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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

You're about to flip my Ass switch!

Posted on March 13, 2010 at 12:29 PM

I like to *think* that I like people. Not all people of course, but as a general rule, that, when push comes to shove, I like people more often than I don’t.  And I like to begin interactions in the manner of our judicial system; I’m going to assume that you’re OK until you prove to me otherwise. At which point, I’m liable to become an Ass. And, really, it’s your own fault. So, here are 10 ways to avoid flipping my Ass switch.

1)     I love a good debate, and if you’re passionate about something, let’s have at it. But don’t argue with me on things you don’t know anything about. (And I really don't take, "Well, you may be right" as a great consolation prize.) This is primarily a work related issue, but can certainly extend into other areas as well. For instance, don’t tell me how horrible Stephen King is if you’ve NEVER bothered to read one of his books. Or that 7-channel surround doesn’t make any difference when you’ve never owned one.

2)     At CTA people often want to come in and tell me that brand X is the best.  Usually, that is not the case. (I know you love your Bose 901s, but they ARE NOT HIGH END!) At this point in my A/V career, I think I am qualified to call myself an expert. I don’t know about tort reform or the ins-and-outs of the health care situation, but I DO know A/V. Like *really* well. It isn’t unusual for companies to reach out to me for info. You reading a blog or posting to the “Pannies are the best!!!” forum does not make you an authority.

3)     Along with #2, do NOT tell me what the guy at Best Buy or Costco told you. That makes me start to hate you and begins your journey down the yellow brick road to Asstown. I don’t consider those guys experts and certainly not my peers, so because he told you that this is just as good as that, doesn’t mean dick to me. Look, if you think you need a special cable for your 120-Hertz refresh TV, fine. But when I tell you that you don’t, YOU DON’T! And, "Well, all I know is what he told me" just confirms what I'm thinking. That IS all you know. What the guy making $10 an hour who probably doesn't even own one told you.

4)     Please, PLEASE do not tell me what you read in Consumer Reports. I think they are a fine publication, but they are not the end-all A/V authority. If you want to buy that set because CR gave it a top rating, great, I want to sell it to you. But if you want to argue that it is the best thing in the world because of it, that deep sigh you hear is me checking out of our conversation.

5)     If you ask me a question, LISTEN TO THE ANSWER. Again, you came to me, I didn’t come to you. I didn’t seek you out at your business to talk about TVs and surround systems. You came to my store, and then, you asked me a question. When you see my mouth moving, that’s me answering your question and your cue to pipe down, pipey! If you just asked the question to hear yourself talking, I suggest just staying in your car out in the parking lot until you get it all out of your system.

            a.      Subpoint: If I say I don’t know, then I don’t know. You don’t need to keep asking me or try rephrasing it in a different manner or sketch a drawing on a piece of paper. It's not that I didn't understand you or that the part of my brain that interprets English suddenly went on strike. It's that I don't know.  For instance, I don’t know why you can’t hear your TV’s audio. It could be like 10 different things, and I’m not going to explain each thing it could be because, well, let’s be honest, I don’t think that you’ve got the savvy to pull it off.

6)     You don’t have to keep telling me the same thing. I heard you the first time, ditto the second time, was totally squared-away on it by the third time, and will become an Ass on the fourth and subsequent times. Case in point, guy comes into the store a couple of days ago and asks about locating surround speakers.  No joke, he describes him room layout like TEN different times. Each time I’m like, “Yeah, you definitely need in ceiling surround speakers.” And each time he’d reply, “Really? You think so? I mean, this is how my room is laid out….” Finally I took a long pause. Just standing there looking at him for like 5 seconds saying nothing. And then I said, “I’ve told you that you need in-ceiling speakers like 10 times now. If you just want me to say you need on-wall speakers, then tell me.”

7)     Unless you are a frequent or really big-ticket customer, don’t act all shocked and put-out if I don’t remember that you bought a $50 volume control 3 years ago or if I can’t recall the intricate hook-up of your surround system that I connected back in 2005. I've done MANY other jobs since then.

8)     Don’t tell me how much you saw it for on the Internet. I’m not the Internet. If you’re going to go and buy it on the Internet to save $100, then go do it and don’t bother me with it. When you say “Internet” I hear “I’m not going to buy anything from you and am just hear to suckle from your time and resources before giving my money to someone else.”  On top of that I’m also thinking “Please, if there is justice in the universe, let his ID be stolen and let the product never arrive. Selah!”

9)     If you’re from a different A/V store or you’re a competitor, don’t skulk around my store asking probing questions like you’re a customer. I can tell. My actual customers don’t ask what I think about this brand of automation system or want to know all the lines we carry and where we do the majority of our work. Be honest. I would totally respect a, “Hi. I’m XXX from blah-blah audio. I’ve always wanted to check out your store. Do you mind if I look around?” I won’t mind.

10)  Just because something is too expensive for you, please don’t call it stupid. Maybe YOU’RE the one that is stupid because you don’t have enough money to buy it. Yeah. That’s right. So, yes, a Kaleidescape movie server is VERY expensive. So are the B&W Diamond speakers we show. No, they aren’t for everyone. Neither is a Ferrari or Aston Martin, but those fortunate enough to enjoy them aren’t stupid.

Message ends.....


Categories: Mar 2010, Rants, CTA

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1 Comment

Reply Rob Medich
5:32 PM on March 18, 2010 
Suggested post sequel: What flips John's ass-switch outside of work. Also that phrase "ass-switch"--Dude, if you're using that phrase, your subconscious is trying to tell you something (don't ask me what--I'm no shrink)