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    His Attitude Needs A Converter

    | Watertown, MA, USA | Bigotry, Technology

    (I am the only female in the electronics department of a large retail store. A young male customer comes in.)

    Me: “Hello, sir. Can I help you find something?”

    Customer: “Er, um, actually if you don’t mind, could I perhaps speak to someone a bit more… male?”

    Me: “Why of course, sir. Give me one moment.”

    (I find my direct supervisor. I let him know that the customer wants to speak to someone more ‘male’.)

    Supervisor: “Hello, sir. I understand you have a question for me?”

    Customer: “Yes. I was wondering if you sold any televisions that didn’t need a converter box.”

    (My supervisor looks at me.)

    Me: “If you purchase a television that was manufactured after 2004, a digital tuner is more likely to have been included in the design specifications. We can check for an Advanced Television Systems Committee input if you’d like.”

    Customer: “Uh… so?”

    Me: “An ATSC is often referred to as a ‘digital input’, which negates the need for an external antennae to capture an analog signal. When the conversion happens, it will be essential that the TV you wish to continue using have the ability to receive and translate digital signals.”

    Customer: “Um…”

    Me: “Furthermore, should you decide to utilize a Video Cassette Recorder, you would most likely find it beneficial to connect a converter box to translate the digital signal to an analog recording outlet.”

    Customer: *blank look*

    Me: “Any TV we sell has a built in digital tuner, so you don’t need a converter box. If you want to use a VCR with a new TV, you will need a converter box.”

    Customer: *speaking quickly* “Um, thanks. Have a nice day. Sorry.”

    (The customer proceeds to bow his head, tuck his hands in his pockets, and walk rapidly towards the front door.)

    Supervisor: “Nice.”