Do I look like a JB Hi fi employee?

June 2, 2008 at 12:21 am | Posted in Me | Leave a comment
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That’s not meant to be aggressive, although it probably sounds like it! It just sums up what I was feeling a couple of weeks ago. I was at one of their stores with a mate, and was staring at the wall of iPods, playing that lovely game “If I could have any iPod which would I go for” (surprisingly difficult game given the different options and uses available). Anyway, I was standing there staring, when an older gentleman walked up stood next to me and was staring too. At first I thought, hey someone else knows how to play my game, but then realised he was actually seriously evaluating the products. This actually became more evident when he turned to me and asked “What is the difference between these iPods and these mp3 players?” I looked at him, looked around thinking perhaps he was talking to a phantom employee (didn’t see anybody else), then realised I was probably spending too much time doing mental gymnastics that I better actually answer him. I went on to explain the difference between them, which morphed into a conversation around what an actual mp3 was and how to get mp3s, whether you could get them from CDs etc. All of these questions would probably seem rather normal for a JB Hi Fi employee but I didn’t think I would be answering them on a Thursday night.

It did get me thinking about how much I take technology for granted, I mean right now I am listening to my mp3 player and typing on a macbook whilst connected to the internet using wireless. So it seems quite natural for me to be able to grapple the mp3 formats, sliding between iPods, mp3 players, macs and pcs. But I realised for someone like this guy, it must be difficult. I felt that I couldn’t really explain everything properly and felt that I possibly made him more confused! He didn’t know what mp3 was, what it actually did and why it was different to music on an audio CD. I think through this one interaction it really brought home that there is a gap in knowledge that exists in generations when it comes to technology, sure parents, grandparents use the net etc, but I wonder whether they do actually have the same level of, I suppose, just ease when it comes to understanding something new when it comes to technology.

It’s interesting that had a JB Hi fi employee been available at the time, I might not have had this one moment of realisation … good deed done!

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