Working a minimum wage position in a retail environment is enlightening. It is arguably the best "character building" experience and invaluable to those planning to occupy management positions one day. The greatest benefit of having to deal with customers everyday aside from practicing professionalism is the exposure to their mentality. Generalizations inevitably follow, composing a stereotypical customer. This customer could be shopping for anything, the item is not relevant, their characteristics are consistent for the most part.

For example, lets say that our customer is shopping for groceries. As the individual pulls into the plaza they must grab the best parking spot allowing them to walk the absolute minimum distance to the entrance. God forbid they have to walk more than 10 feet to the doors, unnecessarily burning calories and providing exercise. Leaving their vehicle poorly parked in their haste, our consumer walks through the automatic doors and is blasted by bright lights, drained out muzak and cold air simultaneously. To the best of our knowledge the previous temporarily invokes effects similar to those achieved by a full frontal lobotomy.

All ability to reason and utilize commonsense is lost, our pawn acquires an indifferent temperament and a facial expression reminiscent of a toddler. Our customer is now helpless prey to the barrage of corporate advertising and marketing.

"Would you like to try a sample?"
"On Sale, 50% off!"
"Limited Edition!"
"Low Fat!"

These superfluous catch phrases all have the same result: the product lands in the cart, the companies flip a profit and the consumer is deluded into thinking they will be satisfied. With their cart strategically centered in the isle, they will ponder over minuscule decisions for eternities, before breaking out the cell phone.

You see them walking around the stores , their phones firmly attached to their ears. The shoppers who are compelled to triple check everything with their husbands/wives. Almost always their Nokia's are programmed to ring in the most annoying manner possible. Not content with just that, they allow the phone to ring as many times as possible, playing the entirety of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony at 500 bpm. It's almost enough to drive you insane.

With a swipe of plastic, they're leaving the store with receipt in hand and looking for where they abandoned their car. The equation is simple, provide the ravenous consumers with the newest/greatest product that promotes convenience over practicality and the cash flows in.

No doubt these same people are the ones responsible for the stupid consumer warnings on the cups of coffee reading "Caution: Contents are hot". Somewhere someone had to be stupid enough to expect the coffee to be cold. They are the consumers who smile stupidly as their right's are being removed one by one. They believe whatever the mass media tells them.

"Honey, they're finally giving those evil hackers and pirates what they deserve."

Yay consumerism.

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