You Know You’re An Ally When…
We ended up at Best Buy last night. I like Best Buy. They are “in the green” with a 100 rating on the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) buyer’s guide. This is important to me because I work for an HRC sponsor, one of their Great Places to Work. Even if you don’t think you know HRC, you’ve seen them. The red equal sign for marriage equality was all over the internet before the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA/Prop 8 in June. The blue and yellow equal signs are bumper stickers all over the country.
We wanted to see if Best Buy had Diablo 3 for the XBox 360. They did. Being the gentleman he is, my husband says, “You wanted to look at computers.” We had this discussion when we entered the store, where he said, “I’m going to look at video games,” and I said, “I’ll come with you,” even though I wanted to look at laptops. I have this thing about being too far away from him. The Best Buy layout reminds me far too much of S-Mart, and I’m always afraid some creature of the damned will attack me. (Yes, I also have an irrational fear of zombies, and ghosts, and I believed in ghost sharks long before SyFy made a movie.)
So we go to look at computers. The first employee to approach me is maybe in his forties. He’s nice enough, but I bristle instantly because, of course, my husband is somewhere else, looking at something else, and the employee WAITED for him to walk away before asking me if I was finding everything all right. (Yes, the specs are nicely displayed, so fuck off.)
The next employee to approach us is a high school senior. We know this because he says so. He is adorable, has a little flare for the dramatic (I’m wearing a Queen t-shirt–I have an appreciation for this) and asks point-blank questions to get to the bottom of what it is I want.
“Solid State Drive. Seventeen inch screen.”
“I’m a writer.” (We then have a discussion of what that means, not “RIDER.” Good Lord, do I look like I belong on a Harley? Well, maybe, in my Queen shirt.)
“I’ve heard SSD is safer.”
“Have you had a hard drive fail?”
“No, but there’s a first time for everything.”
So the kid takes us through the joys of flash memory and Google Docs, and says I will be just as safe if I back my files up. So then my husband tells him, “Yeah. She already has Google Docs, and back-up flash drives. Like, four of them.” He and the kid laugh at my paranoia. Yes. I am paranoid, but that never hurt anyone. And just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me.
So I decide maybe I don’t want to spend $1200 on a laptop with a tiny little screen. We look at the other options, and I tell him I want a ten-key, I don’t need a back-lit keyboard or touch screen, and he shows us the perfect model for me.
“We need some time to talk about it,” my husband says, and drags me off to video games.
“If you’re going to get this,” he says, already reading WANT in my eyes, “I’m getting Diablo 3.”
“Okay, but I can’t remember the HRC listing for Samsung.”
“HRC.” I’m signing the letters, like that will make it clearer for him. “I can’t remember where they are on HRC’s list.”
My prior laptop, purchased seven years ago, long before I’d heard of HRC, is a Gateway. Gateway is owned by Acer. They have a red rating, and a score of 35. Granted, I have since covered the Gateway symbols with HRC stickers, but I want my purchasing power to support companies that support equal rights for all.
“You’ve got to be kidding,” my husband says. “You would let that stop you from buying a computer?” He knows the answer before he even asks, so he whips out his handy-dandy stupid-phone.
So we text my brother-in-law, from the movies section of the store. He calls back, and my husband broadcasts to the whole store what I want to know. I do my best to stand defiantly and stare people in the eye until they look away. My husband hands me the phone to help navigate.
“I can’t find a list. There’s a PDF file. Do I need to download that?” He puts his fiancee on the phone. She reads the site to me, word for word, which only makes me blush harder. These wonderful people are trying so hard for us, and I love them, but either I’m failing to explain what I need, or they enjoy torturing me.
“Is any of this helping?” she asks.
“No. I just need to know how Samsung is rated.”
She doesn’t know. They don’t have access to the list. We hang up.
“You aren’t going to buy it, are you.”
“Yes I am. I know I looked up Samsung before. My Chrome Book is Samsung. If it was bad, I would remember.” (And I would have covered the Chrome Book in HRC stickers, too.)
So we buy the computer. And it is awesome. And shiny. And Samsung, which is not listed on HRC’s list at all.
You know you’re an ally when you have to call someone to search for the HRC rating before you buy a laptop. Moral of the story: keep your “Buying for Workplace Equality 2013” guide on your person when shopping.
Want to search the list? Click here.