I try to be a good geek and give people the benefit of the doubt, and support local shops, but sometimes they make it really hard.
The problem I have with geek shops is there are the bad ones that spoil it for others and tarnish the good ones. The ones who are elitest and treat “outsiders” with disdain and make them feel uncomfortable. And it feels like it’s done on purpose so they won’t return. And that’s not how we should be treating eachother in the geek community. Don’t we get enough of that from everyone else?
It happens with one of the local comic shops here, where they are considered to be of the elistest mindset. And while they are a good shop with lots of higher end merch, it’s the fact that the staff seem to look down on those who are not in the know, or give off the vibe that they won’t be very helpful, that makes customers feel uncomfortable. I have gone in, knowing exactly what I am looking for, and still felt out of place. And that’s the reason my husband and I chose to take our business to the other main shop.
The other problem I have with certain shops is that they seem to treat it like a club house that just happens to sell stuff. I get that you opened your own shop maybe with the intent of having a place for you and your friends to shop as well as hang out, but that shouldn’t be how customers see it. When you are too busy playing games with your friends or “regulars” to help customers wanting to make a purchase, or make people feel like they are taking you away from something important because they want to buy something, there is a problem. And again it makes people uncomfortable to shop in your store.
And those things are what hurt not only local businesses but also the geek community on a whole. We should be welcoming and willing to help others, not matter what their knowledge level or area of interest. We should be encouraging people to check out new things because who knows which customers will turn into “regulars”. As a geek who has felt like an outsider and “not geeky enough” it really pains me to be treated like this by so-called geek shops when they are the ones who should be encouraging.
And while this may come of ranty, I had to share, because it’s something that really bothers me about the geek community. You find elitest types everywhere, I know that, but as a whole we should be trying to be welcoming instead of making people feel “not geeky enough”. If you don’t want average customers in your shop, the ones who will keep you in business, then close your doors and only allow your friends in. And I will gladly take my business elsewhere.