Saturday, January 21, 2006

Retail Rage

I dipped a toe into the world of High street techno retail today when I visited Edinburgh. I wanted a pair of comfy earphones for my beautiful new iPod nano - having nano ears I actually find the usual tiny in-ear jobs excruciatingly painful. As every second person under a certain age appears to walk about plugged into their music, I was sure I'd find what I needed.

Now, I perhaps should have heeded Neil's recent post when he commented
"Dixons - surely a definition of hell, with some strident beep echoing round the store every ten seconds and a weary collection of merchandise - was utterly useless (Can anyone tell me how, exactly, Dixons prospers? Parent company DSG International announces interim results on January 18, and I'll be very interested to see if - in today's testing high street environment - they show any signs of suffering from the dire, dire shopping experience they offer)." -
but it was raining and time was of the essence and I didn't. And so I schlepped into Dixon's in Princes Street.

I had found some of the over-ear thingys I sought, from a rather tiny variety, when I was assailed (though that's rather a strong word for the half-hearted interaction it describes) by a youth in a uniform wondering if he could help. Actually, it appeared not. Every question I asked, he peered vainly at the packaging to see if the answer was to be found there. No, there were no more models available - only this wee row I was looking at. As I succumbed and indicated I'd take the ones I first thought of, he half-heartedly gave me a bit of paper with a number on it - to give to the cashier. Apparently this would earn him Brownie points, or something.

The check-out girl had a bit more going for her. To cut a longish story short, she directed me to the row of other makes further up the shop, and I managed to find a pair which I can now reveal work a treat. But if shops will insist on employing the dull-witted and the ignorant, is it too much to ask that they be kept away from the customers until they have had at least an orientation course? Maybe the boy was an impersonator? Probably not. Anyway, I'm afraid I shopped him. Number 40, your time's up.


  1. After the dog ate my iPod headphones (see Darth Tater photo for more details) I went searching for cheaper replacements. Someone recommended Koss Sparkplug earphones. I bought them and so far, I'm very pleased. To my ear, they sound as good as the iPod originals (although no doubt a hi-fi enthusiast would disagree), they were cheaper than real iPod headphones , I find them more comfortable to wear and they seem to stay in.

  2. Shame on you! Don't you remember what happened as a result of such an action in 'An Inspector Calls' ?

  3. Ah but, David - have you got decent sized earholes??

    And Don - not really, as I never read it, let alone taught it. I stuck to Shakespeare and Star Trek!

  4. David - I've just looked at your link. They look great - sort of soft and squidgy! But I've bought the over-the-ear headphone type now - very comfy.

  5. Anonymous3:10 PM

    I was in a shop one day and I met the most dull-witted and ignorant person I had ever met, I couldn't help but stare, after a while I realised I was looking into a full length mirror.
    In a fit of rage I broke the mirror
    and through the shards I could see
    a whimpering frightened sad and sorry excuse for a human being strangely the number 4 was branded on his forehead I knew immediately that this was also me.

  6. Ok, Jimmy and Don - you got to me! I'll try to curb my rage in the future.

  7. Anonymous3:10 PM

    I've just realised how this blogger milarky works. Quite right... I'd have shopped him as well. Do you have the kind of headphones that go behind your ears? I hate the original ipod ones, mind you, doesn't help that I am completely deaf in one ear and the little bit that holds them in got cut off!

  8. The phones I bought wrap round the individual ears and are held together by a wee retracting cord. Take a look at the ones David mentions above.