Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Anecdotal Truths- Real Journalism?

The other day, while shopping for a client, I witnessed this:

You can see and count 9 people in the line here for returns.  What you don't see is that since I was feeling a little weird about having people notice that I was taking their picture in the local hardware warehouse I managed to cut off the right edge of the photo where there is actually a second lit up 'returns' desk with 3 more people waiting near it.  (Yes, I do always have a small camera in my purse at all times.)

And then when I had the items I needed to purchase and headed to the self check area, I also witnessed this:

Again with my worry that people might feel weird being photographed while shopping and by this time my true desire to honestly portray what I had seen to anyone I might show these photos to, I managed to blur the scene quite badly. 

What I was trying to get here is the fact that there is only one woman in the self check area.  And this while there are 12 people in the 'returns' line.  I am kicking myself for not also photographing the rest of the check out area, manned by a couple of staff people. You'll have to take my word for it that there was no one else making any purchases in that area either. 

Maybe I'll be willing to take more heat in the future for wielding a camera in public if I want to do any more of this 'reporting' type stuff.  We'll see...

What I do know is that I asked the checker seen in this photo what was up with the long line at the return area and the fact that hardly anyone was in the store to make a purchase.  After she got over her initial obvious worry that I was some 'investigator' from corporate, she managed to give me some interesting info. 

The checker said that there is always some overspending from Christmas that turns into 'regret returning' after the first of the year.  But then she said that this year was worse than ever.

I thanked her for the information, letting her know that I was just a curious person.  I honestly thought at the time that I would only be using the pictures to show my husband and maybe a few friends what I had witnessed on that Tuesday afternoon.

But something has been telling me that I should share what I saw here.  And next time I see something like this I will ask more questions- like how many days had this been going on?  or how about, has there been an uptick in theft in the store?

I've always been fairly observant and I am interested in learning more about the truth of what is going on with our economy since I do not see any good information available out there right now.  I just know that it feels like the American people are being lied to and there are worse things than being seen as a nut job with a camera.


  1. Very interesting, Jasmine. I tend to be one of those shoppers who is in and out. I just want to get what I am seeking and get out of there. I actually do not enjoy shopping. However, I have noticed that the stores are not "booming," but I have not paid much attention to the Returns Area. I have also noticed many Small Businesses going Out of Business. That always makes me sad. I will make a point of being more aware in the future...

  2. That is interesting....very. I would be interested in a correlation in food prices from four years ago till's a slow creep..I think the difference is's everywhere.

    1. Yes, we bargain hunters all kind of have our price that we are willing to pay for certain items and I have noticed that I am able to get things for 'my' price less and less often now. It only makes sense that there is inflation with where gas prices have gone!

  3. I would rather wrestle a gorilla than go shopping, but my wife tells me everyday that prices, especially food prices, have skyrocketed during the last four years. I have experienced some tough economic times in my life and survived, but the young people today will be blindsided. They have no clue what is coming.


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