Mallrat

30 Apr

The other day I was riding the bus to work and a familiar ball of dread began to form in my stomach. I tried to reassure myself with platitudes such as “My job could be a lot worse!” and “At least I like the people I work with!” and “I’m lucky I get to work short shifts!”. The ball of dread only grew larger. And as I stepped off the bus and began the dutiful march toward the shopping centre, I realized that it’s not so much my job I hate as it is the mall, and malls in general.

Think about it, shopping malls are horrifying! It’s a total assault on your senses from the minute you step in. First of all, the parking lots are damp, dimly lit, and generally creepy. The buildings themselves are always either too hot or too cold inside, the lighting is always too harsh, and you get blasted with bad music and advertisements the minute you step through the door. And is it just me, or are salespeople more invasive than ever before? No, I don’t want a complementary makeover, no, you can’t straighten my hair, and no, please don’t start a change room for me… I just want to browse, dammit!

So I’m starting to wonder if hatred of shopping malls is a more or less universal thing. Obviously, it feels nice to get new stuff, and new stuff is convenient to get at a shopping mall, but let’s say you head over to a mall and you spend your whole day there and you don’t buy a single thing. Maybe you get yourself a bottle of water or some fast food for lunch, but you don’t treat yourself to anything extraordinary. There are no packages to unwrap once you get home. Was that a good day or a bad day? For me, that’s a terrible day and I’ll probably be very frustrated and cranky by the time I get home, because I just spent my entire day at a mall and I got nothing out of it.

I’m really curious to know if anyone (well, anyone beyond the age of say, 17) genuinely likes shopping malls. Not the process of buying things, but the malls themselves. Anyone? Bueller?

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3 Responses to “Mallrat”

  1. Adam M May 6, 2010 at 2:08 am #

    OK so I worked in malls for a million years.

    And I got to the point of feeling my heart sink every time I walked into mine.

    It has a lot to do with being inside a world that’s totally fake and insincere I think.

    But here’s the thing… since switching to big box malls I now have totally changed my opinion of malls.

    In big box there’s nowhere to go for your break. And you have no choices of food or coffee if you want to get something.

    And you can’t run out and do little errands because shopping malls have some version of anything you could need usually, even if it’s not exactly what you wanted and big box only has what it has and that’s it… usually sales on ladies underwear and pajamas… and you end up having to go to Walmart for everything and if there’s one thing I hate doing when it comes to running errands it’s going to Walmart so then I have my choice of going to Walmart and feeling depressed and angry or just not getting the thing I needed.

    It’s a vicious cycle.

    And it makes you realize how much better malls are.

    Not that I necessarily want to spend all my time in one again.

    But you spend all your time in a shitty building in most jobs right? And then if you were in one where there was nowhere convenient to pick up your little odds and ends you would think “why couldn’t my work be near a mall?”

    So it could be worse. 🙂

    • beeks May 6, 2010 at 10:54 am #

      That’s some solid logic! You’re right, it could be a lot worse. I still kind of hate them, though… I’d like them better if the lighting was more natural and the music didn’t suck.

  2. Adam M May 6, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    Ohhhhhh! The music’s the worst! It used to be never-ending Faith Hill and Britney Spears.

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