Today I got my itty bitty Roku box. I named it Franklin because it asked for a name. After tearing open the package and giving a cursory glance at the instructions, I discovered that I needed and HDMI cable. This cable is to internet TV things as that cable is to a printer. It’s the one thing you need to make the whole package work but is sold separately, and nobody usually tells you how necessary it is and you only discover it when you try to get your new shit to work.
If I were the Roku or Amazon copywriter, I’d say right on the product page “this comes with everything you need except for an HDMI cable which is sold separately.”
So, of course because I am impatient and hardly going to wait another entire day to get an $8 cable from Amazon, I wheeled on down to the local Best Buy store to pick one up. It’s 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday so the place was a ghost town, except for all the employees. There were two dudes manning the door making sure you don’t steal any shit or bring in illegal contraband, one dude working the cash register, and a bunch of dudes shooting the shit over in cell phones or car stereos or something.
Jaycie and I made our way to the back of the store to Home Audio & Video where we wandered aimlessly looking for the cable. It seems that Best Buy employees have that special radar that allows them to avoid the people who actually need help. Back in the olden days when I’d go there to buy CDs, you’d be swarmed by three or four people offering to help you with their tricky alphabetical organization system.
After wandering a few rows, we finally found the cable ($24!) and made our way to the cashier. There was, of course and understandably, only one person working the checkout. Jaycie and I took our place in line and while she fondled the mini-pillow pets (why does Best Buy sell Pillow Pets?), I eavesdropped on the checkout dude. Dude was giving the hard push to the woman buying a digital camera on all the extra crap Best Buy wants you to tack on to your electronic purchase. Of course, why he needed to go into extended detail when there were two other people waiting in line is beyond me. But push he did, and I started to time the interaction. . . two minutes. At this point he called for some backup.
Two minutes after the initial call for help another dude wandered up to the checkouts. After trying to login or turn on two cash registers, Dude #2 finally found one that worked, and the lady in front of me took her Cisco router over to him. Dude #1 was still trying to sell crap to the digital camera lady.
Dude #2 took the router from the other woman. “Is this really the one you want?” he asked.
“Yeah, it’s the one they said to get,” the woman said.
“Who?” Dude #2 asked, giving her a skeptical look.
“Those guys back there.” She waved her hand in the general direction of the router aisle.
“Oh.” Dude #2 said and made another disapproving face.
“I wanted a Linksys because that’s what I have now, but you don’t have it,” the woman explained. “Those guys said to get this one.”
“Well. . . ” Dude #2 said and sighed.
Sadly, the woman didn’t drop the fucking router on the counter and walk out. That’s what she should have done. I missed the rest of the transaction because it was finally my turn with Dude #1 who only tried to pitch the Best Buy Rewards card to me once.
Next time, I’m cooling my goddamn jets, saving the $16, and ordering from Amazon.