bloodshot eyes. When he opened his mouth to speak, I just wanted to shove a sock in it, circle him with duct tape, and run. In my mind, only surfers should sound like surfers, and if we consider the fact that I live in the Midwest, I am almost 100% certain he was not a surfer, and therefore should not sound like a surfer when he talks.

This was the initial conversation:

“Who needed help setting up their phone?,” surfer dude inquired in his thick surfer accent.

“That would be me,” I replied helplessly.

“Really?” questioned surfer dude.

“Really, really Chief. I’m XXXXX (you didn’t think you’d get my name, did you?),” I said as I offered my hand for the ceremonial, instantaneous bonding of men.

“Tyler,” he replied and returned a weak, girly handshake (big surprise on the name by the way, seemed fitting…Tyler seems like a stoner/surfer name, no offense to those named Tyler).

Before we go much further, we have to understand the problem with what just happened. Firm handshakes are essential to the garnering of respect of your fellow human beings. Having a weak handshake, as a man, makes me want to ask you if you are wearing panties or if you have some lip gloss. Old ladies can have a limp handshake all they want, but others should show confidence in their grip when shaking hands. This is especially true for men (thanks Dad), but I digress once again. To continue…

“So, Tyler, can you help me get this set up?” I inquired. “I’m not very handy with such things and I saw your ad on TV so I thought I’d give you a shot.”

After pausing for a second or two, perhaps to shake off the pot-related brain fart, Tyler, formally known as the surfer dude replied, “Yeah. Let me take this to the back and get it set up for you.”
“Take it to the back?” I asked.

“Yup. We take it to our back office and get it set up,” he replied.

“Well, can’t you do it out here?” I responded

“Why?” Tyler asked

I quickly thought about my next response here. Should I reply with something smartassy, or should I keep the conversation on the up-an-up? I decided to stay on the straight and narrow (for now), if for nothing more than to keep my cover.

“Because I would like to watch,” I said smilingly. “I mean, how am I supposed to learn if I don’t watch?”

“Our store policy says for us to do it in the back,” Tyler said in his surfer accent.

Hold on a second…store policy? Excuse me? I’m pretty sure store policy said his pants should fit properly, but he didn’t seem to mind breaking that rule. I kept that little tidbit to myself.

“I guess I could ask your manager if we can do it out here,” I fired back.

Tyler provided me with a blank stare…I suspect more processing. After a moment or two, and some looking around (like he was going to give me some of his pot in a cigarette pack)…

“Um, okay, come over here and I’ll do it up front,” he finally replied.

“Thanks, I really appreciate it,” I said. And I really did appreciate it. I didn’t want to involve yet another party in my experimentation, not yet at least.

Over to the kiosk/desk area we went. The whole process started innocently enough. Tyler opens the Blackberry box and pulls out the phone, battery, and backing to the phone. Battery in phone, back onto phone, power phone on. Couldn’t have done it better myself. The next part is what I was expecting, and let me tell you that I was beyond elated when it went exactly as I imagined.
As our surfer-stoner friend Tyler waited for the phone to completely power on, he opened up the book that came with the phone. Hmmm, interesting indeed. I wondered if he was just killing some time so he wouldn’t have to make intelligent conversation. I figured I’d give him the benefit of the doubt for now. After about 90 seconds, the phone is completely powered on and with phone in hand, our good buddy begins to look at the booklet and interact with the phone, following the manual step-by-step. Perfect.

“So you guys just set it up by the instructions in the book?” I innocently asked.

“Yeah, I really don’t know much about these things,” Tyler replied.

I almost peed myself I laughed so hard.

“Really?” I asked rhetorically. “I thought you guys were the experts on this sort of thing.”

“Not really, we just have to do it when asked,” he said.

Alrighty, time to finish this off…I’ve become bored with the stoner.

“You know what,” I started as I pulled MY Blackberry out of my back pocket, “I think I’ll just keep the one I have. I thought you were able to set it up in some fancy way I didn’t know how to do. Go ahead and refund me on the one I just bought.”

At that exact moment, much like the Grinch and his heart, surfer-stoner dude Tyler began to show a little emotion in the form of facial flushing. For the record, I love watching blood pressure rise (when it’s not mine of course).

“You’re kidding me,” Tyler quipped.

“Nope, not kidding. I like to laugh when I’m kidding and as you can see, I’m not laughing,” I snapped back. I was really bored at this point, and quite frankly, I needed a smoke.

“A’ight then,” he said (ahhh surfer, stoner, and street talk…can it get any better than that?).

Quickly and not so neatly, Tyler threw everything back in the box and shoved it my way along the counter and not so politely told me to take it to the return counter. I thanked him and went on my way.

The rest of the experience wasn’t so exciting…I returned the phone, got my money back and went out and had that smoke. I guess the overall moral of the story is this: why pay someone to do something for you when you can just read the book and do it yourself? You would figure that the three languages provided in the booklet could serve some purpose to someone somewhere.

It also goes to show you that television advertising, often times, preys on the ignorant and stupid, after all, smart people would just read the booklet. Oh, and, another lesson learned: don’t expect a real geek when you use the Geek Squad, but have some brownies handy just in case your helper gets the munchies.

We’ve got bush!
–Booger

LongStar

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