MicroCenter -- Oh, How the Mighty Have Fallen
I just got back from MicroCenter. When I was a kid, I used to LOVE going there. They had everything, all in one place. Books, software, hardware, everything. They used to have the greatest array of computer books I’ve ever seen (even still, I’ve seen none better). 8 full rows of technical books, both sides. They were never the cheapest but they had what you needed and/or wanted.
Now, the place is dingy and messy, with many tables of “bargain” or “refurbished” (often returned and probably broken items just packaged with a yellow discount sticker) items strewn about, seemingly placed to maximize your annoyance at having to avoid them. The book section has been positively eviscerated, with many of the books that remain being the exact same books I saw there 10+ years ago. The staff there appear to be quite uninterested in helping customers, having to be ordered via page by a manager to help a customer that just walked past them, one row away, clearly looking for something. The laptop/desktop PC section is so high-pressure that I don’t even go in there anymore, even to look. I know the prices will be bad and I know I will be badgered to no end until I leave.
The place looks like a flea market and, more importantly, seems to be run like one, as well. When I asked if they carried a particular book, the guy in the book section told me that they have no list of the books they stock. Did you catch that? They have no idea what books are on their shelves. Seriously? Wow.
I’m actually pretty sad about this because MicroCenter was the last really geeky place of its kind left around here. Now, its a no-brainer to only buy this kind of thing online. *sigh* Oh well… at least I won’t have to worry about a guy following me around for a half an hour when I shop on Amazon.