Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Where Shopping is a Pleasure

I hate shopping. I don’t mean, I don’t like it, I really hate it. It is one of the only things in life I can say that I really hate. In fact, other than spiders, I can’t think of another thing I hate more. It isn’t just one thing either; it is the whole concept of shopping. If I had my way, I would never shop again. In my opinion, putting the words shopping and pleasure in the same sentence is an oxymoron. It is like jumbo shrimp. They just don’t go together.

Like I said there is so much not to like but the worst part is defiantly the check out ordeal. Last night, we went to Walmart. If Walmart isn’t bad enough, ours is a Super Walmart. For anyone that hasn’t had the pleasure of shopping in a Super Walmart, let me give it to you in a nutshell. There is nothing SUPER about it. You take a Walmart, jam 10 times the stuff in it, add groceries and then funnel everyone into the same number of checkout isles. It is a living hell I tell you. Ok so here is my problem with the checkout stations.

About 10 years ago, every store in the world started a competition to see who could have the most checkout isles. Walmart is the winner. This store has over thirty in the front including 4 speed lanes and 4 self server lanes. They have checkout at the pharmacy, at the optometry, the garden department, film department, sporting goods and automotive. You can even place your Mcdonalds order while checking out. (they have an in store Mcdonalds) Sounds great doesn’t it. So what is the problem you might ask? Last night there were only two regular isles open and one speed lane. We picked the shortest lane which only had 6 people in it so we were able to check out in ONLY 45 minutes. There were thirty people in the speed lane by the way. Ok retailers, here is a clue. It doesn’t do any good to have 50 checkout isles if you only open three at a time.

I think when you get down to the basics of shopping it reveals why I hate it so much. It is people that “want” and are willing to pay for it. Not only that they are willing to wait for it too. They aren’t however willing to pay full price so they search and hunt until they find a great bargain and they wait for it. It’s Greed. No it is Evil Greed I tell you. I don’t know what Walmart’s slogan is but it should be:

“Walmart….It’s cheep and you want it. What’s an hour wait anyway.”

This past weekend, we had the Pleasure of visiting another of my favorite stores. Lowes. (insert evil music) The problem with Lowes (other then the before mentioned checkout issue) is that there is no one to help the customers. If you are lucky enough to find an employee, chances are they won’t have a clue about what you ask them. And don’t ask for help loading or unloading. Loses hires old and crippled people. Now before you stone me, I think it is great that someone hires people over 80 and people confined to a wheelchair but at a lumber store? Come on now Lowes, wake up.

Ok so I go to Lowes. I find the lumber I need and load it myself (with the help of my wife who has a bad back) While we are loading the 1200 lbs of lumber on the cart, numerous employees walk by but no one offers to help. After I get loaded I notice back in the “dust and spider” section some similar lumber. It is the same boards we just loaded but the normal grade. These were the contractor grade. $$$$$$. The others are 3 dollars a board less or about 100.00 total. So we go load the other board and leave the first ones where they were. Again, no one helps us. Then it’s off to “checkout hell” with the lumber.

After checkout, we go to load our lumber ourselves. By now, my arms are numb from lifting the 2400 lbs of lumber but I got to do what I got to do so I begin loading. As luck would have it, I am blocking the entrance so an employee who is collecting carts is forced to help me. After loading only a few boards another employee comes out and tells the first one that he is needed inside. E1 tells E2 to finish helping me load so he reluctantly does. When we were about finished I asked him to get me a flag for the lumber but he refused saying that they weren’t allowed to flag the lumber but I could help myself to the flags and string. I guess is some legal issue but getting sued would be better than that butt whopping this guy was going to get if my lumber gets hit while driving home. So here is my slogan for Lowes:

“Lowes, for the do it yourselfer, the find it yourselfer, the load it yourselfer. Lets face it, you do it, we only charge you for it.”

So last night, I have this fantasy about Lowes. I am loading my lumber and the same person again refuses to flag my lumber. So I go get the flags. Not one, not two but several hundred. I have them all over the lumber and truck. Then I get the string and tie up the lumber. But I “forget” to cut the string. Instead I drive off with the string still attached. The string is whirling out of the box and making a whistling sound as I hit 50 mph. It is coming out so fast that all the employees can do is watch what is going on. Finally I return to the parking lot where I string it from one end to the other like a giant spider web. All the time I am laughing my evil laugh and in the end they lock me up for going crazy.

This is getting way too long so I better get off my soapbox.
Have a SUPER day but no shopping please.



Sian said...

I love love love shopping, even grocery shopping and I love hardware stores too :)
Sorry you had a cruddy time but you made me smile today

and I hope Mrs G's back is okay after all her hard work

Celticspirit said...

Your Lowes story is hillarious! LOL

I'll tell you why Walmart does not have enough cashiers since I work there as one myself. They don't pay enough!!! Well the one here does pay more than the factory jobs, the fast food jobs and other various jobs. But it's hard work believe it or not. We have crappy water here so almost everyone buys those big 24 packs of water. Instead of leaving them in the cart so I can go ring them up, they put them on the belt where I have to lift them over the scanner and put them on top of the carosel thing. After lifting a couple of million of them a day, my arms hurt. Maybe I'll get big muscles! I hope not...hahaha. There there are the huge bags of cat litter, dog food, buckets of pool chemicals etc. This stuff is heavy and it's so easy to go ring it up in their cart. So, I'm checking out customers for 8 hours standing in my feet. This is why there are not enough cashiers. By the way....I hate shopping too. :)

emily said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gnightgirl said...

Bravo. The last time I went to Walmart, the lady in front of me price-matched every single item she put on the belt, using those helpful freakin' ads that Walmart puts at each register for just that. Every. Single. Item.

Of course, I could have gotten out of line and went to the speed lane, with the 30 people in line...

Greg II said...

This is Diane, Greg's Wife.
Thanks for the concern about my back. It certainly didn't help it to load up two carts of lumber. I'll muddle through okay. I know the grousing about less than courteaus help sounds redundant . But, I 'm always telling the kids to do the right thing just to think how you would feel if you were being treated like this. I can not understand why people are so compliant about people being lazy or being unwilling to do their jobs. I have to stand up on hard concrete floors all day in one of my jobs. If I want to keep this job and get a pay check. I have to suck it up almost daily from the stuff I have to put up with from the "public". It never crosses their minds the case of stuff they just bought weighs 50 lbs. that I now must tote out to their car. They just assume I love weight lifting! In our defense of the shopping ordeal, part of your job is to help the customer load his/her car,with a smile on your face If they want to keep their jobs some where along the way the public has forgotten why they have a job in the first place.

Beth said...


Lori said...

You had me LOL this morning reading about your shopping trip. I just loved the Lowes story.


Lori said...

Greg, you tell a funny story! I hope you have gotten over your shopping ordeal. (I am one of the ones who love shopping by the way, sorry!) Happy Anniversary (belatedly!) to you and your wife!

Wanda said...

Oh Greg you can tell a story ~~ and I'm still laughing over your Lowes Fantacy ~~~~~You must keep your family in stitches ~~~

Angie said...

You crack me up! Thanks for the good laugh!

Kati said...

ROFLMBO!!!!! Oh Greg!!! I'm sorry y'all had such stinky experiences in the big-box stores, but that's why one should generally try (though not always possible, I know) patronize (in a good way) the locally owned, Mom & Pop type stores. The small hardware store, the farmer's market, the good old-fashioned department store. (I'm just glad we've still got a Fred Meyer's, instead of JUST Walmart, though the newer Fred's is no better than Walmart, really. But the old one's still good.)

Then again..... Not always possible when you're looking for your favorite brand of jeans, and only Walmart carries that brand. *sigh* Ok. I guess I'll just wish you as little need for shopping as possible.

And I also hope your wife's back is goind ok, and yours, after lifting all that lumber.

alan pardoe said...

JUST called to say a chap dancing on my blog you may like. all clean fun. you could have done it some years ago.me never.walmart in U.K are called ASDA.I know some shopping outlets in U.S.A are getting bad all to do with money what else.thanks for your blog.

Kim S in SC said...

Greg: So funny! Love your description of Super Walmart! How very true! I actually called the 800 number while standing in line one day to complain that I had been there for over 45 minutes. Made me feel just a bit better.

ChrisJ said...

You're allowed to rant once in a while. Don't we all. What a mixed up world we live in economically. I have friends from the Islands of Micronesia who are so thankful to work at Walmart -- just to have a job. The islands are declining so fast and their government is so corrupt, Walmart, USA is their best friend. But then the cheap and shoddy products and so much made in China I feel their customers are being taken advantage of too often. It's a case of buyer beware.
But like you I do not enjoy shopping -- except mooching around gift shops when we go on vacation to see if I can find something unusual.

USAincognito said...

I was rolling in laughter by the end of this post!!
I hate Walmart. I hate the tiny aisles. I hate the lack of checkout lanes open. I hate the lack of knowledgeable, helpful people. I hate the massiveness of it. I hate the fact they move/re-arrange things every 3 months!! I hate Walmart.
And yet....I have to shop there because they are the cheapest for groceries. *sigh*

Sandy said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAH you are SOOOOOO right about WM and Lowes!!!

Funny funny post and I can so relate.


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