Training To Do As We’re Told

I haven’t blogged nearly enough recently, or in the last year. Blah, blah, blah. The only reason I’m raising that point is because today’s the 6th anniversary of Rolling Doughnut. I’ll only remark in jest that I should wipe one of those years off, given the breaks I’ve taken recently. But that’s not fair to myself since I’ve still managed nearly 200 entries in the last year. I just need to be more consistent.

That’s a meta way to advance to today’s story, which is strangely related to my post marking last year’s anniversary. Last August 16th, you’ll remember, I had an adventure with TSA and an experimental, voluntary search that I refused because I could. They didn’t like that, not that it surprised me. But it made the point that we’re becoming a more complacent society, that we’ve agreed to stop valuing liberty when it comes to being searched. The appearance of safety is enough for most.

Today, I purchased Madden 10 at Best Buy. This should be a simple process. Instead, it involved asking for it at the register, the cashier charging me for it, me paying, the cashier giving the game to the security person at the door, and me showing my receipt to the security person. This is two¹ steps too many.

I stated my displeasure to the security person. I’ve done this before, so I knew I’d get the same explanation. Best Buy (or any store) can explain that it’s to guarantee the customer gets what he paid for, which is nonsense. Even if that’s true, my perception is that the store doesn’t trust its customers. At best it suggests they don’t trust their cashiers. If that’s the case, they should spend the time they’re wasting with me on training or different oversight.

When I told the security person all of this, he tried to deflect by saying that many stores are doing this. True, and I don’t have to shop at them or Best Buy. To this he responded: “It’s just like you have to stand in line for security at the airport.”

Buying Madden for the Xbox 360 is not like boarding an airplane. Entertaining the notion that it is demonstrates the extent to which we’ve accepted every intrusion, no matter how stupid, inefficient, and unproductive. When a business says “Line up,” we can so “no” by requesting a refund. I didn’t today, but I have in the past. I’m sure I will in the future. But that’s a low cost process. I can always go to Game Stop or Target to buy Madden. If we won’t challenge those without guns, we should expect no better treatment from those with guns.

So, yeah, I’m still here.

¹ Three, really, but I’ll skip the idiocy of the first step.

2 thoughts on “Training To Do As We’re Told”

  1. i worked at price club one summer and worked the exit, checking receipts against merchandise. i’d say at least 10% of all customers were charged incorrectly, generally in the store’s favor, and no one would have noticed, given the dollar amounts involved, not to mention the sheer volume of crap. i don’t trust cashiers and neither should you.
    best buy is on my shit list and has been for years. every policy they have is intended to shaft me, if no one else. i can guarantee that this policy is bs, too.
    i also just got carded buying rainbow six vegas at target. i’m 37. i guess i was being complacent and bought it anyway, because it “didn’t affect me.”

  2. At my best by, there’s a cashier counter right in the games section. You get the game you want, you bring the empty case to the counter, they unlock the section behind the counter where they keep the games, pull out the game, scan it, you pay, they put it in a bag with your receipt, hand it to you, and you walk out of the store.
    Why they make you go through that extra step of involving a security guard at your store, I don’t know. But yeah, it wasn’t so long ago that you picked up the game, brought it to the front of the store, paid for it, and walked out.

Comments are closed.