Visiting Wal-Mart was Quite a Trip
Posted by Bob Barcus on March 24th, 2013
Friday night, I decided to take a little excursion to Wal-Mart in Plymouth. I had ordered a print online from the photo center and needed to pick up my prescriptions in the pharmacy. I thought it would also be a good time to just browse around and see if I needed anything else while I was in town. I tried to get Mom to go with me, but she apparently had some sort of premonition of things to come.
When I pulled into the parking lot, the place looked like it was hopping. Finding a good parking spot wasn’t easy, but I found one about half-way out. I needed the exercise anyhow, so I didn’t mind walking a few extra paces. Once I got inside, I grabbed a shopping cart and stopped immediately – there was a used tissue in the bottom of the cart. Not that I’m squeamish about such things, but I just don’t want to have to deal with someone else’s germs. Grabbing another cart, a headed into the store – a man on a mission.
I plan my trips out pretty carefully, minimizing my travel through the aisles while maximizing my browse time. The friendly chatting at the pharmacy counter was nice, but I didn’t see my cousin Laurie working. I like to stop by and chat with her whenever I can (when she’s not busy, naturally). After I picked up my prescriptions, I was off to housewares but not before I ran into a group of managers who seemed to be pondering what to do with a case of beer sitting on the floor next to the deodorant. They were hovering over the Bud Lite like a group of radio-wielding vultures. I can only assume that they were waiting for a less-important employee to arrive who could pick up the beer and return it to an appropriate aisle.
Since I started by new diet, I’ve been doing a lot of cooking. As such, I’ve determined that I need a few more cooking utensils. I’ve been looking for an inexpensive garlic press and I actually found one for only $4.27. The only garlic presses I’ve found have been in the $8-$12 range. While even an $8 garlic press isn’t priced too badly, my frugality prevented me from spending that much on a luxury item. I also found the vegetable peeler I have been needing. I usually try to eat my fruits and veggies with the skin on, but there are certain circumstances where I would prefer to peel them (mostly for decorative reasons). The peeler was only 97¢ and I was quite happy with that price.
Still in the same department, I decided to check out the pots and pans. I’ve been thinking about getting a wok, but most of the ones I’ve seen either have the non-stick coating or are made from aluminum. I’m hoping I can find a nice iron or stainless steel wok. Alas, I will never know if Wal-Mart stocked such things. In trying to get to that particular aisle, it was blocked by a stocker with her numerous carts. She seemed more interesting in talking with her boyfriend/husband who had his elbow propped up on a shelf, apparently keeping her entertained and interfering with my mission.
Deciding that I wasn’t going to find a wok, I moved onto the photo center to pick up my single print. I just got a new trailer and apparently the state needs an original color photo submitted to them before I can get plates. I sent the photo in online and paid for it – a whopping 20¢. When I got back to the photo lab, there was an elderly couple standing there acting bewildered. I stood there waiting for about five minutes while the photo lab lady explained to the couple that they weren’t getting their order. The lady in the lab (whom I have dealt with before) was being somewhat rude to them. I know this, because she has been rude to me.
The lady in the photo lab isn’t exactly stellar at customer service. The last time I dealt with her, she told me it would take another 45 minutes to trim a poster photo that was supposed to be ready an hour before I arrived. After giving her an hour, I went back to the photo lab and the poster was still sitting on top of the printer, uncut and obviously not ready for me. After kindly requesting if she could cut my poster so I could leave Wal-Mart, she complied, but not before making me feel like I was inconveniencing her life.
Anyhow, after I picked up my print, I looked around electronics and the magazine rack. I was going to pick up a copy of Model Railroader magazine, but it felt thin. Lately, my favorite train magazines, which used to have upwards of 200 pages, have dwindled to less than 100 pages. At the same time, the price has risen. While I would like to keep buying the various train magazines, the value just doesn’t seem to be there.
I also zipped by the phone section – but unfortunately, I had kept running into small roving bands of “strange” people. I’m not one to make fun of anybody for their lack of intelligence, but most of the people I was running into the aisles seemed less than intelligent. Their conversations were proof of this. I just can’t stand it when people are talking stupid, especially around their kids. I’ve been wanting to get a tablet PC for my mom, but alas that section of the aisle was blocked by a flirting couple. I started to feel like my journey wasn’t going quite as I had planned. I decided to abandon the electronics department for greener pastures.
After weaving through a steam of people who obviously don’t know how to park/drive their own carts, I made it to the popcorn section. After waiting for another “strange” man to get out of the way, I grabbed a bag of popcorn and moved onto the juice section. I have to keep stocked up on tomato juice, so I grabbed a few cans and thought it might be a good time to browse around for some other stuff. I quickly determined that wasn’t going happen. Suddenly surrounded by more “strange” people, I abandoned the juice aisle and decided that perhaps I needed some wine – it definitely seemed like I was going to need a drink after this trip.
Oddly enough, the alcohol aisle was nearly devoid of life. I took my time and eventually picked out a decent bottle of wine – Beringer Red Moscato. I haven’t been able to find my favorite lately, so I’ve been trying other wines and hoping to find a substitute for Gallo Café Zinfandel. I’m not sure why, but nobody in Plymouth seems to stock this wine anymore. In any case, the Moscato is a good substitute and it will do me good to try a few different wines. While my wine-buying experience was a pleasant one, chaos was soon to ensue.
Pushing my cart out into the main aisle, it quickly became apparent that the “strange” people I’ve been talking about previously in this post were actually part of some misguided invasion force. You couldn’t have asked for a better group of mindless zombies.
Weaving my way towards the front, I decided to swing through the men’s department. I’ve been losing so much of my waistline that finding new clothes to wear is imperative – I can’t keep my pants up! Once I got there, I encountered more “strange” people – this time of the teenage variety. The associates in charge of department also don’t seem to care. I could barely push my cart along the aisles since they’re packed with so much crap. The workers in this department also don’t seem to care, since one of them walked right in front of me and stopped while I was attempting my escape from the mess.
At this point, I’m getting pretty pissed. Everyone I’ve run into has been either rude or acting “strange” – time to leave. After locating a suitable express check-out lane (I only had 11 items), I grabbed my bags and headed for the door. All I could think about was getting out of Wal-Mart and contemplating whether or not I should ever return.