Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The one about the television sales guy

It's been five days since my television blew up.  When I say "blew up" I mean everything went black and there was a terrible smell.

I don't have the money to buy a new television right now and have decided to wait and see what happens.  Maybe I'll like not having a TV.

In the meantime, I decided to visit a TV shop and see what's happening in case a rich benefactor decides to make a donation.  There's so much to consider now and this makes me very nervous as I famously invest in the technology that seems like a good thing but disappears with a whisper minutes after I have it installed and have become attached. A lot like men, really.

Television sales guys (and they are all guys) seem like they used to be PE teachers at high school but had to leave because of a scandal involving one of the senior girls.  Or the accounting teacher.  The either call me "ma'am" which I hate, or "miss" which I also hate.  And they shout when they talk, listing features that you didn't even know were relevant to televisions with an urgency that instills a low level of anxiety.

Me: Something happened to my TV the other day. I'm not sure, but I think it might be dead.

TV sales guy: What happened to the TV.  (note the lack of a question mark - this has been done deliberately to recreate the exact tone of the conversation.)

Me: I was watching the Seinfeld episode about the Junior Mint? And the mint was about to be tossed? When the screen went black? The on/off switch started switching on and off?! Then there was a terrible smell.
(I know, I know.  I was compensating for his lack of an upward inflection.  All those muscles encased in a shiny, polyester polo shirt were making me nervous.)

The TV sales guy got out a black arm band and put it on over his polo shirt.  He pulled out a handkerchief and offered it to me: I'm afraid it's dead.  There's nothing to be done.


TV sales guy: So you want another TV. (no question mark again)

Me:  Well it's been twelve years since I bought a television (knowing smirk from TV sales guy) and I want to know what I'm dealing with if I decide to buy another one.

TV sales guy: Narrow it down. How much do you want to spend. What size do you want.

Again, so similar to men.

I wanted to him to help me with this.  In the end I pointed at something and named Sony as my preferred brand.  There were two models which looked identical, except for the $200 difference in the price tag.  I asked TV sales guy what the difference was.

Me: So what's the difference between these two televisions?

TV sales guy: Oh this one is better.  (Points at more expensive model.)

Me: Why?

TV sales guy:  This one is faster. (Points at more expensive model.)

Faster.  It's a television!  Where's it going?  If it can actually buy milk and have it in the fridge when I return from a business trip, then speed is worth having, but for something that sits in the lounge room all day, every day, I don't think speed is on my list of television selecting criteria.  

TV sales guy: It's to do with the picture.  If you look at a still shot on both models you wouldn't notice the difference, but if the picture moves, it can look at bit choppy on that one.  (Points at less expensive model.)

If it moves.  Well it's a television.  It's all about moving pictures these days.  

Me: Is this something I would notice if you hadn't told me?

TV sales guy: Do you watch a lot of sport.

The look of resignation on his face as he made this statement told me that he already knew the answer and there was no way he was squeezing a couple of hundred extra out of me!  I asked him to write down the details.  As he did this I asked whether they install the television as part of the service.

Me: Do you install the television as part of the service?

TV sales guy: We can get a guy to deliver it. To your house.

So it's quieter than usual around here at the moment and I have plenty to pass the time.  The one thing I am grappling with is the impact the lack of a television has had on my knitting output.  I knit in front of the TV.  With no TV it feels weird to just sit and knit.

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