I have a friend (Charlie) that works in an electronics retail store in California.
One of his latest observations at work left me somewhat... shall we say... disturbed.
Don't be fooled by the smiling salesman and his blinking blue light.
With this new Hands Free California law now in effect, those last minute BT denizens, having put off their crawl toward technological up-to-speedness are now flocking by the thousands to get the latest and greatest in bluetooth ear gear.
Stereo, noise canceling, multipoint... what won't they think of next?
Woo Hoo for all things bluetooth... right?
But is there a darker side? Or slightly Yellower side?
Thanks to the Bluetooth manufacture Gods on Mount Bluetooth-olympus it's kind of easier now (but not to easy) to open that finger slicing plastic packaging to make sure you get a chance to try out the device before you buy it... but... wait... just... a... second... this is where it gets... kinda... urp
What I 'hear', is that with some of those Bluetooth packages the customers are also getting an extra, little, bonus surprise.
Yep, there's no easy way to put this... you've inherited the ear wax (in many cases) of the previous customer who has 'checked to fit for comfort' the earpiece sitting in your ear right now.
That's right, you're very likely to be trading ear wax with some total stranger. Someone you might not even be inclined to shake hands with... is now... your special, ear wax buddy.
But ear wax is harmless right?
We should stop and share some right now.
Grab your closest friend and dig a finger full of desquamated keratinocytes and hair combined with the secretions of both the ceruminous and the sebaceous glands out of his or her ear and jab it into your own ear right now just for fun!
Those unwanted, ear wax encrusted bluetooth earpieces are absolutely being repackaged and put right back on the shelf pegs!
The little holes in the ear speaker or ear gel are just waiting to be re-filled with the next nit picky Sally or Sam that stumbles along for their 'first time' with bluetooth and sure as shit on a bluenoobs ass they are gunna dig that fucking earpiece into their ear canal with the force of the Green Goblin and root it around like they were swabbing a dirty toilet bowl.
Now I don't know about you... but my first impulse was to twitch and gag a bit and then demand the dept of health get involved! Or at least insist that those shiny on the outside, but waxy on the inside BT's get nuked with high level doses of radiation and soaked in Betadine.
Poor Charlie, who is in the ground and seeing this all go down sayeth this:
"What does my boss want me to do? Get out a sewing needle and dig that little old ladies bloody ear wax out of the 4 bluetooths she just tried on, that didn't fit her 'unusually small ears'... and now what? You want me to put that fucking abortion back in the box and on the shelf and sell it to someone else?"
Being the rebel he is:
"Fuck that! I'll destroy the used ones and takes them out of inventory. Screw it... I rather get fired... when the next customer walks in and reaches for it, I'm gunna have to slap it out of their hands or I'm going to burn in hell"
Face it... you'd be lucky to shop at Charlie's store.
99.99999% of other stores either do or don't wipe 'em down at all. They just shove 'em back into the box and resell sell sell.
Charlie's advice to me was: "inspect that packaging and that earpiece. Some retailers are masters at repacking... so look very very close."
If you even slightly suspect it's been in someones ear complain to the manager and tell him or her that you'll be speaking to the health dept if they don't take that used piece of bluewax encrusted shit off the shelf pronto!
and as always Happy Hands Free Driving in Cali.