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GC Wuss Management!


Dr. Ellwood

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Holy Toledo! I just got back from my local Guitar Center! went over for that List sale.. anyway a 15 year old kid was plugged into a Mesa head and 4X12 cabinet playing a reissure LP and had it CRANKED!! for at least a half hour WITHOUT LETTING UP AT ALL!!TRYING to play some Metal garbage... So I was trying out a PRS soap bar into a little Fender amp sitting about 12 feet away from this idiot.. I coulnt hear myself at all..so he stops for a second and looks at me and says "so..you wanna jam!" I said JAM I outa smack ya one!!" he got offended and then really cranked it! OK but the point is the stupid addle brained management there never said ONE word to this kid! UN-F*&^&??IN REAL!!!! :mad::mad:
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I know exactly what you mean Ellwood, but I've come to expect that from GC. That's why I don't go there too much. By offending him, it probably only perpetuated the GC tradition of unnecessary teenage volume. Maybe instead of threatening him you could have asked him nicely to hold off playing while you checked out your axe. He may have actually let you try your guitar in peace for a few minutes and maybe would have seen how an experienced player tries one out. Also remember that the management at GC is probably about the same age as that kid :D

 

Paul

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You know what you are probably right!! I think the manager at (Southfield)GC is not more than 30 and the rest of the staff looks like early 20's and younger!... ya I guess I could have asked him but see by the time I went over and picked up the PRS and plugged in this kid had been playing at least 15 mins like that. I thought (silly me) that he would back off some for a couple of mins he saw I was trying to hear myself! OH WELL! In there there was a local blues player I know and he was trying to hear himself play a Yahama style L5 for jazz and blues and he just gave up in discust ...walked by gave me a nuckle rubbin on my head and Shouted GOOD LUCK!!! WHAT A MESS!
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Yeah dude, we will have to meet up there on a Sunday or something. My friend Stu does the guitar setups. I was going to try out the used Marshall DSL to see if I liked it. I know I don't like the ultra lead tone out of it but I was curious what the crunch channel was like. I was going to A/B it with my head. I was too lazy after it was all said and done. I ended up sitting around all day/night. I usually get sucked into the acoustic room anyways so I don't have to deal with the noise.
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You may want to try to call Sammy Moir at GC Headquarters. He used to be the top guy in customer relations and takes stuff like this really seriously as well as any customer complaint. When you have a GC complaint try to find the store manager, not just the department manager. If you don't get anywhere with the store manager then contact GC HQ. They really do jump of stuff and make things happen. Maybe they can institute a dB level guide or time limit on playing or something.

 

If you think this was a bother to you just think of the nerves of the sales folks that have to stay there all day and listen to a lot of the folks that come in the GC as it is some sort of amusement park or something. You hear about postal workkers going over the edge .... I wonder how many Guitar Center stories there are like this that never make the press. There has to be at least ONE great story out there where a sales person just could not take it anymore!

Myles S. Rose

www.guitaramplifierblueprinting.com

www.la-economy.blogspot.com

www.facebook.com/mylesr

www.twitter.com/myles111us

 

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I know a few of the managers. One of them is a great guy, his name is Scott. A good player too. He kinda looks like rod stewart mixed with an Aussie or something.

 

I am sure he would stick up for you cuz he would hate that shit too. They just want to sell amps. I am sure they want to let people go sick constantly in hopes that maybe they will get a buyer

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Originally posted by ellwood:

Yes myles I will give him a call,it has happened in that store too many times. Oh an by the way I just read your entire blueprinting site...and found it to be excellant! I liked your thoughts on the Line6 or SS philosophy...interesting!

ellwood.......

 

The folks over there will do something and you can ask them to please get back to you with some feedback.

 

On solid state amps ... I grew up with some awful examples but with some great ones too. The Standel, Jordan, Acoustic, Roland Cube series and JC-120, the Jazz standard PolyTone, and the list goes on and on.

 

On a side note ..... you have an amazing guitar to say the least.

Myles S. Rose

www.guitaramplifierblueprinting.com

www.la-economy.blogspot.com

www.facebook.com/mylesr

www.twitter.com/myles111us

 

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@ellwood,

 

Lee, I had the same kind of thing happen to me this morning when I tried out that Aerodyne Strat. I was playing it unplugged to see what it sounded like. Next thing I know this kid (about 20 I guess) plunked opposite me, plugged in a Squire into a Frontman 15 and got obnoxious with it. I stopped because I couldn't hear my guitar anymore and just looked at him. He looked up from the fretboard that he was really having to concentrate on (just to play E A D :rolleyes: ) and he just grinned at me.

 

I said to him do you mind, I'm trying to hear this, indicating the Strat I was holding. He said, well plug it in, then. So I did.

 

There was a Marshall MG100DFX right next to me. So I plugged in to that and cranked it up to about 7 on the master volume and about 4 on the gain. Then I started whaling on American Woman (the Guess Who version).

 

He stopped after about 5 seconds of me playing. So I stopped and looked at him and said. "Kind of annoying when you're trying to hear something and some jerk drowns you out, isn't it?"

 

He just nodded. I unplugged again and said, I'd be done in a few minutes. He said he'd wait and he watched me check out the guitar. And he did. He watched me the whole time.

 

When I got done, he asked me why I played it unplugged since it's an electric guitar. I said that you could get the pure tones from the guitar from playing it unplugged without having the pickups and the amp coloring it. So he proceeded to do the same with the Squier Tele he was holding. He even said "thanks" as I was leaving. (wow, was I surprised at that...)

Born on the Bayou

 

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LP! yep happens all the time! that was one of the things I liked about MARS when they where here and in business and in direct competition with GC! THEY MARS had managers that would try to look out for the concerns of everyone..young and older players.. I have seen managers offer to move amps to rehearsal rooms for people that wanted to acid test amps and go completely out of their way to accommodate players needs! They had adults managing the stores who actually looked after what was going on ..on the floor! I can honestly say that in all the years of going in music stores and test driving amps I have NEVER caused the kinds of sonic garbage I hear now days in the stores!
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Originally posted by flagshipmile:

I try to avoid any kind of confrontation about something that dumb, I will just go in the acoustic room and play until he leaves or whatever.

Well, he didn't appear to be much older than my son and I guess the father in me just kind of decided this kid needed a lesson. God knows I've had to bang some things into my kid's head (not physically).

 

You're right, of course, I probably should have just avoided the confrontation. But sometimes the testosterone just gets in the way... ;)

Born on the Bayou

 

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Originally posted by ellwood:

LP! yep happens all the time! that was one of the things I liked about MARS when they where here and in business and in direct competition with GC! THEY MARS had managers that would try to look out for the concerns of everyone..young and older players.. I have seen managers offer to move amps to rehearsal rooms for people that wanted to acid test amps and go completely out of their way to accommodate players needs! They had adults managing the stores who actually looked after what was going on ..on the floor! I can honestly say that in all the years of going in music stores and test driving amps I have NEVER caused the kinds of sonic garbage I hear now days in the stores!

I would surely love to see someone resurrect MARS Music. The store in here in Atlanta was a musician's fantasy. I used to go in there on a Saturday and spend at least two hours drooling over things.

Born on the Bayou

 

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Well it seems like you've been informed by Myles, but my question is; Given the salespeople and management failed to ask him to turn down themselves, why didn't you ask someone to say something to him?? There must've been salespeople and managers around.

 

This is no excuse for GC staff letting him go on for so long, but sometimes you need to be the catalyst if you really want to get something changed. In this case it seems obvious to me that you shoulda just asked someone why he was annointed that he could wail for a half hour or more while paying customers were left waiting.. or leaving. ;)

 

The words, "paying customer" always get a salesperson's attention. ;)

 

BTW - Does your GC have a private audition room? The Nashville store has one, filled to the gills with ultra cool amps and several of their finer, vintage instruments.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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fntstcsnd

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Originally posted by fantasticsound:

Well it seems like you've been informed by Myles, but my question is; Given the salespeople and management failed to ask him to turn down themselves, why didn't you ask someone to say something to him?? There must've been salespeople and managers around.

 

This is no excuse for GC staff letting him go on for so long, but sometimes you need to be the catalyst if you really want to get something changed. In this case it seems obvious to me that you shoulda just asked someone why he was annointed that he could wail for a half hour or more while paying customers were left waiting.. or leaving. ;)

 

The words, "paying customer" always get a salesperson's attention. ;)

 

BTW - Does your GC have a private audition room? The Nashville store has one, filled to the gills with ultra cool amps and several of their finer, vintage instruments.

Well Neil..I did and they said they where going to go find a manager..Scott who I know and so does FlagShipMile..but he never came back and I couldnt find him either... you dont know me but believe me Im probably the most not shy person you could imagine... I didnt pursue it any further with the kid or there could have been nasties happening. Your second question about having a private room ..well there was one of a fashion originally... it got converted in a DJ BOOTH ...that tells me alot!!!! as always ..Monday morning quarter backing and hinde sight is always 20/20 in this case Im glad I did not try to handle it myself
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Originally posted by fantasticsound:

The words, "paying customer" always get a salesperson's attention. ;)

Unfortunately, today, many of the youmg people working in stores seem completely oblivious to the profit motive. Do GC employees work on commission?

 

BTW - Does your GC have a private audition room? The Nashville store has one, filled to the gills with ultra cool amps and several of their finer, vintage instruments.
My local GC has a "vault" room that can be fairly quiet. But it was occupied when I was there (and a line of people waiting to use it).

Born on the Bayou

 

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You know I have always wondered why GC never built 5 playing booths with 2-3 amps in each. People could close the door, crank it to 11 (Spinal Tap reference hehe) and try out different amps that way. The amps outside the booths would need to be kept at a "normal" level.

 

The problem I always had is trying to ask a question with someone trying to peel the paint off the walls with a solo. Two people yelling at each other going, "What did you say??"

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GC is most definitely on commission. They have no use for people who can't sell "x" amount each week, though the reality of commission sales is that few will make commission, and those that do would make far more in other types of sales jobs. Most of the good salespeople they retain don't want the pain and suffering of working in a suit and tie environment, pushing product they have absolutely no interest in. That and two other reasons; Flexibility of hours for playing gigs and huge discounts on gear.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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fntstcsnd

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Originally posted by Dazed:

You know I have always wondered why GC never built 5 playing booths with 2-3 amps in each. People could close the door, crank it to 11 (Spinal Tap reference hehe) and try out different amps that way. The amps outside the booths would need to be kept at a "normal" level.

 

The problem I always had is trying to ask a question with someone trying to peel the paint off the walls with a solo. Two people yelling at each other going, "What did you say??"

BTW - Dazed, MARS had 4 or 5 such rooms, in addition to teaching rooms, and smart salespeople directed guys who wanted to perform extended auditions of gear to those rooms. But they were very small and closed in. Not conducive to checking out a loud guitar amp. Gibson has two, IIRC, at the showcase. As mentioned, our GC in Nashville has one. Decent size, but still small.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Originally posted by fantasticsound:

GC is most definitely on commission. They have no use for people who can't sell "x" amount each week, though the reality of commission sales is that few will make commission, and those that do would make far more in other types of sales jobs. Most of the good salespeople they retain don't want the pain and suffering of working in a suit and tie environment, pushing product they have absolutely no interest in. That and two other reasons; Flexibility of hours for playing gigs and huge discounts on gear.

Working in a suit and tie enviroment is not necessarly pain and suffering...it depends on WHAT you are doing while in a suit and tie. Some PROFESSIONS expect that people dress professionally, and the people in these professions expect and like to dress in suits and ties. So, pain and suffering is only a personal opinion not shared by everyone.
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ellwood, how is it you spin people's words so far out into left field??

 

Let me spell it out for you so you understand, thoroughly. :rolleyes:

 

Most salespeople AT Guitar Center (Or 90% of all music stores I've been to in 30 years of MI shopping.) are musicians who need steady income. They work at music stores because the hours complement their lifestyle (late mornings to evening) and they have knowledge and experience as players of their instruments. Most have no interest in wearing suits anywhere. Many have long or otherwise non-traditional business haircuts, exposed tattoos and any number of other physical or fashion attributes that preclude them from dressing as such in the average sales office. Gibson guitars is the only corporate environment I've ever seen where stereotypical rock and roll image is tolerated.. and even there limits are expanded but still very real in this area.

 

These are not people who have any interest, as a group, in "dressing for success" in the business mold. A few do, and they end up either in management or move on to positions in companies where they can make a lot more money than at MI retailers, but those people are few and far between.

 

I never meant to intimate that wearing a suit and tie is pain and suffering, only that the bulk of MI retail salespeople do see it that way, and therefore do not take much more lucrative sales jobs in other industries.

 

Now do you understand??

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Neil, I understand of coarse..how is it that you come off so condescending in most cases? have you ever noticed that?"Let me spell this out for YOU" Do NOT talk down to people that you do NOT know... you might be surprised if you knew them or their background, and feel very foolish possibly. I have noticed a tendency to defend GC personnel, why is this? is there some personal connection to GC? are you somehow an "insider"? or is it just a coincidence? And if those GC salesman see dressing in a suit and tie to be somehow "non-artistic" they are very wrong,give them about twenty years of "cool" and they look back and re-evaluate if it was all worth it? I know some and they for the most part wish to hell they had decided to be maybe not so cool.
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Originally posted by Christopher Robin:

Spend a lot of time in a suit. do ya?

:D

 

You're right. My last post was condescending. That's because you all but came out and called me an idiot for daring to suggest that most high gross/net salespeople at GC are atypical to your average commission salesman and view the traditional, business suit environment as a non-issue. They don't want it and would rather make less money at GC, have more flexibility to gig, and dress in what they see as comfortable clothes.

 

You mistook my description of such people as some kind of insult to you or anyone who enjoys the business life. Nothing could be further from the truth. Talk about condescending.. It was you who felt the need to talk down to me by explaining what I already knew.. that some business realities require a suit and tie whether one likes it or not. So what? I never said otherwise. Frankly, why should you care if I or anyone else does or doesn't like living in the suit-and-tie world?

 

Besides, I've lived in that world and, had the job worked out, I would've been fine in that world. As it happens, it didn't. I work in a relaxed, business atmosphere, but don't misunderstand me again, when dealing with clients everything is as suit-and-tie as any corporate office. That goes for gigs, especially.

 

I'm not out here to take pot-shots at you, Ellwood, but you've been as abrasive as anyone outside the old political party. Most times it seems you don't read what the other party actually wrote, then attack that which you haven't properly digested.

 

I make my mistakes around here, but I have no clue why you felt such an over-riding need to smack me for pointing out the facts, as I see them, of MI retail salesman as I've noted them in and out of music stores over the past 30 years.

 

As for a pre-disposition to GC... not exactly. It's no secret I worked for them for about 8 months back in 1991-2. I've never defended them for the real crap, but talk of chain-MI retailers at this and other boards always seems to boil down to those that love the huge selection and low prices and those who say the salesmanship and business practices they engage in suck, insinuating or outright stating that mom & pops are the only good places to shop. The truth is somewhere in the middle, and I only point out what I see to be unfair pot-shots. When people say all GC salespeople are ignorant, lazy, wanna-be musicians I know that's far from the truth. I also know those people are out there, but the sweeping generalizations are simply not accurate. I've dealt with my share of mom & pops that treated me well and plenty that tried ripping me off on price without providing any more value than I'd find at a chain MI retailer. But on forums you can't take the pros and cons of each and use them to your advantage without being castigated for "buying into corporate raiders" while shoving out the little guy. I have news for you. The little guys who are valuable stay in business. Same as boutique instrument, amp, and pedal makers. They provide something valuable to their customers that can't be erased by a super low price at a chain store. That doesn't make them saints, however.

 

As for the situation outlined in the initial post, you blew it out of control when the kid spoke to you. I didn't see anywhere that you asked a salesperson to deal with him directly. Again, that shouldn't have to be your responsibility, but if your goal was to get a reasonable amount of quiet to audition another product, why the heck didn't you have the nearest salesperson shut him down? In the short time I was at GC, any salesperson would've shut such a moron down long before anyone asked. Now you want me to accept that you asked for a manager who never showed up? Where were the salespeople? Did you even ask them to intervene?

 

I'm not your enemy. I still have no clue why you felt the need talk to me like I was some kid with no understanding of how life works in a corporate office.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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I think something important needs to be mentioned here. I've seen a lot of bashing managers and sales people here, which I understand, but people need to understand that the "corporation" called Guitar Center DOES NOT create an enviroment that attracts(or at least keeps) quality employees. I opened the GC in Southfield years ago and went quickly from working in the warehouse to being the operations manager. I worked for GC for about a year and a half and I was one of two people that had worked there that long. We had 3 different store managers, 2 different assistant managers, and an endless rotation of sales people. GC has the mentallity of growing at all costs to dominate the musical instrument market. That includes paying nothing to their employees. I was paid $8/hr and was responsible for...

counting the daily moneys and making the bank deposits, in charge of the warehouse guys, in charge of new hire and fire paper work, in charge of store safety and safety meetings, responsable for theft prevention and I had to count everything in that store! every pick and every cord! for $8/hr. Come on!! I made much more cutting lawns, and the sales guys made FAR less than me. Basically anyone with talent and intelligence left that job quick. The turnaround there was unbelievable!! The bottom line is that GC has messed up the whole industry and you cannot expect more out of them than will "offer" you. GC has worked with companies in the music industry to increase profits and reduce quality and customer service. So just remember that most GC employees are over worked, far underpaid and most don't even care about their job. Until GC pays for quality people they will never get them, and we as consumers will rarely get the service we should get.

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Museeip! excellent analysis to the point..very well thought out and I am very sure accurate in everyway! nice job! I AM impressed and you know what that can mean! Can you imagine that I cannot handle a business situation, like the unfortunate mishap at GC I originally described to start this thread. Can you further imagine that I would need any coaching or mentoring on how to handle any situation? Not hardly. We know what you did to improve your lot in life..you took the high road through education and hard work and it WILL pay off for you, the lessons you learned in retail at GC will serve you well for the rest of your professional career. See you soon..........Lee
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