Re: Smart answers and useful answers

Subject: Re: Smart answers and useful answers
From: John Cook <john -dot- cook -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 16:46:47 -0600

On 12/13/05, Dan Goldstein <DGoldstein -at- riverainmedical -dot- com> wrote:
> "You're not looking for a 'composite cable.' You're looking for a
> COMPONENT cable."
> He then showed me what I wanted. Of course, by then I wasn't going to
> buy anything from them.

Am I missing something? So they /did/ have what you were looking for,
but you didn't buy it there because they, the employees, weren't
trained as well as you, the consumer, were?

With all due respect, I'm at a loss to see how that's anything but
consumer snobbery. Walking out empty-handed seems like a Pyrrhic
victory at best (especially if they actually had what you were looking
for in the first place).

Call me crazy, but I generally go to stores to buy stuff. It matters
little to me that I know more than the employees do. I'm prepared to
accept the fact that a 42 year old might be more up on whateveritis
than an 18 or 20 year old who don't have the scope or wealth of
knowledge I might have. I've kind of come to associate low price with
low service and do my homework ahead of time. As long as low price is
combined with acceptable product quality (and they have that
particular widget in stock), I'm happy.

In fact, the easier it is for me to find said widget myself and the
fewer 'helpful' employees that get in my way, the better. I feel some
degree of pity for those who are put in the unfortunate position of
knowing very little but are expected to prowl around offering
assistance when all they actually possess is desperation to keep a job
with a great employee discount.

On a related tangent, does asking "Did you find everything you were
looking for?" at the check-out counter strike anybody else as a case
of too little, too late? (I'll consider that a rhetorical question as
this has already veered off-topic.)

John Cook
Technical Writer / Help Author
john dot cook at gmail dot com

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Smart answers and useful answers: From: Dan Goldstein

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