Phrase of the day: Mall Intervention

Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) Mall

The PSR Mall is a centralized approach to delivering services where the individuals served and the staff from throughout the hospital come together to participate in services. Malls represent more of a centralized system of programming rather than a reference to a specific building or certain location. Mall interventions are provided, as much as possible, in the context of real-life functioning and in the rhythm of life of the individual. Thus, a PSR mall extends beyond the context of a building or “place,” and its services are based on the needs of the individual, not the needs of the program, the staff members or the institution.

PSR Malls are designed to ensure that each individual receives individualized services to promote his increased wellness and ability to thrive in the world. All decisions regarding what is offered through each mall are driven by the needs of the individuals served. Mall services are provided in an environment that is culturally sensitive and strengths based.

Services facilitated through the mall include courses and activities designed to help with symptom management, personal skills development and life enrichment. The mall capitalizes on human and staff resources from the entire hospital to provide a larger diversity of interaction and experiences for all individuals in the mall.

Open the drawer, give me the change you said would do me good

Middle class retail is so dead now.

Bob and I went on an expotition yesterday to get him some clothes. Off to Adventure 16 we went! He needed some swim trunks from Patagonia and a jacket and pants thing from Sierra Design that folds up into its own bag.

Because it’s September, the store had no swim trunks. They’re still in the Patagonia catalog, however. We asked if they could order them for us, and they indicated that this might be possible. They all stood there looking uncomfortable; we were the only customers in the store. It was clear that they just wanted us to leave.

One employee did find a jacket (but no pants) of the folds-into-its-own bag line. We again asked if they could be ordered for store delivery and there was another uncomfortable silence with mumbling. The manager had his back to us most of the time and was on the phone otherwise, and fiddling with pieces of paper.

We left. Expotition: failed.

Today we met at Panera and I fired up the laptop. The Patagonia website had the swim trunks he wanted at half price, $18 instead of $36. We got him three pair. The Sierra Designs site had the pants he wanted and referred us to the REI site, where we bought those as well.

The REI site wanted us to go to a store to pick up the stuff, and pointed out it was FREE! shipping this way. So we clicked that button, only to find out that “items for store pickup may have an extended delivery time compared to mail delivery.” Clearly they just wait for your item to show up in the regular weekly shipments and then at some time you get a phone call. Fuck that. We spent the shipping charge for Internet order.

When I was a kid, there were lots of stores. We had department stores, toy stores, specialty hobby stores, hardware stores, discount stores, all kinds! Some of the stores were in malls and others were not. Not all of them were chains.

That’s just gone now. The department stores were eaten by the big box chains. Same with toys and hardware. The discount stores became the big box stores. Everything is a chain.

Now it’s all poor folks or rich folks, no bourgeois. The middle-class shopping experience has disappeared. If you have a shitload of money you can go to Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus or some boutique place like Restoration Hardware and blow five bills on a few things. If not, you’re going to Target or Wal-Mart.

Bob is 60 so he finds this incomprehensible. But he likes the Internet. Click, click, done. He gave me $140 in cash to buy his shit with my laptop and then we had iced tea and bullshitted.

It’s. A. Shoe. Store? (Hello, Jeanketeers!)

So, I was trying to find a cheapass pair of cheapass flip flops to replace my worn-out cheapass flip flops. And of course, I end up at the excellent zappos.com. Not finding what I need, and realizing for other reasons that I am way poorer than I thought this week, I gave up buying anything. And then I sorted the flip flops by price seeing “highest first” just to see how nutty that was. It was about this nutty. ” Rejuvenate your warm-weather-wardrobe with these high fashion thong sandals” indeed, at $240. But that wasn’t the good part! The good part is the random customer testimonial that Zappos chose to put on that page, which I quote in full below.

Dearest Zappos Customer Loyalty Team — Zappos is like nothing I have ever encountered in a store, online or otherwise. The promptness of service, total ease of return (you guys really know how finicky shoe freaks are!), constant inquiry as to how you may serve us better, and your customer evaluations (which have helped me tremendously in evaluating a particular brand/type of shoe) all create the “perfect” shopping experience! I have even told total strangers (who I perceived were frustrated in shoe-shopping) about you; and, have shared your .com address with everyone I meet who evidences any inkling of being crazy about shoes (the latest was the admitting clerk at Palestine Regional Hospital!). It is really refreshing and comforting to encounter the spiritual-material balance in your concept of merchandizing. This is difficult to explain; but, Zappos takes away some of the “guilt” I feel in buying more-and-more shoes instead of sending more money to Hope International or Heifer International or Catholic Medical Missions…or any of the multifarious, marvelous organizations “out there” who are helping create a healthier world. Because you reveal the people behind the product, you bring home the truth that by our high standard of living (which includes having more than two pairs of shoes: Sunday-go-to-meeting and every-day), we are able to provide the income for numerous folks who will, in turn, contribute to all sorts of worthwhile social programs to renew our Mother Earth! Yes, I do realize that there may be a fine line between Imelda Marcos and one who appreciates comfortable footwear; however, as I try to stay on the “good” side of the line, I certainly appreciate Zappos.com! (Have you ever considered contributing a percentage of every shoe purchased to Hope International or Mother Theresa’s Missions or some such worthy cause?) God hold you all close, “in the very hollow of His hand” (an old Gaelic blessing)! Sincerely, Di M

~ Di M, June 05 2006

Dear Amazon:

I’m not into what you’re into. It’s not that I’m critical of your lifestyle; I just get my kicks from different things. I’m looking right now for one of those geeky weather things you put on your house and it talks to your computer and you have a weather station. That’s all. So, when you ask:

“Did you mean wireless leather station?”

The answer is no.

Best,

substitute

P.S. Out of sheer curiosity: I know about the leather lifestyle, but how is it wireless, or associated with stations? This is a new area of human sexuality to me.