I went to B&H today to pick up a few things and was really frustrated by both of the salespeople I dealt with. Usually the people that work there are fast, efficient, and know more about the products than I do. They make more money that way. Not today.
Asked the first guy for a 6x7' Photek background in a bag, black. He spent 5 minutes on their website looking for the sku and then he got to the right page and I had to stop him and say "That one, that's what I want" before he clicked past it. To which he replied "Oh, you wanted a black Photek background in a bag? I completely misunderstood what you were asking for" I gave him a completely blank look, as I had asked for exactly that. Not sure how I could have been more clear or specific or direct. Plus it's not like I was asking for some obscure do-dad from a 15 year old camera. They have to sell these all the time. <shakes head>
Oh and why do Pocket Wizards cost so much? Seriously? I use them, like everyone else, and they work great. But $190 each? For a little radio transceiver? If they cost $5 to make I'd be surprised. And then they charge you $15 for a tiny 1/8" to 1/8" cable to connect it to the strobe. Look, for $190, they should include all of the little cables.
On my way out I thought I'd pick up some 4x5" black and white film to try my new Karsh look I'm going to work on. So I go up to the film counter and ask for Fuji b/w Quickload, as I couldn't remember the name of the Fuji b/w film (Which I know remember is Neopan, by the way). He spent 3 minutes, yes I counted, looking for it on the website. Pulls up some Quickload Velia page and asks, "Is this it?". No, silly man, that's decidedly NOT it. Velvia couldn't be further from b/w negative film if you tried really hard. And how the hell did you get seated at the film counter if you know nothing about film? It was so painful that I just gave up when he said they didn't have it. Of course, I got home and did a search for neopan 4x5 and it came right up. In stock. I'm out of frustration and into resignation.
I think my biggest problem is that I ask for competence in the people around me. For example, if you're in the film dept at the biggest camera store in America, is it too much to ask that you know something about film?
Sorry, I just had to rant.