Have you ever noticed that no matter which Best Buy you go into, you end up seeing the same people working there? That's because there are seven types of people that work at every single Best Buy, with no exceptions.
A little known fact about me is that I worked at Best Buy for a couple of years in high school before getting fired for badly, badly abusing the employee discount system. But while there I learned a lot about the types of people that work in such an establishment, and I've noticed the same people in other Best Buys that I've been to since. So here are my list of the seven types of people you'll find there, from a former employee's perspective.
AU: Even though this is for Best Buy, it's still an entertaining read.
Illustrations by Dan Meth
Next time you go to Best Buy, be on the lookout. I promise you'll see at least a couple of these characters.
Car Audio Thug You'll find this guy in the car audio department. He's got a big plug earring in each ear, some form of facial hair out of a late-90's R&B video and tattoos on his forearms. He tears into the parking lot every day, tires squealing, bass blasting, in a late-model Civic that he's dumped thousands of dollars into. You suspect that if he didn't have a job selling car stereos, he'd be stealing them.
Marginally Cute Customer Service Girl This girl works at the customer service desk or as a cashier. She's maybe 17 years old and is kind of cute, but only when compared to the chubby piles of sadness she's surrounded with. Because of this, she's constantly hit on/sexually harassed by the guys who stock CDs and DVDs. She manages to take this in stride somehow and is almost infuriatingly perky and chipper. The chances of her having hooked up with the car audio thug are very high.
Grizzled Old Home Theater/Computer Sales Lifer This guy has seen some shit. He's a refugee from Lechmere or Tweeter or some other now-defunct retail outlet. He knows the most about the products he sells, which is why all the part-time high school employees send customers with actual questions his way. He's got an air of resigned acceptance about his life, and while he's all-business with customers, he's got no filter with fellow employees. He tells inappropriate jokes and talks vulgarly about the managers behind their back. He has a strictly regimented cigarette break every 2.5 hours that he never, ever misses.
Pervy Geek Squad Guy This guy searches every computer that's in for service for porn, collecting everything he finds on an external HDD that he keeps in the back. He talks in graphic terms about what he'd do to women who he sees enter the store, but when he talks to them he's totally professional. You suspect that he pleasures himself behind the plastic curtains, but you don't want to confirm this. He's got a level 80 World of Warcraft character. Somehow, he and the grizzled old sales guy are buddies and eat lunch together.
Sad Department Manager This guy went to college then, after graduation, moved back home with his parents to save money. He ended up getting a job at Best Buy while he "figured stuff out." It's 10 years later and he still lives in the town he went to high school in, is balding, gained 15 pounds and is the manager of the digital cameras department. He's perfectly adequate at his job, but talking to him for more than 5 minutes just makes you so damned sad.
Slick Careerist Manager This guy wants to go right to the top. He runs team meetings, irons his blue polos, and gets a hard-on when talking about accessory sales and service-plan attach rates. He's climbing the ladder with everything he's got, and he spews corporate nonsense with the passion of a true believer. You've never seen him have an actual human interaction with someone, and you wonder if he even has any furniture in his apartment. He may be a robot.
Terrifying Loss-Prevention Guy This guy is either an ex-con, an ex-cop or a vet. He is jacked yet forced to wear a yellow polo shirt, which creates a false sense of levity when dealing with him. He may seem friendly on the outside, but if you cross him he will snap your neck. He legitimately thinks that it's unfair that Best Buy security guys aren't allowed to carry sidearms. He has so much rage bottled up inside him that you know to just say hello and smile and otherwise steer clear.