Forum: Arts / Debates

Page:
Page 2 of 2: 1 2
re: The shopping culture (karma: 4)
By Cienmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jul 04, 2011 02:51 PM
I guess my point is that it seems to me that shopping is a fairly trivial "freedom" to be so excited about. There are WAY more important freedoms (speech, religion, exchange of ideas, the ability to travel when and where we want, the ability to choose from so many different political beliefs...) to be celebrating, I think, than the freedom to spend our money on stuff we don't always need.

We didn't fight all that hard for the "freedom" to shop--pretty much anyone in any country is going to be allowed to buy things with their money. People were able to spend money before the Declaration was even written. Even during the Depression, when people didn't have much money to spend, they still had the ability to spend it. I just don't see why shopping is something to celebrate when we didn't fight NEARLY as hard for it as we've had to fight for the freedoms of speech, religion, etc. To me, it seems like "But shopping is a symbol of FREEDOM!" is a thin excuse for wanting to shop on a holiday. If you want to shop on a holiday, that's fine, but just say so. Don't veil it under the word "freedom"; that's rather belittling to the freedoms people DID work hard for.
re: The shopping culture
By Odessamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jul 04, 2011 03:05 PM
In Australia, the shops are open EVERY DAY except for Good Friday, Christmas Day, Easter Sunday and ANZAC Day until 1pm.

This year, my supermarket decided to open on Easter Sunday. In one way, I liked that, because it meant that people who aren't Christian or don't celebrate Easter aren't bound by the arbitrary rules set down by Christian law-makers and can still go get their stuff. In a truly free society, this is a good thing.

But in the other way, it really annoyed me because the supermarket is open from 6am til Midnight every day of the week, and it you're so poor at organising yourself that you can't go to the supermarket the day before you know it's going to be closed and buy a loaf of bread, a carton of milk, some fruit and whatever you want to eat for dinner, then your biggest problem is not that the supermarket is shut, but your inability to manage your time correctly.

Like, I KNEW this year that the supermarket would be closed on Good Friday, so I deliberately didn't spend all of Easter Thursday messing about with my friends - I went home and went out and bought enough food to get me through the weekend, because I knew that if I didn't, all I would have to eat on Good Friday would have been an avocado and half a litre of milk.

Convenience is a good thing, but so is being able to plan your time.

Erin.
::righteous babe::
re: The shopping culture
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jul 04, 2011 03:07 PM
But it's not up to you, Cien, to decide which freedoms are more important. And you're missing the point. Shopping is a symbol of personal success. And I don't mean that in a shallow, materialist way. You have money because you worked hard for it. And you are free to work as much or as little as you want on your path to success. That is huge to me, as huge as freedom of speech and religion. Maybe it's because of my family background where my ancestors came from little villages with no opportunities for a better life and pressure from family to stay in a family business that the concept of determining your own future and personal success is so big for me.

I used to be a sales manager for a computer company. I hired a man from India, a recent immigrant as part of my sales staff. Once I drove him and the rest of the staff to a business lunch and we were driving through a typical planned community, you know, the kind where the suburban homes are in walled areas and strip malls in-between. Someone commented negatively on the boring-ness of the place and the horrid strip malls and the terrible suburban reality of living behind walls. The Indian immigrant was practically in tears with the comments and went on to say how incredibly beautiful everything was and all the stores were immaculate and look at all the selection! He loved the homes, the Wal-Marts, the gas stations, even the liquor stores. Compared to where he was from, he thought our little portion of America was the most wonderful thing he had ever seen. He sure put us in our place - because he was right. Because we all have so much we forget what we have. And we forget how great it is that we have it.

I guess what I'm saying is that to me, shopping is one aspect of self-determinism. No one should get all sniffy and snooty when watching someone buy a flat-screen tv or some other item. You don't know their story. You don't know whether they 'need' it or not.
re: The shopping culture
By Munkensteinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jul 04, 2011 03:51 PM
Edited by Munkenstein (71404) on 2011-07-04 15:56:25
Most people I know are having cookouts, drinking beer, and playing cornhole today...tons of unhealthy food they don't NEED to eat, beer they don't NEED to drink, games they don't NEED to play. Some of us want to go clothes shopping and some of us want to buy a case of beer...it's great that we have the FREEDOM to choose which one we want to be and nobody can really fault you for either choice since they're both probably pretty unnecessary. When a ton of people start using the July 4th holiday to make care packages for soldiers or something then we'll talk.
re: The shopping culture
By Cienmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jul 04, 2011 04:27 PM
Edited by CienPorCientoPAZ (147923) on 2011-07-04 16:31:11
^But no one here has tried to defend drinking beer or eating food as "celebrating a freedom," because we know they're not hard-won things. Same with shopping. Not saying it's an unnecessary or stupid thing, because Lord KNOWS I love my shopping, but I am saying I think it's incorrect and ridiculous to say that shopping is this freedom we've worked so hard for; and that spending, spending, spending (which is the type of consumerism Sumayah was talking about in the first place) is a way to honor our country. That concept, of shopping being a way to honor people, is laughable to me. I get the idea of working hard for your money and celebrating that by enjoying your ability to spend it--but don't compare that freedom to the important freedoms, that we actually had to work to even attain in the first place. We've always been allowed and able to spend our money; whether we have the money to spend is the part d4j is talking about celebrating. Not the same as honoring the people who have died for other freedoms.

And actually, the retail store I work at (Old Navy) is having an event through today where you can donate items to care packages for soldiers. One of the only reasons I'm okay with them staying open today and making me work.
re: The shopping culture
By Sumayah
On Mon Jul 04, 2011 05:37 PM
Edited by Sumayah (204191) on 2011-07-04 17:39:05 all my others posts had to be edited, why not this one too?
kandykane wrote:

Third, I have six veterans in my immediate family and one active so the blanket statements about not respecting the military on holidays really do not apply to me and my family. We respect them everyday.

I can see it gets you worked up to have to be open on holidays and Sundays but doesn't staff usually take turns? That's the way it was when I worked retail. (Lol, but don't ask for a Saturday off! NOBODY got Saturday off!!) So not everyone always works Sundays and the same holidays? Unless you have been hired specifically to work only Sundays and holidays which, although rare, does happen.

kk~


True, blanket statements and generalizations are unfair. I apologize for that. And the store I work for is a bit different in that we're a small, locally owned chain store with 6 small stores around town and only 15 employees. Most of the time we run a tight ship, 1 person per store, 2 at the big ones on evenings and weekends. So, unfortunately we don't really get the chance to share who takes the holidays or weekends. We can request time off and my boss is pretty good at working it so we can, but there certain times when it's just not possible.

Munkenstein wrote:

I don't know what you're trying to get out of this thread at this point.


Sorry, I was venting. Trying to open up discussion on the topic at hand but got sidetracked and wound up in my own little personal ball of fury. I will say another part of that (that I thought I mentioned, but that must have been the post ddn ate), and my commentary thereof, is that I think it's ridiculous that the folks who work retail or wait tables or do various other customer service based are the ones who end up working through these holidays, often making minimum wage (or less in the case of servers). Realistically, there's no way someone can survive because the cost of living is so far above the rate of pay, especially for services rendered. But that's a discussion for a different day and time.

***

I also have no issue working on other secular holidays. I worked Christmas Eve, I worked New Years Eve and New Years Day, I worked Good Friday, I worked Easter Sunday. I do take issue with stores being open on Memorial Day and 4th of July when the anniversary of what they represent is so powerful to our country. The mall isn't open because they want to empower the American public with shopping, they're open because a group of people sat in a board room and weighed greed with closing for a national holiday and discovered that greed make their wallets fatter and that if they're open then people will shop. As I said, call it what it is, I'd have way more respect for the situation. You're working the 4th of July because the mall owners want more money and don't care about you or your family or friends. Okay, well, it sucks, but at least that would be honest.

Here's what makes me really sad. I've wished everyone a happy 4th of July and about half got a puzzled look on their face and went, "Oh? Yeah. You too." /facepalm Come on folks. At least know why you have the day off.

Munkenstein wrote:

When a ton of people start using the July 4th holiday to make care packages for soldiers or something then we'll talk.


Exactly. In my opinion, that would be celebrating our freedom and appreciating those who have served to protect and defend our rights. But even sitting around and drinking beer and grilling food is better than shopping just to shop - at least in my mind, you're spending time with people and being involved in the celebration.

I guess I don't really see why we take off Christmas Day, being a major religious Christian based holiday and all, but the holidays that actually deal with our being proud to be American are just fodder to sell a new dishwasher.
re: The shopping culture
By Munkensteinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jul 04, 2011 06:19 PM
I had a friend in town for the long weekend and we went to the mall Sunday...I wasn't by myself just roaming around buying junk. We were catching up and having fun hanging out in the context of shopping. The main reason for going was that I needed new socks and a pair of shoes for work...hardly pointless, luxury items. So to me, socializing with my friend I hardly see anymore plus getting something I need = yay, what a good use of my time.

^But no one here has tried to defend drinking beer or eating food as "celebrating a freedom," because we know they're not hard-won things. Same with shopping.

However people ARE saying that the day "should" be spent with family and around here most of those families are sitting around doing the grilling and drinking thing. So a trip to the liquor store and then the backyard is being portrayed as a "more acceptable" way to socialize/celebrate something than hanging out at a mall. If buying a new appliance feels like a celebration to you, well then good for you. People get really into holidays and stores feed off of that by having big sales at those times...if people weren't so predictable and mob-minded maybe it wouldn't be like that, but hey, stores need to make as many sales as possible so they use these things to get the sales.

Past that, having access to all of these stores certainly makes me stop and think sometimes...I've talked to people from other countries who hardly had any options, weren't allowed to buy certain music/movies in their country, etc. I'm very glad to have the options to buy and wear/watch/listen to what I want!

I'm also wondering about regional differences right now...last fourth of July the mall where I lived closed very early and many restaurants were closed for the day or right after lunch. It was tough finding a place to get dinner with my friends and the one restaurant we found to be open was totally raking in the money that day/night.
re: The shopping culture
By Cienmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jul 04, 2011 06:40 PM
Munkenstein wrote:

I'm also wondering about regional differences right now

I have a feeling this plays a big role. Where I live (Wisconsin), things generally stay open. I haven't been to our bigger shopping mall yet, but Old Navy and the whole little strip mall it's located in were open today, with no limited hours.
re: The shopping culture
By Sumayah
On Mon Jul 04, 2011 06:40 PM
^ On the mall official web page, 15 stores are advertising sales and many more are offering specials that aren't listed on the page. It might just be regional. Some private stores are closing early (by 6pm), the mall I'm at is closing early at 8pm and the other major mall is staying open until 9pm (regular mall hours). Restaurants are all mostly open. It really doesn't seem any different than any other Monday holiday. Banks are closed, government buildings are closed, but everyone else is going about life as usual. It just makes me sad I guess.
re: The shopping culture
By dancin_til_death
On Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:23 AM
This really isn't a problem with consumers, its a problem with your employer.

As a consumer, I don't particularly care if your store doesn't stay open, I will take my business to a store that is open.

My job often requires me to work at unfavourable hours. I accepted that when I accepted the job. Sometimes this means overnight shifts.

I don't often shop, I'm still a student and money is hard to come by, so shopping is enjoyable. I don't have much time either. I very rarely have time for a lunch break. If you offer to stay open at a time which is more convenient to me, then yes I will take that. I cannot see in any shape or form this as my fault. I am giving you money.
re: The shopping culture
By aerial
On Wed Jul 06, 2011 08:09 AM
A different spin. I worked retail then emergency services. I have seen very few Holidays off. Personally I have no close family, my parents life across country and my husband works EMS too. So for the past several years it has been no big deal. Christmas is just another day, we don't have kids so it is no biggie to do presents the next day. As far as the 4th MOST businesses do close in time for you to go the BBQ and see some fireworks. As far as customers should not be consuming on theses days, it will never happen and most places will not close because it is all about the bottom line. I suppose if I owned a business I would first ask for volunteers to work after all you do get that sweet sweet time and a half! Then I would divide out Holidays say you work Easter but get Christmas off. Seems fair.
re: The shopping culture
By PinUpGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jul 10, 2011 03:09 PM
When I worked at Bath & Body Works, the 4th and Labor Day were highly contested days to work because you got time and a half. Your job really should've offered you that. I know they're under no obligation to, but it seems pretty lame on their part that they didn't even extend that to you. On that front, you have every right to be upset. I've worked retail and had to deal with the sales, the idiots, and everything that comes along with it. It sucks. There's no denying that at all.

I work in finance, so I get all the major holidays off since the stock market is closed. This year, I even get Black Friday off (after my 18 hour marathon last Black Friday just to make ends meet, don't think I'm not 1000% grateful I get it off). I was scheduled to work the day after Christmas, but it snowed here and I couldn't get out of the driveway. I'll be back at work on December 26th this year, but I won't be risking getting an elbow to the face from people fighting over a sweater. At one point last year, I was juggling 3 retail jobs. I got rid of one fairly quickly because of the commute, but working two took a huge toll on my health. I was constantly getting sick to the point some of the managers thought I was faking. Again, I will be very grateful for what I have now.

Having done the retail grind and now being back in the corporate world, I certainly appreciate how hard people in stores work for how little pay. I go out of my way to be very polite, not make a mess of fitting rooms or demo areas, & usually don't go in unless I actually intend on buying something. I maintain everyone should have to work in either retail or food service to get a feel for how the other half lives, as it were. I think people would be a lot more respectful if they had to put up with the same BS most retail employees do and do it with a smile.

I don't think I actually debated anything in all of that, but those are my thoughts on the matter.
re: The shopping culture
By Niennamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jul 10, 2011 04:51 PM
This thread has really given me a lot to think about, and I find myself agreeing with both sides. On the one hand, I'm currently sitting in the club house of my high-rise apartment building in a safe neighborhood, watching the sun start to go down over the horizon and listening to the kids splashing in the pool outside. I'm on my netbook and my smart phone is sitting next to me. Downstairs in my studio I have a hi-def tv, two adorable kitties, three major gaming systems, and a stocked fridge and pantry. All of this because my boyfriend and I have worked hard together to build a life for ourselves and to me, being able to shop for things that aren't entirely necessary is a pretty awesome freedom to have.

That being said, on the major intersection near my apartment right now there is probably the same armless, homeless vet begging for bits of money from people. Who am I to spout on the awesome materialistic freedoms of this country when it comes sooo far from applying to everyone, and really only applies to a very privileged few? (I'm FULL of liberal guilt. It's almost as bad as my Catholic guilt.)

And just to add, I doubt the founding fathers foresaw an America where people were finding comfort in materials more than their own family and simple comforts. To be honest, we probably SHOULD spend the fourth of July making care packages for soldiers, and I'm a little ashamed I never thought about it before. I do agree, Sumayah, that this country has become very much more about how much money we can milk out of a day more than its importance to our country, historically, which I believe may have been what the central point of your debate was supposed to be, though I can fully understand why you got frustrated and side tracked.
re: The shopping culture (karma: 1)
By Puss_in_Bootsmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:01 AM
As an Australian I obviously can't comment on the 4th-of-July thing, but I can come in from the greed angle. I saw the same sort of thing when a few people in my rural, 13,000-people town were pushing for Sunday trade last year. It would have given shops up the street the freedom to decide, but as part of the shopping centre we would have had to open for at least as long as the management there decided they wanted us to open. Which was fine, but anyone in the centre who was against it was pretty much ignored.

The main argument pushed by the man who owned the centre, his puppets, and an assistant manager from Big W, was that a nearby city (with about ten times the population) had just adopted Sunday trading and that we'd lose business to them by not being open on Sunday. The fact that people drive to this city every other day of the week as well didn't matter. The fact that small business owners in that city's shopping centres were also struggling didn't matter. The fact that it wouldn't be worthwhile for most businesses in OUR centre didn't matter either. For them, the fear that they would lose business to somebody else was enough to risk losing tenants who couldn't afford to keep up.

The other argument we kept hearing from people in town was that it would be really nice to have the shops open on Sunday, either because it would give them something to do, or because it would give them one extra day to do grocery shopping, etc. The problem was, that half the people saying this were known to be housewives who had most of the week to go shopping and indeed were in the centre nearly every day, and I'm going to assume that most, if not all, worked 9 - 5 on weekdays and maybe also 9 - 12 or 1 on Saturdays. None of them would have to work on Sundays. Doctors and dentists and solicitors and accountants weren't bothering to even open Saturdays, and yet they all expected that the shops be open for them on the one day we got off, even though they had until 5:30 on most weekdays, until 9pm on Thursdays, and 4pm on Saturdays. That's not even taking into account that the two big grocery stores are open from 9 - 9 on weekdays and 9 - 5 on Saturdays, and the smaller ones already open on Sundays.

I found that a lot of customers don't realise that we have to pay for our stock. They don't realise that we already employ as much staff as we can afford to have, and that a lot of owners are working long hours because they already can't afford the extra help. They don't realise that we have to pay rent, and electricity bills, and phone bills, and wages - and all of that comes out of profit. They had some vague idea that any profit we made from our products was going straight into our pockets, so we could go buy houses and flat screen TVs and three cars and a boat for the weekend. The reality is that a lot of small businesses in our area often make just enough to be comfortable. There are a number of factors here - people prefer to shop at places like Big W or Kmart because they're cheaper, or drive to city stores because they think they have more stock (not true in the case of most of our competitors), and for some reason we still get people coming in who didn't know that the centre/some of the stores existed even though we've been around for five years.

Anyway I've done a Suma and gone on a tangent. :P Eventually, after two or three petitions and a vote and various other things, we didn't get it - turns out 80% of the town didn't actually want it, although it took a while for the people pushing for it to back down. The point is that people don't NEED the shops open every day. Yes, opening a business is a choice. Yes, often working retail is a choice. But if we're expected to cater to your every whim, why can't doctors and dentists and other health professionals be open? After all, those of us who work six days may not be able to get there without taking a day off and putting other people out. Why can't other services be open for the same hours as we are?

Jonelle, I worked in a store that refused to close if Big W (sort of your Walmart equivalent) was still open. The area and state managers, of course, still got their time off no matter what... but gods forbid that we *might* miss out on a sale! Never mind that we missed out on sales while we were open because Big W was generally cheaper... I would hope that they would be closing during dangerous weather, though. That's just plain greedy and irresponsible. Nobody's going to be out spending if it's that bad outside anyway!
re: The shopping culture
By Josianemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 14, 2011 05:28 PM
Edited by Josiane (144829) on 2011-07-14 17:31:50
I thought that with you guys being so patriotic (it seems like it from outside) all stores would be closed on the 4th of July!

I live in Quebec, Canada. Here we have two national holidays. One is provincial. June 24th is our Fete Nationale and almost EVERYTHING is closed: malls, grocery stores, offices, etc. Only restaurants, drugstores and convenient stores are open. Even there, you have a limit of employees that can work. I think you are allowed a maximum of four and thats if you are a big drugstore. The law says so. If a store decided to stay open, it would get a huuuuge fine. So almost nobody works that day and we celebrate like crazy the night of the 23rd because EVERYONE has the next day off.

What is weird is that on July 1st.. which is Canada day... only some places are closed. You can go grocery shopping, some stores are open, etc. It barely makes a difference if you compare it with our provincial holiday. You would think that Canada day would be more important than our Fete Nationale...

Personnaly, I think everything should be closed (almost) so that people really have to stop their normal routine and think about the celebration and your country means to you.
Page:
Page 2 of 2: 1 2

ReplySendWatch

Powered by XP Experience Server.
Copyright ©1999-2021 XP.COM, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
XL
LG
MD
SM
XS
XL
LG
MD
SM
XS