As yesterday was President's Day, most stores were having some sort of sale. When I got home from work last night I found a flyer in the mail from Guitar Center featuring a coupon for a free pair of guitar strings or drum sticks, and showing a keyboard stand for only $9.99.
Well, I had no desire to leave the house again after fighting traffic for an hour on my way home, but I can always use guitar strings or drumsticks, and keyboard stands usually start at $39, and the keyboard I purchased at Christmas using Best Buy gift cards had been sitting on a TV tray in my bedroom for two months. I decided to get off my ass and go get one.
The nearest Guitar Center to me is about 20 minutes away. It's not exactly "around the corner." I just wanted to make a quick trip out there, buy the keyboard stand, and come home in time to watch 24. Unfortunately, nothing about Guitar Center is quick.
So I get there, and it's packed with people milling around, looking at intruments, and making a lot of noise. That's normal. I walk through the keyboard section, and I can't find the $9.99 stands. The pro-audio section is all backed up, so I walk over to the guitar counter because I need to get my free strings anyway, so I wait 15 minutes while he helps two other people. Then it's finally my turn. I ask, do you have this keyboard stand? The guy pulls it up on the computer and says, yeah, we have some in stock, you'll have to go ask pro-audio about it. I'm like, you can't just go in the back and get me one, so I can check out and be on my way?!!! But no. So I redeem my coupon for guitar strings, and go through the check-out process with the guitar guy to get those. Then I walk back over to pro-audio and stand in line another 25 minutes before I get helped by someone. Then it takes him another 15 minutes to go in the back and find the stand. Then it's in the computer for $39, not their $9 sale price, so he has to figure out how to change that, and the computer where he's checking me out can't do that, so we have to go back to this other computer and wait on another cashier to finish, so this guy can ring my stuff up.
I didn't get home until almost 8:20. The whole ordeal took WAY too long. The problem with musicians is that they're flaky and can't make up their mind. Plus, they love to browse, but they never really have any money to buy. The guy in front of me had four different items he'd printed off the internet that he wanted to see, so the pro-audio guy helping him had to find each of the items and show them to him. Then they either didn't have the item in stock or the guy didn't want it. That took forever.
Then, as if flaky, musician customers aren't bad enough, the guys that work there are flaky musicians too. That just creates more disorder and disarray. My suggestion is that they have designated cashiers who do nothing, but man the cash registers, so that people who actually know what they want can come in, get what they want, and leave. Meanwhile, keep all your salespeople on the floor milling around and helping all the customers with questions or who just want to play around on 15 different guitars and amplifiers. Of course, most customers will likely gravitate to the cashiers to ask questions because it's not like you would be able to tell who the salespeople milling around on the floor from the customers milling around on the floor.
Personally, I'll just avoid Guitar Center as much as possible.