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(27,247 posts)
92. Back in the days of cheap American-made black-and-white sets,
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 10:36 AM
Dec 2014

they didn't come with remote controls, but they did come with annoying commercials:

"Louann, you look like you could use a truckload of Ex-lax!"

"Ha! You think you're soaking your hand in lotion, but it's actually dishwashing liquid!"

"Mr, Whipple, please don't squeeze my.... Charmin!"

One day I was in Radio Shack and found a great new gadget that I could use to zap, or at least mute, those commercials. So I bought one and installed it as follows:

"First, unplug the TV. Failure to unplug the TV might result in getting the shock of your life.

"Then, let the unplugged TV sit for a while to disperse the static electricity inside. If you don't do that, well, see above.

"Now, remove the cork backing of the TV and find the speaker wire. Are you sure *that's* the speaker wire? You'd better be darn sure it is. Otherwise...

"Have you made sure that's the speaker wire? Really? You're sure, now. OK, good. Now, cut the wire. You read that right-- cut the wire. Just cut it, OK?

"Are you sure you cut the *speaker* wire? OK, then move on to the next step.

"Strip off about an inch of the plastic at the two ends of the cut wire with a wire stripper (available at Radio Shack). Now, make sure the two wires of your commercial zapper are also stripped. OK, now intertwine one set of exposed wires from the speaker wire with one set of exposed wires from the commercial zapper, and wrap tightly with electrical tape. Then do the same with the other exposed wires.

"OK, you're almost ready to go! Now, run your commercial zapper cable through the hole in the cork backing that the power cord goes through, and reattach the cork backing. Then plug in your TV and turn it on. The moment of truth is here! Are you seeing smoke coming from the back of your set? No? Good! Now try your commercial zapper. It works! Hooray! Now you can zap those pesky commercials, as long as you're within about 10 feet or so of your TV and have your commercial zapper in hand!

My God. That is pitiful. CurtEastPoint Nov 2014 #1
Radio Shack pays less than the minimum wage? SheilaT Nov 2014 #2
The job I just quit from also made me work off the clock, every day. robinlynne Nov 2014 #8
I believe there are supposed to be protections for workers who report such things, SheilaT Nov 2014 #11
Dell too catrose Nov 2014 #42
Good summation. Corporate power is pretty hep: Eleanors38 Dec 2014 #84
so different that when i was working hourly ProdigalJunkMail Nov 2014 #16
Things have changed drastically, in so many ways, for workers in our country. robinlynne Nov 2014 #20
The manager or owner was being honest, ethical, and legal. SheilaT Nov 2014 #63
Walmart tried that here Mnpaul Nov 2014 #22
I worked at Radio Shack in the 1980s unrepentant progress Nov 2014 #9
i've only gone to RS for LiberalElite Nov 2014 #14
I only go in there to recycle batteries I've bought from someplace else. And that is only because RKP5637 Nov 2014 #21
$5.45 an hour? Some states actually have NO min wage! ErikJ Nov 2014 #33
Yes, but the federal minimum wage applies to a very large number of jobs. SheilaT Nov 2014 #64
Labor protections are a joke in this country. Odin2005 Nov 2014 #54
"At-Will" employment really needs to be renamed to "Fire At-will" employment, to say it RKP5637 Dec 2014 #69
The way unions have been destroyed in this nation is shameful. AngryOldDem Dec 2014 #74
All that work that went into building up unions in this country wasted/lost in today's RKP5637 Dec 2014 #77
This takes place in 2004 Freddie Dec 2014 #80
My company did that for awhile -it's called wage theft rosesaylavee Dec 2014 #86
He must go to the E.E.O.C. and file a complaint. They will investigate (ha,ha) and find nothing Dustlawyer Dec 2014 #87
Actually the National Labor Relations Board or the State's Labor Department happyslug Dec 2014 #95
My guess is that it works like it did when I worked for H&R Block Ms. Toad Dec 2014 #88
Many years ago I recall them asking for my home address. lpbk2713 Nov 2014 #3
That used to drive me up the wall. I had one clerk tell me once I could not buy anything at RS without RKP5637 Nov 2014 #6
They wanted to mail you their catalogs. louis-t Dec 2014 #94
All too familiar.... daleanime Nov 2014 #4
this is the slow death nobody cares about olddots Nov 2014 #5
And they just don't get it! Just like Circuit City didn't get it. In the very very early days RKP5637 Nov 2014 #7
What happened with them, anyway? Proud Liberal Dem Nov 2014 #47
They eventually went totally under. Here's some info ... RKP5637 Nov 2014 #50
I remember them going out of business Proud Liberal Dem Nov 2014 #65
There's a book about it. WillowTree Dec 2014 #66
Yep, sometimes I think most of life is a string/series of coincidences. n/t. RKP5637 Dec 2014 #70
Not me Proud Liberal Dem Dec 2014 #91
They ditched appliances for video games and small electronics that could found cheaper online pstokely Dec 2014 #99
I am no expert but this is where I feel Sears has gone wrong... Phentex Dec 2014 #105
But, hey, the top executives 'earned' PatrickforO Dec 2014 #89
Yep, and they often move onto other companies into directorships, etc. It's often an RKP5637 Dec 2014 #93
How depressing! Iwillnevergiveup Nov 2014 #10
Joh should look into LiberalElite Nov 2014 #12
i'm surprised they made it past the 1980s JI7 Nov 2014 #13
In all honesty, I keep on being surprised that Radio Shack is still in business. SheilaT Nov 2014 #15
It's been sad for me.. sendero Nov 2014 #17
I don't think RS has sold the electronic components waddirum Nov 2014 #23
Mine still does Treant Nov 2014 #27
it's now an overpriced electronics accessory store pstokely Dec 2014 #100
Pretty much the same experience for me, actually Lafayette Radio before RS, and then before that RKP5637 Nov 2014 #26
Bought a stereo system from them in the late 60s GP6971 Nov 2014 #32
I got 20 years out of one of their top of the line stereo recievers I bought about 1981. brewens Nov 2014 #37
I remember my parents GP6971 Nov 2014 #49
Yep, some of their re-named gear way back was really good. I have one of their record changes I RKP5637 Dec 2014 #75
Yes... sendero Dec 2014 #68
Back in the days of cheap American-made black-and-white sets, Art_from_Ark Dec 2014 #92
Same here. secondvariety Dec 2014 #103
yep, a convenience store for electronic components 0rganism Nov 2014 #45
Same here customerserviceguy Dec 2014 #107
Everything I ever bought from Radio Shack broke almost immediately. Voice for Peace Nov 2014 #18
They sure did relabel as RS some real junk from time to time, and it just got worse and worse. n/t RKP5637 Nov 2014 #28
Meanwhile, over at Costco. . . Stargleamer Nov 2014 #19
You missed a part two paragraphs before your excerpt... bobclark86 Nov 2014 #24
Same Here Treant Nov 2014 #30
Good point on the mall! Anymore, I just go to Mouser or Digi-Key. n/t RKP5637 Nov 2014 #31
That explains the low wage. nt freedom fighter jh Nov 2014 #39
Yes, OP should have included that it was 2004 thesquanderer Nov 2014 #40
Yep, thanks, hadn't noticed that. It is amazing, 10 years later, still appropriate more RKP5637 Dec 2014 #72
Why would anyone expect people to shop at Radio Shack on Thanksgiving? mysuzuki2 Nov 2014 #25
My son and I stopped in one murielm99 Nov 2014 #29
My local Radio Shack is right by where I work and way handier than Walmart or others brewens Nov 2014 #34
Maybe this is all retaliation for Romney losing. Spitfire of ATJ Nov 2014 #35
I think competition from the internet sales has hurt Radio Shack wercal Nov 2014 #36
They've always been like that. I was offered a management position in the early '80s just 1monster Nov 2014 #38
What an awful work situation. I used to go to RS often, one near my house in NoVa appalachiablue Nov 2014 #41
stink The Jungle 1 Nov 2014 #43
Yeah, one near my house closed years ago. SunSeeker Nov 2014 #44
The RS nearest me has some great people working for them... SeattleVet Nov 2014 #46
I noticed that too, Mojo Electro Dec 2014 #104
Been there! PatSeg Nov 2014 #48
Radio Shack has been hanging on by a proverbial thread for years. MANative Nov 2014 #51
I've never found Radio Shack to be a pleasant experience, not for years and years. I've had some RKP5637 Nov 2014 #52
Never liked going in to Radio Shack. AngryOldDem Dec 2014 #73
My recent experience. ChazInAz Dec 2014 #102
Would you like a cell phone with that sir? burfman Nov 2014 #53
Same feelings here. Just an unpleasant place to go into. When I went there on occasion I used RKP5637 Nov 2014 #56
Retail electronics sale story to share, what the heck. NYC friend worked in a photo store in DETROIT appalachiablue Nov 2014 #55
Yep, that happens a lot. There's a guy around here, looks totally homeless and he's RKP5637 Nov 2014 #60
I believe it, good to know. On the other hand I recall Whoopie G. shopping with her mother appalachiablue Nov 2014 #62
Radio Shack killed themselves, just like Blockbuster and Tower Records. Initech Nov 2014 #57
Yep, they stick to business as usual feeling omnipotent, like they control the world. I've RKP5637 Nov 2014 #61
Actually, Tower was one of the first big retailers to go online. eppur_se_muova Dec 2014 #90
I had forgotten all about them! Glad you found them again! n/t RKP5637 Dec 2014 #108
I'm gonna call BS on he wore the wrong shade or red firing. ileus Nov 2014 #58
Yep, agree, I think that sounded a bit over the top too! n/t RKP5637 Nov 2014 #59
Don't bet on it. hobbit709 Dec 2014 #71
Two words: At will. AngryOldDem Dec 2014 #76
I concur Orrex Dec 2014 #82
I remember being a young computer nerd and lusting after the Tandy 1000. Rex Dec 2014 #67
LOL (sorry) Shankapotomus Dec 2014 #78
It is, isn't it, or at least a SNL skit! n/t RKP5637 Dec 2014 #79
An old but relevant classic from The Onion. Orrex Dec 2014 #81
Great! Perhaps Radio Shack will soon get the "historic" treatment... GreatGazoo Dec 2014 #83
Best paragraphs!!! RKP5637 Dec 2014 #85
We need change. H. Clinton will not provide that change. nm rhett o rick Dec 2014 #96
I wonder about that too! To me, it will be SOS again. n/t RKP5637 Dec 2014 #111
Tandy (Radio Shack) ripped me off so many times when I worked there. AtheistCrusader Dec 2014 #97
I would not mind seeing them gone, they deserve it, but I feel sorry for the employees. RKP5637 Dec 2014 #110
My husband, regrettably, used to work for the same corporation. lark Dec 2014 #98
I always wonder how RS stays open, I'm usually one of 2 or 3 in the store. Liberal_in_LA Dec 2014 #101
People have been saying Radioshack is dead for the past 10-15 years but SweetieD Dec 2014 #106
Radio Shack sold Tandy Leather in 2000 happyslug Dec 2014 #120
No wonder penndragon69 Dec 2014 #109
When they took out the Tube Tester One_Life_To_Give Dec 2014 #112
Yep, I used to buy tubes there and way back at Lafayette Radio. As I recall RS had the better ones RKP5637 Dec 2014 #113
Dating myself, I remember its much better competitor Lafayette Electronics, closed in 1981. happyslug Dec 2014 #114
This is an exceptionally astute reply and right on target IMO. Yes, they often remind me of a RKP5637 Dec 2014 #116
Half dead? They been a zombie for years BootinUp Dec 2014 #115
How do they sustain themselves? They can't be making much of a profit, not even to RKP5637 Dec 2014 #117
They've been on the verge of bankruptcy all year. n/t tammywammy Dec 2014 #118
Radio Shack has been marginal since the death of Charles Tandy in 1978. happyslug Dec 2014 #119
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