MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Local man Garret Bergeron asked a Bizarro Records store clerk yesterday if she validated opinions before he purchased a stack of new LPs, witnesses casually flipping through the discount bin by the counter confirmed.
“I just had to make sure before I spent too much money,” said Bergeron. “I would’ve hated it if I needed to go next door to the shop selling healing crystals just so they could make me feel good about my music choices. I was happy to find out that this store does validate opinions, and as it turns out, I have excellent music taste.”
“I bought a Sum 41 ‘All Killer No Filler’ reissue and I was really worried I might look like a poser, but the clerk assured me it was a great choice,” added Bergeron.
Employees of Bizzaro Records say this is a common occurrence, especially with customers insecure about their preferences.
“I was trained for this exact scenario the first day I was hired — record sales aren’t exactly through the roof right now, so I need to pretend that each purchase is an amazing choice by an amazing person,” said Amanda Clements, the clerk who reassured Bergeron. “I don’t think I’ve seen anyone purchase a record I actually like within the last month, but I’m great at pretending that a Phish double LP is an excellent selection.”
Consumer trends experts note that this sort of validation is happening at record stores across the country.
“The sad part is that female employees are subjected to this much more routinely than male employees — the data shows that most men shopping at record stores will use their purchase to parlay the transaction into small talk, with an especially delusional sample of the population believing things may end in a date,” said marketing analyst Izzy Arujo. “Our studies show that if a clerk is an attractive woman, she is 99% more likely to be roped into a conversation about the purchase. But, conversely, if the clerk is a portly man wearing a Sonic Youth shirt, the chances of conversation drops to 0%, with the exception of a few customers asking where they could find the nearest Taco Bell.”
Bergeron was later seen at a nearby clothing store, inquiring if they would give him a discount in exchange for scene points he accumulated in 2005.