Wednesday, April 18, 2007

One more cup of coffee for the road.

This weekend I was in desperate need for a new coffee maker. A new, workable burst of caffeinated love. And I need it RIGHT NOW before the MORNING COMES and I’m forced to drive without caffeine.

So I went to my nearest home-supply/housewares/lifestyle/autoparts/kitchen-cabinet/leisure/get-my-taxes-done superstore.

After I had made it through the blizzard of confused and chaotic themes and focus (Why can’t these places figure out their core business?) I found the coffee makers in aisle 73.

Shouldn’t be that hard – they were advertising ‘em on the big ol’ street sign for $19.95 as I drove by.

Which is why I came in.

Which proves that price point marketing works.

But enough of the niceties. The whole experience was annoying, frustrating, and surreal…and after I huffed and puffed my way outta the lifestyle big-box purgatory, I thought to myself, “Sheessh is this what it is like to buy textbooks?”

Worried that purchasing a coffee maker was like buying introductory accounting textbooks, I thought a few reminders of the shopping experience for essentials (yes - coffee makers are essentials) are in order:

1. I Need it NOW
Yah, it’s essential. I need one like now and no, I can’t wait for the backorder to arrive. Tomorrow morning comes wayyyy too soon – so now do you understand my hysterical pinched face when you are sold out of the model I need and I really really want you, oh charming, 16 year-old, part-time sales associate with the bad skin and sullen demeanor to pleaseeee go check in the back for me?

When you gonna get more??

No, oh sullen, pimply-faced sales associate, I don’t want to spend $150.00 on a coffee maker that knows my birth sign and brews according to my mood. I’m sure these packaged extras are a wonderful thing but I’m looking for the basic model. Pour water. Add grounds. Press button. Brew. I’m sure the online coffee maker resource and learning videos are a wealth of edutainment; I got it down to a science now. Pour, Grind, Button, and Slurp – it’s pretty straightforward.

Thank you, gum-smacking cashier at register 12. I finally understand your muttering and my arguing that the SHELF TAG was for the model from last week and someone part-time and pimply forgot to change the tag, and now you are smacking your gum in my face and wondering if I’m gonna continue to be a cheapo and want to pay the shelf tag price ($19.95) and not the scan price ($29.95) ‘cus the “scanner -like- doesn’t make mistakes and that’s -like- the price and I can’t override.”

I get the basic coffer maker presence but honestly--chubby oh-too-cheery, middle-aged evening manager-on-duty Mike--I don’t get it. How come the same supplier, model, and features could differ from $19.95 to $29.95? It’s the same freakin’ coffee maker.

“It’s the new edition Mark” sez Mike--licking the remnants of Easter egg from his bottom lip. “…Charcoal is in for 2007 – but it comes with a free 90-day trial to coffeemaker times.”

“Don’t worry, Mark, everyone will expect you to have exactly the same thing as them. It will be exactly what you need to excel in life. It’s an investment aint it? An opportunity to health, harmony, and happiness! And after all, once you’re done with it ….it still has value as a used item provided that ebony doesn’t roar into vogue this fall and it’s all worthless.”

Yah, Mike You’re right. I’ll take it and suck it up. I'll use it all the time. At least for 4 months, and then I'll be back for another one. I’ll keep the receipt though—‘cus you know I just might be able to borrow one from my friend!

Mark Patten
MacEwan Bookstores

(Photo by Chance Agrella;

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