Goodbye, Circuit City! I Will Not Miss You

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Well, Circuit City died. And I want to be clear about something: it is a terrible, terrible thing that those people are losing their jobs. I would hate for that to happen to me or anyone I know. The fact that I loathed Circuit City is a completely separate thing.

They all felt the same, those windowless caverns crammed with consumer electronics and listless salespeople. I’m not convinced there ever was more than one Circuit City — they were so identical, it was like you passed through a dimensional portal into the same store every time. Each one was populated by the same dead-eyed 20-something staffers, shuffling around, hating their mandatory polo shirts. It must have been hard for Circuit City to find so many people who were totally uninterested in and uninformed about electronics. It was like they did their corporate recruiting at treatment centers for clinically depressed Amish people.

And the electronics themselves: mislabeled, out of date, not very clean, and cruelly tethered to their shelves by plastic anti-theft devices, which coincidentally also prevented you from figuring out that they lacked a crucial feature/port/whatever until you actually bought them. It was not so much a “city” as a place to which devices that had done something wrong were sent to be punished.

Somehow you felt scuzzy buying things at Circuit City — you were giving them lots of money, but somehow they made you feel like a criminal. You felt all the shame associated with buying porn, while not actually getting any porn.

I won’t miss that feeling. And I won’t miss you, Circuit City. Goodbye.

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