It’s not often you get to witness the total evisceration of another human being while waiting in line for a merchandise exchange. But today, it happened. At Microcenter.
I have a real love-hate relationship with this particular retailer. The array of computer products makes me positively giddy, but, each time I go, the staff sets new standards for complete ineptitude. I once bought a scanner from a man who could barely speak English, and this other time the salesman talked my boyfriend into buying a 15″ case for a 13″ laptop. Waiting in line takes about as long as getting a cavity filled, and yes, you can bet, it’s just as painful. If you need somebody to help you there’s nobody around, but if you’re set on your own they swarm to you like flies, and (I swear!) they will only let women ring register. I’ve never seen a girl on their salesfloor. Walking in there is like playing roulette with close-range paintballs. You’ve gotta brace yourself for the worst.
Given all this, it gave me a sick kind of pleasure today to listen as this bespectacled middle-aged woman gave the manager hell. She was also unhappy with the level of customer service we were being provided, but, unlike me, she wasn’t about to take it lying down. “What is your MANAGEMENT STRATEGY to deal with this?” She howled, referring to the extra-long queue at the drop-off counter. “Why don’t you just HIRE MORE PEOPLE?”
“Ma’am, we’re trying to do your best for people, we have strict tests-”
“Don’t give me EXCUSES!” She shrieked. Her voice quavered, as though she were on the edge of hysteria.
“- we have strict tests to ensure that our associates are qualified. We get over a hundred applications a week, but people can’t pass the tests!”
Tests? TESTS? They TEST these people? Like, the one guy couldn’t even do basic MATH – there is NO WAY a 13″ MacBook Pro is going to fit in a 15″ case – and, while listening to the argument, I watched another salesclerk count $1,200 (in twenties) at least seven times. I mean, fuck, they don’t even answer the PHONE half the time when you call! What kind of tests could they possibly be GIVING, and who are these “unqualified applicants”? AMOEBAS?? I mean, seriously!
Eventually, the manager turned tail and fled, and, eventually, I made it to the counter to exchange my laptop sleeve for a spindle of CD-Rs. “Maybe you should apply for a job at Microcenter,” I suggested to B! on the way out the door. He said he didn’t know. I mean, we hear they have this really hard test.