Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Signs of the Time

I was walking past the Museum of Modern Art on my way to an interview this afternoon and noticed how every news box I passed on the street was empty like there wasn’t any news. Not a single newspaper amongst them. Is everyone reading information online these days? That really can’t be the case because I see newspapers thrown on my neighbor’s porches and I, myself, recently subscribed to the weekend issue of the New York Times. So I know of at least a few hold-outs, but clearly we will be unable to keep the failing newspaper industry afloat. Further up the street there’s a Citibank poster promising $500 dollars for any one who can sign up five of their friends for a checking account, and even suggests how the reward money can be split five different ways. Is the person who already has an account left holding the completed application?

Beyond my curent excursion up Third Street, I recall how at the mall this weekend families with young children were being offered promotional items at the movie ticket window, posters, sodas with bright orange straws, which they greedily tucked into a baby stroller and kept moving. Even with the recession, I think these are good signs where businesses have to do more to woo customers rather than assuming a loyalty to pay through the nose. I had my first job interview and I think it went well, but you never know. Traveling back to the East Bay on BART, young adults gazed into their cell phones, reading into their futures, while none of the escalators at stations on either side of the bay seemed to be working. Perhaps this was part of a cost-savings measure as management and labor continue last minute negotiations to head off a strike.

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