What We Want

Groups like entertainers, politicians and retailers are often urged to, “Give the people what they want.”  This often doesn’t happen, because that’s not what they want.  What they want, is the maximum return for the minimum expenditure.

What we want, is often predicated on what we already have.  A teenager in Ruanda might just want some food, while a teenager in Beverly Hills wants a new Smartphone to match her new gown, which already matches her new Lamborghini.

Back when I was a cube drone, one of my more-enlightened slavedrivers bosses sent me to a one-day, How To Be More Efficient instruction module. What he wanted, for the outlay of a couple of hundred dollars, was greater output and efficiency, and for me to think he cared, and stop bitching.

This seminar was given by the same guy who was surprised we didn’t describe ourselves as Honest.  He asked us what else we wanted from our jobs.  This was the first time I became aware of Maslow’s Hierarchy.

He explained that we can do without air for four minutes, without water for four days, and without food for four weeks.  Some of the guys who didn’t have them, wanted business cards, to seem professional.  Some wanted bigger offices – the corner office with the windows.  Some wanted impressive titles, even though the work would remain the same.  I didn’t care much where they put me, or what they called me.  I pulled a Jerry Maguire – Show me the money!

I had been a buyer, the lowest of the bunch.  Then I was a Purchasing Agent, a step up.  I had worked up to being an underpaid Materials Manager.  One pretentious egotist wanted the corner office with his title on the door – Senior Vice-President In Charge of Walking Around With My Nose So Far in the Air That I Can’t See or Smell the Peons – And Coincidentally Acquiring Stuff the Company Needs, As Long As No-one Knows I Actually Work For a Living.  If that didn’t fit, he wanted a bigger door.

Since the hotel they’d been using for a couple of years had a lot of steps, the Free Thinkers have been shopping around for a new venue.  What they want, is a place with a varied menu, with decent food at decent prices, a separate room or area, handicap access, adequate parking, and located on a major transit line, because a couple, like the Mennonite lady, come by bus.

We tried a new-to-us, but old, downtown restaurant in March, and will go back in April, but it does not bode well.  It’s not as upscale as it would like people to think – and that’s what we do.  Almost as many steps as its up-the-street neighbor – what a surprise, no parking – walk a block, no breakfast buffet, and five items on the breakfast menu.

What at least three in the group wanted, were Belgian waffles, just like Momma IHOP or Denny’s makes, with whipped cream and powdered sugar.  What they found was that, those are “dessert waffles”, served in the evening.  What they got, were breakfast waffles, without.

What they wanted was a menu, or server, that would explain that the place didn’t do things the usual way, and that whipped cream&sugar was available for a mere 50 cent surcharge.  What they wanted, was a dispenser of real Canadian Maple Syrup.  What they got, was a rip-it-open-and-spill-it-on-yourself, plastic container of genuine, imitation, looks vaguely like Maple, pancake syrup.

What I wanted – what I specifically, firmly and clearly ordered, was a cup of hot chocolate, with a good dash of coffee in it, almost a mocha.  What I got, was a server who brought me a Chi-Chi “drink”, a breakfast shooter, see illustration below.

What I wanted was a mug of hot chocolate, with coffee.

Home made

What I got, was this gay-bar, bud-vase, clear glass cup (?), with four layers, an inch of chocolate syrup on the bottom, with a layer of (ugh) warm! milk above it, a layer of coffee above that, and topped with whipped cream, which I didn’t want, and should have given to the lady beside me with the Belgian waffle.

Uptown Hot Chocolate

What I want, is what I want, but, as most of you know, unless you own Belgium, and not just the waffles, very few of us get what we want.



10 thoughts on “What We Want

  1. You just cracked me up on too many levels to attempt explaining. Great post 🙂


  2. BrainRants says:

    Of note, owning Belgium is more difficult than one might guess – ask Germany. Also, rumor has it that New Hampshire’s maple syrup is the best.


    • Archon's Den says:

      It sounded good when I wrote it, but the only things to come out of Belgium are Hercule Poirot, and mouldy shoes.
      H E Ellis, and the rest of the New Hampster saps may soon have the best maple syrup, now that the newly formed Quebec Maple Syrup Union (a union, no less) marketing board have shot themselves in the foot, and the rest of us in the taste buds. 😦


  3. Jim Wheeler says:

    An insightful post, Archon. You do a fine job of pointing out people’s “wants” relative to one another, but, I submit, the difference is even more pronounced when you compare “needs” of today to those of, say, 150 years ago.

    The average citizen of today, with her automobile, cell phone, microwave oven, television, refrigerator, central heat and air conditioning, running water and indoor toilet, lives better than any of the rich did back then.

    Maslow was right, it’s all relative to the other guy and nobody is ever satisfied. This is why some people “need” to buy professional sports teams.


    • Archon's Den says:

      I see the huge differences, even through my 70 years of life. We are not “living under a bridge”, but we are poor, yet I see the many little things that we have accumulated, that my parents never had in their empty little house.
      I’m reading a series of books about a Virginia town, transported to 1635 Germany, and all the “necessities” they quickly run out of, and learn to substitute, or do without.
      Despite the Bible-thumpers’ insistence on absolutes, everything is relative. Most sports team owners just want to prove, “Mine is bigger than yours.” And I’m not talking about the team. 😦 😯


  4. benzeknees says:

    There’s a huge difference between what we want & what we get!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s