So today we went out to maybe find a store where I could buy (and of course return) a lense until I get the one I web-ordered. Anyway I didn’t feel like ripping of any of the few small left-over specialized photo stores and I didn’t want to go to any of the two places where I didn’t buy the camera because web was cheaper. So there were too electronics gadgets markets left to try for a lense: Multimediamarkt & Makromarkt.

The result of our lense odyssee? Well quite funny actually.

First we went to Mediamarkt. I had this story how I wanted to get a lense for my Dad’s camera as a birthday present for him by my mother. Whatever. That included a good reasoning, why I needed to get a lense quickly, why just about any lense would do it, why a cheap lense would be okay, why I would return it a few days later and why I didn’t bring the camera along to try it out. Well. So much for the story. So there’s this clerk obviously responsible for the camera section. Excuse me: the small camera section. But he was busy with a couple who were trying to buy a camera “but please not a digital camera!” So I started looking for lenses by myself. I quickly found their selection was rather small so I decided I’d ask for the one type of lense they seemed to have: a wide angle.

Once he got rid of the analog fans I went up to the clerk and asked: “I am looking for a wide angle lense for a Canon EOS 20D?!?!” He looked like he’d been abducted by aliens and was trying to think of an excuse for not showing up for work or whatever. “Ah uh well hmmm let me see …. we have this Sigma lense, Canon you said? Oh we only have it for Nikon or Sigma cameras … uh well I guess we don’t have any Canon lenses. Hmmm sorry.” Well they had one but it was so expensive I’d rather not “lend” that one for a week-end.

So off we were to Makromarkt being rather disappointed because I had figured that my scruples were the biggest obstacle between me and a week-end of taking pictures.

The next surprise wasn’t so big anymore after the Mediamarkt disaster. At Makromarkt they didn’t even have a single lense for any camera. They had this terrible small camera section not even a clerk there to get people to buy something. I just have to say this: I felt bad for the store because how can they possibly make money with a selection like that. Of course I might just have a rather exclusive taste with electronics products. But neither are they cheap nor do they have cool gizmos. I felt just as bad for the customers. I mean: why buy there when you can get slightly better prices a bigger selection and better service just a few minutes away? Just because there’s a Walmart next door?

Actually I guess I prefer the feeling of getting ripped off and paying to much for cool products to the feeling of being ofter the low end for mediocre prices. It’s easier to hate stores like Saturn where the prices are high and the clerks treat you like dirt. It’s much more complicated to buy at stores where you know that a dozen sales might make a difference to the job of that guy ….

But I am not rich. I cannot quite afford to save other people’s jobs.

By Yashima

Writer of code and stories