Active Consumer

i can see why this picture represents a popular theme, and i disapprove of companies that sell rape as a service usually. i do not feel bad for the situation except for the employees. no one deserves to be involved as a victim to robbery... i have no compassion for the company however. i take it upon myself to go in and wander around gamestop and consol game sellers and ask a bunch of questions about board games and computer games and then say: "no wonder you guys don't have any people in here." almost once a month. ask my wife. she refuses to join me.

i believe in the power of the consumer and am a complete and utter TROLL when i am in a store i do not approve of. on purpose. yes. proud of it too. and why do i do it? to effect change. as a former business owner i valued every person's comments. as studies have shown, one person comments about something that one hundred people have thought but not said anything. and i've done this even when i was 12 years old and was shopping at a local b. dalton booksellers.

the district manager just happened to be there and overheard this kid telling the clerk how to run their store and cornered me into giving them the in's and out's of graphic novels vs. comics (graphic novels being new to the scene) and even on how they could stop shrinkage on better titles. i was thanked and have continued to be "that customer" ever since. corporations will rape, pillage and molest the public up to and even over what the consumer will bare, and will change when the demand becomes great enough for them to do so.

you may ask yourself: "if he doesn't want to shop there, then why go in anyway? why would he waste his time and be a DICK?" and that's a valid question. why do i? there are many reasons. the first is that i believe in the power of the consumer. the second is that i do not believe in corporate personhood. the third is that i believe that as a basic consumer (anywhere) i have the right to express a basic need and for the company that i approach to tell me if they can or cannot meet that need. and finally the fourth is that, again, as a consumer i feel that i have the right to be heard by a corporation.

this is the reason that i not only visit gamestops, i also visit several companies whenever i wander the local mall (probably twice a year)... i visit many shops that i would purchase from, usually during the day when the manager is present and ask them if they have such-and-such for sale. when they tell me they do not, i tell them that i would have happily given them my money and leave.

example 1 - hot topic. i look at the back rack and ask if they still send all of their deep discounted clothes back to corporate instead of selling them in the store. they say yes. i leave.

example 2 - taco bell. i order ten chili-cheese burritos and they inform me that they do not sell those any more. i proceed to ask about 6 questions (my wife counts and hates me) and then order nothing.

example 3 - lids or hatworld. i walk in and attempt to purchase a wichita state zephyr graphics hat. they tell me that they do not carry them. i ask for '47 brand (knowing that the brand does not even make the hat) and have them check. i spend five minutes.

examples 4-7 - you get the picture.

here is the difference. i am what studies call the 5% active consumer. i will research and study before i buy, and when i buy i demand exactly what i came for. this is why i will wait at a drive-thru until my order is right, not just drive away mad. i have been asked several times by the mcdonald's second window people (a term that i just made up) to move up a little. i just say: "it's ok. i can wait for you." i am then told that there are other people in line to which i reply. "yes. but i am first in line." and roll the window back up.

the second group of people are called passive consumers. they just absorb whatever programming large corporations are shoveling into them. they are brain dead zombies who buy whatever they think they "need" because money grubbing fat cats who control media devices tell them that they should purchase because "they deserve it"

and i say to those people: "wake up."