pet peeves

I’ve been in India long enough now that I should really be used to how things are done here. But occasionally you have one of those days where things just really get on your nerves! I had one of those days the other day. I went to Chroma (kind of like our version of Best Buy – but no where as good!) to pick up some rechargeable batteries. I was fine just looking at all the options on offer when a sales assistant asked if he could help me. I said “Yes – can you tell me the difference in these batteries?” He just looked at me blankly and then walked off to get someone else to help me. So I went ahead and started reading the backs and trying to figure it out on my own.

Second sales assistant comes up and asks “Can I help you?” I wanted to say “I don’t know CAN YOU?!” but I resisted the urge and just repeated my question. He said “the one in your hand is the best” Ok.. so can you tell me why? Do more customers buy this one? Have you tried any of these or received feedback on them? Etc. Of course he had no response to any of my questions, so I just went ahead and got the one that I thought would be best.

Then I get to the register and I see another charger just the same as mine but a bit bigger and much cheaper. So I make the mistake of asking the cashier if he knows the difference and why that other one is cheaper. He hasn’t the slightest clue, but asks the guy next to him. This guy also has no clue but decides he wants to look smart so he reads the back – until I explain that I can read English and have already done that! Then he tells me that the cheaper one also charges 9 volt batteries.. Ok.. so it does more and is cheaper?!? That doesn’t make sense. Then he goes off to get another sales person (probably the same incompetent one who tried to help earlier). By the time he comes back I have read further on the back and found that one charges in 8 hrs while the cheaper one charges in 16 hrs. Ok. decision made. Thanks.

But what gets me is why do they even ask if they can help you if they know full well that they really can’t help you!??!?! Mumbai really seems to just hire just about anyone who ‘looks’ the part – rather than train them and make sure they know something about what they are selling!! Very annoying. And you know that these guys who work in these places for the most part couldn’t even dream of buying most of the products on offer, so of course they have no real experience with them. Just very annoying this day for some reason!

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