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.