There are times when being blunt and direct aren’t always the correct choice for the situation. I know what you’re thinking, that isn’t the Brutor way, but it’s a common misconception that we are just ignorant and uncouth brutes, devoid of a mind filter, speaking our thoughts as quickly as we can formulate them. No, we are actually quite the introspective thinkers, directing our passions and energies into everything we do, including our conversations with others. Never forget that.
I had always been a tinkerer, be it hardware or software. I was always interested in the next great thing to come out that would provide me with any advantage, whether that be a new ship part, a new marketing strategy, a shift in political events, or a juicy tip on my enemies. To that end, I had found myself at a local software vendor, looking for a release date.
“May I help you, sir?” the boy began.
I should comment here on the overall stereotype of technology shop owners. There were three categories:
- The technogeeks that were able to acquire anything legal or otherwise and knew their trade inside out. They often could make aftermarket modifications to everything they sold, again at a premium.
- Those were passionate about technology, but lacked business savvy. They could tell you everything you needed to know about a product, but were literally quoting verbatim from any information available on GalNet. They were proactive thinkers, often didn’t make good money, and weren’t really up to dealing on the same level as most capsuleers.
- The shop junior, undereducated, making minimum wage, never talked to a member of the opposite sex, thinks they know everything but it becomes quickly evident they know nothing.
I was dealing with Stereotype #3.
“May I help you, sir?” the boy began.
“Yes, I was wondering if you could tell me the release date for the Boundless Creation Edition Aura OS update?” I replied politely.
“We should have a date for that. Let me check the system.” he replied, turning his attention to the monitor at his side.
He spent a while looking at his screen, probably searching for the relevant information. My gaze wandered around the shop while I waited, noticing many varied and interesting items that caught my interest.
“Do you know which edition you’re looking for?” he asked after a few more moments.
I resisted the urge to react in a derogatory manner. The shop wasn’t busy, but I didn’t know this kid. Maybe he was having a bad day. Maybe his thoughts were elsewhere. For minimum wage that could be afforded. It would be entirely different for me. Lives were lost when my attention wavered. But who was I to hold anyone to my own skewed standards?
“Boundless Creation Edition please.” I replied evenly.
I had hoped for at least some acknowledgement that I had already stated that, some form of comprehension beyond the immediate second, but received none. A few more moments passed at the monitor.
“It’s coming out on June 12. Does that work for you?” he asked.
I blinked twice, stunned at the question. What did he mean “does that work for me?” Did I have an option here? Could I demand that Boundless Creation finish their product sooner? That they respond to me directly, a single consumer, and do it when I want it, not when they have already planned to release a stable build? Or was he intimidated by me? Did he realize I was a capsuleer and just wanted to please me? I understand that many normal folks held us in awe, but his body language didn’t show that. Was he just dimwitted, continually asking inane questions because he didn’t know better? Did I respond sarcastically to help educate him on customer service? Would it be a waste of my time and energy?
“Sir?” he asked, as I analyzed my many options.
“Yes, that’s fine. Thank you.” I said, waving goodbye as I left the store. There was no reciprocated farewell.
It left me thinking though, have the standards in our community deteriorated to the point where this kind of shoddy service was typical? Should we, as the consumers that keep these vendors in business, tolerate such behaviour and just suck it up? Or should we do something, say something, offer feedback so as to improve both the service we receive as customers and to better improve the business prospects of the vendor?
Maybe I was just getting old. Ah well, too much time spent on things that didn’t really matter in the end.
Maybe consider there were other Editions out or one coming out soon so if it wasn’t ok with you he could then offer/tell you about them as alternate options.
The last time I stepped into a specialty shop, I was struck by the polar opposite. Being in a fairly safe and prosperous station in Federation space, where we pride ourselves in true free trade, I knew I would most likely encounter hired help. If a resourceful Gallentean isn’t expanding his own venture or busy seizing new opportunities, he’s out spending it! So whatever buffoon were to be placed in charge of this particular operation, owned by the latter, I should add, would merely detain be shortly, as I knew what I needed, yet was entirely dependant on how familiar this person was with their inventory. As I ducked the neon security filter (damn things always left a violet afterimage) I was greeted by a hostile grimace, that transformed into a boyish grin and unprofessional, “Hey!”
I likewise greeted him and used his name. He cupped his empty hands and laid them back on the counter. Between them I noticed my pre-order ready, the clean crisp manual resting on top of it. “Ah, knew I was coming, eh?”
“Today is the release date,” he answered squarely. I walked out on this occasion, as I have on many, wondering why the concupiscent rest and the noblest lack ambition. Surely, it is a mystery that will doom us, if the understanding of it continues to escape us.