Today we're up to post #50. Seems like an auspicious number of posts, doesn't it? I've been posting on average twice a week for six months, which is a fair whack of words to churn out on a regular basis. Some of them are even worth reading.
You know, when I'm working a regular week from the home office, its easy to stay away from the shops. We don't live near a shopping area, so I'm not in mortal danger of falling off the wagon just by nipping down the street for a latte (not that I drink lattes, since I gave up coffee 4 years ago). If I want to place myself in a shopping situation, it's usually fairly deliberate. One of the benefits of living in suburbia (there are too many other benefits to count, right?)
Jolt me into it. So today we had the opportunity to go shopping. One of our heaters went kaput, and at almost the exact same moment, so did the stereo in the living room. These electrical appliances, you'd think they were in cahoots with one another, the way they give up the ghost at the same time. At Christmastime, it was the iron and the toaster. 24 hours apart, they departed this earth. Alerting us to their demise by shorting out the entire electrical circuitry of the house, I might add. Handy - how about a piece of toast? No worries! Then the house is plunged into total darkness. We're mid-winter here in Australia (if you can call it winter, which we like to do even though it doesn't resemble winter as depicted in a Walt Disney film) so when the heater died yesterday, I gave it exactly 3 hours before I declared that a replacement would have to be acquired. You see, I'm a cactus, a tropical plant - I can have cold feet in the middle of summer. So, to be warm is important to me. To those close to me, its essential. I lose all capacity to be reasonable if I'm cold. (or hungry, or tired, but those are for other blog postings). The need for music is slightly up Mazlow's hierarchy of needs but is still on the important scale. So down to Joyce Mayne we went.
What's your IQ? The colours a store uses tell you a lot about it, don't they? Joyce Mayne use bright primary colours - Thomas the Tank Engine blue and sunshine yellow. You don't even have to get out of your car to get a feel for what kind of store it is. There's no real ambiance to the store, as such. It's a lively environment, designed in grid sections. There's no soft lighting or elaborate floor plans that lure you through the store with a pre-determined pattern designed to create a cart-filling experience. Having two brothers as electricians, you'd imagine that perhaps some feeling, some synergy, with electrical goods may have permeated my consciousness. But no, I find these stores one step up from Reece Plumbing Outlet and Auto One in terms of their IQ (Interesting Quotient). I will say though that as a shopping experience, it's been one of the more interesting this year. But then it is planted in a virtually barren landscape of shopping episodes, right?
Are you being served? I will say that the two salesmen who served us (one in the stereo department, the other in heaters - those crazy guys!) were excellent. Helpful without being fawning, honest without being too familiar, knowledgeable without delivering a monologue. They even managed to look vaguely professional in their bright blue shirts with yellow trim (not their fault, I should add, it is a uniform after all). I love it when salespeople say things like "I wouldn't buy this model" and give you a good reason why. In our case, the Dimplex was the same product as the DeLonghi but just $40 more. That's good to know, right? So, 25 minutes after arriving, into the back of the car our DeLonghi oil heater and Panasonic CD player went. And the electrical salt & pepper shakers that were for sale at the cash registers for $19 (so, not clever product placement, but very effective).