Thursday, March 24, 2011

Once Upon a Time...

That's right, this story starts with once upon a time. Why? Because once upon a time in retail, especially music and movie retail, owners used to know that to sell what was in stock, your staff have to be passionate about the product. Everybody I know wanted to work in a music store and I was lucky enough to experience the tail-end of the good times.

This brief little story is about people who are passionate about what they listen to and having the ability to use that gift to enlighten people who shop in stores.

As I said, it's rare to come across an employee nowadays that gives a rats ass about work. We, in the music industry, used to be able to choose the music that we listen to in the store and customers would come in and say "Wow, what is this that you're playing?! It's amazing, I'll take TEN!"

Ok, so that might be a slight exaggeration, but that used to happen all the time, but with more like one copy of something. Now we listen to this drivel that is created by some unknown person with terrible taste at our head offices and forced on us for 40 hours a week. Seriously, like 30-40 songs OVER AND OVER again ALL DAY!

People come into the store and essentially just walk right back out saying stuff like "What is this crap?!" Seriously. Some people obviously DO enjoy it, but those are the people who pirate shit and don't bother to come into the stores for the most part.

So this girl comes in and we start talking about music. We share the same beliefs that music industry has done this to themselves and that hardly any good artists get the recognition that they deserve. We talked about Florence & the Machine, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes and more. It was a great conversation. The girl as it turned out was looking for a CD for her friends birthday. So after talking to her about a bunch of other artists, we ended up having nothing in stock that she was specifically looking for. I went over all of the things we had talked about in my head and I turned to her and said, "Have you heard Marina and the Diamonds?" and the girl smiles and says, "I'll take two if you have them!"

Moments like this are rare nowadays in retail and they make us employees feel amazing when they do happen. I know what I'm talking about and I love sharing my knowledge with people who will appreciate what I have to say. I wish that the music industry could go back to those days, but in lieu of that, I'll just reminisce.

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