Light At The End Of The Techie Tunnel

TechiesI gave up trying to work with the electronics industry many moons ago.  Techies and their minions all think they’re medieval village priests with a direct line to the One True God — and they’re insufferable because of it.  However, recently I discovered there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  Some of the folks might be real people, after all.

Let me explain:

I was killing some time and went into an electronics store to try and find a set of labels to identify which cord fits what in the ever-expanding octopus that now accompanies my technological life.  FYI (and you know this) every digital device on this planet comes with a cord (cords?) They’re all black, they’re all tangled, each of them fits only one thing, and they’re everywhere.  Anyway, I found what I was looking for — 10 sticky labels for a reasonable $9.95 — and went to pay.  This is not the actual conversation.  I’ve shortened it and taken out most of the swearing, but the conclusion is verbatim.

Perky Clerk:  Good Afternoon.

Me:  Hiya.  Just this. (places item on the counter and fumbles in pockets)

Perky Clerk:  Do you have our Rewards Card?

Me:  Nah, I’m from across town.  (pushes the item closer to the cashier)

PC:  Would you like to get one of our Rewards Card, today?  It’s free and you get a 20% discount on today’s purchase and 10% off any future purchases to a maximum of $1,000.00 a year.  Plus, you get …

Me:  No, I’m good.

PC:  For example (Perky Clerk picks up item and scans it — N.B. all the sales information is now in the system) you’d save $2.00 plus tax.

Me:  No, like I say, I’m from across town. I’d never use it.

PC:  Our Rewards Cards are good at over 200 locations all across the country.

Me:  I’m sure it’s a great deal, but really– no thanks.

PC:  Alright. (Perky Clerk looks at me as if I were the Village Idiot’s half- witted brother)  It’s up to you.

Me:  (various grunts and shrugs)

PC:  Could I have your email address?

Me:  What?  No, I don’t want the card.  It’s just this. (pushes item at perky clerk)

PC:  That’s fine, sir. This is for our warranty.

Me:  Warranty?

PC:  All our merchandise comes with “Our Personal Guarantee” 90 day warranty or you can purchase an extended warranty for 1, 3, or 5 years.

Me:  These are paper labels with glue at one end!  What kind of a warranty am I’m going to need?  No, I don’t want the warranty. (pulls money out of pocket)

PC:  All our merchandise comes with “Our Personal Guarantee” 90 day warranty, sir.  (Perky Clerk gives me the “Why are you being such an asshole?” look.)

Me:  (lays the money on the counter)  I don’t care.  Here’s the labels; here’s my money.  You don’t need my email address.

PC:  (still perky)  I’m sorry sir, but I can’t do the transaction without your email address.

Me:  Yes, you can.  I saw you.  You scanned it just a minute ago.

PC:  That was a price check, sir.  The system won’t recognize a sale without an email address.

Me:  I’m not giving you my email address.  All you’re going to do is clutter up my computer with a bunch of sales crap I don’t want. (unruly muttering behind me)

PC:  You can go to our website and decline our promotional offers at any time, sir.

Me:  I don’t want to go to your web site.  I don’t want your Rewards Card.  I don’t want your warranty.  In fact, I don’t want any of this bullshit.  I just want to buy some labels and get the hell out of here. (straightening up defiantly while unruly muttering behind me gets louder)

Perky Clerk:  Sir, may I suggest you quit being a douche and just give me a fake address so I can get on with my job.

Me:  Oh — uh — right.  Boy, do I ever feel stupid.

Perky Clerk:  No worries.  We get that a lot here.


english7I wrote most of this two years ago and I can’t believe I’ve got to say it all again.

This week, I had another run-in with techies.  I realize they’re the high priests of contemporary society, Steve Jobs is the Messiah and if I don’t click the binary stations of the cross in the correct sequence, I’ll never get to heaven.  Big wow!  I’m a cyber-atheist.  For my money, I can wipe out your entire pseudo religion with a pencil and a piece of paper, so don’t get all high and mighty with me.  Look, you know-it-all nerds, I’ve had it with your oh-so-superior attitude.  I’m an English Major and I can do pompous ass better than you ever thought of.  (Yeah, that’s a preposition at the end of a sentence.  What are you going to do about it, tough guy?)  Just to set the record straight — English Majors were arrogant dicks centuries before you geeks ever had a squad.  We were looking down our noses at regular folk when technology was still a quill pen.  And as far as we’re concerned, you jerks are just digital messenger boys for our ironic mixed metaphors and satirical similes.  So, know your role and shut your mouth.

And never forget, back in high school, while you were playing Space Invaders and having auto-erotic experiences with the Yearbook cheerleaders, I was in the only guy in the Poetry Club. (Do the math!)