I can appreciate both sides of this. I sold mid-level bicycles for a while, even though I'm not into cycling. I needed a job at that period of my life, and that worked.
A few coworkers became annoyed that I wasn't a cyclist, but like I said, I needed the job. Still, I tried to learn as much as possible, and let people know when I didn't have an answer. To this day, I know more about bikes than most people that have ridden them in the past year.
All in all, things worked there. I was grateful for those with a lot of product knowledge, and I helped as much as possible with the grunt work: ordering supplies, faxing warranty forms, making trips to the print shop: stuff that the real cyclists didn't want to do so that they could focus on bikes.
THE GUITAR CENTER STORY
I don't know much about recording. I try to read up as much as my life permits. I was in guitar center a few years ago, and assumed the guy in pro audio knew what he was talking about. I was about to lay down some serious money on recording equipment when I was saved (praise the lord)!!
In the middle of a conversation with the "pro audio" guy, another customer came up beside me and said something that contradicted the GC peon. The peon countered what the customer said, to which the customer said to the GC guy:
"well, ok. maybe your right. I don't know. I'm just trying to help using what knowledge I've accumulated working as an engineer for (huge new york area radio station
) for 18 years.
This shut the GC guy up real fast, and I never saw him again. Ended up buying some stuff at far less than I would have otherwise.
Moral: If you see some guy getting suckered, consider helping him out. He'll be grateful.