What Happened to Retail Stores?

Over the past couple of months, my experience with shopping in retail stores has been extremely terrible. I used to just complain that brick-and-mortar stores were terrible because they never had what I wanted in stock. Selections were poor and stock was always low. Now I can add poorly kept stores, terrible customer service and ERRORs everywhere to that list.

I shop online, but I’m not a fan of shopping online for everything. Sometimes I like the experience of being surrounded by the physical goods, inspecting them, and trying them. Especially for clothing and electronics. I don’t enjoy needing to return things, which seemed to happen far too often when purchasing goods online for me. But, now I can extend the pain of needing to return things to my in-person shopping as well.

Every single shopping trip I’ve taken in the past 2 months, including large grocery store trips, has resulted in me returning items to the store. I’ve had to return a faulty aluminum water bottle, a ripped purse, a pair of 2 right shoes, wilted spinach, missing parts from Ikea lamps, cracked pot for plants, etc. What’s up??? Why are products in stores so poor. Why are the staff so mean when you return them nicely?

Lakoff on “The Political Mind”

I had the pleasure of listening to a talk with George Lakoff, introducing the concepts of his new book, The Political Mind. He argues that the political divide in the United States is not just about the usual arguments of money, power, social structure and history, but that that the ultimate source is in the brains of its citizens.

He goes on to explain the amazing new research has shown that much of our reasoning is unconscious. We all use frames, prototypes and metaphors to rationalize our ideas and decisions on a subconscious level. Previously it was thought that emotion stood in the way of reason, but it is quite the opposite. Emotion is required in order to be rational.

I was so inspired by Lakoff’s 60-minute talk that I immediately bought the book and began reading it as I waited in line for a personalized autograph. I hope to be able to use this book to gain a better understanding of how people make decisions and how we can use empathy, understanding and language to bring about new ideas and new perspectives. I look forward to finding interesting symmetries between his work with linguistics, cognitive science and political theory to the world of information architecture and user experience.

Philly Marathon Training

Fast Cat Sports is offering a local Philly Marathon Training program. The Philly Marathon is on Sunday, November 23rd and training begins on July 7th — 20 weeks prior to the race. Dave Thomas, is one of the coaches and owners of Fast Cat Sports. I trained with him for the Alaska Marathon. He’s fantastic!

If you are interested in running a marathon, consider teaming up with Fast Cat Sports for guided training and tips on food, race performance, shoes, etc.

Information sessions:
Thursday, June 19 @ 7pm, Lloyd Hall (upper level), Kelly Drive (Boathouse Row)
Thursday, June 26 @ 7pm, Lloyd Hall (upper level), Kelly Drive (Boathouse Row)

For more information the Philly Marathon Training, visit http://www.fastcatsports.com/FCMTphillymarathonpage.html