Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A hypocrite

I have just hanged up with a customer service representative from Verizon Wireless, the mobile network provider in the USA. "I'm sorry you have to work during the New Years Eve." I said before I hang up, just trying to be nice to him. "Well, that is fine sir, glad to help you." He replied, I bet with a yellow smile.
After hanging up, I thought it must be really bad working during the New Years Eve, you are missing out all the fun. These companies are merciless, aren't they? But wait a minute, how hypocrite I'm. Here I'm trying to be nice to him, telling him that I actually appreciate him serving me during the New Years Eve, while by my call I'm actually giving the company more of a reason to hire more people to reply to customers during national holidays.
Yes, this is one of the ugly façade of the mad consumerism. Once you are part of the system, you will always be part of the momentum that is asking for more consumption. Even unaware, you are actually helping the companies to take advantage of more people by not paying them enough, or depriving them from health insurance. By asking for less and less prices, by wanting the best service, even just by calling the customer service during a holiday, you are inherently making choices of depriving someone's health insurance, or proper wages, for a company to adopt an environmental unfriendly solution. How appealing is a slogan "We are green" on a product? Will it ever make you buy it if it is more expensive? Well, that is for the choices you are aware of. What about the choice you are unaware of.
In this website ( ) I watched the lady talking about the made consumerism. You have to be in the States to know the volume she is talking about, and how much this spirit has taken over and became deeply rooted in the American culture. I especially liked the part where she was wondering how come a radio only costs 5$. Well, it doesn't actually cost that, according to the clip, what the companies are doing is that they are externalizing the cost. The actual cost doesn't appear on the tag. The tag doesn't show the cost of the underpaid workers in china, or the children labor in Africa.
And the thing is that, we are all part of this system. Everything we do is actually supporting more exploitation. Some of us don't actually care. But even for those who care, they are still part of the system, and even without noticing they are supporting THE COMPANIES.

No comments: