I recently visited Future Shop to take a look at their Flip Video Cameras I had read online how great they were and I wanted to see for myself (thanks to ijustine for her "review").

I was with my buddy Jason, and upon entering the store I said to Jason, "Follow me and listen to me ask some questions. I want to be a jerk!"

Jason just laughed and proceeded to follow me into the video camera area of the store, while staying in range of the conversation I was about to have.

The girl working in the area that night must have been brought in for Christmas help. She looked at me and said, "If you have any questions, just let me know" in a robotic tone as if she was just reading it straight from her "You're only hired on for the Christmas season Manual: Newbie Training" manual. I said thanks and proceeded to look at the Flip Video Camera they have*

*NOTE - Since having gone to FS that night and looking into the Flip Video cameras, I have found you can only get ONE of the Flip Video Cameras in Canada - it's the Ultra and the not so great quality one. I've had to order the HD one from Amazon.com and have it sent to Ship Happens in Sumas.

I continued to look at the camera and finally turned my head to look for the girl again and she was there ready to tear apart any question I had. Ready like she just drank a can of Red Bull and read her special Future Shop manual in last class of Math at High School kind of ready!

Here's our conversation: Matt "What file format do the videos come out of on this flip video camera?" Girl "This is the USB plug in right here" *Flips open USB plug that is built into camera* "It just plugs right in" Matt "Yes I know that, but what file format are the videos?" Girl "Um do you have a PC or Mac?" Matt "I'm PC, but that doesn't matter, what file format are the videos?" Girl "If you're PC it's a Windows Movie file or else it's an AI file" Matt "AI file?" *Puzzled look on my face as AI is the extension for Adobe Illustrator, she must have been referring to AVI, just missed one letter - which by the way works on both PC and Mac based computers Girl "Yeah, it's a video file" Matt - At this point I wanted to tell her what she was talking about, but Jason was laughing too hard in the background and I couldn't just let this conversation end. So I said, "What kind of battery life does it have?" Even though I knew the answer Girl - "I'm pretty sure it's about 4 hours" Matt - I already knew it was 2, she just made up a number, probably a number she heard in Math Class. Matt "Which flip type camera would you recommend?" Girl "I don't like the Flip Video [actual brand and style - she knew something!] because it feels plasticy, but I like this one because it has a big screen." Matt "Um ok, thanks" Girl "Any other questions?" Matt "No I'm good, I just was curious about the camera." When really I was just curious what junk you made up and told me.

So as I mentioned earlier today in this previous post, research what you're buying. Don't take the employee's word for it. This time of year you'll be talking with people that are hired on till December 31st. They only know what's in the manual and if they don't remember that, then they'll make it up - this has happened to me before at A&B Sound when Digital Cameras were first making a splash. Deb and I asked the customer service "expert" 'How many megapixels is this camera?' He replied 'I don't think this camera has that feature' !!!!! My Word !!!!

Be smart, take your time, research and know what you're buying. You'll feel better for it and the Christmas training elves will be happy you gave them a little commission, even though they 'don't' get commission!