If you play music in any capacity, there is no avoiding that entity known as the music store, where upon entering, one is greeted by an assortment of new and vintage guitars hanging from the walls, enhanced by a surrounding array of amps, effects and accessories. The site of all this gear tends to have an aphrodisiac-like effect upon musicians, yet all too often, it is the attitude of the music store personnel that dampens the guitar-induced arousal like a cold shower. I cannot count the number of times I’ve walked away from a music store wondering the following: shouldn’t buying a guitar or other piece of gear be a pleasant experience and why is it sometimes such an ordeal? And what the hell is wrong with the people that work in these places?yeas take me to the dirt:
Please hear me out. I’m not describing all people who work in music stores. Many of them handle their jobs with an aura of professionalism, appreciation and genuine respect for their customers. But in twenty plus years of music related shopping, I’ve found these good-natured types to be in the minority.
A disproportionate number of music store sales clerks are bitter, sardonic creatures whose cancerous disdain for customers grows each day like a brain tumor. Some exhibit a false bubbly enthusiasm akin to politicians and used car salesmen. Others are void of expression and enthusiasm; depressing, jaded, drowning souls, trapped behind the counter for years, their lives and ambitions fading away like the decay from a Line 6 delay pedal. It is you, the customer, who becomes the scapegoat for this person’s lack of fulfillment with his job and his life. At best, these people are simply a necessary annoyance. At worst, their behavior can turn a potentially fun part of the music process into an unpleasant and morale-damaging experience.