We are an easy mark for sales people. We know this and typically try to avoid sales pitches whenever possible. Unlike Cindy, I have little experience shopping. I understand that hating shop, but being prone to buy may be unusual. But, this combination may make things even worse. I bond with sales people and buy far too easily. I am especially vulnerable if I am by myself and do not have Cindy to grab me by the arm and pull me to safety. Sending me to a grocery store often results in many impulse buys and I return with all kinds of things in addition to the milk and eggs I was asked to buy. Luckily, the amount of damage I can do in a grocery store is limited.
Both Cindy and I are particularly vulnerable to technology purchases. Neither one of us has ever been able to say no. We pretty much have one (sometimes two) of everything – phones, computers, robots, tablets, watches, google glass, television boxes of various types, etc. When we feel bad, we justify our expenditures by remembering we still “work” in this field and need to have experience with the devices and applications we describe and recommend. Everyone has hobbies and I tend to tell Cindy we must do what we can to keep the economy moving.
However, when we are around shiny new things, we sometimes do foolish things. We have a history of making purchases on the floor of a technology vendor show that have nothing to do with our interests or the purpose of the show. It is like the feeding frenzy gets out of hand and spills over to random products. For example, we purchased a digital camcorder at an educational tech conference before such devices were really available. Vendors were not really allowed to sell, but we somehow were able to convince the vendor to sell us one. I don’t remember if we ever got the thing to work. We have purchased gel shoe inserts at a tech show. It makes some sense that vendors offer these at a large show. You walk for miles on a concrete floor and your feet get really sore. They let you slip a demo of the insert into your shoe and walk around. It does feel great. Once you own these inserts and use them on a regular basis the benefits seem to dissipate. At least shoe inserts are cheap.
We made a couple of purchases a week ago at an educational technology conference that has our health professional kids shaking their heads. We bought electrical body stimulators. To make matters worse, we bought one for each of us. We own two. Our daughter the occupational therapist says we now own nearly the same number of devices as they have available in her clinic. She wanted to know what they told us that would convince us to purchase electrical stimulators. I remember them saying something about increasing the blood flow to an area to increase healing and the device working something like acupuncture. The sample massage did feel good.
But why did we need two sets, she wanted to know.
Well, with two sets, you get extra pads for the electrodes and these shower shoe like things you can use for foot pain. You get these things for free if you purchase two stimulators and you have to pay for them (plus postage) if you buy only one.
Do you know that it matters where you place the electrodes?
Yes, I said. Each device comes with a page of instructions that shows the body, marks pain locations, and explains where the electrodes should be placed for each type of pain.
She finally decided that the power of the devices we purchased was lower than what they used and the devices would be unlikely to cause us any harm. That was as close as she got to telling us these devices would be useful.
I think she said just don’t put the electrodes on your head or your spine.