There's a possible ice storm coming tonight, which has caused some panicked shoppers to get out and "stock up" on supplies. Now, Cliff and I weren't really hurting for any essentials, but I'm hoping to have a family dinner this coming Sunday. So I needed to get out and buy quite a few things I no longer keep on hand all the time. Wal-Mart was the obvious choice, and I figured we'd be wise to go to the biggest, most fully-stocked store, the one with the most brands and items: the Blue Springs, Missouri, Walmart. Notice I'm making liberal use of the full name of this store, as well as using all the various ways to spell Wal*Mart (the Blue Springs Walmart). Haaaaaaaaaaaa! That's store #0184, by the way. I'd love to see this entry eventually show up on Google.
This fairly new Blue Springs Supercenter has irked me more times than I care to remember. Even their elderly greeter seems unable to summon up a smile; I'm not kidding! I believe my daughter and son-in-law have come out of that store angry and frustrated a few times, too. I always assume if the employees are this bad throughout a store, bad management is the cause.
Today the shelves were empty of some items I needed, but that isn't what got my goat.
There were lines at every register because of the "panic shopping". It looked like our best bet for a speedy escape was a one of the self-checkout lines, and I asked Cliff, "Are we brave enough to try this?
"It's fine with me," he said.
We've used the self-checkouts a couple of times before when we only had a few things, but left to my own devices, I'm too intimidated by such new-fangled inventions to mess with them. With Cliff by my side, however, I felt strong and courageous. Besides, I was going to make him do all the work. We had a pretty full cart, but he seemed confident.
Obviously we weren't moving fast enough for the computerized Hitler, because it kept advising Cliff to either type in the number code or scan something. Then he made the mistake of putting a just-scanned item over into a cooler we'd bought, rather than in a sack. Bad mistake. The overbearing voice informed us that we had failed to put a scanned item where it needed to be placed... in the bag area. No problem. Cliff brought it back over to the proper area and put it in a bag. Then the machine tells us there's an unauthorized item in our bag!
So we needed help. Fortunately (I thought) there was a portly, grim-faced, sixty-ish employee standing there whose only job was to help people like us through the self-checkouts. I waved at him, and he stomped over to the register.
"You shouldn't go through these if you don't know what you're doing," he growled.
Huh? Is that any way to speak to your public?
Cliff almost lost it; he raised his voice somewhat and said to Oscar the Grouch, "How the hell are you supposed to learn how to use them then?"
The man keyed a code into the register and sulked off.
"Merry Christmas," I said loudly to his back, as he retreated.
So folks, if you happen into the Blue Springs Walmart or the Blue Springs Wal-Mart or even the Blue Springs Wal*Mart... just be aware that the Grinch, along with all his crew, is alive and well. Which isn't surprising, since the store is pathetic anyhow. I'll be going to a different store next time.
Added later: When I looked at my ticket, I noticed there's a website I can go to tell Walmart about my shopping experience! This has made my day for sure. I'd loved to have copied and pasted this entry, but unfortunately I was only offered multiple-choice answers to questions. At least I'm entered in a drawing for a $1,000 gift card.
Another post script: On Tuesday morning, December 11, "Blue Springs Walmart" shows my blog as fourth on the google search page; a "Walmart #0184" search shows me in first place; and "Blue Springs Supercenter" has me in third place.
I know fame is fleeting, but for today I am enjoying "Blog Power"!