Monday, March 31, 2008

Stereotyping Record Store Clerks

Well, someone has gone and written another silly screed against record store clerks. You can read it here.

I'm so tired of this stereotype of record store clerks. In my nearly thirty years of buying records, I can't recall a single time I've had a store employee say anything detrimental about what I was buying. No funny vibes. No intimidating glares. In fact, it's never been anything but the opposite.

The clerks I've dealt with have been incredibly helpful. I even remember one time as a kid when I asked a clerk for help because I couldn't find any Van Morrison albums under "V". Now, that's a perfect opportunity for a clerk to take a pound of flesh out of me for making him walk me to the "M" section. However, the guy just pointed out that Van is his first name and his albums are filed under "M". Not a dismissive tone in his voice.

The fact is that over the years, I've discovered a ton of great albums due to one clerk or another. Belle & Sebastian's If You're Feeling Sinister was from a clerk at Tunes in Hoboken. Lambchop's How I Quit Smoking was from a clerk at Vintage Vinyl in Jersey. And The Handsome Family's Twilight was courtesy of The Cush keyboardist Michael Clifford when he was working at Buch Spieler.

I don't know why this stereotype of record store clerks has developed but I think it has to do with people lacking confidence in their purchases and externalizing that cognitive dissonance by taking a paranoid stance against the otherwise innocuous looks from the person taking their cash.

Now, those asshats at Shaw's commenting on my choice of paper over plastic...I hate those fuckers.

photo courtesy of Control Top


cj howareya said...

"Where's your Sheena Easton?"

"Punk Section, back of the store."

"Why there?"

"Cuz Sheena is a Punk Rocker."

I was, what, 17?
Seemed pretty funny at the time. Sorry everybody . . .

Tanner M. said...

That CL post was L.A.M.E. - If you're going for the funny post at least make it somewhat original, do some research on current hipster trends please. Vests? Star Tattoos?

This guy sounds like he's writing about something that he imagines happened to a friend of his in 1994.

i stand by my customer service at Pure Pop, and i know other employees there do as well. Except maybe herb. he's a son of a bitch.

Bob F. said...

I've never had my feelings hurt at a record store by an employee. Maybe by the choice of bad songs playing on the overhead, but never by a clerk directly.

Speaking of Vintage Vinyl, they've got an instore by The Dodos tonight. Still the best record store on the East Coast, hands down.