Last weekend Willo mentioned that he wanted to purchase a notebook computer and asked for my advice.
Unfortunately for Willo was inundated over the next hour with complete geek talk...
"Oh, you've so got to get a notebook that's got bluetooth connectivity so you can send stuff to your mobile phone. And you'll want one with a fast processing chip - preferably an Intel Core Duo 2 processor... oh, and be sure they give you plenty of RAM - maybe a gig would suit... or 2. And get one that has wide-screen ultra XVGA screen resolution, maybe 17 inches if you can afford it, because you can never really upgrade your screen... unless of course it's got an HDMI port, or maybe an S-video cable would suffice... and then you can jack it into your widescreen TV at home, but... then you're probably going to need to purchase some cable. Oh, and don't forget you're going to need to get a router with a modem inbuilt, preferably one that's got VOIP capabilities in case you ever want to move providers and get cheap local and national calls... which means we're going to need to upgrade to broadband..."
Yeah, I got a little too excited... had to even go to the toilet a few times. (LOL!!)
After talking for what seemed like an eternity I finaly came up for air and asked, "So what do you think?"
Willo was a little shocked by my "inner geek" and on Sunday we went into the city and saw a salesman who pretty much gave Willo the same treatment I did... just MUCH worse.
Heck, this guy was even ticking me off and I wasn't even being sold to!!
After Willo pointed to the notebook he wanted, the salesman knocked off a lousy $50 off the price (well, ok, it was already reduced, but still he bought a heap of other peripherals). It was then that our salesman went into SALES-NINJA mode...
"Now I can't let you leave with this wonderful piece of equipment without an electrical surge protector," our salesman, Corey, pointed to a rack of cheap surge protectors selling for AU$169.95 a pop, "you'll *definitely* need one of these to protect your stuff, because I'd hate for anything bad to happen to your equipment."
Willo turned to me and asked, "Do I really need one of these?"
I replied, "Well I don't have one and have never used one since I've had a computer!"
Corey knew his sale was slipping, I got the evil eye as he turned back to my friend and asked, "Name your price. Tell me how much you'd be willing to spend on one of these?"
Oo Oo, ask me, ask me.
I almost raised my hand like a kid in class, but Willo was too busy eyeing off the useless contraption.
NO! Say a dollar. I sighed.
I could see Corey smirk, he had his fish, "Well I don't think I could do it for that cheap, maybe $97..."
"No, $90," returned Willo.
Corey did his frantic forehead wipe, followed with a few deep heavy breaths... with the way he was acting I was expecting his boss to come out and fire him right then and there for selling an item too cheap.
"You know what, because you've bought so much stuff, I'll give it to for $90."
Oh how kind Corey. He's spent over $3,000 and you couldn't even throw in a freebie!
But wait! There was more...
"Now I really can't let you guys go without telling you about getting an extended warranty for your notebook."
Oh no, I sighed, not the extended warranty sales pitch.
"You know I have a sister who bought a computer last year," began Corey, I started rolling my eyes knowing all too well the innocent-customer-who-blew-up-her-computer-but-had-it-miraculously-saved-because-she-had-extended-warranty pitch was coming, so Corey continued, "and one day she was using her computer and then out of nowhere her screen flickered and died."
Oh no, now he was getting animated - making sure every other customer heard.
"Her computer had just carked it. She even had an assignment due next week and when she called me for help she was in a panic."
Really?? gasped the crowd who now thronged around us.
With the audience around us I almost added (in similar animation to Corey)... "And not only that, her husband needed to pay his credit card bill online THAT night otherwise their house was going to get repossessed by their finance company for failing to pay his overdue credit card debts! But that's not all! Their sick son was running on life support by the very SAME computer! He had only days to live!! And if you thought that wasn't bad enough the SAME computer had top secret access codes installed on it that would help the human race win against any future alien invasion!!!!! *GASPS* And this was all now gone in a flicker of a moment!!! *SNAPS FINGERS* Can you see why they were in such dire straights??..."
But Corey continued the drama in his own silly way...
"So my sister gave me a call that night and in her panicked state over the phone she told me what had happened," Corey used his hand as a phone and began speaking into it.
Oh please... not the hand.
"I told my sister to hang in there and that I'd check her purchase details. So early the next morning I raced into the store and what would you know..."
Corey paused... adding for effect... waiting for Willo to respond.
The crowd was silent.
I cracked the silence with a flat response of: "She didn't have extended warranty so you fudged her details on the computer."
Corey ignored my sense of humour and waited for Willo to respond.
"She had extended warranty," whispered a small child to Willo.
"She... had... extended... warranty?" Willo limply replied.
"THAT'S RIGHT!" erupted Corey congratulating Willo with a slap to the shoulder. Now they were chums.
Oh no, here we go.
Corey then continued on a tirade about how important it was for his sister to get her computer back up to speed, to save her marriage, keep her house, save her son, and prevent the world from ever losing to alien scum.
"Now?" heaved Corey looking squarely into Willo's eyes.
Oh no, please don't propose.
"Would you like extended warranty?" Corey asked. It felt like an hour had gone by.
Willo began to look over at me, but Corey caught his gaze with what sounded like a hissing noise. Willo fixed his eyes back on Corey, and then when he moved his head towards me a slight grunting noise emanated from Corey. By the time Willo looked over at me enough noises had emanated from Corey that I thought maybe he had swallowed an iPod!
"What do you think?" asked Willo.
Before I could answer, Corey grabbed Willo's gaze and asked him again, "*YOU NEED* extended warranty?"
"No, extended warranty's only for immature idiots who don't know how to use a computer," I added in yet my consistent flat tone... I really wanted to laugh, but I was too tired (shopping takes it out of a bloke).
Corey sensed his opportunity gone and moved on to insurance.
I began to get the feeling that because we weren't in any hurry to leave Corey was going to try to sell every product in the store before we left.
"Willo let's go," I said pointing to the door, "maybe we can try the store next door."
"I need to go," Willo said.
Corey's opportunity for finalising his sale was slipping fast, so he quickly moved on over to the cash register and began scanning in all the items Willo had purchased.
Corey tried a few more times at upselling, but I had had enough and just walked out the door. Willo was on his own, but when he emerged and saw me he began laughing.
We both did.
"So, Ryan, would you like me to tell you about extending your warranty?" Willo imitated.
"Don't you start."