View Full Version : What happened to the knowledgable ...

03-03-2003, 07:36 AM
sales associates? When I was growing up and you had a question about a paticular problem you would go to the store that delt in that and they could answer your question. You know what I mean.

If something was wrong with your car the guy at the parts store could answer your question. Or you could go to the hardware store and get just about any question answered. Or as in my latest I went to Radio Shack to ask a question about electronics and I knew more than the guy behind the counter, and that ain't saying much.

Seems these days you get snot nosed kids working at these places that have no knowledge of what they are supposed to be selling.


G. Schollmeier
03-03-2003, 07:56 AM
People use to be happy to pay the neighbor hardware guy for his knowledge. Now they ask their questions then buy from the big box or off the net.

Gary :D

Dutch Rub
03-03-2003, 07:57 AM
Stop companing........ Youre lucky you found some one behind the counter who knows how to speak English.

03-03-2003, 08:06 AM
in defense of snot nosed kids,,they grow up and at least in Radio Shack they're exposed to stuff to make stuff,,,and as any guy can attest,,stuff is fun.

Greg H
03-03-2003, 08:07 AM
A lot of these kids are minimum wage employees that are just there to make a buck. I see it as symptimatic of a society out of balance, where money is the goal and how you make it is irrelivant. Personaly, I can't understand how anyone can spend days doing something and not taking an interest in it, and trying to do the best they can. Fortunatly, it's not all the kids that feel this way.

stan v
03-03-2003, 08:13 AM
I agree Greg H. With mom and pop closing stores across this nation, the how-to knowledge may or may not end up in the large retail stores. Wal Mart is a great example, and to some extent Home Depot is another. Sometimes I get qualified help at the buiding centers, sometimes I don't. Small business owners are the backbone of this country. The more of these we lose, the more knowledge at the counter is lost.

Chris Coose
03-03-2003, 08:30 AM
The flight info number at Delta is busy on sunny days. Impossible to get info on questionable days. No internet connect on flight info.
Absolutely useless waste of time to call them.
Never again on Delta.

stan v
03-03-2003, 08:39 AM
Which is another item that slows down information exchange, the computer receptionist. The menu driven, takes forever to get to where you want to go, then to be hurried along so the next call can be rushed. What's wrong? I've agreed with Coose AND Greg?

David N.
03-03-2003, 10:54 AM
life at homless de-pot , there you are ready to buy , cash in hand , the person helping (?) you , little phone ring's and you watch them turn around and walk off .Worst thing Home depot or any other store could do , take those phones and radio's away , the person who has driven there is ready to spend their money , the person on the phone has a question , where is the profit ?? .

I was grazing over in the tool dept. one day , and a woman wanted to buy her husband a saw , the sales person told her about the saw and how to change the blade , they said " this nut" ( it was a bolt ) has a " reverse thread " , ya pay peanut's , ya get monkeys !! .

And Delta ( isnt that greek for change ) was flying out of sea-tac heading for slc , stew comes up and tells me my luggage is on the way to Africa .

HIGH tack(y)

03-03-2003, 10:59 AM
I have two friends in the auto parts business and boy are they hurtin! Because a)incentive financing put a lot of people who can't really afford them into new cars, b)cars don't break down as often, c)when they do break down the backyard mechanic can't fix them, d) the dealerships are going after the aftermarket business, e)no one's into fixing his own car or changing his own oil anymore, f)older cars are going overseas, g)the big chains like Autozone are radically changing the business.

Like Home Depot, the big auto parts chains have made the manufacturers responsible for financing inventory. AZ pays for stock only AFTER it's sold - you can imagine how much $ that frees up to buy other stores and squeeze the competition. All inventory is controlled by the home office, so all you need in the store is some minimum-wagers to stock the shelves and scan the items. The days when you can find someone behind the counter who knows anything about cars are very numbered.

I always do business at the little store if I can. In most cases their prices are equal to the big ones because they're in buyers' coops. But the trend in retail as in everything else is toward centraliation. When all the good jobs are overseas, we can still work at Walmart for $7 an hour, maybe, if they'll take us.

03-03-2003, 11:05 AM
I live in a 'small-town-like' area in the (yes) CITY of St. Louis- we are VERY fortunate to have many mom-n-pop-type stores that the strong community supports-

My local hardware store can get 99% of anything that the box stores can get- AND he, Steve, can tell me the ins and outs of every product--an invaluable resource to be sure.

Same way with the m&p grocery stores, etc. I LOVE MY NEIGHBORHOOD.

Yes, times have changed. In college, I sold for a m&p sporting goods store, and we prided ourselves on knowing nearly every detail on nearly every item in the store. We were good, and they still are!!

Unfortunately, in some places, finding knowledge is like pulling teeth ... not very convenient or fun!!

BUT- there is an easy solution- buy on service ... NOT just on price!!! We all want the guaranteed lowest price, then we complain about lack of service ... it's a double-edged sword.

I'll gladly pay 1-3% more ...


Ken Hall
03-03-2003, 11:13 AM
The disposal issue has made changing your own oil pretty much impractical. I've given it up long since.

I was talking with my dad and brother and grandpa about kids and cars yesterday. Back when I started driving in the '70s, you could get a car, say from grandpa on the "You fix it, it's yours" plan, or a $100 beater, and have some hope that it would be roadworthy or that you could make it roadworthy because it was mechanically pretty simple. A teenager could hope to support a modest car, keep gas in it, and pay his share of the insurance on a part-time minimum-wage job then, at least if your grades were good enough to get the "good student discount."

My argument was, the beater wasn't really that much worse than the late-model car back then if you could maintain and repair it properly (apart from being rusted out smile.gif ). Even a hack like myself could keep a '71 Duster or Chevy G-10 van running pretty readily. Nowadays, cars are a lot better, but there's also a lot less the average person can fix himself without renting special Bizarro World one-use tools and such.

Nowadays, I don't think you could support a car on a part-time MW job. Still, I don't think giving the kid a car for his 16th birthday is the right answer either, and kids ought at least know how to change a tire, check and replace a fuse, wiper blades, etc.

Jim H
03-03-2003, 12:06 PM
Finding knowledgeable people behind the counter is really a hit-or-miss proposition. Several times one of my family members has had a "knowledgeable" person give them bogus information. What really drives me nuts is when they will not even acknowledge your presence, not a "hello" or "thank you" and that has nothing to do with what wage they are paid. :mad:

[ 03-03-2003, 12:07 PM: Message edited by: JimHillman ]

Alan D. Hyde
03-03-2003, 02:48 PM
I still change my own oil on both my cars, and our older children change their own too. It's just not that hard to do, and it gives you a prompt to look over things a little. It also keeps you from losing an engine as a result of a careless minimum-wage employee's mistake. I know of two recent cases in which this has happened to friends. One was compensated for the lost engine by the oil change company, the other never got a dime.

As far as disposal, around here, all the oil change places are official oil recycling centers. I pour the used oil into gallon jugs from the drain pan, and take it there.

I believe (but am not sure) that these places may sell the used oil...


Chris Coose
03-03-2003, 02:55 PM
When was the last time anyone has heard of the time honored apprentiship concept in the US.
It's gone the way of the stay at home mom.

Alan D. Hyde
03-03-2003, 03:02 PM
Well, as far as all the stuff we do around the house, cars, boat, repairs, maintenance, gardening, cooking, etc., Joy and I have always treated the children as apprentices, and given them more responsibilities as they master the ones they already have...

Their grandparents do the same.

We've encouraged reading good books (an active kind of thing) and discouraged TV-watching (a passive timewaster).

But, in the workplace, I think you're generally right, with some exceptions like the restaurant industry and construction...

As a sidenote, the stay-at-home Dad went away about 100 years before the stay-at-home Mom. Until that time, in most cases, both parents worked at home (in the U.S.).


[ 03-03-2003, 03:05 PM: Message edited by: Alan D. Hyde ]

03-03-2003, 11:04 PM
(THUD!!!!!!) :D

03-03-2003, 11:12 PM
Stan, always try 0 as soon as possible. If that doesn't work, # and then * are usually where the real bodies are at. Yeah, 24/7 service, and if it's for a PC they're just reading out of a book in Bangalore.