I don’t often stop in Best Buy, but today my 10-year-old external DVD burner gave up the ghost. Ah well, I thought, no gizmo lasts forever. So I popped onto Amazon’s website to see how much a replacement would cost. Hmm, so many of them looked cheap. And why did they all seem to have no power cord? I wanted a burner that was sturdy and didn’t need to siphon power from my old computer. After looking at different brands and models, checking the requirements for each, and reading feedback from customers, I decided to stop in an actual store, and took off for the closest Best Buy.
The store was surprisingly empty. Memories flashed through my mind of times when I had taken the kids there years ago. That was in the days before Hulu and Netflix, tv on demand, and high-speed internet. Yes, a trip to Best Buy was a treat! We would look at the new video games, check out the DVD section, listen to music with the display headphones, and drool over the large-screen TVs. (Wow, look at that huge 44-inch screen!) The aisles were crowded with others having the same fun experience. Happy store clerks bounced around, asking if they could help us find anything.
But today, when I pulled into the parking lot, there were so few cars there that I wondered if they had just closed for the day. Only a handful of customers floated about, and the staff seemed lethargic. I looked over all the burners, and selected the one that would work with my older computer.
Then a young clerk asked me if I needed help finding anything, so I asked him if they had any fire-wire cables. His mouth hung open, and he said he didn’t know what that was. (Really?) Another clerk walking by heard the conversation and jumped in to tell me no, they didn’t carry old stuff like that anymore, but check online. He asked what I used a fire-wire cord for, and I said it went to my external hard drive for back-ups. The clerk advised me to simply back up my files to “the cloud”. I wanted to say: hey, what happens when those cloud storage services get hacked or they lose your files? But I was polite and refrained from giving a commentary on internet safety, as well as privacy concerns.
Well, I took my sturdy DVD burner home and unpacked it. Much to my surprise, it had its own power cord! Ha – the store clerk said they didn’t have burners with their own power source anymore. Maybe he needs to take a closer look at the inventory they sell. I tested out the new burner, and it worked flawlessly, without hassle, just as old faithful had.
I don’t really mind shopping online, but sometimes, just sometimes… I get nostalgic and want to walk into a store and have the experience of yesterday. But that is unlikely to ever happen again.