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Posts Tagged ‘shopping

I Got Burned and Learned Never to Trust Again

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Internet shopping is all the rage these days and if I was forced to make a prediction by looking into my crystal ball I’d say that it’s the wave of the future. It’s kind of hard to imagine, seeing as how there are some things that are hard to buy without seeing them in person. The biggest one would be grocery items. No one wants to have milk shipped to them or pay for immediate delivery because they forgot to “buy beets for dinner and Grandma Trudy is coming over and it’s her favorite.”


Now the list of things that you don’t care to see or “handle” prior to purchasing are moving like cockroaches in the kitchen when the light comes on. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Let’s try, the list of things people are willing to “buy blind” greatly outnumbers those items their not.


I suppose there is also an element of the physical shopping that some people may have a hard time giving up. It could serve as a way to “get away” from it all, an escape, “me time” or perhaps it’s a way to spend time with a friend or family member. You go shopping, talk and visit, maybe stop for lunch or an early dinner. You can certainly make an outing of it and that might be hard for people to say goodbye to. Yet, more and more I hear people talking about “fighting crowds”, “wasting time going from store to store” or “not finding what you want”. Internet shopping has always sold itself as the remedy of all these problems. “Buy a new life in the comfort of your own home at three o’clock in the morning, naked.” I believe it boasts.


So what keeps the internet from taking over and closing down every store in the world, (besides the things I already mentioned)? Being ripped off. I think we’ve all fallen victim to it or know someone who has. Once it has happened to you, you’re never quite the same as before, like you never fully heal or get over it. You always hesitate right before check out and you spend a considerate amount of time researching the seller. Even in this deep investigate checking, there’s still a certain amount of uncertainty. Most of the time sellers have a review or feedback system and their “rating of trustworthiness” comes from people like you, me and our neighbors. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like some of my neighbors and I wouldn’t trust their opinion on anything. You start reading some of these “negative strikes” against the seller and I for one am amazed at the level of stupidity that these people are demonstrating. Spelling errors, grammar errors, contradicting statements, or little of no explanation at what the problem was. One I saw recently was “-“. Hey, thanks for the tip, I really appreciate your insight, you saved me from emoticons, ‘cause I hate those. Say what?


Only time will tell where the future of shopping going, (speaking of helpful insight). Persevering to “shop on”, even after a burn of two, the modern shopper embraces the internet more and more and overlooks the full extent of the consequences of staying home to buy. A certain amount of commerce will be safe of course, but it’s not just Wally World that’s putting Ma & Pop into early retirement.


Perhaps one day will meet by a bad transaction over the internet. Until then…


Egg On!

Ramblin’ Rooster

Shopping Cart Like No Other

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I don’t know for sure, but I have a really good feeling about this. Shopping carts are the last living relic, (still in use) of the medieval times torture era. Just think about it for a second. You know that what I’m saying is true, (or if you would rather) deep in your heart you know I’m right.


Just look at the design, (please excuse the crudity of my sketch).


Notice how the lower rack is specifically designed to stick out just slightly further than the basket, as if to attempt to go unnoticed. This is what gives, what would otherwise be a much forgotten about, mundane item, a lethal, killer’s edge of mayhem and destruction. Not to mention pain, suffering, aggravation and explosive stress.


Don’t believe me? Take your kids to the store. If you don’t have kids you can substitute an irresponsible, space-case, nitwit, friend, who likes to not pay attention to where they’re going. Once at the store grab a shopping cart and ask your friend or child to push the cart. Now, just walk around the store, but you must walk in front of the shopping cart at all times. If you have legitimate shopping to do, be all means take care of your business, but if you’re there solely for purposes of scientific experimentation, you’ll have to walk around for a little while. The variable depends on the attention span of the person you have pushing the cart. How long will it take for them to “get bored” and “wander off into thought” and then literally try and follow that whimsical thought with their eyes and ignore the fact that you have stopped.


That’s when it happens, that’s when the innocent, inanimate, docile, shopping cart grows fangs and unleashes a blood lust not unlike the worst monsters or creatures from your most horrid of dreams. The cart bites at your ankles relentlessly, without warning or provocation. Depending on your body size and vigor of the “cart pusher”, the “bottom rack” can actually try to push your ankle underneath the cart, thus trying to pull you down and run you over. On occasion one can even cause the “bite” to be worse by being startled and jumping, kicking, or flailing and smacking their ankle into the cold, hard, steely, metal again or even another part of the leg. Some people have even been reported to have injured the other leg during a dramatic and over reactionary response.


I don’t know how long shopping cart technology will be with us in our culture, but it seems to have a “necessity” of carrying the $200 worth of junk food from the store to the trunk. So I doubt the shopping cart can be avoided in your life. Perhaps you can ask a partner to do all the shopping. Maybe offer to do all the unloading in the garage if they do all the physical, store shopping. I don’t know you’d have to work that out amongst yourselves. In the meantime, be aware, be cautious and for God’s sake, don’t let anyone push the cart that you wouldn’t trust the life of your ankles to.


This has been a public service announcement from telling you and your family to be safe and remember that April is Shopping Cart Awareness Month.


Egg On!

Ramblin’ Rooster

Written by Ramblin' Rooster

April 3, 2009 at 4:37 am

Black Friday

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What a miserable day, this day, this so called Black Friday. I’m sure there’s a real reason why it’s called that, but I’m unaware of what that reason is. If I had to guess, it’s because everyone hates everyone at around noon.

Let’s say the average person starts the “shopping madness” at six AM. I realize that there are those who sleep out front way before six and that most people probably are up and getting ready, (especially the women) before six as well. I’m using six AM simply because it’s simple math to get to noon. Six hours of heavy traffic, having your foot run over by carts, bumped, pushed, shoved, finding what you’re after is sold out and knowing all of your sacrifice was in vain, and spending more money than you ever wanted too can make any sunshine yellow, happy face black.

I never hear about how restaurants do on Black Friday. Surely they see a surge in business. A little bit at least? Running around, boiling your blood, becoming disappointed and wanting to kill that person who just pulled out in front of you can really make you hungry. Post the biggest, dirtiest dish producing, most bloating, over indulgent meal of the year the last thing you want to do is go home and cook.

The wife loves Christmas and lives to go shopping. I don’t care for either. If I want something I go buy it, I don’t shop. Black Friday is one of the reasons I’m not a huge fan of Christmas. There’s this feeling of pressure and responsibility to buy a present for every person you’ve ever known. A lot of the times the perfect gift for someone comes out of a bin or off the shelf in the checkout aisle. Who knew the perfect gift for your sister’s husband was crammed behind a jumbo bag of Skittles. Nothing says love like “impulse purchase”.

I’ve never understood gift giving. “Hey kids, what do you want for Christmas?” “I want a blank-blank”, “I want a yada yada”, “OK, here you go.” “Wow thanks, it’s exactly what I asked you for. I’m so glad you listened and did what you were told.” Where’s the fun in that? There is none, but that’s the problem, unless you know someone on a military-veteran-buddy or prison-cell-mate level, it’s hard to figure out what they really want. Nothing’s worse that buying something for someone and having them open it and a look of total disappointment is obviously seen, (from outer space) washing over their face. Gift cards and money is almost on the same level. “Here, not only do I not know you or what you want, but I don’t even want to try.”

That’s why I’m purposing that families, couple or friends go out to the stores and shop side by side together, but for themselves. Pick what you want for yourself and buy it, (or have the little ones point it out and buy it). Ask about your companion(s) purchases. Show them off to each other, talk about them and what you’re going to do with them, (if applicable/appropriate). This way, you’ll never get stuck with something you don’t like, the pressure will be off everybody’s back and your relationship(s) with those you take with you shopping will develop and grow due to all the time spent talking.

Or you can just give me money.

Egg On!

Ramblin’ Rooster

Overpaying Phobia Ripoff Disease Syndrome

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For those of you keep track at home, here’s another inside scoop to the interworkings of Ramblin’ Rooster. I’m an average handyman. I like to think of myself as fairly intelligent and with a certain amount of aptitude. I’m not one who can fix anything and everything, but there’s a lot of things I can, or at least am willing to try, before calling someone and paying them to do it for me.

Do you suffer from OPRDS, (Overpaying Phobia Ripoff Disease Syndrome)? Me too! It’s not just about fixing things that break, it’s goes way beyond that.

First, my hot water heater stopped working recently. The pilot light wouldn’t stay lit. Being under warranty, I had to call the manufacturer before doing any work on it. They told me they would send me a new thermocouple, but I opted to just go buy one, (it was freezing this week and I needed hot water now!) “What do we want? Hot water! When do we want it? Every time we turn on the faucet!” To make a long story short, they ended up having to send me a gas valve, (or thermostat). I fixed it myself, the hot water is flowing and it cost me a total of one hour in labor, (including the thermocouple that didn’t need to be changed, but not counting the waiting for the tank to drain) and 37 cents for the stamp to send in my receipt for a refund on the thermocouple. I can’t even imagine how much it would have cost to have someone come out and fix it for me. To make things worse in that nightmarish scenario, the fix was the equivalent of changing a light bulb, (or six light bulbs with a couple of a wrenches).

Next, I bought the wife a new digital camera for our anniversary. We ended up doing zero shopping around, but rather just going to a store and picking the one she liked best. It was freakin’ expensive and the salesperson asked, “Are you planning on buying today?” “Yes,” I replied. “Well, Black Friday isn’t too far away and that camera’s going to be on sale, but if you buy it now and see it being sold for less anywhere else in the next 30 days, we’ll refund the difference, plus 10%.” WTF? I thought to myself. I no longer have to worry about overpaying because you’re telling me I’m overpaying? What a relief. Now I just have to spend the next 30 days combing every ad I can find, desperately looking for a cheaper price. How cool is that? That’s what I said.

Finally, I love fettuccine alfredo. With chicken, without, I couldn’t care less. “Give me a gigantic bowl of fettuccine alfredo and some bread sticks and I’ll be in hog heaven.” That was until I made fettuccine alfredo at home one night. For those of you who don’t know, the basic recipe for alfredo sauce is butter and milk. That’s right, butter and milk. Even die hard bachelorshave butter and milk in their refrigerator. Hell, crackheads have butter and milk in their fridge. Now then, you boil the noodles, melt the butter in milk, drain the pasta, put it back in the pan, sprinkle it with Parmesan cheese, then poor the butter-milk sauce over it, mix and serve. That’s worth $12 or more at a restaurant. How cool is that? That’s what I said.

The list goes on and on, but it just never stops being extremely frustrating. You as a consumer are in constant battle with yourself. Trying to think if it’s a “good buy” or a bad one, but never really knowing if you’re right or wrong. Most people just want whatever they’re in the market to buy, so they go and buy, (hey that’s me!). Which is probably one reason prices are what they are today. It seems like no matter how much research, looking around, comparison shopping or time you take to make a decision, as soon as you walk around the corner, there’s a sign for what you just bought that has it $20 dollars cheaper. Even though it’s only $20, it still burns you to the core.

Why couldn’t I be rich, so that the spending of money would be immaterial? “Oh, it’s $400 dollars for an oil change? OK, change it twice. I’ll be back in a hour.”

Egg On!

Ramblin’ Rooster

Written by Ramblin' Rooster

November 5, 2008 at 5:30 am