Saturday, December 17, 2011

On Hating Walmart and Other Ruminations

Hating Walmart is not a new concept. Their treatment of suppliers, employees, and the towns and environs in which they operate haven't earned them too many accolades. Yet, business classes across the land caution students not to rush to judgment. Much may be learned from Walmart's business practices and much can be learned from observing their typical store patron.

Our former Dutch foreign exchange student asked me if we could really get bananas, paper towels, shoes, and guns in the same store, to which I shamefully had to reply, "Yes."  I mean, I've heard of lawyers, guns, and money, but WTF?! And then she also asked if there were whole supermarket aisles dedicated to breakfast cereal, to salad dressing, and to frozen pizza. Alas, I had to say "Yes."

People of Cascadian Walmart (use extreme caution)

I thought that by being a "Host Parent" to an exchange student, I would get to play tour guide for ten months or try out some parenting techniques on her, so that when my own daughter reached that age, I would have an idea of what works and what doesn't. I had no idea that on Day One of her living in the USA, I'd have to go into how having an infinite amount of choices is, in part, what it means being  American, and that if one doesn't have the discipline to manage the choices, financial (and other forms of) ruin could be right around the corner.

Often called "The Disease of More" (see The Paradox of Choice), this disorder has the basic premise that if we had to chose between three of four similar items, we would be much more happy than having to choose between five and fifteen items. I believe this is why authentic preps tend to gravitate to the same disciplined style and quality brands. Be it via "nurture" or "nature", we have transcended the need to chase fads, to want what's new, and other compulsions which we think will make us relevant to society.

Now if you will excuse me, I have some men's style blogs to peruse.

1 comment:

  1. I think you are right about the issue of too many choices and the reason many people stick with something is because it has worked well enough for them.