The discounts bring out the ugliness

How we react when the liquidation prices aren't as much as we were expecting. Oh yes — goodbye Redbox.

There is something that speaks to the ugliness of human nature in the well-publicized reaction of the general public to the discounts at Target’s liquidation event — about how displeased consumers are that those discounts aren’t to their liking.

People are rushing to take advantage of the Target stores shutting down in Canada, looking for sudden rock bottom prices. When they find the discounts aren’t as low as they were expecting they become angry, and vent their spleens on the hapless store staff, who don’t even set the store prices, and who are only trying to make the public’s shopping experience as pleasant as possible.

Here on display is the dark side of our consumer mentality, that we are excited to take advantage of the misfortunes of others — these staffers will be without jobs soon enough — and yet when the advantage isn’t as great as we were hoping, our reaction is to abuse those same people who will soon be unemployed. Stay classy, shoppers.

I too wandered in to Target, looking for discounts. I bought some pants, some socks, at either 10 per cent off or 20 per cent off — I’ve forgotten. They are good pants, but I’ve bought pants at Target before, at regular prices. I bought a CD, and a frozen pizza, at a 20 per cent discount. I suppose I would have preferred to buy everything for a dollar apiece, but it didn’t occur to me to seek out a staffer and lose my stuff on him or her.

In my mind’s eye I approach a young woman at the fitting rooms.

“You know,” I say, trying to keep my voice from shaking with anger. “This 20 per cent isn’t really much of a deal. You’re going out of business after all.”

“I know, Sir,” she answers, looking unhappy, “but our prices are set by head office.”

“You’re going to stand here,” I snap, getting angrier, “and tell me that 20 per cent off is a good deal — for going out of business! No wonder you’re going out of business!”

“Sir, I don’t really know what to say to you at this particular second.”

“Two for one!” I shout, flapping the pants at her. “The price should be two pairs of pants for the price of one! Does that concept mean anything to you?”

“As I said, Sir, the prices are set …”

“And this frozen pizza!” I shout. “You think 20 per cent off is a good deal for a frozen pizza? A discount frozen pizza!”

“Yes, Sir, 20 per cent off is an excellent deal for a frozen pizza!” The young woman is getting a bit angry herself.

“I should pay one dollar! One dollar for this frozen pizza! You’re going out of business!”

“At 20 per cent, Sir, you’re paying about three dollars for that frozen pizza”

“At three dollars, it should be two for one! Two for one!”

“Sir, you should take that frozen pizza and shove it up your …”

My mind’s eye blinked before I could get to the end of that scene, but of course the staffer wouldn’t tell me where I could shove my frozen pizza, no matter how rude I was. It’s true, when you deal with the public for a living, you must maintain your poise and manners, even though the public feels entitled to be condescending and abusive.

Speaking of which: What’s big, red, American and pulling out of Canada — besides Target?

The answer is: Redbox — the video rental terminals that have graced the floors of Canadian locations like Safeway. However, by the end of February, 2015, Redbox will have given up on their Canadian adventure. Why, oh why?

Redbox itself answers — on a note posted on all Redboxes. In a nutshell: “Demand for Redbox services didn’t meet their expectations. They will be focussing their attention on their U.S. business, where demand for ‘physical media’ remains strong.”

I feel jilted once again. Just like I bought my pants and socks at Target before  liquidation, I also rented DVDs from Redbox. I love renting DVDs. I love physical media. I still buy vinyl LPs — how much more can you love physical media than that!

I’ve written about this before — that the DVD had a career as technology only slightly longer than the 8-track tape (I used to buy that form of physical media too!).

I love watching movies on DVD. But that era is now, officially, irrefutably over. Our movies, our music, all our media are coming out of the clouds. It’s all about the streaming now — Netflix, etc.

So if I want to watch movies, I must subscribe to a streaming service. But that means, I need a new TV. My TV is almost 15 years old, and more obsolete than the Chevrolet El Camino car-truck. I haven’t had cable for almost all that time, and when I watch DVDs I have to pull the couch closer to my TV so I can see.

A new TV? This could profoundly change my life in many ways. But where can I get a new TV for bargain prices?

In my mind’s eye I approach the young fellow in the audio-visual department of the soon-to-be-closed Target.

“Now see here,” I shout. “You call that 30 per cent a discount? “I’ll give you $50 bucks for that 52-inch flatscreen. You’re going out of business ain’tcha!”…

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison appointed to parliamentary national security committee

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian one of five candidates appointed to national security committee

Repaving of Victoria Ave (3rd St. S. to 11th St. S.) began on Monday, June 12. Drivers are asked to please avoid the area for the remainder of the day, if possible. Please watch for and obey directions from flaggers and signage, as the detours will be moving regularly. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.
Road construction, repaving programs well underway

Local road construction and repaving work continue apace, as summer programs get… Continue reading

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media stock photo)
RCMP name 2015 homicide victim near Creston, investigation ongoing

26-year-old Clint Wolfleg was found dead in a private residence on May 31, 2015

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits to failing to supervise his staff and find, report the shortage

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Athena and Venus, ready to ride. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Goggling double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to B.C. commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

A Photo from Sept. 2020, when First Nations and wild salmon advocates took to the streets in Campbell River to protest against open-pen fish farms in B.C.’s waters. On Dec. 17, federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced her decision to phase out 19 fish farms from Discovery Islands. Cermaq’s application to extend leases and transfer smolts was denied. (Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror)
Feds deny B.C.’s Discovery Island fish farm application to restock

Transfer of 1.5 million juvenile salmon, licence extension denied as farms phased out

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

Most Read