SEPTEMBER 1, 2009 — The Best Buy associate, a fast moving blue-shirted phenomenon, was spotted for the final time today.

The associate was typically seen scurrying about overly lit electronics stores during the past two decades, ignoring customers and not answering phones. Youthful in appearance, he was recognized by his spiky hair, annoying goatee, and propensity to use the phrase: “I’ll be right with you.”

The Best Buy associate prospered in the mid-90s as electronics became big business in America. He is credited with doing some of his finest evasive maneuvers during that era, racking up record hold times for phone-based customers while also keeping lines of irritating in-store shoppers waiting.

The introduction of the Best Buy airport vending machine in late 2008 is blamed for the associate’s demise. Shortly after the machine’s expansion to 12 major airports in August, the store began realizing how easily it could phase the associate out without anyone noticing the difference.

The associate will be remembered for his single-syllable name — Jim, was it? Or Rick? — as well as his ability to push that giant-wheelie-ladder-thing around the store for hours on end with no apparent goal in sight. The Best Buy associate was 26 years old.

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