Why I Dislike Macy’s (Herald Square)

 

Well, I’m not too much of a shopaholic; I think I barely fall in the category, to tell you the truth. However, I do need to go and buy stuff occasionally, as we all do. So, I landed up at Macy’s the other day to buy some outerwear (winter approaches *brrrr*) and literally had a headache-inducing time. Here’s why:-

Macy's (Herald Square)

1. Macy’s is undergoing some sort of renovation – ALL HELL HATH BREAK LOOSE!! Half the display shelf cabinets are locked and one can’t even see most of the products or touch the and inspect them while browsing. In case one wants to see the product up-close, the utterly snobby Macy’s staff take their own sweet time in a) Noticing the customer b) Acknowledging the customer’s request and, c) Actually opening the God-damned cabinets! As if this weren’t taxing enough, the customers (due to lack of space) crowd around the area like they’re at a fish market and don’t let people pass by! (In hindsight, the customers’ may be milling around the area because someone has finally opened the coveted cabinets!)

Due to the renovation, half the escalators are not working and none of the elevators are working. Restrooms have been relocated to the BASEMENT and the MUTHAFUKIN’ SEVENTH FLOOR!!!

2. The Sales’ Reps are downright rude and do not pay any attention to the shoppers. Why are they hired? To lounge about and sample the stupid perfume strips they ought to be handing out to all the customers? No one’s at the changing room section to assist, either?!

3. The unfriendly folk at the counters not only behave unprofessionally with the customers, there is utter un-professionalism in the conversations between employees as well! A Mexican rep was yelling from one end of one of the sections to someone over at the other end, “HEYYYY!!! WHERE YOU AT?!” repeatedly while others were getting startled. If one wants to get a glimpse of the ghettos, one may come to this Macy’s.

In one of the sections, cashiers were chatting away with other staff members while doe-eyed tourist customers stood around, waiting confusedly.

Such things have happened earlier as well at this Macy’s but, the recent experience at the store has left a bitter taste in my mouth. And a headache. The management ought to seriously consider HR training for the staff and treating their customers well.

 

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As the Fan Creaks Me to Sleep

Sometimes I lie awake at night — well, I’m sorta border-insomniac so most nights I lie awake at night — and just ponder over stuff as the gentle hum of the air conditioner soothes my ears.

At times, I think about all the things I’ve gone through, all the weirdness that is my life and the way(s) I handled or manhandled the situation(s). Y’know, little ‘Notes to Self’ for the future, so to say.

At other times, I think about society – just people, in general. It’s funny how selfish the world can be  and yet, most fight anything anti-social tooth and nail to fit in. It’s astonishing how many people leave good sense and go along with herd mentality. It appears that the want to be appreciated by the masses swallows the desire to be internally fulfilled.

And, most are unaware of this cyclical battle between the Spirit and the Ego. Lives are recycled, souls reincarnated, aimlessly wandering, devoid of thought processes, ignorant of their reality. The world seems like a whorl of directionless souls. Even being mis-directioned would be a step towards the correct flow, a foothold to veer the black hole of nothingness into the Light.

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Still, there is a glimmer of hope. The outliers who look at themselves. The ones who really see their potential and go for their goals, sans everything, sans anything. There are the few who just have an idea, a goal or a fetish, even – all consuming desire or a willingness to do what they set out to, to complete the opportunity they possess. These are the people who bring the Light, bring life, bring everything a little bit more into line.

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Whatever I may be thinking, I always aim to look ahead as I drift off to the land of dreams (Some of my dreams are quite disconcerting, by the way).

So, let’s look ahead – we have a life to live.

Virtue, Thy Name is Undervalued

Everyone everywhere complains about disintegrating society, the erosion of culture, customs and religion and the gaps between youth and everyone else. However, as pertinent as one finds the aforementioned issues, there seem to be deeper problems one needs to look at. Most of us have witnessed people cutting queues, seen a ‘hit and run’, vehicles speeding and not following traffic signals, the list is endless. Heck, most of us have indulged in one or more of the same!

The fact of the matter is that today virtues are largely forgotten, even mocked by most. Here are a couple of fast disappearing mannerisms, soon to become characteristics of the days of yore that are rarely practiced, seldom valued but, largely (and incorrectly) projected by most in society :-

Being Polite: Rarely do people bother to thank servers, cleaners and housekeepers. Scantly does one see a lady get up and offer her seat in a crowded public transport vehicle to a frail old man. Hardly do you see a young man let an old lady go ahead of him in a bank queue because he’s in a hurry to get his cheque cleared and go clubbing to celebrate his payday. Politeness is hugely undervalued, rarely encouraged and the polite are seldom respected and given the same treatment. More often than not, most polite folk are taken advantage of, mocked for being gracious and often considered easy targets for bullying.

The Polite, Kind and Humble Tree Shades the Weary Traveler

Kindness: A grossly under-rated virtue, kindness seems to be on it’s way to oblivion. Very few people are able to identify kindness, let alone appreciate or practice it. Most students think the ones who offer to carry something heavy for a professor must be doing it to butter them up. (The sad part is, most of them are.)

Gratitude: Few people are grateful (fewer can spell it right), more and more people are accustomed to privileges and think it is their right nay, their birthright, to have access to amenities like food (pizzas and such stuff), education (private colleges with dubious accreditation), transport (customized Hummers) and relaxation time (vacations to places which are ‘Facebook album’-worthy). However, a handful actually thank their parents, God, teachers or anyone with heart for giving them the opportunities they have. Perfunctory acts of gratitude such as the annual New Year card, Thank You note or hug are found aplenty but, real gratitude is hard to find today and, sadly is going the dodo-way. In fact, instead of feeling gratitude, most people feel obliged to help someone who has aided them in something at some point in life. Some don’t feel that either.

Humility: ‘If you have it, flaunt it’ seems to be the mantra today. One-upmanship rears it’s ugly head in even the simplest of things and keeping up with the Joneses is a matter of principle in most societies. Everyone is trying to make it obvious that s/he travels first class, dines at the best places with the creme-de-la-creme of society and has more visa stamps than s/he cares to count. Name dropping, brand-toting and showing-off are the current norms. Also, sometimes one wonders if people are trying to show themselves in better light or put each other down.

Knowledge and Learning Take a Backseat to Achievement and Winning

Knowledge: Perhaps the saddest case of all, knowledge or learning is an extremely undervalued virtue today. Schools train to achieve rather than learn, parents coax the bewildered student to get into a top institute as opposed to following her/his field of passion and peers deem a dedicated classmate as a nerd and bully her/him to no end. Most students score well but, application-wise they’re somewhere near zero. Rote learning rules the roost today. The majority of school and college goers have no idea what they’re studying, why they’re studying what they’re studying but, they’re all running to outdo the other.

Wisdom: Not many care about what the wise woman/man has to say but, show them a cunning woman/man and look at them run to get her/his counsel. Sadly, wisdom is considered as outdated as the IBM PC. Experience and learning leading to wisdom resulting in holistic development is fast being replaced with acquiring and manipulating leading to profit, corruption, cunning and exploitation for singular gain.

Wisdom Looks On as Youth Barely Notices

It is time to take a good look at the mirror and see where we, as a global society are headed and give virtues the emphasis they deserve in our lives. A strong society is made of more than high-flying corporate honchos. A virtuous woman/man is truly the only thing that has ever saved society in times of dire consequences.

A world with those who hold scant value for values will be of little value. It’s time for society to pull up it’s socks and look at leading holistic, meaningful and fulfilling lives as opposed to comfortable yet, empty existances.

The Lost Art of Holding a Conversation

Being a conversationalist, I enjoy a discussion on just about any topic. I find having conversations about anything and everything under the Sun not only triggers thought and results in exchange of information but, it also gives one food for thought to introspect and look at things in more than one way. I find talking things out not only to be therapeutic but, also enlightening.

Sadly, nowadays people value conversation less than cheap cologne, debating is misconstrued as arguing, discussions transform into gossip sessions and dialogues often become monologues. I find there is an increasing gap between those who are actually open to exchanging ideas and finding solutions and those who just want to shove their opinions down one’s throat. Isn’t the whole point of a conversation taking away something indelibly constructive, something that helps us piece the larger puzzle called life or am I missing something?

Ideal conversation must be an exchange of thought, and not, as many of those who worry most about their shortcomings believe, an eloquent exhibition of wit or oratory. – Emily Post

Often, when a group of girls start talking, it seems kinder to throw myself out of an adjacent window than endure the hateful gossip and bitching that ensues. Guys are not far behind, in fact guys can be nastier than girls when it comes to gossiping! Cattiness, thy name is gossip!

Another sad fact is with the advent of Social networking Sites, organic conversation has taken quite a hit. Facebook chatting and Skype never really seem the same and often when one meets a pal or actually talks to them on the phone after a long, long time, conversation is muted and awkward.

Moving on to body language during conversation; People hardly maintain eye contact, fiddle around and seldom display any interest if the conversation doesn’t involve gossip or dirty little secrets or confessions. Not only does this make the other person feel like they’re not being taken seriously, it also makes one doubt the interest factor and the validity of the discussion!

Also, why do folk keep talking about useless stuff like movies or music? I don’t think discussing movies and what-not is insipid but, it’d be great to discuss something worthwhile once in a blue moon! Why don’t people like discussing things like society, politics, philosophy or art? And, every time one initiates a slightly serious topic, either the topic is changed or turns into a mud slinging fest. For instance, try talking about politics and the ‘Obamacare‘ bashing begins.

At the end of the day, sometimes I just want to have a meaningful conversation about something meaningful – a heartfelt one-on-one about something not related to Taylor Swift’s newest song about her newest ex-boyfriend.

What about you? Take the poll!

Five Insufferable Things To Be Passionate About

1. How You Look: You’re freshly tanned, very nice. You just got RiRi’s bleached blonde ‘do, very hip. Flashed everyone your perfect pearly white grin? Very cool. Just gave the plumber a booty tooch to show off your taut ass? Very in. Now stop it. You’re coming off as ridiculous, not to mention fake. FYI, nobody’s thinking about your ‘wonderful’ assets. They’re all thinking how humongous a loser you are.

Frankly, you’re not that great looking. You may be the beauty/hunk of your family and/or workplace and have these folk fawn over you (or be ‘jealous’ of your fantastical features) but, here’s the truth, honey; Though you may qualify for a second glance (based solely on your Kith and Kin’s evaluation), that’s pretty much where it ends, ‘kay?

2. How Others Look: Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder and you my dear, have Madras Eye in that case. No one asked you if XYZ looks nice or not. Don’t dump your inaccurate and condescending beauty scale on anyone patient enough to listen to your cockamamie. Who’re you to decide if the ‘traditional’ looking girl you saw looks like a country ho? I doubt even Anna Wintour stands a chance against your caustic (and inaccurate) tongue.

Oh, and not to forget the ones who go to great lengths to stress how much they do to look better than you. Their weekly spa treatments are up on Twitter, they go on about their haircare routine like it’s a matter of international importance and their Facebook photo streams (in the ever popular ‘duckface’ pose) of their new YSL flapper dress never end. Ever. And, these factors apparently give them the upper hand in style, fashion and beauty. To you, only one thing needs to be said – quit judging people, you’re not so hot yourself.

3. Who You Pray To: Okay, so you believe in Jesus/Allah/Bhagwan Ram/Gautam Buddha. You pray diligently and observe your religious customs and rituals flawlessly. Commendable. But, why are you trying to shove your beliefs down someone else’s throat? There is no need to mock somebody’s God just because you think yours is better. Isn’t there just one God, many avatars? The main point of prayer and tradition is inculcating peace and discipline in one’s life, isn’t it? Frankly, no one’s religion is ‘the best’ simply because all religions are the same.

Islam = Hinduism = Christianity = Zoroastrianism = Buddhism = *Insert Religion Here* 

It’s high time you realized religion is a way of life, not a way of condemning others’ lives. Your faith and God are important to you, good. Just remember that the other person’s beliefs are just as dear the her/him. If you’re confused, go back to your Holy Text and refer to the part about respecting others. Yes, it doesn’t matter which Holy Text you revere, they all have the same teachings. It’s just the chronology that differs, hope that clears up the mist in your mind.

4. How You (In)Tolerate ‘Outsiders’: There’re all kinds of people in this world. They’re all the same; they’re all different. So, don’t annoy everyone by proclaiming your countrymen are superior. You’re as idiotic as the next immigrant. Don’t generalize Italians as womanizers. Don’t classify Pakistanis as terrorists. Don’t call Indians ‘job stealing gits’. Quit blaming ‘the west’ for ‘spreading homosexuality’. Quit harassing fee paying Indian students in Australia.There are a million contrary examples that pass you by but, your shitty tunnel vision catches only the flaws of said groups.

Also, a desi (Indian, for the uninitiated) take on this: Just because you’re from Assam doesn’t mean you’re hot stuff and if you’re from Gujarat don’t think you’re the next Ambani – it means you’re suffering from a ‘regional halo effect’ (coining my own term here). All you idiots in New Delhi calling every dusky girl a ‘Madrasan/Geek/Kolaveri Di’ and all you sycophants in Chennai advising anyone who mentions the humidity down South to leave the city, you guys are closet regionalists. All you great thinkers who riot around *Hint: RSS* throwing out the people who come from out-of-town to make a livelihood in Mumbai, go screw yourselves.

5. How You Are Better Than ABC: So, you think you’re all that, eh? You’ve got a minimum wage salary and are currently ‘living it up’ in a shared apartment with three Asian dudes and you think you’re better than Bob from across the street (because he’s just a struggling musician) and you miss no opportunity to highlight your assumption. Reality check: In five years’ time, Bob will own a duplex, a yacht and have a Swiss bank account whereas you’ll remain stuck in your $30,000 p.a. job.

Just because you’re bangin’ chicks left, right and center like Hugh Hefner (doesn’t mean you’re minting money like him), quit showing the sweet nerd down ‘cuz he’s on his way to a happy ending and you’re going to get AIDS. Just because someone is being kind enough to not point out what a massive asshole you are, don’t think you’re a rockstar. All you are is a train wreck waiting to happen.

Seriously, think about how insipid these issues are and how much time most people spend obsessing about them. Be passionate about stuff that matters, like the environment or politics. Get a life, do something meaningful.