It's time for a rant that I've been saving for some time now.
I spend more time these days walking the virtual aisles of Amazon.com than I do the aisles of a brick and mortar store. And I couldn't be happier. No lines, no travel, and no hassles from the sales staff. But I have become startlingly desensitized to the actual shopping experience. I recently went into the local Best Buy in the hopes of looking at a Canon A620. Not only did they not have a Canon A620, their camera selection was literally worse than the Wal-Mart next door (I know because I drove over there to look).
Immediately upon entering the Best Buy camera department, one of the oh-so-helpful sales staff came up and, unsurprisingly, asked if I needed help. I said no, he said OK, then followed that with something which I have yet to fully understand (he said it all so fast). The only part I truly remember were the words "non-commission." After realizing they didn't have what I wanted, I began to wander around the store aimlessly, pondering the Best Buy shopping experience as a whole.
The particular store I happened to visit is surprisingly small. As a result, each aisle is, quite literally no more than 2 or 3 feet wide. Two people can barely pass each other on any given aisle, making it difficult to even browse their merchandise. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the more obese shoppers occasionally get stuck, requiring the aid of the local rescue squad and the Jaws of Life to extract them from their predicament.
As I'm wandering around, I casually glance at their CD collection. They have absolutely nothing from my wish list. Which isn't too surprising, considering that I'm into some rather obscure music. But I've been to Best Buy stores in the past looking for the staples, stuff like Abbey Road and Pet Sounds, and they didn't have either. How shocking is that?
As I'm leaving the store, disappointed in my quest and vowing never to return, a Best Buy manager busily chased after another guy who was also leaving. This particular individual had a bag with what looked like both an item and a receipt, but the manager kept insisting on writing him a citation. If the local police force is turning to Best Buy employees for help, we're all doomed. Doomed I tells ya!
This final little charade a least brought a smile to my face. Something that the Best Buy shopping experience has never done. Or never will do. Why go to a store that doesn't have what I want, charges higher prices, is cramped, and has surly employees? Until I can find an answer to that question, I'll be doing my best to avoid all Best Buy outlet stores. I couldn't be happier.