Your experience trying to help muggles.....

Two evenings ago I was in Home Depot. Obviously passing by the flashlight section is a religious thing.

There is a lady there looking for a flashlight for her house and car. She picks up one of these….because it has a lot of LED’s and that means it should be better….

Stupid me, I tried to help her make a better decision.

I explained to her that that’s too big and ungainly to be useful. The amount of LED’s doesn’t mean anything. Any of the larger coasts with like the 14 is easier to handle and store. It uses AA cells and buying rechargeable is not a problem… Go to IKEA and buy 4 LADDA batteries. Then if she wants better quality, go to Amazon and buy this…®-Flashlight-Compact-Thrower-Batteries/dp/B017XBQXOA/ref=sr_1_42?keywords=aa+flashlights&qid=1552443791&s=gateway&sr=8-42

So far so good……15 minutes wasted on her, but what the heck……I’m helping someone make a better decision.

Then she says to me……“are you one of those hidden salespeople who direct customers to other products?”.

I’m thinking……how stupid are you? IKEA and COAST and TRUNITE pays me to make you smarter?

I respond….“I just spent 15 minute to help you and you insult me. BYE”

Walked away……

Am I the only one that will never bother to help anyone again?

Maybe it wasn’t so much her reaction to what you recommended that was out of line. Maybe it was you expecting a “make you feel good” response. Helping someone is just that helping someone. No strings attached and no expectation of a pat on the back. You do it for the love of helping, informing, whatever. They can take whatever they want from your advice or help, it’s really up to them. Don’t give up on helping in general because you got your feelings hurt. Helping isn’t your thing if you take the reaction to it personally. You only lost 15 minutes. It didn’t cost you a dime. Maybe that nice lady will get home and take your advice, maybe she won’t. You wanted instant gratification for a selfless act, which in turn made you selfish.

Humility is the great equalizer.

That’s like “Okay, where’s the candid camera?”
It’s not an insult, it’s just puzzlement at why you’re acting so unexpectedly.

Some people in this world don’t bother helping other people , so they don’t think that anyone else would ever help them. Don’t ever change being a helping person.
That’s what the good Lord wants us to do help others.

I don’t think she meant to insult you. I feel like her reaction was based on her perception of possibilities:
1- random person takes significant time to provide advice on her purchasing decision (anything longer than someone saying yeah I’d buy that or no that’s crap try Lowes is abnormal)
2- random person happens to have a significant knowledge about flashlights (95% of the world is unaware flashlight enthusiasts exist)
3- random person provided detailed advice on multiple places where she could buy a better alternative product (clearly she’s the type of person who goes to a big box store, buys what she needs and doesn’t investigate her purchases unless it’s something like an appliance, car or house - which is normal for most people)

You may have perceived her comment as negative but to me it seems more like she thought you were so knowledgeable and helpful that you must do that for a living! :smiley:

Keep on making this world a better and brighter :wink: place!

.4-random person who has left the house on a dead run intent on finding the Tac-light she just learned about between episodes of Gilligan’s Island. Don’e even think of getting through to her.

I think you’re old enough to know the old adages: No good deed goes unpunished. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

The other mistake you made was assuming that this lady was stupid, which with all due respect is pretty arrogant. She wasn’t trying to insult you; she’s just as skeptical about you as you are about some of the manufacturers touted here. We have the advantage of having gained knowledge from all the enthusiasts here. She just wants something that works at a decent price.

Look, if she wanted to go to Amazon and buy a light, she wouldn’t have been at Home Depot to purchase one in the first place. Maybe you could have told her that you are a flashlight enthusiast. Then again, she may have been the one to run away, because how friggin’ weird is that? You can’t talk to people while stuck in a bubble. Our community is a tiny fringe of a fringe of the population. I build electric and acoustic guitars, and it’s not easy explaining to people why my guitars cost more than a Martin or Fender or Gibson, even though no one has heard my name. But I somehow convince enough people to buy my guitars. It’s not your fault. And it’s not hers - she has enough problems deciding what to feed her kids and what clothes to buy them. This is a hobby for 99% of us. Got to keep things in perspective.

Have you ever considered the possibility that you’re just really bad at picking up on social cues?

LOLOL can you imagine going up to a girl at a bar and saying, “I’m a flashlight enthusiast!”

I should add: as a flashaholic, the one thing you shoud have on you is a light, preferably one you’ve modded or a nice hot-rod light. Then you can actually demonstrate what a good flashlight is, how much brightness you can have in a small form factor, different modes, even tints. You never know who you bump into. I’ve made a few light for friends who’ve asked me about the flashlight I had in my pocket. Then I whip out a hot-rodded Convoy C8 with XHP 70.2, chopped and bypassed springs for 2 18350s and light up the night like a pocket Sun. Or an S2+ with a White Flat, shining objects brightly 200+ meters away. It’s actually an easy sell - but it’s a guy thing. Maybe if they had Michael Kors or Louis Vuitton logos all over women would see them as accessories - even hang the lanyards on their purses.

If your helping to help, there are no expectations of any return so no hurt feelings.

I was suprised how quickly i wore horns….

I did tell her that i am a flashlight enthusiast and i know a fair bit about flashlights. I also asked her if she wanted some advice. She said yes, thank you.

So i did.

You don’t approach a random person with out some circumspect.

I do all my own work around the house/plant and would qualify as an pro apprentice in plumbing/electrical work. I really don’t mind helping someone if they are buying white teflon to connect their gas pipe…and warn them that if they should consider professional help unless they are really sure what they are doing. So I help if I see something wrong/mistake.

In this case, she really meant if i was a schill. I didn’t expect anything, but i don’t expect my honesty and help to be stepped on.

Oh well…back to sharpening my horns…


Why ya think I file down mine, just like The Hell Boy?

That’s when you whip out your own light, show all the whiz-bang features, and ask if she’d be interested in anything like that, even if it costs X.

If not, “Yeah, that light’s fine, buy it.”.

Sometimes it’s like trying to explain baseball to a dog.

Y’know, just thinking. All deference to the SC31 aside, sometimes there needs to be an idiot-light. People loved the hotwire Maglite because it was twist-on, twist off, twist to flood, twist to spot. Period. One brightness, one control, yet built like a tank.

My first “mod” was to drop a Magbulb into a Taskforce 2×AA light. Rubberised all over, thick enough to fit C cells so nice’n’grippy, simple stoopit on/off like for any hotwire bulb. Toss the retaining cap, shave the reflector-hole ever so slightly to press-fit the Magbulb, done.

Decent brightness overall, 4× the runtime compared to before, constant brightness and color throughout. Perfect for the muggle.

So we need something like an S2+ with, again, a simple on/off. 1 mode. Gee, maybe a twisty, just like the venerable Mag, only fullsize, not like a Jet-I/-II or any AAA light. Like maybe an S2+ but without a tailswitch, just a cap. Use TCLO as a twisty function. Throw in a moderate-width TIR to compromise between flood and throw. Say, 600lm-700lm.

Make it like the River Rock I have which use 2 C cells. Decent runtime, doesn’t stress the cells, decent brightness.

Wanna go crazy?, give it a rubber sleeve like those LuxPros I got. Maybe all over, not just the grip. Dial down the output if heat becomes an issue.

So… 2×C, rubberised, twisty, maybe 500lm, 1 mode.

Who’s in?

Well, at least the dog can fetch the baseball……

My mistake……from day one, I got a lot of help in this forum. Sure, disagreement in certain areas, I think you and I had a bit of one in of the threads, but overall, I’m thrilled to be part of this community. With that in mind, why not help someone else? My wife was trying to empty the store over at the curtain area, God forbid if I put my two cents in, so I had a bit of time.

Six months ago, I wouldn’t bother……

Back to sharpening my horns!

OK so now we have a bit more context that was not in your OP. I stopped giving away free advice long ago, but every once in a while I come out of retirement. Today is one such day. Never, ever, offer advice unless it is asked for. Now if she was on the side of the road and had a flat, by all means, help the lady out. But there is a difference between advice and help, and knowing the difference can help reduce grief exponentially!

Big no-no!

Ya, she might have said yes she needs advise to be polite to you.
But then you talked too long and involved too much details and places to go, I don’t think it is a useful advises for her anymore.
The better advise is to get the best one in the store for her application.
And her 15 minutes are also wasted too if she doesn’t think your advises are useful.

Don’t sharpen your horns, instead smile that the muggle missed out!

I totally get the situation you were in. Homer is a place many people ask for and need advice. The problem wasn’t what you did, it was the fact that you were talking about a flashlight! Under the same circumstances but about a wrench, a gas pipe or a ladder it would’ve been different.

Most humans view a flashlight like a broom or a plunger. Something they need, is cheap, isn’t worth thinking about and is something they already understand and know how to operate. To her, it was like you offered advice on a plunger and after she accepted, you went on a 15 minute rant about the ergonomics of the handle, the duabilty of the various types of silicone and what great advances there have been in plunger technology. She expected something like: that ones on sale but i own this other one and think it’s well worth the extra $5. You spent more time than a homer helper normally does explaining a fridge and even tried upselling her on muliple different places where she could buy an ultra plunger 6000 with anti-splashback technology built right in! It’s likely she asked herself “does anyone actually care about plungers this much!? Or is this guy trying to sell me something?” Hence, she asks and by your reaction is assured that there are people in this world that care THAT much about flashlights. I’m certain she felt bad but also sorry for you at the same time.

People would not only understand but expect that exact situation if it were about a gun, a phone, a car, a restaurant etc. When it happened over a flashlight (which to her is as important and thought about as a broom) you became an alien from a different planet or were secretly a ninja salesman in disguise who preys on unsuspecting victims in box store flashlight aisles!

Your only mistake was assuming that a normal person understood what in the hell a flashlight enthusiast is! People make curtains, show off their curtains, ask for advice about curtains, design and buy home reno magazines that feature curtains. You just exposed her to a world she didn’t know existed, or that she ever would’ve expected like with a gun or a car. Lol we’re so foreign to the rest of the world that we could show them a 100 000 lumen 4 km throw flashlight and instead of understanding us more, they’d ask “why? what’s it for?” because to them if it makes light enough to see in the attic, then anything more powerful or fancy is as useless, silly and unnecessary as a plunger that works like a normal plunger but has a special turbo mode that plunges your entire drain system for the mere price of $250 when a normal, all you’ll ever need plunger is $5.

Don’t stop helping, just realize that if your not talking to a cop or an SandR person you’re going to be perceived as a lunatic who gets excited over a plunger!

Nah, was a Nate Ford reference…

Hjeh, that was “the solution looking for a problem”. :laughing:

I did sales at Rat Shack when I was a kid. Learned early on, don’t sell someone what they want. Sell ’em what they need. They want the biggest-ass antenna that could pick up Mars, they’ll be getting ghosts from Philadelphia stations as well as local ones. Sell ’em the antenna that’s right for the area.

So when Ms Muggle pokes through the LED Lensers and Coasts and whatnot, and asks you if this is a good light, just smile and say “Sure”. If there’s one that really sucks, sure, point out the better one, and dumb down the explanation to something they could understand. “This better. Shinier. Light up more.”

But try to get them to see the wisdom of rechargeables, and chargers, and adapters, and USBs, and B’harni knows what else, and they’ll just glaze over and think you’re a con-man trying to swindle ’em out of their retirement funds.

The Plunge 6000 is just soooooo last year. I prefer the Plunge 8000 Pro. It has a self seeking sound detection looking for holes to unplug. Just make sure you disconnect the batteries if you have too much gas……

I agree with your take on this. About a month ago, in another forum, I got triggered by a moron who thought his phone light was enough in an emergency. Sure, go ahead and change your tire at 4 in the morning by the side of the road with a phone light. Or looking at that dark alley that you must go through…that may or may not hide that nut case that will rob you, or far worse…