Friday, 6 November 2009

Upsetting the staff

Last week,Mrs S looked at my sorry old Thinkpad and vouchsafed; "Bill, we need a new laptop." I was a bit reluctant myself, being only a mere male and quite comfortable with the unashamed chunkiness of my aging 600e. However, words have been exchanged on the matter, and in the interests of domestic harmony we have purchased seven hundred Canadian dollars (Including tax and Recycling fee) worth of Toshiba L510. 4Gb Ram, 320gb HDD DVD/RW and all the rest. Did we want a Netbook? No. Did our budget run to a Mac? No. So the Toshy it was.

This model was chosen for it's portability, convenience and reputation. We could have had a bigger screen, but chose not to, we could have had a full size keyboard, but well, the overall decision was that Mrs S didn't like the bigger keyboard. Neither of us are gamers, so the faster video cards were a waste of resources, and as for purchasing Microsoft Office - well the overall agreement was "Nah." Which I'm sure will be a cause for much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the ranks of Microsoft stockholders. Not.

Armed with this decision, this morning we entered one of the local computer stores which had the L510 featured as one of their sale offers. We were greeted by a different sales person from the one we had been dealing with on the previous two days, who did not seem to realise that we knew exactly what we wanted and no more, thank you. We were offered a particular anti-virus programme for only a few dollars more. I said no thank you. We were offered for only two hundred dollars the stores extended warranty. I said no thank you. Ooh sir and ma'am you just have to have the miniature USB mouse with the extendable lead. No, I said, we already have two. Well you have to have an anti-surge protector. Erm, no thank you, said I, we already have one. You could see this particular sales assistant becoming ever more determined to reel off her spiel about what we had to purchase. The face tightened, and she was almost fanatically resolved to tell us obviously non technical people who knew nothing about computers. Yeah, right. Despite me having imaged, configured, diagnosed and repaired more laptops and desktops than I can comfortably think about over the past fifteen years. She had her conned-by-book recitation to regale us proles with, and didn't catch the meaningful looks from the senior sales staff who I had spoken to at some length the day before.

We were lectured on how to set up the laptop and treated to an almost finger wagging performance of; you-will-not-interrupt-the-setup-process. Not to mention; you-will-not-clean-the-screen-with-windex. Until we poor peasants were allowed to part with out money and leave the store with our precious merchandise. I was trying not to roar with laughter, but my better half gave me one of her 'Don't you dare Bill' looks, so I kept my mouth clamped firmly shut. She knows me too well does my wife. I would have happily stood there and gently taken the piss all afternoon. Of such things are our daily amusements constructed.

Afterwards we were so exhausted from the whole performance that we just had to go and get a cup off coffee and a bun.

What was it Alexander Pope once wrote? "A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring." As applicable to sales assistants as to the rest of us. Hi ho. Time to go get dressed up and off to in laws for feeding this evening.

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