I had to make a quick stop at Sam Ash today, and the experience reminded me of why I usually avoid shopping there.
Today's agenda was to replace a mic cable for tonight's gig. Simple enough. It generally takes me 1-2 minutes to order one online, but since I needed it today and I was passing Sam Ash anyway, I decided to buy it there. Here's how I think the transaction should have gone:
Step one) Enter store
Step two) Select mic cable from display rack which is located in easy-to-find and well-marked area.
Step three) check out
Assuming there's no line for the cashier, the entire procedure shouldn't take more than five minutes.
Here's what happens in "Sam Ash world."
Step one) Enter store
Step two) Wander into potential "mic cable section" of store.
Step three) Make eye contact with Sam Ash employees who are happily ignoring the only customer in their department.
Step four) Browse section looking for mic cables with no success.
Step five) Tell employee who finally deigns to offer help that I need a mic cable... with an on/off switch.
Step six) Try to explain to uncomprehending employee what "mic cable with on/off switch" means.
Step seven) Follow employee to another department where mic cables are located.
Step eight) Wait for said employee to give you mic cable.
Step nine) Ask said employee, who is seemingly just hanging around, for mic cable.
Step ten) Listen to employee explain that it's not his department.
Step eleven) Employee calls for assistance.
Step twelve) Another Sam Ash employee shows up and locates mic cable.
Step thirteen) Sam Ash employee locates "grabber" tool and takes cable down from hook on wall near ceiling.
Step fourteen) Original Sam Ash employee is wowed by concept of switch on cable and takes a moment to "check it out."
Step fifteen) Employees discuss who should get the credit for the sale. (They're paid on comission.)
Step sixteen) Employee enters item into computer.
Step seventeen) Employee manually fills out paper slip listing items purchased
Step eighteen) Employee instructs me to take said paper and the mic cable to the cashier.
Step nineteen) Cashier rings up sale on old-fashioned credit card unit, manually taking imprint of credit card.
Step twenty) Security guard -- who has watched checkout from about three feet away -- checks receipt to verify payment.
Step twenty one) Finally leave store, further commited to shopping elsewhere in the future.