First of all, I'm a 20 year old male who works in the electronics department at Wal-Mart. I've been working for Wal-Mart for a total of 1 1/2 years. For a third of that time I was a cashier, and after facing the horror of Christmas, I transferred back to Electronics. For awhile, everything was peachy...I enjoyed being able to just walk around, and talking about video games with customers my age was much more to my liking than standing in the same place for 7 hours a day. However, there is one huge problem. Wal-Mart does not carry the Mac. (This alone is not really a problem; lots of places don't.) However, Wal-Mart does carry PCs. Hideous PCs. Ugly, light-weight black-plastic contraptions with hundreds of obnoxious blinking, glowing, flashing LEDs. Brands like eMachines, Acer, and Compaq. The prices are a joke: $398, $498, $598. In my mind, sacrilege. Take the average Wal-Mart shopper. Cheap food is one thing. If you want to buy the Great Value brand breakfast cereal and save $1.00 over Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, and don't mind your cornflakes tasting like cardboard, fine. Cardboard flakes will still keep you alive. But electronic gadgets?! Computers?! A computer is supposed to be a brilliantly designed piece of engineering. It's supposed to be made with care and devotion. There was never meant to be a laptop computer for three hundred and ninety-eight dollars. Hell, there was never meant to be one for less than $1,000. I walk down the aisles, staring at the obscenely-low prices and silently call down curses upon Bill Gates and Microsoft. Curse them for making computers so easily obtainable and affordable. Maybe it's just that I consider myself very honest, and I hate ever having to deceive anyone. If someone asks me, "Is this a good brand of TV?" I will always answer them honestly. "No, to be honest, I would avoid that brand...I've been working here about a year and I've seen at least 15 of those get returned." Some customers think that I try to sell them the highest-priced brand to get the biggest commission. Wal-Mart employees don't get commissions. And Wal-Mart employees don't care what you think. So, when a customer gets their heart set on a $300-ish eMachines desktop bundle, and then they flag me down with, "Is this a good computer?" I can tell just by looking at them (and sometimes smelling them) that it's all they can afford. Now, I'm instantly torn. Should I say, "No, it really isn't...eMachines is a off-brand and they're just not very good computers. I'd recommend this one over here...", or should I just give the standard, "Oh yes! Very good...you shouldn't have any problems." I CANNOT bring myself to give the second reply for two reasons: One, my conscience will bother me because I know I'm lying, and two, the computer has Windows Vista so I know damn well they're going to have a long list of problems. Of course, if I give them the first answer, the customer will often become very annoyed or offended ("Well, all I'm a-gonna be doin' is checkin' my email...I ain't gonna be hackin' the Pentagon or nuthin'!") and then proceed to give you their life story about how they got a divorce and they've got bad credit and they're on a fixed income and everything's just so dadgum expensive these days...so really it's a no-win situation. I'm despairing now. I'm tempted to, on the next occasion a customer asks me for my opinion on a cheap computer and expects me to sing Vista's praises, grab the phone and announce over the intercom, "ATTENTION WAL-MART CUSTOMERS!!! OUR PCs ARE GOD-AWFUL PILES OF S**T! GO TO THE APPLE STORE AND GET A MAC, OR THREE! THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AT WAL-MART!" It's always a tearful moment when I come home after a long day and find my iMac waiting for me. It's always happy to see me. Sometimes I even think it wonders why I haven't tried to get a job at the Apple store. I would, if it weren't 20 miles away. Someday perhaps.