Curious retail practice

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by DavidM1, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Tele-Holic

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    I called into a Sam Ash near here. It was during the day and as far as I could see empty apart from a few staff. A young guy helped me out with the guitar I was looking for and set me up at an amp. An older sales guy found a 2nd hand similar model to try. All good!

    Curiously, the older guy then sat on the other side of the amps only a few feet away, plugged in and played loudly and continuously while I’m checking out the two guitars. He didn’t seem to be doing anything in particular and it went on and on. It made it almost impossible to hear the guitars I was trying. This was so weird. After a long time I eventually mentioned it to the younger guy and he stopped.

    Was it:
    1. Just some oblivious guy? ... it didn’t seem like that because he seemed quite switched on to the potential sale and brought out the other guitar.
    2. Some strange way of trying to put some “vibe” in the empty store?
    3. Something else selling related? I’ve no idea.
     
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  2. Pixie-Bob

    Pixie-Bob Tele-Meister

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    Why didn't you ask him?
     
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  3. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    Cluelessness. It’s rampant.
     
  4. KWal

    KWal Tele-Meister

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    Impromptu jam session for a guy who sits twiddling his thumbs mist of the day?
     
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  5. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Holic

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    He was likely sizing up your skills to stroke his own ego.
     
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  6. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    as "we" continue to evolve, somethings get left behind, like common courtesy.... I see people doing things every day that when I was "kid" my parents would have smacked me in the "haid" in a heartbeat...

    as result there exists a whole generation and a half that grew up without the annoyance of being courteous getting drilled into their heads...

    r
     
  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I’m former sales guy, and doing what the guy did is exactly the wrong thing.
    Another thing you should never do is “show off”.
    Sales buddy should be “clued in”, or fired outright.
    I had a co-worker at my last job who loved to do the same thing, and he got canned for it.
    He could play, but didn’t know when not to.
    Idjit!
     
  8. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Guitar stores provide a venue for people to show off who don't have other, more "normal" outlets (like onstage with a band). There are a lot of guys who think playing is a competition, and can't help but picking up and outplaying another person who has a guitar in his/her hands. I'm guessing the guy has some insecurities; probably owns a big huge brodozer too. Only makes sense that a few would land jobs at music stores since that's their hangout.

    Every once in a while I make the mistake of going into my local Guitar Center on Saturday. I'd guess there's been at least half a dozen times over the years I was ready to buy and didn't because I couldn't plug in at low volume and hear myself.

    If I owned a store, I wouldn't put up with that crap from the customers, let alone one of the employees. You truly shopping for an instrument? Sure, here's an amp at reasonable volume. You want to turn up and wank and have no desire to buy? Take a hike.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
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  9. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's

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    I don't know anything about Sam Ash's current business but I do know that many business's, large and small, have just stopped putting any resources (money/time) into "customer service" training, awareness and maintenance. Entire staffs and departments in many/most business' have been entirely eliminated or have been so scaled back as to only be paying lip service to "service".

    Clearly the "older salesperson" was clueless but the bigger picture is that the business had no "on the floor supervision" to check the floor personnel's performance. Trying to sell a guitar without giving the customer the opportunity to enjoy trying the guitar? Imagine going to take a test drive at a BMW or Chevy dealer and you can't take the test drive because another salesman was joy riding in the parking lot.
     
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  10. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, it was just absent-minded of him. Wrong to do, and would probably tick off any supervisor with half a brain, but that's all it was.

    And the simple fact is that most of retail these days finds it easier to hire and fire than to find, train and retain the sort of employee they want.
     
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  11. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    You're all overlooking the obvious.....the older guy was clearly passive/aggressive. In my limited experience, many (not all) guitar store employees are frustrated rock star "wannabees". They don't understand why the public isn't beating a path to their door, throwing fists full of cash at them....and they're angry about it. I don't know what you look or act like, but for some reason he resented you on some level. Sorry you were the target of his anti-social behavior. Typically, along with passive/aggression goes a degree of narcissism, meaning he is likely completely unaware of what he was doing. If you gave up and left without buying a guitar, he probably told the younger guy, "See...I told you he was just a wanker.....he wasn't serious about a guitar anyway." He will never admit HE was the reason you left.
     
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  12. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire

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    And by “easier” I believe you mean “cheaper.”
     
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  13. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I would have handed the guitar to the attending sales clerk, walked over to the jamming clerk, commended him on his playing, and suggested that he needed to buy that guitar to make up for the lost sale of a guitar to you. Then, I would have looked at the attentive sales clerk and suggested that a meeting with the manager might be needed so that all employees could be made to understand that customers are what keep the paychecks coming.
     
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  14. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    Yup. This is the way of the world today, within all of retail. Margins are so small, retailers cut back on staff, and cut back on pay, so what you are often left with is kids and no-nothings who really don't care. On one level you can't blame them since they are getting paid squat and it's really not a "career" type job. There are exceptions, of course. Independently owned stores are usually (not always) way better at customer service, and more knowledgeable. But the market has steadily been squeezing them out. Brick-and-mortar retailers, in trying to compete on price with online retailers, have lost the very thing that should be their advantage: personal service, and ability to touch and experience the merchandise. The OP story highlights a store that failed at BOTH. And this kind of thing seems to be nearly universal.
     
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  15. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Tele-Holic

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    I could have I suppose but I asked the younger guy if they had an amp room where I could plug in and he jumped in to quieten the other chap so the opportunity didn’t really arise. Not a big problem but it left me curious as to what it was about.

    The younger guy was very helpful.
     
  16. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Afflicted

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    Being an "older guy" and coming from a different era, I can relate to what he was doing.
    You said the "younger guy" handed you a guitar, set up an amp and left. (That's a common chain store employee practice. Do as little as you have to.)
    The "older guy" grabbed a similar guitar and started playing "loudly".
    Maybe the "older guy" was trying to jam with you, give you some accompaniment so that you'd have a better idea what the guitars could do.
    This caused you to seek out "the younger guy" who you apparently complained to and the "older guy" stopped.
    Impromptu jam sessions used to be common in music stores. Strangers actually spoke to each other and jammed together right there in the store. It is a sharing experience, meant to be a good thing.
    But today, it appears people want solitude and little interaction with other people.
    Too bad.

    If you wanted privacy, why didn't you just ask for a soundproof room? Most big box guitar stores have them. And if there is someone already in there, they will usually tell them politely that someone else is waiting to use the room.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
  17. Verne Bunsen

    Verne Bunsen Tele-Afflicted

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    I dunno, lots of people reading this lots of ways. Heck, maybe the guy was half deaf and had no idea he was playing loudly. No telling what the guy was thinking, but I am of the mind that something along the lines of, “pardon me sir, would you please turn down your amp so I can hear this guitar I’m evaluating” would probably have sufficed. Odd behaviour on his part? Definitely. Comment on society? Maybe, maybe not.
     
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  18. tlsmack

    tlsmack Tele-Afflicted

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    For better or for worse, the larger stores have pretty generous return policies. If they cannot provide the ability for customers to demo gear in store, just demo it at home. Then I can get the B stock discount when you return it!!!!! :D
     
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  19. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm with Verne here.

    You should have asked him to turn down. He probably wasn't aware he was interfering with your experience.

    Clueless? Perhaps. But I'm not so quick to infer some horrid social commentary about humanity in the modern era.

    We're musicians... Almost by definition we don't have all the same level of social polish as so called "normal" people.

    One of my favorite quotes is, "The loopy musician thing isn't always an act."

    It's definitely accurate in my case.

    Next time, just ask the guy. My guess is that he had no idea that he was bothering you, and would probably feel embarrassed.
     
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  20. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Tele-Holic

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    Don’t read too much into the terms older and younger. There was probably about ten years between them and both were younger than me. I don’t think it was about jamming. I’m not really sure what it was about. I really was trying to find a guitar at the time. I visited another two shops after this one and eventually bought one online a day later.
     
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