Monday, July 21, 2008

Sooooo NOT Worth It. . .

Super Wal-Mart that is. . It's just not worth it. Having just gone on a horrific shopping excursion there, I remember now why I've repeatedly sworn off the place.

It's Monday, early afternoon and I embark on my big weekly shopping trip with children in tow. For starters, it perturbs me to no end that the pet and self care products are always on the opposite side of the store as the rest of the grocery products; is there a reason we can't put all of the grocery store items on the same side of this freakin' huge warehouse disaster?? Whatever. I planned for it today and intentionally started off on that side of the store planning to get those items first. Unfortunately, some of the items I thought would be in the baby care section were actually back up front with the self care section - thus began my 3 mile route known as WaMa Shopping. And if that's not annoying enough in itself to be traipsing back and forth between both extreme ends of the store, it's crowded; Wal-Mart is ALWAYS crowded. . and they're frequently not the nice shopper types (OK, I know I'm making a sweeping statement, but mixed in with the more pleasant folks, there's been enough rude ones - myself included- that I mark the whole of the WaMa group as crabby). It's as I begin my journey back to the beginning, that Kyla begins intermittenly exercising at top volume her annoyed crying abilities. Knowing it's not going to get any prettier than the present, I up the speed a little, but alas, it's to no avail; there's too many carts and slower people hobbling around.

By the time I make it back to the food section, I'm already worn out, and little Jimmy's acquired a clearance Lightning McQueen hat he'll be able to keep if he just has really good behavior (because Mommy just might have a public lapse of sanity if I have spend one extra microsecond in this accursed store for any reason whatsoever!). I hadn't yet made it down the first aisle when a strange looking man came walking slowly over talking to my daughter "Well, hello there" he murmured with an eerily happy smile. "Ahahaha" I chuckled as I tried to keep an eye on this character while at the same time picking out the right milk as quickly as possible. I didn't stop long or really have any comment for the man, but I figure as long as I smiled and looked sweet, he wouldn't be too offended at my scurrying away from him. As I looked back at the man a moment later I saw that his glasses were now actually cockeyed on his face rendering them completely useless to the man; I wondered if he really had any sort of vision impairment or if he just wore them because he thought they made him look smart. Heck, the man was probably mentally impaired in some fashion, and here I was treating him like a regular criminal. Still, I didn't feel too bad; I didn't have time; I needed to get out of this crazy place before I went AWOL.

After a lot of hunting and a few other less odd interactions, I'd finished my shopping. I made my way to a surprisingly short line at the front, and began the checkout process. All was going well until the cashier attempted to heave the 35 lb. container of Tidy Cat into the tray at the bottom of the cart. She just couldn't do it. I actually felt bad for her, figuring she was probably in her 50s or so having to do this sort of physical labor. "I'll get it; don't worry about it." I told her as she tried again and again without success to the lift cat sand onto the cart. It was when I went over to help her that I realized part of the problem was there was something slippery all over the bottom of the container. Eventually we got the cat sand loaded, and I was left with the problem of figuring out what was leaking. At this point, I really wasn't looking too hard; there was some screaming coming from my daughter, and I just wanted to leave - regardless.

I had forgotten about the strip search (may as well have been by then) procedure conducted by the employees at the exit. When I finally did find my receipt, the woman commented that two containers of cat cat sand were rung up but she only saw one. "Yep, looks like your being charged an extra $12. You'll have to go to customer service to get your money back." Muttering under my breath I made my way to customer service where beneath a happy facade, I considered how close I really was to being fully pushed over the edge. After pondering this for a while, I decided with my spare time in line I could try to find the leaky item. It was discovered to be the baby shampoo (located in the self care section as opposed to the baby care section). When it was finally my turn at the customer service counter, I was given my money back for the overcharged item, and was told I could go fetch my own baby soap and bring it back to the customer service counter whereby I would be given permission to leave.

At last, in the sweltering parking lot while lugging massive quantities of groceries into the van and sweating profusely, it hit me that this will *never* happen again. I will never make this mistake again. When the groceries were fully loaded, little Jimmy informed me that he had to pee "really badly!". There was no way we were re-entering the facility for any reason, and there didn't appear to be any private section of grass nearby, so I offered him a large solo cup. A few moments later I was returned a nearly full cup which was placed promptly in my cup holder. In the sweltering heat, I would've loved a cold Mountain Dew, but there in my cup holder was only a look alike warm Mountain Dew.

And thus concludes my shopping trip to WaMa. Upon arriving home and comparing receipts to Publix, I have found that with all of Publix's buy one get one sales, it's just as economical, if not more so, to go there. The decision has been made; goodbye forever WaMa, hello old friend, Publix.


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your story!! Made me laugh. It just happened to me last week. I went to Big Lots to buy containers and save money (about 5 cents, I think). Anyway, the employers were rude and not helpful and the other customers were rude too. Like they were the only ones shopping there! I remember (before your time) when you went into a store and there were sales people everywhere to help you and they were friendly. I decided everyone in Big Lots was poor, talk about generalizations!! Anyway, this morning I read an article in the paper by Ellen Goodman titled "Self-serve and slave. Check it out ;)

Anonymous said...

Right on! I am so with you...."someone" was trying to get me to shop at his store because it is 'less expensive'. Now taking into consideration I HATE grocery shopping, his store-- narrow, not so clean aisles, questionable produce, unknown brands,and scruffy looking people-- you get the picture. I'll take my clean, wide aisles, good foods, happy people who smile and greet you and who take your groceries out to the car with friendly conversations, to 'less expensive' any day!
Viva La Publix!!!