Sunday, August 3, 2008

M & M's - My Ethnographical Observation

I don't usually purchase sweets, for as a college student, my finances are low and I don't spend money on such temporary items. However, last night, on my way out of town I decided to stop by “Media Play” for a CD I wanted to buy for my Father's Birthday. I also remembered that "Media Play" was no longer "Media Play." I drove down University to check anyway. There in its place was a store with the title--in big letters over a blue background—“F .Y.E.” I understood that F.Y.I. means “For Your Information”—and after seeing “books, music” underneath the title—I quickly made the assumption: “For Your Entertainment.”

It was late—about 9:50 pm when I walked in. Consequently, I was tired and hoping to get in and out fast. The store was a bit ominous, much the same as Media Play had been. It was a classical CD I was considering buying. As soon as I made it to the music section at the rear of the store, the overhead fluorescent lights began turning off—signaling that the store was soon to close for the night. I began frantically fumbling through the CD's. I spent nearly 10 minutes looking for the popular album I wanted. The store was nearly empty and no one came to help or look up the album to see if they carried it. I finally gave up, feeling I had failed in my task of Father-Gift-Finding. Walking back down the main aisle, I ran into two employees, one after another, who asked if they could help because "the last cashier is about to close up." "No. I'm fine." I said it rather dejectedly, thinking on how I could have used their help while I was searching for the album. As I walked back I stopped twice, both times because I had seen two tables which bolstered cheap prices on used DVD's. I checked prices (something I always do before fully investigating a product). Of course, I had no intention of buying unless I had found one of my favorite movies.

Just as I was about to exit, I checked the stands in front of the cash register lines. I knew from prior experience that even though this wasn't a grocery or candy store, almost all retail stores had an "impulse buy" section with the standard candies: Mars Company candies, Hershey Company candies, and a few other varieties. There I found Peanut M&M's at a higher level than the plain M&M's which were on the bottom shelf. They were in a yellow box with the catch phrase, "tear and share." I usually check prices, but I had already made up my mind that I was going to buy the product (having been influenced heavily by this class). The cashier was jovial and conveniently didn't bag the M&M's. The M&M's were delicious. Five minutes after leaving the store, I had finished them. I was again reminded of their quality taste.

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