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« Some New Postings and a Random Thought. | Main | Hopefully it means we can all live together on this Earth of ours no matter what we believe. »

December 18, 2005

Go and see "King Kong," Radio Shack Still Has Problems, and I Really Wanted to Like "The Family Stone."

By: The Dude on the Right
First off, and I'm hoping word of mouth will propel this movie, but for goodness sake if you are a fan of movies, or if you just like an entertaining movie, or you just want to spend about three hours immersed in a time of wonder, or if you might want to get weepy, or you are curious to see how movie-making has changed from the 1933 version to this version, go see "King Kong" at a theater near you.  It did okay at the box office this weekend, around $50 million, but not nearly the numbers the film studio was hoping for I'm sure.  But as movies come and go, I'm hoping "King Kong" has some staying power, kind of like "Titanic," because it deserves it.  I was this close to changing my mind and seeing it again today, instead of "Syriana,"  and between the two, "King Kong" is a million times more entertaining (although "Syriana" does challenge your mind a little more).  Fine, it's not for those under, probably 10 or 11 or so, but for everyone else, the dudes will love the action, the dudettes will love the sentimentality, and sure, you know how it ends, but you knew the Titanic sank and you still went to see that one.  "King Kong" in 2005 does not deserve to be a box office miss-step.  Enough preaching, now to Radio Shack, and this story will probably make this blog a little too long, but I've got to write what I've got to write, so let's get to it.

My podcast a few days spoke about my disappointment in visiting a couple of Radio Shack stores, and the lack of really getting me the items I needed.  I have to say that my experience yesterday was better, but at one store, still lacking, not because of the sales dudette not wanting to help me, but because of poor training in my eyes, and that's not a good thing as we come upon Christmas.  You see I've been working on this "not so high tech nor super high quality" portable podcast studio.  My goal is to be able to make a multiple person podcast on the road, and even get it posted, and all of it fitting in a nice case.  First necessity a laptop, and since it's the holiday season, I had that licked and at little bit of a break.  Other than the nice case, the rest of the parts should have been easily available at one or two of my local Radio Shack stores.  They sell basic microphones and a portable mixing board capable of either four microphones or two microphones and one line input.  They also sell the patch cables, wind screens for the microphones, and 9 volt batteries.  So last week I started my hunt, and at the first store I went to they had nothing I needed on display, nor the tags where the item might have been so I could inquire if they might have had it in the back room.  That and they didn't greet me.  Next stop the mall.  Not too busy, a couple of salespeople talking amongst themselves, and I give every indication I'm looking to buy something.  Yup, I found the mixer, but oddly enough the basic microphones were nowhere to be seen, and even though I picked up the mixer, was making sure it had all of the ports, plugs, outputs, that I needed, narry a sale-dude came over to ask me if I was interested in buying anything.  I don't play that game, especially since I know how the sales game should at least be played.  At the third store, I have to admit that the dude was nice enough, but upon telling him what I was looking for, and not checking in the back, or at least on the computer, he announced they didn't have any, but he could order them for me.  I wanted to buy, if I wanted to order I would do so on the web.

So yesterday I was on a mission, to finally get all of the damn things I needed.  I did some initial investigative work the day before, where at least the Radio Shack web site said a different store had, in stock as of Friday, the items I were looking for, and after seeing "The Family Stone," I headed the dude-mobile in the direction of that store.  Upon entering the store I was greeted by who seemed to be a newbie, mostly because she was younger and asked me a taught sales line of "Hello, what brings you into Radio Shack today?"  It's actually a good sales line, but most sales-folk forget it after a while, when they have become disgruntled as sales-folk, and just say something really generic like "Is there something I can help you find?"  Anyway, enough of my knowing sales technics.  Being a previous Manager of a Radio Shack, and knowing all of the things they used to look for in a saleperson at the end of the day at the corporate level, I figured, hoped, wanted this to be her easiest, sort of high ticket, multiple line item especially since it included a battery, and I might even spend the extra couple of bucks on the service plan to help her out, sale of the day.  I was her perfect customer, knowing exactly what I needed, knowing the Radio Shack product line, knowing she didn't know the add-on items like the wind screens and the battery needed for the mixer, and knowing that if I bought the couple of buck service plan on the microphones I could pretty much walk into a Radio Shack a couple of years from now, say the microphone wasn't working, and be given a new one on the spot.  But, sadly, her training was nowhere to be found, and I really felt bad for her.  She wasn't really sure of the mixer I was looking for, but there was one, in the box, on the shelf, so I nicely told her it was the first thing I was looking for.  Next, there weren't any microphones on the shelf, out of the box, nor the boxes for the microphones, so I nicely asked if that meant they were out of stock.  She didn't think they were, but they might be in the back, so she went to her manager, with the tag from the shelf that clearly said "Unidirectional Microphone," stating that I wanted two of them, and her manager said there were two microphone stands in the back room, somewhere on a top shelf.  The girl came back with the microphone stands and I had to crush her the first time by informing her I was looking for microphones, not mic stands, and I could hear the nervousness in her voice as she went back to her manager, who somewhat scolded her, then sent her back in the back room, where she came out with two microphones, and we proceeded to head to the counter, where I forgot all about the wind screens.  The girl starts ringing up the sale, finishes clicking on everything, and comes up with a total of a little over twenty bucks.  I'm too honest, and felt bad at this time because I also noticed she grabbed two different microphones that weren't even the mic's I was looking for, and nicely said "Something must be wrong."  Alright, enough rambling.  Still rattled, the girl went into the back room, turns out they only had one of the microphones I was looking for, and as I kept trying to be up-beat with her, that mistakes happen and all, I couldn't help but wonder what happened to at least the simple training that should be necessary in a store such as Radio Shack.  All the manager did, without doing it, was set up this girl, who seemed nice enough, and eager enough, to fail.  Finally I got smart, called another store saying I needed X number of these, X number of these, and one of these.  The dude, Alex, plugged the numbers into his computer, said the computer showed he had all of them but wanted to quickly check the back room to make sure the microphones were back there.  He came back on the line, said they were in stock, I told him I would be there soon, he nicely asked "Please ask for Alex when you come in," and he had the easiest sale of the day.  I still feel a little bad for the younger dudette from the earlier store, because she at least tried, much more than I can say for the stores before hers, and Alex either had a manager who really taught him the ropes getting into the holiday season, or at least just knew an easy sale when he saw it.

Look, I'm still a fan of the Shack, still know that when I need certain things I know where I can go, but from now on, I suppose if I'm really looking for something I should call first, doing all of the selling to myself, and just be bummed I'm not getting the commission or perks they used to give when I was there.

Well, that's enough lamenting about my Radio Shack struggles these days.  I've got a podcast yet to do on my mobile podcast studio and a Chicago Bears game to watch.  That and still get this blog, the podcast, and my review of "The Family Stone" posted.  There's never enough hours in a Sunday sometimes.

That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Posted by Rightdude at December 18, 2005 8:42 PM


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