I'm also pretty accomplished at admitting I don't know.
I am afraid that if I DIDN'T know the answer, but made one up and
delivered it to the customer, I would get it wrong or someone would
overhear my b.s. and call me on it. The worst would be that my wrong
information resulted in poor service to the customer.
I try to NOT look stupid, even when I don't have a clue. I'm pretty
good at it. <bg>
Agreed. For remedies that requires such detail, opening the box and,
often with cameras, reading of the Owner's Manual is required.
I bought my first dSLR camera and THEN learned about the concept of
"crop factor" with image sensors smaller than the size of a full frame
of 35mm film - the benchmark by which virtually all lens's focal length
is determined. It was a BIG deal, wasn't on the outside (or readily
available INSIDE) of the box, but I still have (and love) the camera.
It's too bad that most packaging is designed to minimize waste and
thwart a shoplifter.
Wow, you need to come over here and teach seminars to retail people on
how to say, "Sorry, I don't have that information," or maybe to the
management on why it's better to admit you don't know something rather
than look ignorant. There is a horrible dearth of that around here,
even when I ask the waffling retail people to their face, "are you
trying to say you don't have the answer to that question?" It's like
there is some unwritten law in retail around here of "Death before
admitting you don't know something."
The other thing that REALLY irks me is if you ask if they carry
something and they say, "Did you see it on the shelf?" If I did, I
wouldn't be asking. (this, of course, is ludicrously counterbalanced
with the question by the cashier, "Did you find everything you were
looking for?" One of these days I am going to be able to tell the
cashier that I couldn't find something because the person on the floor
refused to help, and then I bet heads will roll.) My eyes are not
always as good as they used to be, and sometimes a second pair or eyes
to find something is helpful, like the nice pharmacist that found the
OTC med for me when I told him that I thought it should be located
around such-and-such category but I didn't see it.
This is why stores used to have demonstrator models on display- actual
plugged-in working units, not empty shells
zip-tied to the gondolas.
As to the alarm clocks- don't most have the db ratings listed on the box?
No idea what the (meaningless on made-in-China generic junk) brand name
was, but the one in my bedroom now said 85 db on the box, which is why I
picked it over the others. (no, I didn't save the box- this was several
years ago.) I'm half-deaf in one ear, and needed one I could hear
through the pillow if I happened to be sleeping on my good ear. I have
found that other than old-style windup alarms, you have to get a 110v
line-powered one. None of the battery-powered ones does more than chirp,
in my experience.
(Goes and looks) Westclox m/n 124721. But I have seen the same basic
clock under other brand names. Their website appears to be dead, so I
guess they are now just another zombie brand name used by one of the
There's still a lot of missing standards. What standards are used to
calibrate the meter? Where do you put the sound-level meter? Under the
pillow? 5 inches in front of the clock? What is the "standard test
room" like? How quiet is it? How many square feet of curtains? All
these and more affect sound level readings. Unless measurements are
made under agreed-upon controlled conditions, they're of limited (if
This lack of standards reminds me of the useless "peak music power"
ratings on audio equipment.
BTW, you might know that bels (a decibel is .1 of a bel) are NOT a
unit of sound. They're just a way of representing ratios on a
logarithmic scale. 0db is an arbitrary point.
In the first example I gave (one of the DTV converters), they did have
a display model out. However, it was tied down so as to completely
block view of one of the most important parts (the connectors).
Without being able to determine if it had a baseband output, it was
unsuitable (I DO NOT want the signal degraded by the unnecessary use
of RF modulator and tuner).
The ones I've looked at do not. Anyway, it would be meaningless
because of lack of measurement standards (is it measured 5 feet away
or 5 inches, etc...).
Not specifically to alarm clocks, but I have too much experience with
dB figures for consumer electronics:
1. Products X and Y specify dB at different distances, and too few
consumers know how to translate/compare these figures.
2. Product Z specifies dB without specifying what distance.
3. Products sometimes have incorrect/dishonest dB figures.
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
I can assure you the reason for the skylights is savings on the electrical
bill. It's not just a 'side effect'. It's the main reason. Natural
lighting could hardly increase sales. And it's used equally all across the
store, not just the food section.
Now they are using more natural light in store -- particularly the
grocery section. Why? It increases sales. Side effect -- cuts down
on electrical usage.
This flies in the face of "my" store, built perhaps 7 years ago.
The entire store is pocked with large skylights. During the day, when
the sun goes behind a cloud, the ENTIRE store's array of fluorescent
lamps fire-up. Moments later, when the sun reappears from behind the
cloud, the whole stores-worth of fluorescents switch off. This folly
goes on EVERY day.
This is INCREDIBLY annoying when working in the photo department, trying
to color-correct images and do other visual work. I suspect the effect
is as distracting while trying to color-match paint or select fabric for
a sewing project.
Given the CO$T of incorporating the skylights into initial construction,
the ongoing thermal loss during heating and cooling and the
wear-and-tear on the light fixtures themselves, Walmart isn't saving a
damned dime. It's all "feel good" green effort for show.
As for the produce department: It's the only part of the store with
always-on quartz lamps shining on the product. You tell me...
I am skeptical of "a bundle". In fact, I doubt there is any NET
savings, given the considerations I previously listed.
Let's just say the lights switch on and off frequently enough that, when
working in the store, it is annoying.
I do, however, acknowledge that natural light is physically and
emotionally beneficial. Regardless, I'll have to get used to the "light
show" on partly cloudy days.
Missed the original thread, but catch the drift. It's amazing that America
created the society and economic environment that generated the Wal-Mart
phenomena, and now mostly detests it.
Sure, I want dirt cheap endless consumer goods, just not in *my*
Was a big fight trying to keep a supercenter out of Pullman, Wa - went
on for a couple years. People screaming "I won't shop there" but were
the same ones who would be seen in the check-out line of a WM just 7
miles down the road in Moscow Id.
Don't know what the current status is. Last I heard last year was
that all permits were finally approved and the last lawsuit was
pitched out of court.
A How do you know they were the same ones?
B If one person opposed shopped in Moscow, how do you know how many
c Did they say they would shop at any WM or that they wouldn't shop at
this one, because they resented it being in their town.
D If they said they wouldn't shop there, does that mean they can't
change their mind later?
E If they said they wouldn't shop there and they were bluffing, is
that so bad? Don't many people bluff for many reasons? Is it always
bad? Because it is lying?
F Again, how do you know that the ones who said they wouldn't shop
there are the same ones who shop in Moscow? How many faces could you
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