I hate going to Walmart. The people there make me want to laugh and yell (with anger) at the same time. They take everything so seriously. Today I went there for a couple of things that I needed at the price cheaper than the grocery store and, to my dismay, all of the self-checkout lanes were closed. Instead, I got in line for the 20-Items-or-Less lane. The couple two ahead of me sidled up to the counter and began to swiftly (perhaps guiltily?) load on the cereal boxes, cans of cranberry sauce, and gallons of milk. I counted at least fifty things. Apparently they haven't learned to read. I half expected the cashier to turn them away with a sigh and a tired finger pointed at the large "EXPRESS LANE" emblazoned across the sign above his head, but he did not. Just as well, I suppose-- they probably would've put up a fight.
When the Million-Item Couple and their nosy child had left with their cart full of purchased goods, the lady in front of me moved up and put her six tape dispensers, two perfumes, five boxes of Christmas lightbulbs, and two gift cards (paid for separately) onto the counter. The cashier had checked only one tape dispenser when the lady halted him, claiming it had been rung up as $2.22 when the bin she'd gotten it from had clearly stated it should have been $.50-- "I even checked the barcode myself!" She insisted. The cashier, thankfully a patient man, punched in a code that erased the previous price and rechecked the price of the tape. Six times. After the lady had paid for all her sale items and the two gift cards both with one-hundred dollar bills, she stood at the counter slowly stuffing the cash change into her fat wallet while I (impatiently, I admit) put my three items onto the counter.
"How are you today?"
Beep beep beep
Swipe, punch punch punch
"Have a good day!"
Bing Bang Boom. No need to buy 8 jillion jugs of milk and cans of whatever. No need to purchase the entire Christmas sale bin. No need to get in the way, be tedious, or annoying in any other way.
Gone in sixty seconds.
A few days before this past Independence Day (this blog post was a long time brewing) I went to Walmart for some groceries (probably the last time I ever did that). As a treat for myself I got a tiny container of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. I felt incredibly ridiculous pushing around the humongous cart with a tiny carton of ice cream the only thing in there. I might've actually laughed out loud as I watched the other fifty people in the frozen section with me anxiously push past each other and feverishly consult lengthy shopping lists.
While I appreciate the concept of lower-priced goods, I can never allow myself to be in that monstrosity of a superstore for very long without getting irritated. For some reason, everyone is in a battle with each other the moment they drive into the parking lot (where, by the way, it's hard to avoid hitting or being hit by at least three giant SUVs and twenty pedestrians).