It's all a matter of perspective.

Friday, May 23, 2003

The Guitar Center in Little Rock is a wonderland of shiny beautiful playthings. They have all kinds of stuff I want to take home, but they also have the lousiest sales staff in the history of the world. They are a lazy, juvenile, uninformed bunch of dolts with rock-and-roll hair and lip piercings. I try to give them my money, but they won’t take it. Consider my last three visits to the store:

About six months ago I got a postcard from Guitar Center touting the latest sale. Looking down the list of sale items, I found a nice PC sound card at a very reasonable price. I could use one of those. So I went down to the GC and strolled past the instruments into the Pro Audio department. I brought along my sale flier just in case. I pointed to the sound card and said, “I would like to buy one of those.”

The salesman huffed and sighed and slithered over to his computer terminal. He punched a few buttons and made a few clicks. Finally without looking up he said, “It says here that we have one left, but it is in the back.”

“That will be great, I’ll take it.”

He said that he would go in the back and get it in just a few minutes. Then he started talking to another customer. After a few minutes I tapped him on the shoulder and said, “I am going to go play some guitars. I’ll check back in a few minutes.”

He replied, “I am going to the back right now,” then he turned on his heels and went through the back door.

After about twenty minutes of playing on several lovely guitars, I decided I needed to get going. I went back over to Pro Audio. As I got to the counter, my salesman came through the door from the back holding not a sound card, but a bag from Taco Bell. I asked him if he had any luck finding it. He said no, but he had another guy still looking back there. I told him I would go back to playing guitars and check back in a few minutes.

Twenty minutes later I went back in there to find him finishing up his burritos behind the counter. He looked at me like he was surprised I was still there. No sound Card. I left.

A few months later I went in there with a friend who needed some strings. While he was shopping I got to chatting up one of the salesmen. This was a Saturday about 5:00 in the afternoon. The salesgeek told me that they had not sold a guitar all day long. As a matter of fact, they had done about thirty dollars worth of business all day. “If you ever want to buy a guitar, today is the day to talk us into a deal.”

So I went and found a lovely Taylor Acoustic. The price tag said $1800. “What kind of deal would you like to cut me on this one?” I asked.

“We’ll give you that guitar for $1800”

“$1800 is what the sticker says.”
“Ok, you drive a hard bargain. $1800 cash and I will pay your sales tax for you.”

“I know why you haven’t sold any guitars, you don’t want to sell any.”

“Ok, fine. But this is as low as I can possibly go. How does $1750 sound?”

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon. Guitar Center is running a special. Fifteen months no interest on your Guitar Center Credit Card. Dan has one of those. He has wanted to buy some stuff for the studio, so we went over to see what we could find.

Dan went into serious money spending mode as soon as we walked in. He started grabbing snakes, microphones, cables, and anything else that looked interesting. You only get one shot at this “no interest” deal, so might as well make it count. The whole time we are placing all of this stuff in a pile on the front counter next to the cash register. There are two sales guys just staring at us. The only thing that they will say is, “Y’all ready to check out yet.”

Finally they just start ringing the stuff up. At this point we have about $1000 worth on the counter.

Dan says, “Do you have any Mackie M90s.”

“Nope, all sold out.” The salesdolt replies.

“Can you order me one?” Dan persists.


“Can you put it on this ticket so it will be on the no interest deal?”

“I don’t know.”

“Can you find out?”


“Well, we are going to go play on some guitars. Page me when you get it figured out and we will come finish checking out.”

You know what happened. We played guitars until closing time. We checked back with the sales guy twice. He never gave us a straight answer about the M90. At closing time we left. As we were getting in the truck the sales manager comes running out of the building yelling, “Hey wait. Where are you guys going? Are you not going to get your stuff? What is the matter?”

We told him the story. He tried to act like we were the assholes.

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