Had to run over to the shop for one of my clients today. She was in the process of transferring her documents from her previous workplace to her new one. I was inclined to use CD-R discs, but she insisted on getting a nice 1GB memory stick instead, and if you’ve ever met scientists – you know not to argue with them.
When you put the story forward, that a disc costs less than $1 and that we’ve got plenty of’em, she’ll nod, pat you on the head and say: "Yes, Sigg3, that’s nice, but what about my memory stick?"
I ran over to Clas Ohlson. Now, Clas Ohlson is the kind of store that has everything from rotating x-mas tree feet and penis enlargers to geeky tools like bluetooth headsets and toothbrush mp3 players. And USB memory sticks. I had a look around though, since another one of my scientists had requested a special kind of mousepad, the kind with a hill of gel on one side of it that’s always in the way and feels like a woman’s front (which is quite comfortable, actually, but rather annoying when you’re writing macros in Excel). Anyway, they didn’t have it.
They are worried about geek shoplifters at Clas Ohlson’s, so they keep all the tiny bits behind a counter for which there is a queue. I got in line there, standing behind some moron who complained about having downloaded a picture to his cellphone and its going nuts afterwards, to which the geek behind the counter countered: There is a manual, you know.
Great. One of those. My turn.
I stepped forward past an angry cellular phone owner leaving the premises, and coughed politely.
– Have you got 1 gigabyte memory sticks?
– Yes, we have some in the back.
– They’re 798 NOK each. (approximately $120 USD!!)
– That’s expensive.
Sometimes, you try to say more with less words, like the parental "NO!" for instance.
But the clerk just shrugged.
– I mean, that IS expensive. Come on. What are the 512mb sticks at?
– 230 NOK each.
– So I could buy two of them and save 340NOK. In fact, I could buy three of them and still save money.
He giggled geekily. The kind of giggle that makes you want to see how well a fist would look planted firmly in that grin.
– So it IS fucking expensive.
He refused to concur.
Knowing that my scientist would settle for no less than her wildest dreams, I had to oblige. There’ll be a sufficient amount of time, say half a year, before I go tête-à-tête with another victim of Clas Ohlson capitalism again. It’s too bad that I actually like the shop. But I’ve never and will never buy memory sticks there, not from my personal wallet anyway, and not when some spotty brat stands there smiling at me because he knows I’m running out of time and need exactly that memory stick.
He’s playing a dangerous game, that kid. I could be a serial killer circling aimlessly around town to find my next victim. With that kind of west-side behaviour I’d be forced to crack open his ribs and eat his guts while he was still alive and watching. That’d been the only natural thing to do. So make that a lesson for you, kids. Never sell over-priced merchandice to someone who knows you’re screwing him.