You never know who's serving your food in a restaurant and what they might have done to it, in it, or on it.
It's the same with electronics shopping. You can't be sure whether what's inside the box has been scratched, ill-made, or merely smashed by someone having fun in the stockroom.
What should one make, therefore, of the film posted to Reddit by SenorPierre?
He claimed it had been sent to him by an employee at the Wal-Mart in Pikeville, Ky.
It appears to show local boys in the Wal-Mart stockroom tossing boxed iPads around and even smashing them on the floor.
To my own eyes, I couldn't see any definitive proof that these are iPads.
It's one of the protagonists who's amused to announce, "This is why you don't buy an iPad from Wal-Mart."
What proceeds is everything you might expect and fear, when it comes to young men who think they have a sense of humor.
They toss the boxes. One even slams a box down on the floor. He then picks it up and tosses it to his buddy Cody. Who proceeds to drop it like a Cleveland Browns wide receiver.
This is all done, quite naturally, for fun.
The Reddit thread suggests these boys were, um, thrown out. And Wal-Mart has confirmed this for me.
A spokeswoman said: "We've seen the video of several night-shift associates destroying merchandise in the back of one of our stores in August and, as anyone can image, it made us wince. We are also embarrassed."
She added: "Since this unfortunate incident, we haven't received any returns of this merchandise. We stand behind our merchandise, and our associates work very hard to take proper care and handling of the products we put on our shelves."
It's always worth opening the box before you buy it, as one lady in a Texas gas station discovered only this week.
The video isn't entirely SFW, but it's expressiveness offers a flavor of the apparent intent.
One can only hope these now-former Wal-Mart employees don't get jobs at Burger King.