Brains are Dead

A two in one face compact and an eyeliner in hand, a sense of accomplishment overcame me, washed down with a pint of guilt.

… Although I’d still say it was a steal.

As i waited in line at the mart for my turn, something interesting happened. The salesgirl requested the woman who was then getting her bill computed to let me in since i have less than 5 items. The explosion of words in Odia that followed made it pretty clear she wasn’t ready to give up her position to some random 18 year old chick with makeup and liquid soap in hand: she was at the pinnacle, with her two baskets and an assorted array of debit and credit cards snug inside her olive green (hopefully fake) leather wallet.

Courtesy The Raging Yoghurt

And then i wondered why. Meanwhile, the salesgirl came up to me and explained the situation in Hindi. She apologised for me having to wait in line for barely much of a shopping list per se.
I flashed my pearlies (as good as new!
Not.) and she went back to her mundane job of showing people ‘the latest trends in makeup’, flourishing samples of eyeshadows and lipcolors and the latest range of chic nail colors with an ease only frustrated familiarity with shelves lined up with that stuff can bring.
My antennae tingled, swaying ever so softly in the air; in business, customer experience is top of priority: you’re the king.

But standing in line at the mart i realised, increasingly refined customer experiences are turning us into bitches.

  • People have lots of capital, so everyone’s a superhero (purchasing power, on second thoughts. National and world economies aren’t all that flowery, but life revvs on for those who believe in the secret power of Credit.)
  • More money means more services.
  • You’ve gotta be kidding me if you still live in the 80’s. Companies dream of a big fat stock market price (boo Facebook) and a loyal fan base. Sort of like minions. Anyone has one eye like that guy in the middle? If you’re reading this, you better know I really like yoo!

    I likes yoo.

  • Honestly, I wasn’t expecting the bullets either.

I like to think of all of us as the king who wore no clothes.

Everyone wants the best and on demand; with way too many choices at hand, spoilt for choice is a sheer understatement. We have a gazillion food joints competing with each other’s necks and rib cages, heck, even newspapers!

You have clothing brands and diapers and soft drinks and home supplies and real estate (depending on the  the number of homes you can fit under your belt) and toilet paper… Whew. You’re bombarded by so many things all the time, is it any wonder you scream at a pretty 18 year old teen with makeup in arms?

Not cool.

In other news, Barry Schwartz remains amongst my favorite speakers on TED. Yay!

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4 thoughts on “Brains are Dead

  1. Not that it seems applicable to you Ritika, but I love George Bernard Shaw’s quote: “Youth is wasted on the young”. You appear to have you head in the right place.

    As a student I constantly used to feel embarrassed by older people, especially if I found myself in the same situation as you did. Older people seemed intimidating and nearly everybody seemed older, so the whole world was intimidating. Not quite, but at times it did. Being young is great, and I recommend everyone goes through it before growing old.

    Loved the Barry Schwartz clip too.

    • That one remains one of my most favorite ones till date, Bryan.

      When you’re mentally chalking out the rest of the month’s budget after an impulsive buy, a lady screaming at you requires nothing short of a puppy licking your face for it to get better.
      What were you like as a youngster? (:

  2. Yeah, what was I like? I suppose my three sisters should answer that one. The son of a Norwegian mother and an English father, living in a rambling, but decrepit Manor House in a little village in Leicestershire, incredibly naive might be one answer.

    Later, when we moved to the smallest house in another village the family grew very, very close. Too close, as we were nearly always stepping on each other the house was so tiny.

    One story on my site that gives a glimpse into my early life is this: Reflections in a Fjord at: http://bryanhemming.wordpress.com/1037-2/
    Another with a lot of poetic licence is this: A Ramble Around My Aunt at: http://bryanhemming.wordpress.com/434-2/
    And if that’s not enough, this fictional account is based on a real incident:
    http://bryanhemming.wordpress.com/2171-2/

    • I read all of those articles, Bryan. Thank you so much for linking to them. Vivid; I’m yet to be able to describe how striking your style of writing is. Looking forward of more of that stuff!

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