We hear 5 employees of different Circuit City store locations read their accounts of what it was like when the largest electronics chain in the US had less than 2 months to liquidate its entire inventory and close its doors.
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Most media stories set in shopping malls don't really tell you much about what it feels like for the people who work in a big retail operation, or for the people who hang out at the mall. Because the mall's more than just sales.
We meet Russell, 19, the best mobile phone salesman in the mall — and possibly anywhere. His talent for sales is matched only by those of his girlfriend, Chandler, 18, a waitress.
Yes, some stores are going out of business in the Cool Springs Galleria, but it's just two stores. We talk to staff at one store that’s closing down, and at another, in the food court, where business is great.
In a part of the mall no shoppers ever see, there's a snug, dark little room with 43 TV screens, one for each of the cameras in the hallways and parking lots, the roof and the loading dock. We hang out with the security people who work in there, seeing what they see.
Host Ira Glass talks to Randall Bell, who specializes in assessing how tragedy affects real estate. He's found that the market is much quicker to forgive and forget a scandal than the neighbors are.
When you're in school, you're supposed to be a Renaissance person — do art, literature, sports, music—and be enthusiastic about it all. You get graded for effort.
A man tries to unload a piece of junk he bought by selling it on eBay...not by concealing its many terrible properties...but by bragging about them. Which gets results.
Host Ira Glass goes to a busy Target store one week before Christmas. Most shoppers he talks to don't think any of their gifts will be returned.
In which we conduct a little scientific experiment—on tape, with hidden microphones—about whether niceness pays. We wire two waitresses with hidden microphones.
Host Ira Glass talks with Marion Tanios, a classified section editor at the Chicago Sun-Times. She explains that if the news section of the newspaper gives you the public life of a city, the classified section gives you a sense of people's personal lives.
Jen's mom Sheila does things like this: She buys a brand name at a discount store, and then returns it to a fancy store for a full refund. She thinks you're a sucker if you don't take advantage of opportunities like that.
We hear clips from the recent press conference with Charlotte Beers, recently appointed Undersecretary of Public Diplomacy. Part of her job is, in her words, to sell the "brand America" abroad.
Host Ira Glass speaks with two people who believe they've uncovered behind-the-scenes conspiracies but can't be sure. Attorney Andy Hail has sued the two biggest supermarkets in Chicago (Dominick's and Jewel) because they charge a dollar more for milk than stores around the country, and because their prices seem to change simultaneously, as if orchestrated.
We hear the first part of our story about Archer Daniels Midland and FBI informant Mark Whitacre. In this half, Whitacre inadvertently ends up a cooperating witness—and turns himself into one of the best cooperating witnesses in the history of U.S. law enforcement, gathering evidence with an adeptness few have matched.
Our story about ADM and Mark Whitacre continues. The FBI finds out that their star cooperating witness Mark Whitacre has been lying to them for three years about some rather serious matters.
There's a TV ad so popular in Canada right now that people chant it in bars, stand and cheer it in theaters and at hockey stadiums. The ad taps into our desire to be part of a mob...and provides a safe way to do it, without fear.
What do cats want to see on television? Steve Malarky, creator of the world's best-selling home video for cats, tells all. And—in the interest of equal time—a cashier who works at a chain store that sells pet products rants about the absurdity of the items she's ringing up every day: St.
Ira talks with Josh Glenn, editor of Hermenaut, who explains the difference between Good Wacky and Bad Wacky.
Ira with 19-year-old Claudia Perez at a furniture store in Claudia's Mexican neighborhood.
Ira visits the lottery stand in Chicago that sells more lottery tickets than any other: Hannah's Finer Food & Liquors. There he meets two men who want to get rich quick.
Host Ira Glass goes to one of the epicenters of modern Christmas — the world's biggest toy store — minutes before closing on Christmas Eve. (5 1/2 minutes)
Host Ira Glass goes to Navy Pier to visit the clearance sales.
Chicago playwright Beau O'Reilly goes with Ira to the Scottie Pippen Dodge Store.Then, singer/songwriter/playwright Jeff Dorchen on Niketown.