KATIE LEWIS BUY INTROSPECTION

KATIE LEWIS BUY INTROSPECTION -...

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Unformatted text preview: Katie
Lewis























































EN
ARGENTINA
















































Sept.
5,
2011
 
 It
 all
 started
 as
 I
 was
 waiting
 for
 my
 flight
 on
 the
 floor
 of
 a
 small
 airport
 in
 Argentine
 Patagonia,
 exhausted
from
a
2‐week
adventure
spent
in
the
mountains
on
the
edge
of
the
world.
I
was
having
a
 conversation
 with
 a
 few
 friendly
 medics
 as
 they
 were
 checking
 out
 my
 wounded,
 infected
 foot
 and
 trying
to
convince
me
to
stay
an
extra
day
to
get
treated
at
their
local
 hospital
down
the
road.
Being
as
 hardheaded
 as
I
am,
and
even
lackadaisically
indifferent
to
my
own
health,
I
settled
 for
thanking
them
 with
a
couple
handshakes
and
flowery
Spanish
farewells,
moving
on
to
grossing
out
my
friend
Theo
with
 close
 up
 pictures
 of
 the
 gooey
 wound.
 After
 some
 artistic
 attempts,
 I
 hit
 the
 playback
 button.
 Then,
 camera
catastrophe
hit.
My
sexy
little
G12
Series
Canon
had
wickedly
decided
to
erase
about
300
photos
 from
my
trip
of
a
lifetime
in
arguably
the
most
beautiful
place
on
earth.

 
 Photos
of
me
ice‐climbing
a
glacier
clad
mountain?
Gone.
Photos
of
our
13‐hour
hike
to
a
glowing
blue
 lake
 atop
a
 famously
iconic
Ritz
Roy
peak?
Gone.
 And
shots
of
our
beautiful
campsite
at
the
base
of
an
 impressive
 glacier?
 Sí
 señor,
 also
 gone.
 Desaparecieron.
 Safe
 to
 say
 I
 freaked
 out,
 perhaps
 overdramatically.
 After
 some
 frantic
 researching
 on
 the
 airport’s
 only
 pay‐by‐the‐minute
 computer,
 I
 found
 a
 program
 that
 would
 recover
 my
 lost
 photos
 from
 my
 memory
 card.
 The
 only
 piece
 that
 was
 missing
 was
 a
 USB
 port
to
 directly
connect
my
memory
chip
to
my
laptop.
 And
 consequently
 the
first
 stop
 I
 took
 when
 I
 landed
 back
 home
 in
 Buenos
 Aires
 wasn’t
 to
 the
 ER
 as
 recommended,
 but
 to
 Garabino,
the
appliance
and
electronics
superstore
I
passed
every
day
on
my
way
to
the
subway.


 
 Obviously,
 things
 run
 a
 little
 differently
 in
 foreign
 countries.
 That’s
 part
 of
 the
 reason
 I
 chose
 this
 purchase
experience
to
write
about
–
to
demonstrate
a
buying
process
that
is
a
little
different
than
what
 we
are
used
to
here
in
the
United
States.
 Even
approaching
the
front
door
of
the
electronics
store,
you
 can
 sense
 a
 culture
 difference.
 For
 starters,
 the
 workplace
 was
 highly
 overstaffed
 –
 an
 abundance
 of
 men
in
red
collared
shirts.
To
add
to
that
image,
they
all
stand
huddled
together,
unabashedly
staring
 and
winking
at
women
who
walk
past
the
glass
storefront.
Oh
Latin
men…
 
 Enter
two
American
girls.

 
 I
have
to
say
I
was
surprised
no
one
asked
us
if
we
needed
help
right
away.
With
all
the
personnel
on
the
 clock,
 one
 would
 think
 (or
 an
 American
 would
 think)
 that
 a
 cordial
 approach
 would
 happen
 almost
 instantaneously.
 However,
 all
 the
 men
 sort
 of
 intermittently
 stared
 at
 us
 (expectedly)
 in a
 group
 near
 the
 TV
 area.
 Aside
 from
 that,
 the
 entire
 setup
 of
 the
 store
 was
 unlike
 most
 electronic
 stores
 I
 have
 frequented
back
in
the
states.
An
overstocked
hairdryer
rack
was
awkwardly
in
the
corner
&
irrelevantly
 placed
next
to
their
coffee
machine
display,
both
strangely
adjacent
to
 the
camera
 accessory
 section
to
 which
 we
 B‐lined.
 It
 wasn’t
 until
 we
 arrived
 at
 the
 glass
 counter
 that
 we
 received
 a
 verbal
 offer
 for
 assistance.
“Las
puedo
ayudar?”
he
asked,
offering
his
semi
delayed
help.

 
 My
bold
Texas
roommate
thought
she’d
give
it
a
shot
and
answer
him
back
in
her
shaky
Spanish,
but
 eventually
I
chimed
in
to
speed
up
the
process.
I
explained
to
him
exactly
what
we
were
hunting
for
and
 judging
by
the
way
his
eyes
sort
of
lit
up
from
inside,
he
understood
immediately.
“Dale,”
he
 concurred
 and
 went
 off
 in
 search
 for
 my
 missing
 piece.
 ______________________________________________
 
 Enter
handful
of
khaki
attired
Garabino
floor
representatives.

 
 Surrounded
on
both
sides,
the
quotidian
series
of
questions
had
commenced.
It
feels
almost
as
there
is
a
 universal
book
written
on
the
process.
If Someone Looks Foreign Ask Them These Questions in this Order.
 We
 rattled
 off
 the
 almost
 rehearsed
 answers
 like
 pros.
 “Somos
 de
 los
 Estados
 Unidos,
 alumnas
 de
 intercambio
a
la
Universidad
de
Belgrano
por
un
semestre
y
pico…(and
so
on)”
 Don’t
get
me
wrong,
I’m
 all
for
building
client
rapport.
But
this
was
clearly
flirting.
It
quickly
became
overwhelming
as
soon
as
the
 smiley
Brasilian
began
testing
my
Potuguese.

 
 And
 true
 to
 Argentine
 stereotype,
 these
 employees
 have
 deviated
 far
 from
 being
 an
 efficient
 and
 focused
 sales
 staff.
 Other
 clients
 were
 clearly
 left
 unattended,
 and
 our
 purchasing
 process
 had
 been
 prolonged
 that
 much
 longer.
 And
 to
 complicate
 things
 even
 further,
 the
 steps
 necessary
 to
 actually
 complete
the
sale
seemed
to
me
overly
extensive.
Stay
with
me…
 
 After
 the
 first
 representative
 had
 located
 the
 item
 from
 a
 collection
 opposite
 the
 counter,
 he
 slid
 it
 across
the
glass
to
me.
“Esta
bien
asi?”
he
said,
asking
me
if
the
USB
looked
like
the
right
one.
Assuming
 he
might
know
the
product
more
than
I
did,
I
responded
with
a
reverse
question,
“que
se
yo,
que
pensas
 vos?”
 He
 admitted
he
wasn’t
quite
sure
what
would
work
with
my
memory
card
and
computer
system.
 “Tengo
un
MacBook
13.3
y
una
Canon
G12,”
I
elaborated
without
 much
confidence.
 He
didn’t
know
if
it
 would
work
with
my
older
generation
MacBook,
neither
did
the
Brasilian
leaning
against
the
glass
to
my
 left.
 I
 trusted
 my
 eyeballed
 evaluation,
 and
 told
 them
 I’d
 take
 it
 regardless.
 They
 advised
 I
 keep
 my
 receipt
 in
 case
 it
 didn’t
 happen
 to
 work
 out
 after
 a
 trial.
 This
 was
 actually
 somewhat
 valuable
 advice,
 because
returns
and
refunds
aren’t
nearly
as
popular
in
South
America
as
they
are
here
in
the
States.

 
 I
located
my
wallet
from
my
purse
to
locate
my
credit
card.
But
I
was
stopped
in
my
tracks
when
he
told
 me
that
I
would
pay
 at
register
at
the
back
of
the
store.
 But
as
my
hands
began
reaching
for
the
USB
 port,
I
was
diverted
once
again.
He
slipped
the
product
underneath
the
glass
counter,
and
instead
pulled
 out
a
scrap
piece
of
paper
and
a
#2
pencil.
 My
eyes
must
have
said
it
all;
 you’ve got to be kidding me, is he writing an I.O.U., or worse, a phone number? He
 flipped
 over
 the
 packaging
 and
 copied
 down
 the
 product
 number and
 price.
 After
 handing
 me
 the
 note,
he
directed
me
once
again
to
the
register
at
the
back.
 Theories
and
map‐like
flowcharts
from
last
 year’s
 Operations
 and
 Supply
 Chain
 Management
 course
 slowly
 trickled
 back
 from
 my
 long‐term
 memory
en
route
to
the
register.
I
was
silently
questioning
the
process.

 
 I
waited
in
line.
I
handed
the
scratch
paper
to
the
cashier.
She
slowly
typed
in
all
the
necessary
numbers
 and
codes
 into
the
 dated
computer
system.
 I
paid
in
cash
(as
most
transactions
go
 down
there).
 Then,
I
 was
finally
handed
(dot
dot
dot)
the
highly
anticipated
(dot
dot
dot)
different
piece
of
paper.
Hmph.

 
 At
least
this
time
it
was
a
 full
 sheet
edition,
printed
 with
 the
font
style
of
a
1993
IBM
desktop,
but
an
 upgrade
nonetheless.
 This
old
school
 two‐pager
was
my
receipt
for
my
 small
 25‐peso
purchase
(roughly
 6
American
dollars).
I
made
my
way
back
to
the
original
glass
counter,
as
directed
by
the
cashier.
Back
to
 1st
base.
And
back
to
handing
over
a
piece
of
paper.
 
 The
camera
accessory
guy
looked
over
my
receipt
approvingly,
and
finally
I
saw
my
USB
port
again.
He
 folded
my
receipt
in
half,
and
placed
both
items
inside
a
small
red
plastic
 bag.
“Gracias
por
venir,”
he
 thanked
us
as
he
handed
over
the
goods,
or
good
rather.

I
thanked
him
back
and
we
walked
out
waving
 goodbye
to
the
grinning
khaki
crowd
as
we
left.

 
 We
 made
 our
 way
 back
 toward
 the
 apartment.
 “Is
 it
 just
 me
 or
 did
 you
 think
 that
 incredibly
 overcomplicated,
too?”
I
asked
my
roommate.

 
 “Sí,
señorita”
she
agreed.
 
 
 But
 any
 negative
 feelings
 or
 confusion
 quickly
 disappeared
 after
 discovering
 the
 USB
 port
 did
 in
 fact
 work
with
both
my
units,
and
it
wasn’t
long
until
a
photo
recovery
program
brought
back
hundreds
of
 missing
images
from
the
digital
dead.
Katie
was
happy
again,
for
now
at
least…
 
 Next
stop:
emergency
room.
Ay ay ay. 
 [To be continued…]

 
 
 
 
 
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