I never wanted to use this site as a soapbox. If you know me personally, you know I can complain a storm about anything. But this? This site is supposed to be fun. Stupid, if you will. Isn’t there enough complaining and whining and all around bad feelings on the internets?
I find myself getting so riled up about stuff anymore that I’m saying “fuck it”. But, with two caveats…we’ll laugh about whatever’s getting my blood all angered up and I’ll do my best to offer some sort of solution at the end. Fair enough? No? Too bad.
Enough of the explanations. Let’s get to the ranting…
I was recently at a Walmart that’s not too far from where I work. Now, I’ve got to preface my little tale with a disclaimer. I’m not going to say I spend millions of dollars at Walmart (although, I probably do). I am, however, usually there at least twice a week buying non-perishables and the like. I know the store and I know the people that work there (not personally, but by sight) I’ve also spent a considerable amount of money in the Electronics department at this one particular store, which, oddly enough, is where this tale begins.
There’s an older gentleman that works in said Electronics department. For sake of anonymity, let’s call him Jebediah. I know this guy enough, I’ve purchased more than my fair share in this department. Jebediah is at least 117 years old. He’s probably 6’2” and he can barely walk, let alone bend down. And because Walmart keeps EVERYTHING locked up at this store, and below waist level, and he’s the only one that apparently works in this department, he’s always the one who gets me what I need.
With much unhappiness, I might add.
On this particular occasion, I wanted to get a laptop for Natalia for graduating 1 being promoted to 9th grade. When it comes to electronics, I know what I’m looking for and I know how much I want to spend. I don’t need any kind of help or hand holding. So, I went straight to the laptop aisle and guess who’s there? You got it…Jebediah. Jebediah’s stocking notebooks at the “cheap” end of the laptop aisle. Standing in front of, as it were, an unsigned HP laptop.
Putting the last laptop box in the gated storage area below the displays, Jebediah stared at me for a moment. “Can I help you?” He asked, rather reluctantly.
“Yea.” I nodded to the unsigned laptop he was standing in front of. “Do you happen to know how much that HP laptop is?”
He looked at the unsigned laptop. Then at the computer next to it; a netbook priced at $158. He glanced at the laptop on the other side of the HP in question; a Toshiba model, priced at $398. “Yea…” He said, thoughtfully. “It’s like 300 dollars.”
We looked at each other for a moment, like gunfighters sizing each other up. Who was gonna flinch first. “So…is it like 300 dollars or is it actually 300 dollars?” I thought to myself 2. Since I wasn’t going to get a clear answer from him, I quickly scanned the rest of the displays. Of course, none of the signs were aligned to the corresponding laptop. Like some sort of electronics version of the game Memory, I tried to match the proper sign to the proper model in hopes of maybe, just maybe, I’d get a more definitive answer on the price of that unsigned HP laptop.
Lo and behold, there was yet another HP laptop, unsigned as well, at the more “expensive” end of the aisle. I looked at that displayed laptop, then at the gated stock below, trying to identify the box that contained this newly discovered unsigned computer. Which, hopefully, was at least tagged with a price. Jebediah watched the whole thing. “That one’s $358.” He finally spoke up. “We’re out of stock on those.”
He knew the exact price of that one. “Ok.” I replied. Even still, though, I’m just trying to identify the price of the first unsigned HP laptop. The big guy finally comes through and sends down an idea to your friendly neighborhood jman through the ether. The internets! I pulled out my phone and hit the world wide web. In the meantime, Jebediah goes back to fumbling with the lock to the gate where the laptop I may want is located. Another Walmart employee walks up to Jebediah and starts jawboning with him. Seeing that I’m apparently satisfied with our experience, the two of them walk off.
With that bit of awkwardness out of the way, I go to work. I flip over the first unsigned HP laptop on display. Sure enough, I get the model number underneath. I go back to my phone, pull up Walmart.com and find that exact laptop. $299. Bingo! I looked at the boxes stocked away underneath the display model (which Jebediah just finished locking away). Of course, the boxes were facing the wrong direction (and not price tagged), but they were HP boxes, so I’m feeling pretty confident that the laptop I want is there.
In the meantime, there’s a couple other things I have to pick up while I’m at Walmart, so knowing that the laptop is $299.99 I go to get the rest of my needs. And, maybe, just maybe, Jebediah will be on break when I get back…
Images courtesy of:
Laptop display: www.bradleyfarless.com
Iphone 4s: www.techradar.com