My parents' TV broke last week. Against my advice, they went to an electrical retailer yesterday and "bought a new one". I have no idea what process they went through to choose a TV with the right combination of features, size, price and reliability for their needs; I suspect they went through no such process at all. That's not to criticise: they must simply value spontaneity more highly than I do.
The first I knew of their purchase was when I was walking through Duisburg last night looking for a restaurant. My phone rang and it turned out they had spent ninety minutes trying to get their new TV to work.
The instructions made no sense at all and they just couldn't get it "tuned in".
I'll spare you the details. Suffice it to say that they have cable and their cable box connected to their old TV via Scart. Their TV aerial was unused and, to my knowledge, remains unused. Therefore, the concept of "tuning in" their TV was redundant.
As they discovered after I asked them to change channel on the cable box, their TV had been working all along....
However, it's too easy to jump to the conclusion that they are tech-illiterate hillbillies. They did what they thought was the right thing: they followed the instructions in the book. They had no knowledge of "SCART" and "AV1" and why this means they don't need to "tune in" their TV. They thought that following the quick-start guide in the book would be their best solution.
How wrong they were.
So, if it's possible to spend ninety minutes trying (and failing) to configure a new TV - one of the most pervasive consumer electronic devices on the planet - how much opportunity must there be out there for those who can help the average person configure any of the other items currently on sale on the high street?
I am so very clearly in the wrong job.