(Warning! This entry contains hard cynicism and sarcastic comments. Rated PG.)
It's that time of the year again when the most elitist warehouse in Finland puts up the show to draw in common trash to waste their money in useless shite. Already when I was working in that particular company, I marvelled at people who came, hoarded and went, spending huge amounts of money to things I (or they) never thought they needed. I understand readily that there are things people need and are happy to buy when they are discounted, but I loath the way it is done in that big yellow festival people call "the Crazy Days".
First of all, most people consider Stockmann to be a department store for the better earning population. When you are working there you are constantly remembering how important it is to be polite and helpful. In that store people expect to be served, that's why they are willing to pay higher prices about the things they could buy cheaper from somewhere else (especially in the grocery section). So, when the Crazy Days are on I always get the feeling that the store is lowering itself to the level of the unworthy and they get so crazy for this descending that they run and fight for all the discounts in the shop. Even the advertisement - the yellow ghosts - always seem so cheap and tawdry compared to the historical green escalator logo of the department store.
The worst feeling I still get every time I see people coming from the store after the shopping spree with 10+ yellow bags hanging from their arms. Somewhere deep inside I feel pity and shame for them and the society where we are living. I know it's hard not to use the chance if something is available for free or cheap, but I still try to avoid buying stuff just because of that. I don't need much myself, but I do understand that some others find lots of joy from shopping. I just wish they can find happiness out of it, too, since I've never met anyone who would have claimed that. When I browse through the catalogue I just see a massive collection of spending hystery. I wish I could be happy just by being able to buy all that stuff! Unfortunately, it wouldn't work.
I worked in Stockmann for three Crazy Days -events. Once I witnessed a fight by the spice section, since there was only one jar of some Indian spice left. I saw many Stockmann Blue -ladies (as someone calls the wannabe-rich people who have dyed their hair blue - you actually do see these occasionally in Stockmann) acting like despots while rummaging through the shelves. It was often ugly and very stressful and I always thought was it really worth all that trouble when you got the credit card bill in the end of the month.
As mentioned, I don't mind buying the stuff I need, but all those massaging chairs do feel a bit over the top. I'm afraid people will get more and more distant from the realities of the world when they get the feeling that happiness lives in those yellow bags. That's what the advertisers want them to think anyway. Judging how Stockmann says Crazy Days is their 13 month of the year (i.e. during 8 days (now 10) they sell for as much worth as in one month), they are doing it pretty well. And that is a pity.
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