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Overheard at Radio Shack

December 2, 2008

One thing I like about maintaining Weather Station 1 is I finally have a place to share with people the strange and unusual things that happen in my world, things I have noticed all my life, but can now share with you.

Like this: I was shopping at Radio Shack this afternoon. It’s actually called The Source By Circuit City, because our old Radio Shacks here in Canada went under and Circuit City bought them up, but I’ve always thought it’s really the old Radio Shack with the same name and the same slightly sinister techsperts waiting to write down your address when you buy batteries.

After years of avoiding The Source because of many bad old Radio Shack experiences, I started shopping there again this year. It’s slowly becoming one of my favourite stores, mainly because everything’s handy and the staff tend to really know their business. Today, I needed a certain kind of gadgety adapter, and the clerk, a polite, knowledgeable young guy, knew exactly what it was. It turned out to be marked down from ten bucks to $1.97, so that was even better news.

While he was ringing it up, a woman walked into the store. She waved at him and announced “I will need service, please!” He told her he’d be right with her.

I should mention that some vintage Bon Scott AC/DC was playing. The lady stopped and cocked an ear.

“Lock up your daughters?” she repeated, hearing the song’s lyrics. “Lock up your wives? That’s terrible. That’s sexist! Who would sing something like that?” The clerk doesn’t have enough change in his till to give me my pennies, so he’s fumbling around with a lockbox, thus delaying my escape from this lady. “Whatever happened to good music, like Diana Ross? Whatever happened to R.E.S.P.E.C.T?”

The clerk turned to her, smiled a winning grin, and said “A.C.D.C. happened, ma’am. I’ll be able to help you in just a moment!”

I took my change and left, stifling the urge to say “Aretha, not Diana, lady!” I don’t know what happened next. Maybe she continued to complain while buying six XBoxes and a widescreen TV. Maybe she stormed out, offended at the young guy’s cheek, vowing to never shop there again.

If the store lost a customer, that’s too bad. But that kid’s sense of humour and ability to deal with the kind of crap retail workers face daily won The Source a customer for life: me.

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2 comments

  1. As a Source employee, great story! It captures the work environment beautifully.
    just as an FYI, we didn’t “go under” as Radioshack, we were bought by CC, and Radioshack didn’t like sharing their name with their competitor, so they sued us and took their name.
    We’re stuck listening to X-Mas music all month, and i’d kill for a chance to listen to AC/DC all day!


  2. Thanks, Alex, and yes, that’s actually what happened, readers. Now I’m wondering if the little rebel at the Source I went to turned off the Christmas music and was cranking the AC/DC instead …



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