I don’t advocate buying a computer (or just about anything, for that matter) from some Big Box Stores. They are fine places to browse, but I personally don’t like to reward their staffs Ageist attitudes or lack of knowledge by buying something from them.
I do, however, enjoy wandering through some of these stores just to see the immense variety of new product that is available. These stores are also great places to play my favourite shopping game – Sales Associate Stalking. The rules of this game are simple. I walk into a Big Box Electronic Store, go to the computer department, stand in front of the most expensive computer they sell, look perplexed, and then see how long it takes for a sales associate to approach me.
I have discovered that a grey haired lady like myself can often wait until “Hell Freezes Over” before a sales associate will approach. This is where the stalking part of the game starts. I go looking for the clump of associates who have attached themselves to the good looking blonde buying a cheap printer. I approach them, and the excess sales staff quickly disperses in all directions. But now and then, I actually catch the slowest one, and I pepper him with questions for a few minutes to see if he actually knows anything about the products he is selling. (I say “he” because the bulk of the staff is of that gender, it seems. Why aren’t there hardly any “shes” selling this kind of stuff?)
The Associate often knows very little about the product. And they certainly don’t know anything about customers who have money, or they wouldn’t ignore me and my ilk. In all fairness, however, I occasionally meet an Associate who defies my expectations, and I learn a few things I didn’t know about a product. That is a good shopping day when that happens, but not so good for the points score of my game.