Saturday, August 11, 2018

If you see something, say something. When to report things that are not right?

There have been some news articles recently about people calling the police for trivial reasons. It's true sometimes people call the police for little things that don't really need a police response, but I think more often the case happens when people do not call in an issue that probably should be reported.

This issue of taking an initiative when something is not right applies in many situations, not just with issues where police are needed. Depending on the situation, it may be another person or group that should be contacted when something is not right, for example a manager or a someone in charge of a situation.

A lot of the time when people see something that is not right, they just ignore it. Maybe they think it is not their responsibility. Maybe they do not want to get involved. Maybe they think it is none of their business. These thoughts are understandable, but in order to make a positive difference, one should make the effort to speak up when they see something that is not right.

Sometimes an issue may arise where you are not sure if it is important enough to report. You might think, maybe it is not a big deal. In some cases, a judgment can be made to leave it alone if it does not seem to be a big issue. If you are unsure about it, I think it is best to play it safe and make a report about it. It's better to report something and have it turn out to be nothing rather than not report something and it turns out to be an issue that should have been reported.

Shows like ABC's “What Would You Do” present a lot of situations like this to see how people respond. They create a situation where something is wrong or someone is doing something inappropriate and they see if anyone will step up and address the issue. Some people stay out of it while others get involved to try to correct the situation. It is always the ones who step in who are praised as the heroes for doing the right thing and trying to make a difference.

Some people are good about this and are fearless when it comes to stepping up and even confronting people when they think they are doing something wrong. Not everyone is this brave, but I think we should all keep this in mind and make more of an effort to speak up when we see something that is not right.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Should Retail Stores Have Background Music?

You may notice when you are in a store whether it be a grocery store, clothing store, or just about any other kind of store, often times they will have background music. Usually it is some predetermined playlist or station that the store partners with to provide background music with the goal of creating a better experience for the customer. But does music always equal a better store experience?

In my opinion, sometimes it can help while other times it can actually make the experience worse. A lot of it depends on what kind of music is playing, how loud it is, and what kind of mood the customer is in. I will explain how these factors play into how the music is perceived by the customer.

Music is very subjective. Take any song and you can find someone who loves it while another person may hate it. Some people like loud intense music while others like quiet peaceful music. Because of this, it becomes a challenge to pick music and songs that will appeal to most of the people in the store.

The problem is, you can't please all the people all the time. Even when songs are specifically chosen to be generally likable by most, there are still going to be people who don't like the music that is picked and this may in turn cause a less than desirable experience for these customers.

Also frequency of the songs played has an effect on the experience as well, particularity for the people who work in the stores. Since many of the retail stores have a set list of songs on repeat, these songs quickly get old for those who are in the store a lot (employees and frequent customers). What started as a song you liked or didn't mind soon becomes a song you do not like or in fact despise because you have heard it so many times.

The volume of the music also can play a big part on the experience as a customer. I generally prefer the music to be very soft so it does not draw attention or become invasive. There have been times where I have been in a store and the music is loud enough to become an annoyance and even a distraction. It becomes worse when a song you don't like pops into the rotation and you can't get away from it. When this happens, it can put customers in a bad mood and make them want to leave the store sooner than they had planned.

The mood of the customer can also affect how they perceive the music in the store. For a customer who is relaxed and has plenty of time to shop at a leisurely pace, they may be more accepting of the music. They are at ease so a little extra stimulus in the way of music is welcome. On the other hand, someone who is feeling stressed out or trying to concentrate on their shopping may become irritated by the music especially if it is loud or happens to be a kind of music they do not like.

Then there are stores that do not play any background music at all. At these stores, the atmosphere might seem less lively or welcoming, but on the other hand, they avoid the risk of annoying customers with unwanted music. It's hard to say which is better since again it comes down to the old saying, you can't please all the people all the time.”

What are your thoughts on this issue? Should stores have music in the background or is is better without music? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments below.