So, I just saw over at HardOCP that PC Club has shut down completely. We had around 4 of them in the Seattle area (Lynnwood, Bellevue, Tacoma, and I think one more), although only the Tacoma one was still around. I actually worked there as a “sales associate” in the summer of 2002, between my junior and senior years of college. I thought it was a pretty decent place to work, although apparently things went downhill after the founder passed away (whom I met — he gave me an eBay coffee mug which I still have).
PC Club in Lynnwood, WA, circa 2002
Some [possibly] interesting bits of historical info:
· I was the top grossing sales person there during the months that I worked (summer, and during Christmas break). However, my margins were lower than the others. The cause? I’m not sure, but it’s probably because I just told the truth, or at least my honest opinion, when customers asked questions! If someone was buying a computer and couldn’t decide between an Athlon XP or a Pentium 4, and asked “What’s the difference?”, then I replied with “You probably won’t notice much, other than the $100.” Because of this I sold more systems, albeit at less profit margin. I never sold one of the $1,000 Pentium 4 2.53 GHz chips … oh well 🙂
· When games like Morrowind or Unreal Tournament 2003 came out, we sold a lot of graphics cards. The big dog at the time was the GeForce 4 Ti4600, but we sold a lot of the Ti4400’s.
· The week before I started working there, the place was actually robbed. The manager was helping a customer with some questions at the front counter, and when he turned his back for a second the customer reached over and yanked a tray of expensive Pentium 4 CPU’s. Then he ran. If it hadn’t been for this, the store would have been profitable its very first month in operation.
· One time we had a very interesting fellow walk in carrying some computer almanac. He demanded to know how the computers responded to some math problem … apparently he thought that the Pentium FDIV bug was still around.
· The manager wanted us to try and sell the LCD monitors used by the POS (point of sale) computers. Even though they were obviously used and a little dingy (from fingers, post-it notes, etc.) he refused to sell them as anything but full price and new. “They aren’t used!” Umm, yes, they were! The customers he tried to sell them to weren’t exactly impressed (nor fooled).
· We had one guy come to the story regularly just to hang out and talk. He had a job as one of those guys who stands on the sidewalk wearing a sign that says, “Carpets For Sale!”, with a big arrow. He was a mostly normal guy, not a bother or anything … apparently they actually get paid good money to do that since it’s really hard to retain them.