Thursday, October 13, 2011

October Thirteenth, in the Year Two Thousand Eleven

I haven't blogged in a while, and George R.R. Martin is mostly to blame. His books are really, really good. It's been an intense few months.

Three random topics:

The problem with owning a big retail store like Borders is that you pay your employees absolutely nothing, and their pay is not in any way related to how the business is doing. This is probably a big reason why Borders failed (besides the whole eBook thing). Think about it: if I'm working for a flat seven dollars an hour with no chance for more and I see someone shoplifting or damaging store property, I'm probably going not going to be inclined to do anything about it. People want to avoid confrontation in general, and confronting someone who is shoplifting could potentially end with me getting hurt. It's not like the store is going to close if I let that guy walk out with that stack of books, right? Okay, maybe Borders is a poor example, but apply the same argument to Target.

Difficult customers at checkout, customer service, or on the phone usually get what they want, too. Most employees are so annoyed by having to deal with someone that they will do everything they can get away with to get the person to go away. If this means the store loses money, it doesn't matter. They're making minimum wage, and it's not like they'll get a raise if the store is extra profitable during the quarter. This is the point where I make some sweeping generalization about what all of this means or what we should do about it, but instead I'll just say that I'm glad I don't work at Target. I'd like to say that I'm also glad I don't own a Target, but the fact is that when you pay your employees that little, it doesn't matter if the occasional looters target the store.

The best three mass-produced chocolates:

Peanut Butter M&M's
Peanut M&M's
Kit Kat

Top three overrated candy bars:

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

They're all still good, but come on, they're not that good. I believe that Reese's PB Cups would be three or four times as good if they were made with crunchy peanut butter.

The worst three chocolates on the market:

Three Musketeers (not even edible)
Milky Way (a Three Musketeers with caramel. Or maybe a Snickers without nuts. Has there ever been a more useless candy bar?)
Milk Duds (perfect for gluing a child's teeth together, though)

Ultimately, I prefer Green & Black's and other overpriced nonsense, so this largely doesn't have an impact on me. But I'm pretty good at having strong opinions about things that are inconsequential, so there it is.

Dark Souls might just be the best game on the PS3, and perhaps my favorite of all time if it keeps going as good as it has. All this nonsense about it being more difficult than Demon's Souls seems like hype to me--the first game was way more difficult. But maybe the fact that I played the first game and knew what to expect has impacted my perception on Dark Souls? I will be sure to over-analyze the issue in my next post on Gamer Treatise, which is almost as overdue as this post. But hey, it's not slacking off when you do it as a hobby, right?