Honesty On a Budget

During my stint in the wondrous world of retail, something that always amazed me was the amount of trust people in general place in the competency and honesty of the (near) minimum wage employees staffing your average electronics retail outlet. More so now that almost all offer service and support in one form or another that is composed mainly of college kids getting paid only slightly better than their coworkers in sales.

Now I feel the need to buy this for when I hang out with friends still stuck in retail.

Don’t get me wrong, these establishments luck out a great deal by enticing college kids with the promise of awesome discounts (for now), and the chance to use their wealth of knowledge that most employers don’t care about without them having a degree. Gaining employees that often enough have a passion for electronics in one form or another and already have skills without needing extensive training. Problem is that not everyone in retail is good, kind, and honest. The world is full of liars, thieves and sociopaths, so best not count on the managers of your local store to be able to weed all those “undesirable elements” out.

The greatest problem in the retail world of service and support is data privacy, and finding a way to enforce policies protecting customers’ data that is entrusted to underpaid, over worked, college kids. Really the best plan is for customers to take their data seriously and be proactive about safeguarding it. So just remember the next time you need your computer serviced, no matter the retailer, backup the latest copy of any sensitive data (you keep backups right?) and remove it from your computer before you hand it over. That way you need not roll the dice hoping you get one of the good employees.

Oh and a note: account passwords will not save you, move your data off the machine!

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