"We’ll search out every place a sick, twisted, solitary misfit might run to." "I’ll start with Radio Shack."

My shower radio died, so I decided to wire my new ipod (which came with my new Macbook… I freaking LOVE Apple!!!) through my computer speakers, because I can hear that easily from my bathroom. But the cable was too short, so I had to go to Radio Shack.

I hate Radio Shack.

Where to find true evil!

chris | MySpace Video

I tried to avoid it completely by going to Office Depot (which I love because no one ever asks to help you there. The very quality that everyone else would consider horrible customer service makes it my dream store because they let me shop in peace), but no luck on sound equipment cables. So it was either go deal with the ravenous hordes of people at Best Buy, or run into Radio Shack as quickly as possible.

To quote Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, I chose poorly.

Going to Radio Shack is for me what going to the dentist is for most people: annoying, painful, and the little bag of crap that you walk out with doesn’t feel like nearly enough for how much time and money you just spent.

Within nanoseconds of walking in the door, I’m surrounded by a dozen employees. Granted, this might be because there are never ANY other customers in there until I go to pay, at which point six old men appear out of nowhere and each spend an hour asking random nonsensical questions about whatever they’re purchasing. But I’m pretty sure that the employees of Radio Shack are told in their training sessions that female intelligence is inversely proportional to breast size. Therefore, they see someone like me and assume that I have the mental capacity of a pigeon that got dropped on its head as a baby.

In reality, I’m pretty tech savvy. I pretend that I’m not sometimes, to get other people to fix things, but that’s sheer and utter laziness on my part. Whenever any of the English teachers at my school have a problem with their tv/dvd player/Promethean board etc, they call me to fix it. The last time my computer got a virus (before I went Mac obviously), I fixed it myself. (Mostly because my daddy seems to have caught on that I’m smarter than I look and refused to do it for me… at least he DOES know that there’s no way in hell I could/would ever change a tire for myself.) So I DO know my way around electronics stores without help.

My problem, however, is that when I’m surrounded by overly-solicitous sales people, instead of telling them to back off and leave me alone, I figure it’ll be quicker and easier to tell them what I’m looking for.

At Radio Shack, this is ALWAYS a mistake.

Well, okay, to be fair, it MIGHT not be a mistake if a man, or flat-chested woman were to take this approach.

When I do it, it’s met with laughter and seventeen sales people telling me that no, I don’t REALLY want an 1/8th inch to 1/8th inch jack headphone cable extender. I REALLY want the hundred-foot and hundred dollar multimedia cable runner. Never mind that that doesn’t actually do what I need the seven-dollar cable to do, it’s what I ACTUALLY need. And who taught me such big words like “headphone cable extender?”

I try to stay polite and tell them that no, I really DO just need the headphone extender, and I ask them to point me in the right direction. Yet another mistake.

“Don’t worry,” one of them always says to me. “I’ll go get it for you.”

“That’s okay,” I argue, knowing what’s coming. But I’m ushered to the checkout counter, where one of the greasy-haired guys behind the counter unfailingly asks me if I’ve got a boyfriend. My standard answer to this is yes.  In fact, the cable/battery/etc that I’m buying today is for him. Does he actually exist? No. But it shuts them up briefly.

Then after about twenty VERY awkward minutes, the guy who went to find my cable returns, not with the cable I wanted, but with the hundred-dollar one that I said I did NOT want.

I send him back, and he comes back after another half hour or so (during which I calculate exactly what the cable will cost with tax and count out the exact change so that I can leave as quickly as possible when he eventually makes it back with the right cable), with another wrong cable. Seriously? I mean, I know that Radio Shack isn’t exactly hiring rocket scientists, but REALLY? I’m a freaking English teacher and I know more about electronics than these guys do! If everyone working there didn’t have that creepy, serial-killer-in-training vibe going on, I’d say they should hire me next summer because I’d be their best employee ever.

Eventually the guy comes back to tell me that they don’t carry the cable that I’m looking for, at which point I finally lose patience, storm back to the cable section, and return approximately four seconds later with the one that I told them I needed from the moment I walked in the door.

“Oh,” he says. “We carry THOSE. But that’s not what you need.”

At which point I throw the money that I counted out earlier at them and make a mad dash for the door.

Needless to say, my ipod is now playing just fine through my computer speakers, and the next time I need something from Radio Shack, I’m ordering it online or sending a boy to get it for me.

No offense to any of you serial-killers-in-training who work there and might be reading this. Please don’t chop me up and kill me Dexter style.

I just don’t like your store.

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