Here’s a scenario for you:
You go to the pharmacy to pick up some more laxatives. Your conversation sounds like this:
You: “Hello, sir.”
You: “Say, have you ever tried these PooParade brand laxatives?”
Clerk: “Uh… no… I haven’t”
You: “Well, let me tell you they work. I use them and boy oh boy did I poop. I mean, I had the most wonderful poop of my life. I pooped the way I imagine celebrities poop. It was bliss for my bum, that’s what it was. Colon, rectum and anus all in perfect harmony like some sort of poop syzygy. It was magical, my friend.”
Clerk: “um… k.”
You: “Yessir, I couldn’t believe it. Ooh, how about those Runnington Stool Softeners, huh?”
Pretty gross right? But it proves a point I want to make:
When you’re at a pharmacy or grocery, you don’t immediately assume that everyone who works there has experience with or even interest in every SINGLE product.
So why do we insist on doing that at stores that focus around entertainment?
I work at a comic shop, currently, and have worked at electronics stores in the past. I cannot tell you how many movie, TV show, video game and book endings or plot points have been spoiled for me. I cannot begin to list the amount of hours that have been dedicated to someone trying to riff with me about a plot point of which I know nothing about. It’s crazy to me the amount of people that come in, go “hey, have you read this obscure 90s comic about a monkey detective?” to which I respond “lul, no” and they still proceed to ask things like “can you believe what happened to his wife?” or “Man, I can’t believe he turned out to actually be a chimp that whole time.”
Movies, video games and comics have been around for years. DECADES. Almost a CENTURY for movies (going off the advent of talkies, because honestly… silent era blows). Each year tons upon tons of these things are released into the world for our enjoyment, it is physically impossible for someone to watch and read every single bit of entertainment that is in existence. But, for sake of argument, let’s make up fake numbers (hey kids, if Congress can do it, so can we!). If, say, only 100 movies are released every year since 1927, which is egregiously low (Asylum makes 100 movies every two days or so), and each movie is only an hour and a half long (sorry Peter Jackson), that is still over 13000 hours of movies that someone would have to watch in order to know every single thing you were talking about. That’s almost a year and a half of movie watching, not counting for sleep, food preparation and pee/poop (this is a very bathroom heavy post…). Impossible, unless said person decided gorging on film was preferable to having a job, which would put them at home instead of in whatever store you go to which would negate the point of needing to gorge on movies because they wouldn’t have you standing there about to tell them what’s in the BOOOOOX.
Just please, PLEASE don’t assume that one singular person who works at a store is familiar with and/or is interested in every single title on the shelves. Ask first. And if they’re not, don’t get upset or frustrated. Only be upset if there isn’t a single person in the shop that can help or answer your questions. People tend to specialize, and though the individual you’re talking to may not know much about sound systems, they may know who does.
Don’t get me wrong, we do love to strike up conversation when we can, even regarding things of which we are unfamiliar. We can postulate and maybe connect it to things we do know. You just have to be willing to make it a conversation, not “hey, let me scream plot theories and spoilers at this wall for a second.”
But if you start going off on your own tangent, or spoiling endings to things we clearly just said we hadn’t seen yet, or asking us repeated questions after we’ve already said we aren’t super familiar with that title, then, much like the pharmacy example, you’re just going to be standing there talking about shit that we’d rather not hear about.
So, what do you folks think? Have you ever had someone blatantly assume that your position at a retail establishment automatically qualifies you as an expert on each and every one of the millions of products the store sells? Any retail stories related to this point? Let me know!