Do you hate waiting for packages as much as I do?
As I write this, I am waiting for:
- a new DTV tuner that I have been waiting for them to release for months
- a Christmas present for my father
- a package of stuff from my friend Jann
- a new OS X version of the 3D software I use for my website
I have tracking information for two of the packages, and as usual, I am obsessed with tracking them. One of them has been sitting in the FedEx Salt Lake City sorting facility for days, just taunting me. This is the big drawback connected with Internet shopping… the delayed gratification. If only I could find the stuff I wanted in a store nearby, but alas, brick and mortar stores only carry items appealing to the lowest common denominator.
Let’s talk a little about that…
I am a gadget junkie. I can’t help myself. I have to have the latest, greatest piece of video equipment and I have to have it now. But don’t try walking into a store and buying it! Here’s an example: Sears will sell you a high definition television and the HDTV tuner to go with it – but you can’t buy the tuner box separately. They only sell them together. So, if you already have a high def TV set without a tuner, you’re out of luck. You have to scour the Internet to find the tuner box you want. And do all the research yourself, because people who work in retail are no longer required to know anything at all about what they sell. I once went to Best Buy to buy a DVD player, and I asked the guy if they had a combo DVD-LaserDisc player. He pointed out that the LaserDisc player I already had would play DVDs… because there was an indentation the size of a DVD on the tray. Then he insisted that he knew what he was talking about because his grandfather was part of the team that designed DVDs, or some such thing. Now, not only was he obviously, completely wrong, but he was a rotten salesman – he wanted me to not buy a new DVD player because my LaserDisc player could do it.
It’s always a surprise to find someone who can not only sell you something, but can tell you all about it! Up the street from me is a Bath and Body Works, where I sometimes like to stop in and buy something that I think might make my face cleaner or make me smell nicer. There is a woman there, who I believe is the manager, who knows about every single product, what it does, how it does it, and what items are just right for you. She is so enthused about everything, and loves to offer customers a sea salt hand scrub – which I recommend you take her up on. It’s nice.
Anyway – for the most part, today’s shopper must now be a salesperson as well, because the salespersons definitely don’t know nearly as much as the shoppers. So, I figure that if I already have done all the research for my purchase, I might as well just buy it mail order and avoid the sales people altogether. There’s an infinitely better selection that way.
Brick and mortar retail, these days, will only carry items that will sell huge numbers to boring, bland, beige people with no real hunger for the interesting or unusual. This is why big box retailers are successful, why Dell computers sell so well, and why WalMart was the scene of mobs the day after Thanksgiving. We’ve gone from being a consumer society to being a mindless consumer society.