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Adventures at Best Buy

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I had today’s blog entry ready to go. After my experience at Best Buy today (7.17.2012),
I scrapped it.

Here’s the replacement.

Today’s trip Best Buy was simply too comical, sad, embarrassing, and pathetic to NOT
write about.

I was in a great mood on my way there. Al Jarreau had popped up on my iPod.
His ‘Look to the Rainbow’ live album is one of my all time favorites. It reminds me of
my dad, who used to play it all the time. I vividly remember one trip we made to the car
wash when I was seven or eight years old, and being so happy when the song “Rainbow
in Your Eyes” came on the cassette player. My dad has an infections smile, and when
he sings, it lights up a room. So imagine what it was like in the car with my dad singing.
Pure joy.

That’s beside the point. I get to Best Buy. It’s 11:07 a.m. Walk in. Proceed to start
looking for the cd. Found a couple of others I decided to pick up (I can’t go to a music
spot and pick up just ONE piece of music. That’s like putting a basketball player in a
gym and telling them they can’t play ball—not going to happen).

So now I’ve got four cds—but not the one I came for in the first place. The music I’m
so frantically searching for is from a guy by the name of Frank Ocean. He’s a singer.
The album I’m looking for, “Channel Orange,” is his debut. You may have heard him
on the Jay-Z/Kanye West album “Watch the Throne.” That’s him singing on the opening
track, “No Church in the Wild.”

Lyrics like:

“Human beings in a mob
What’s a mob to a king? What’s a king to a god?
What’s a god to a non-believer who doesn’t believe in anything?
Will he make it out alive? Alright, alright, no church in the wild.”

had me taking an interest in this guy. His thought-provoking lyrics had my ears peaked
right away. I love music that makes you think after a listen. I’d heard some of his other
stuff as well that was circulating around the web, and was definitely intrigued.

I did my homework ahead of time. Amidst a little controversy, (Retailer Target
announced it would not be selling his cd, as it was released on iTunes last week. Target’s
announcement also came around the same time Ocean admitted he’s attracted to both
men and women. Just a coincidence, right? I wonder….), Best Buy had on its webpage
the album would be in stock.

So explain…why the cd is nowhere to be found? I’ve combed through every music genre
the store has… and even looked in the movies to see if it was placed there by accident.
Nothing. Keep in mind…this is the same store that has R&B/Soul singer John Legend
placed in the ‘rap’ section. That should have been my first indication of where things
were headed.

So now I’m looking for a store employee. You know-- the ones with the blue shirts who
often annoy you when you DON’T need help? Now that I need help—they’re nowhere
to be found. I’m not one to ask for help in the first place, but I’ve got no choice now, as
it’s 11:42.

Employee: How can I help you sir?
Me: I’m looking for a cd that was supposed to come out today.
Employee: Which one?
Me: Frank Ocean. The album is called “Channel Orange.”
Employee: Yeah, I can’t wait to get it. I’m going to buy it when I get off my shift. Let
me look that up in our system. (pauses) How do you spell that?

If you’re going to buy the cd, as you’re a fan of the music—shouldn’t you already
KNOW how to spell the artist’s name? By the way—it’s not a hard name to spell, but I
give him the benefit of the doubt, and spell it out for him.

The employee looks it up in the system and then gets on the phone.

10 minutes go by.

Employee: Sir, I’m going to refer you to ‘employee 2’ (name redacted from story), who
will help you find that.

Me: Okay. It says on your website the cd’s in the store, so it should be here, right?
Employee 2: Yup. We know it’s here. How do you spell the artist’s name?
Me: F-R-A-N-K
Employee 2: Oh yeah! That should be a great album. (Goes into the back)

Other employees have now started to look for the cd where it’s supposed to be. No luck.

It’s now 12:05. I’ve wandered into the dvd section to see what’s out on blu-ray. Random
note: did you know Robert De Niro played a pirate in the 2007 movie “Stardust”
a ‘magical’ fantasy movie based on a novel? Neither did anyone else.

This is what my trip to Best Buy has made me do. Make fun of movies I’ve never heard
of that I’m sure are perfectly good (if you’re into that type of thing). I’m getting antsy.
I’m hungry. What was supposed to be a five-minute trip to the store is now turning into
an hour-long ordeal.

I see ‘Employee 2’ walking around the store. I track him down.

Me: So…how’s that search coming along?
Employee 2: Yeah…we don’t have it.
Me: But you told me you did have it. Your website also says you have it.
Employee 2: We have it, we just don’t know where it is. We don’t know where our
inventory guys put that particular group of new cds. It could be in a bunch of boxes
somewhere that we don’t know about.

Me: (chuckles) Aren’t you guys supposed to know where your own stuff is?
Employee 2: We must have lost track of it somewhere. But we don’t know where it is
(pauses and looks at my cds). I’ll tell you what I’m going to do for you. I see you’ve got
a stack of cds there. You must really like music. Why don’t I take 10% off your most
expensive cd?

At this point I think this 20-something Best Buy employee is belittling me. Of course I
like music. That’s why I’ve been in this store for over an hour. That’s why I’ve put up
with all this nonsense. I can do one of two things:

1. Make a scene, put him in his place, and show my absolute disgust for his lack of
customer service.

2. Buy the cds. Take the discount. And write about it (I clearly did the latter).

Two things iced my experience at Best Buy.

1. The check-out person asks if I found everything I was looking for. I hadn’t,
so I told her so. “What were you looking for,” she says. I was hoping to find
the Frank Ocean cd. It came out today.” “Oooh! I’m going to buy that cd
when I get off work.”

I frowned.

2. I looked at my watch when I got back in my car. It’s now 12:31. The next
song on my iPod is Terence Blanchard (a phenomenal trumpet player) doing
a cover of “Don’t Explain” from “The Billie Holiday Songbook.” Great tune.
GREAT tune. But very depressing. Pretty much sums up my visit to Best

I’m going to Flat, Black, and Circular from now on. It may be more expensive (I buy
BOATLOADS of stuff there) and on the other side of town, but at least the guys there
seem to care.

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