Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

needs, wants, and me in between

Did my regular Wal-Mart trip today (I can't go two weeks without hitting Wal-Mart, it's the town staple, I'm telling you) and couldn't find anybody to go with me, so I went alone. Shopping alone is dangerous because your mind wanders so much, I find myself people watching a lot more, anti-social as I am. And it's forlorn, for some reason, knowing that you didn't go to Wal-Mart to hang with your friends or as a social event, but because you really need file folder tabbies and bagels and a half gallon of skim milk to get through next week. You're buying needs.

I had a job the summer before last at the Discovery Channel Store and let me tell you, that job rocked! I'll probably go back after Christmas. Anyway, about two months into it I found out that the reason I loved it so much was that I was selling wants, not needs, and people were naturally happier because they weren't forced into buying anything in there. 0% of the products we sold were truly important to the human existance, they were all just the special "extras" like zen rock gardens and glow in the dark t-shirts and angelic wind chimes that converted money into happiness.

The job I had before that was in a shoe store, where we sold a combination of needs and wants (shoes can fit into either catagory, depending on who you are) until late July or so, then suddenly back-to-school hit and we were selling needs. Parents came in looking tired with 2+ kids running laps around them throwing tissue paper around instead of trying on shoes, then finally everyone would arrive at a conclusion and I'd ring them up, watching the Mom's solemn face while she wrote out a check for shoes we all know will be outgrown in six months. It was painful sometimes. Kids are darn expensive, you know that?

So I've decided the wants business is where to go. People spend money on things they have to and things they want to, and I'd much rather be in the business of providing the happy extras, it's just... happier. Who knows, maybe I'll find I'll need less for myself.
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