Found The Karma Chord

, , , , , | Right | November 21, 2017

(I am working in the guitar department of a large music store. Amongst other things like sale, maintenance, and repair of instruments, we specifically offer customers the opportunity to try out the guitars. This almost always goes without a problem. This afternoon, I am alone, serving a line of about five customers.)

Customer #1: “Can I try out this guitar? I saw the signs by the racks.”

Me: “Certainly, I’ll show you the try-out amps and you can pick your favourite to try it.”

(I lead him to the amplifiers and hook up his guitar. I turn the amp up to about 25%, so that I can still hear the other customers. At this, the customer begins to rage.)

Customer #1: “NO! YOU HAVE TO TURN IT ALL THE WAY UP; OTHERWISE I CAN’T HEAR IF IT’S A GOOD GUITAR!”

Me: “Sir, if I did that, these other customers couldn’t understand their own words. It’s also company policy. I assure you that this level is perfectly acceptable to hear the qualities of your guitar.”

Customer #1: “I SAID TO TURN IT THE F*** UP! HOW THE F*** AM I SUPPOSED TO HEAR IF YOU’RE JUST SELLING S*** INSTEAD OF QUALITY INSTRUMENTS, IF YOU WON’T LET ME HEAR IT?”

(This goes back and forth for five minutes, until the customer finally and reluctantly accepts that I won’t turn the amp up any higher. While he starts playing what I can only guess should be classic rock riffs, I return to my till where [Customer #2], a gentleman in his late 60s with long, white hair, hands me an old, worn-down bass guitar.)

Customer #2: “My grandson has started to become really interested in music and wants to learn to play his own. I would like to have my old bass restored as a gift for his upcoming birthday. You do repairs, right?”

Me: “Of course! It will be as good as new in no time. If you will fill out this form, we can address any special issues and desires you may–”

(At this point we are interrupted by incredibly loud shrieking, as [Customer #1] has decided to turn his amp up himself. Everyone is holding their ears as I run over to him.)

Me: “SIR, PLEASE TURN YOUR AMP DOWN! YOU ARE DISTURBING THE OTHER CUSTOMERS!”

([Customer #1] is just standing provocatively in front of his amp, letting his guitar feed back and gesturing that he doesn’t hear me. After a moment, [Customer #2] comes over, takes a guitar from the racks, and plugs it into the amp next to [Customer #1], who is surprised and mutes his guitar.)

Customer #2: “Excuse me, young man. It is obvious you know what you’re doing. Would you honor me by letting me play along with you for a bit?”

Customer #1: “Errr… Sure, Grandpa, but try to keep up with me.”

(At this, [Customer #1] returns to play what I can only describe as the worst version of “Smoke on the Water” I have ever heard – and I have heard many – until [Customer #2] turns his amp just about a third of the way up and starts playing incredibly fast solos on his guitar. [Customer #1] stares in amazement, as does the rest of the shop, and stops playing.)

Customer #2: *stopping for just a moment* “This is only going to work if you play your part, as well, instead of looking at me. I can’t do all the work at my age.”

([Customer #1] stares a bit longer as the old man continues playing. Then, without a word, he drops his guitar on the floor and storms out, red-faced. [Customer #2] turns off the other amp and turns to the rest of the store:)

Customer #2: “The only way to silence bad musicians is by showing them how it is really done.”

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