Thursday, 10 March 2011

The customer is always right- at least when allowed an opinion.

Why hello Mr PC World man who was steadfastly ignoring me until you realised I was female and had a low cut top on. Yes, you can indeed see part of my cleavage -*gasp*- and yes I know I am the most devastatingly gorgeous woman you’ve seen in a very long time but here’s the deal – you can be a supermodel like I am and still not be a complete moron when it comes to buying a new laptop. To be fair to you I did look a little bit blank when you started prattling on about graphics cards and one of the questions towards the bottom of my list was going to be ‘does it come in any other colours’ but I’m still not an eejit.

You didn’t even give me a chance to explain what I wanted before you started trying pigeonhole me as a customer and then attempted to baffle me with your superior computer geek prowess. I’ve never worked in a computer shop before but I would have thought that a great jumping off point with a customer would be to ask what they were looking for rather than leaping in and recommending a machine which was the polar opposite to what they wanted.

I’d gone in to get a serious laptop for writing seriously grumpy articles and being a serious author on and here he was recommending me a tiny little notepad which was ‘perfect for online shopping and watching movies’ and ‘easily portable in a handbag’ because as a woman with her cleavage on display that’s all I’d be looking for, RIGHT?

After I explained what I wanted – word processing, internet, photo editing – along with some admittedly basic specs that I could remember about my current laptop he went so far in the other direction he almost combusted. It was almost as if he thought trying to blind me with facts and figures was a cunning ploy meaning I’d end up spending a squillion pounds on a supercomputer capable of plucking the thoughts out of my brain without effort on my part.

Then when he realised he’d gone beyond the realm of my knowledge and I was looking confused he had the cojones to suggest that perhaps I should pop back in when I had someone with me, subtext: you’re clearly an idiot who needs a big strong technologically minded man to complete this transaction you moron.

What really irritated me was that he didn’t even give me a chance to show him that I had more than two brain cells bobbing around inside my head. In an ideal world he would have asked what I was looking for, listened to my answers and then perhaps started to show off a little bit in terms of his technical knowledge whilst I looked suitably impressed. What I didn’t want was to be stereotyped as someone who would only be using it for online shopping and watching movies before being patronised to within an inch of my life when I couldn’t tell him the difference between two types of processors.

I hightailed it out of there with a sashay as fast as my heels could carry me and headed to my spiritual home of Johnnie Loulou’s in the hopes that they wouldn’t patronise me to within an inch of my life before expecting me to splosh a load of my wages in their establishment. I needn’t have worried because JL were fantastic and I’m now the proud owner of a shiny new laptop, in a girlie non-serious shade of cherry red. Read more by Alice.