Monday, November 20, 2006

Why Can't All Shopping Be Done Online?

This weekend I went to the most dreaded store of stores. Oh, Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall. Where is the worst store of them all? Why of course, it is Walmart. In particular, the one store that is located closest to us. It always appears that this location has been hit by a whirlwind of crazed shoppers. The isles are littered with discarded items while barbaric customers make their way through the mess with no employee in sight. The line-ups at the cash registers are miles long. No one smiles. The cashiers hate their jobs and the customers are on a hunt and destroy mission.

Every time it is a horrible shopping experience and yet I'm a sucker for punishment. It is against my own will that I force myself to enter their doors. I had those cheezoid photos to pick up and thought while I'm there I might as well take advantage of their roll back prices to get a few items. So began the mission. I avoided the other customers with great care, maneuvering my cart away from the piles of items that lay discarded on the floor. I found enough items to satisfy this trip into no man zone. I waited patiently at the check out. The people in front of me were even polite! It was a magical moment. I thought I might escape unscathed.

That was until the stuffed monkey I was purchasing as a gift was rejected by the cashier. She mumbles something about there not being a price tag or bar code and glares at me for bringing this offending item to her line. I told her that it was the only one. Huffily she picks up her phone and announces on the store intercom for the toy department to call her back. She refuses to wait, as we both know that no one actually works in the store. I am forced to pay for all the other items. To continue the masquerade, she gets back on the loud speakers and repeats her call. The next customer's items are rung up. A lone employee walks along gathering up store carts. The cashier asks her if she will help find the monkey price. The cart girl blatantly refuses and tells her to page Diego. The third distress call rings out.

I might add that the monkey might be in the range of five dollars. I wait on the side with my paid for items, slightly amused at the scene playing out. Another customer's items are rung up. There is no sign of Diego. Cart girl saunters by again. The cashier is feeling the weight of my stare and pleads for cart girl to take the monkey to find a price. Reluctantly she agrees and slooooowwly walks away. I watch as two women chat and ignore two children that are acting up. A girl around the age of ten is attempting to push a keypad in the closed cash register area next to them. I give her a look and that warns her what she is doing is wrong and she guiltily looks at the floor. Her younger brother whines.

I no longer feel like this is a worthy way to spend my time. I tell the cashier that this is taking too long but she says that her manager is looking into it. Cart girl is the manager!? Yet another customer makes their way out of the store. The cashier echoes another request on the loud speakers.

Finally her phone rings! More mumbles. I swear she has held the same look of disinterest on her face this whole time. She hangs up her phone and tells me that this is the last item and there is no price so therefore there is nothing she can do. I am in shock!

"So you're telling me that it's not for sale because there is no price tag on it?"

She deadpans a yes in my direction and I am dismissed. They should be giving me the damn five dollar monkey for free with a sincere apology. To wait for that would mean I would never see my children graduate from high school.

I walk away angry with myself for investing that much time into a losing battle. The worst store in the land lives up to their name. As I exit I become crazy shopper and declare to anyone within earshot that I am never shopping there again! Take that Walmart!

I got home and pulled the photos out to show Colin and we discover there is a flaw in the pictures, a scratch in the photo in the exact spot on Every. Single. Print. It is hard to see here but trust me that it is obvious when you hold the photo in your hands.

The scratch must be in this print so IF they agree to reprint the package, I think I should chose a different pose. Which one do you like better?

Alternate One - Sitting outside in the snow.

Or alternate two. Starry night (which strangely looks like the picture of the girls was cut out and imposed on the back drop.)

God help me. I'm going back in...

12 Singing the blues:

creative-Type Dad (Tony) said...

I like the last photo. The kids stand out from the background.

If I were you I would have thrown the monkey across the store and yelled "stupid monkey!"

Maybe they would have sold it to you. Or called the police.

metro mama said...

This is why everyone is getting books for Christmas.

Aimee said...

I like the snow sit-in one. And I have to agree with you on your Wal-Mart fiasco -- I loathe going into that store, especially now. And it doesn't help that our nearest Wal-Mart has become a total ghetto hole where people get mugged and/or shot at in the parking lot (at 1:30 in the afternoon!!)
It's funny, I used to practically keep Wal-mart in the black when I was in high school and college that's how often I shopped there. NOw I would rather jab something sharp into my eyeball. And forget about going there with the 3 kids -I'll wipe my butt with leaves before I stop there for cheap toilet paper if I have the kids with me.
Good luck and Godspeed on your next foray into the second level of Hell - I mean Wal-Mart.

bubandpie said...

Count me as another vote for sitting-in-snow.

It sure is satisfying to vent against evil, isn't it? I was reading another blog that vented against poor customer service from L.L. Bean, and then someone from there spent an hour or two on her blog, reading up, and they sent her a full apology and free sweater.

Somehow I doubt that WalEvil will do the same. (That nickname would work a lot better if "Evil" rhymed with "Mart," wouldn't it?)

Mother Bumper said...

You are a brave, brave woman - I cannot stand going into that store even though I know they have good pricing. I.just.can'

That said - I cannot believe they couldn't (COULDN'T) sell you the monkey. I can tell you this much: if you wrote corporate about it, they would freak that an employee didn't make them another five bucks.

And my vote is for the sitting-in the snow pose - I think the girls look LOVELY in all three but there is just something about that one that makes them just shine!

Christina said...

Of the two choices, I like pose #1 better.

And yeah, Wal-Mart sucks. They drive me nuts when I shop there. Why are the lines always so long? If you only plan to keep three registers open at any given time, why have 20 of them in the front of the store, 17 sitting unused?

ewe are here said...

I love the first alternate, sitting in the snow. Lovely.

As for WalMart, have always hated it. It's just so, so, scuzzy feeling. (Over here in the UK, it's ASDA. Same scuzzy feeling.)

Alley Cat said...

I like the last photo best.

The guys on South Park got it right when they did their episode about Wallmart. Stay away!!!!!!

carrie said...

God, I hate Wal Mart, but I love those pics of your cuties, the last one is my fav.

Godspeed, good mother, in your journey back into that hellhole.


niloc said...

you have shown far more restraint than i would have if i was in a similar situation and had a forum to write about it in. you have used your blogging powers wisely.

walmart is often frowned upon cos they are very anti-union. from the breaking of new ground on a store location and the labour to build it. to the outfitting of the store and the hiring of new staff. walmart has a strict anti-union policy. i'm not meaning to sound like Ed Broadbent is my personal mentor but there’s gotta be something said about equality of work and working conditions that would translate into personal pride and customer care.

sunshine scribe said...

Can I say I like them all?!? How can you take a bad pic of those cuties

And I am all about online shopping

scarbie doll said...

I've been online shopping since two years ago when I was 38 weeks preggers by Christmas. No way I was hauling my big ol' self to stores for my ungrateful little cousins.

Now I do it all the time. It just shows up at the house and I put the stuff away before huz can say anything about it!

We did the cheezy photos too, but at Loblaws. We haven't set foot in Hellmart since we moved away from the Duff.