Warning: This post was written while I was still irritable after a recent visit to a big box store. Please realize that it is tongue-in-cheek.
The aggravation begins when I pull into the giant parking lot. I don’t really know why. It has been the source of many frustrations throughout my years of grocery and discount store shopping. My blood pressure begins to rise. I breathe slowly and deeply. I don’t want to go in, but I have picked a random weekday and a random time of that day. Working to convince myself, “This time will be different,” I step inside and am met by the cool air conditioning hitting me right in the face. Another deep breath as I grab for a cart with smooth-rolling wheels. Two seconds inside the door, and I already have a “gawker” walking directly in front of me. He is unsure where he wants to go first, so he stops right where he is and surveys all that he can see. He’s in the center of the relatively wide aisle, but neither me, nor the other two carts behind me can pass. Another deep breath, being very careful to not be heard…. and…. I exhale slowly and quietly. After about 20 minutes (or maybe it was 2 minutes) trapped behind this fellow, we all escape and break quickly in different directions. I fail by making a turn onto an aisle blocked by a distracted woman, deep in thought about deodorant. Her cart blocks the whole aisle, and she appears to not even notice me coming. Of course what I need is right in front of her. I use every manner I’ve got. Give distance, approach slowly, reach in carefully while saying “excuse me,” and “I’m so sorry.” No response. Yet again, politeness always pays, or not.
Same department, every aisle is blocked by a person with a cart. Typically, I turn around and try the other direction, but I can’t get down a single aisle. OHMMM………….. Breathing deeply and slowly, creeping down the small tile space, I see the two people at the end of the aisle. Again, using my most polite language and respectful attitude, I say, “Can I just grab one of these?” Reaching behind them and requiring them to move, or just lean, a bit out of the way, “Excuse me,…. thanks.” Silence.
Okay. I’m done there. Done. Maybe I need some other things in that department, but it is TOO BAD. Miss Movin On.
I grab my list, and check it. It isn’t long, so let’s get this knocked out and get me to the exit. Happily, I run into a friend that I haven’t seen in forever! We had a nice little catch up visit, and my mood lightens dramatically. Deep breath, and back into the list. I turn around and start putting beverages in my cart. I notice that the price is not posted. Okay, we’ll figure that out later, but annoying.
Vegetables needed. (I head there last after a final stop in the juice aisle. Same story, different verse.) When I get to the produce, what’s the first problem you always encounter there? Correct. No plastic bags for my selections. After I finally track those down, I grab 8. Get the bags filled and into the cart, which is very full by this point, and the dreaded checkout is fast approaching. From where I stood, it looked like it was my lucky day. Several lanes were open, but oops, when the people in each line are 4-5 deep….. I don’t even have to finish that sentence. So I head for the self-check. I don’t mind doing that at all. I act kind of silly when I do it, as I don’t want to be accused of any impropriety. I hold each item carefully and up high after I scan it, while I am placing it into the bag. I want the cameras to see my every move. I imagine the people watching this to enjoy my overemphatic moves — I hope they are laughing.
As I mentioned, I had a full cart. I had medicines, which had to be authorized by a service manager. I had a bag of vegetables that would not scan. Clearly marked with a barcode on the side, but it just wouldn’t read. Nor would my debit card. Nor would my credit card. I’m starting to grind my teeth. I waited minutes for the debit card transaction to fail. I waited several more minutes for the credit card transaction to fail. The sweet service manager had a hard time voiding the transaction and moving it to another register. She was precious, and she apologized over and over. I kept telling her it was okay, it wasn’t her fault. We became buds and were well acquainted when I finally left the store, an hour and 15 minutes later. And yes, there were 6 items on my list.
I texted my bff and told him I wouldn’t be going back EVER. I mean it. He laughed.
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