personal, food comments edit

I really should know better than to ever visit CompUSA. I really should.

I have only ever had bad luck at CompUSA. I’ve purchased a couple of things there, and both times I was the victim of crappy return policies, untrained store personnel, and general incompetence.

I am on the constant lookout for Bawls Guarana beverage. It’s good stuff, right up there with a VentiTM Mocha Frappuccino®. Both beverages put me in a good mood, restoring faith in mankind and actually making me conducive to customer service. Yes, with a little chemical assistance, even I can help people.

The thing is, I know where to get the Frappuccino. Bawls, on the other hand, is nigh unto impossible to find locally.

I went to the Bawls site today and noticed they have a locator to help you find vendors that sell the tasty drink. There are two locations listed for Oregon, both being CompUSA stores.

One of the stores listed is reasonably close to my work. When I say reasonably, what I mean is “I can get there and back during my lunch hour if I drive like a mad bandit and traffic is lighter than it usually is.” Hesitant to embark on such a journey without some positive assurance that the beverage not only was carried, but was also in stock and at a reasonable price, I called them to verify.

After navigating through a sizable phone menu system, I got connected with someone who could (supposedly) discuss item pricing and availability with me. That conversation went something like this:

Pedro: Hello, and thank you for calling CompUSA. My name is Pedro [I don’t think that was his name, but he had a heavy, uh, Mexican accent which comes into play later] and I will be helping you to determine the pricing and availability for products. Can I please have your zip code? Me: 97202 Pedro: Okay, that’s the Jantzen Beach store. What products are you looking for today? Me: Actually, I’m interested in products at your Tigard store, over by Washington Square Mall. I can’t make it to the Jantzen Beach store. Pedro: Okay, what products are you looking for? Me: I’m interested in a drink you might carry. Pedro: A sink? Me: No, a drink. Bawls Guarana. Pedro: Heat sinks? Me: NO, a drink. You know, like you eat food, you drink water… a drink. Pedro: A drink? [Shit, man, do you fucking speak fluent English? I’m not mumbling over here…] Me: Yes, a drink. It’s called “Bawls Guarana.” Pedro: Okay… yes, we have it. Me: You do carry it? Good. Is it in stock? Pedro: Yes. It’s $16. Me: Is that for a case? I’m sure it’s not $16 a bottle. Pedro: Yes, it’s for a case of 12. Me: Perfect. And that’s definitely in stock at the store by Washington Square? Pedro: Yep. Me: Great! Thanks.

I hang up the phone with Pedro and I can’t say I don’t have a bit of an uneasy feeling about the whole thing. I really didn’t get the impression that he was clear on what I was asking for, but he did confirm - twice - that the stuff I was looking for was at the store by me. I decided to make the trip.

It took about a half hour to get there. I got in the store, did a cursory check, and I didn’t see anything. I then went to a “sales associate” to ask where I could find it.

“Bawls Guarana? We haven’t carried that for a while. Sorry.”

Mother fuckers! I can’t believe this shit. I mean, looking back on it, I guess I should know better than to even try to deal with CompUSA, but I couldn’t resist the idea that my beverage was within purchaseable reach.

It’s a good thing that guy was behind a counter or I’d have kicked him squarely in the shins.

So, no Bawls Guarana for me. ThinkGeek lets you order cases, but the shipping is a killer and brings the price of the drink up to $2.10 per 10oz. bottle, a little rich for my blood. I guess I’ll keep looking.