The year is 2007. I’m hitching a ride in a Geek Squad home theater install van and we’re going fishing.
For wires, that is.
We’re fishing up, down and behind walls in the process of installing speakers at a client’s home. Spools of speaker wire slowly turn as the Agents painstakingly make his home theater system come to life by connecting the TV, receiver, speakers, gaming components and DVD player.
Jump to last week, and my experience tagging along with a Geek Squad Agent in 2016 was as different as the music on the radio. Nine years later, we still have products that require physical connections, but we have a whole lot of wireless ones, too. Meanwhile, Geek Squad has introduced an updated logo, efficient new vehicles and training to help Agents tackle the world of evolving technology.
I woke up excited to slip on my Geek Squad/Best Buy polo shirt. Before I left the house, my kids asked me if I was “a Geek Squad guy” now, but I assured them that I’m not – it would take years for me to even get close to gaining the amount of “tech-spertise” our Agents have. And because they’re the pros, I was best equipped to just watch, listen and learn during the second-annual Geek Squad National Ride-Along Day on Sept. 7.
And there was a lot to learn. I joined Agent Matt Brown, from the Best Buy store in Apple Valley, Minnesota, and Agent-in-Training Derek Johnson on the job. After calling clients from the store to give the expected two-hour window for our visit, our shiny Geek Squad truck hit the road.
We spent our morning helping a client diagnose network issues in his home. He had recently purchased a new modem to connect all of his devices, but he was having trouble making it all work. Have you ever tallied up what depends on your home network? Today it’s much more than a PC. Homes have smart TVs, printers, streaming devices, tablets, mobile phones and more. This client and I counted at least 10 gadgets using Wi-Fi in his home. A new modem was sure to make a difference and, over the course of the morning, we got everything connected and running.
That’s what Geek Squad’s about: making things work. Agent Brown likes the challenge of getting out on new tech adventures and solving problems. “What I like about this job is that I get to play with home theater systems all day and get to use all the new technology,” he said. “And I get to help customers use it, too.”
Agent-in-Training Johnson said he enjoys the process of taking things from start to finish. Both agents take pride in seeing clients’ stress melt away when technology does what it’s supposed to do. And even though wearing the Geek Squad uniform often results in strangers, family and friends asking for advice, they don’t seem to mind.
As for me, I walked around with a sense of pride wearing the Geek Squad logo, and an enormous amount of respect for the expertise and professionalism of our agents. Watching them in action – and the client’s appreciation for all they do – was not a bad way to spend a morning!