Mrs. Pincus went to the local Walmart to pick up a few things in their grocery department. Elsewhere on this blog, I have discussed my "love-hate" relationship with Walmart. I love their incredibly — sometimes impossibly — low prices, but I hate the caveat of having to go to Walmart to get those prices. I believe that's what called a paradox. The customers and staff at Walmart are equally.... well, what's the nicest way I can phrase this?... moronic. I marvel at the level of stupidity I witness each and every time I visit Walmart. The customers all look like they just rolled out of bed, threw on the closest (and filthiest) Halloween costume they could find and headed out to shop. The employees all seem to be on their first day of work... wandering the aisles in a stupor, as though they were just dropped there from an airplane.
As long as Mrs. P was in Walmart, she decided to trek on over to the cosmetic department. Among the lipsticks and lotions and powders and such, she found a hook with a particular item that she wished to purchase. (Honestly, I don't know exactly what she bought. The reference to "lipsticks and lotions and powders" was just a guess on my part.) The hook that the item — Maybelline Eye Brow Something-or-Other — was on had a lock at the front of it. Who knew that this was such a hot property that it needed to be kept under secure lock and key.... like baby formula and Sudafed. But, sure enough, there it was and it was locked. My wife noticed that there was a small security camera mounted above the item that she desired. She waved at the camera and pointed to the locked hook, hoping that whoever was monitoring the camera would send someone over immediately. Then she remembered that she was in Walmart — land of sloth-like assistance. No staff member was monitoring anything. She looked around the department until she finally spotted an employee in a bright yellow, Walmart logo-emblazoned vest. She explained to the employee which item she wanted and that the lock on the hook needed to be opened. The employee instructed my wife to ask at the pharmacy counter for help. Someone there will have a key, the employee told her. Mrs. P dutifully went to the pharmacy and repeated her dilemma. The pharmacy employee told my wife that they do not have a key to any locks in the cosmetic department, adding that anyone with a yellow Walmart vest carries a key. Mrs. P offered a blank look, turned and set off to find the first Walmart employee... the one with the yellow vest.
Mrs. Pincus tracked the first employee down. The employee said she did not, in fact, have a key. She walked over to the hook with the eye brow makeup, confirming that this was what my wife wanted. Then, she tore the cardboard hole on the product's packaging. "Here you go.," she said with a smile, as she handed over the damaged package. "Well, I could have done that!," responded Mrs. P, "but I guess security would have come right over to me." The employee replied, "No. Probably not." Then she continued, "If you come in again and want to buy this, just tear it off the hook." Mrs. Pincus tossed the makeup in her cart and went to check out.
She selected a check-out aisle and put her soon-to-be purchases on the conveyor belt. The cashier picked up each item, passed them over the scanner and deposited them in a plastic bag. Mrs. P held the eye makeup in her hand, making sure it was the last item. She wanted to point out the torn package and to let the cashier know that the tear was not her doing. Mrs. P displayed the torn box and described the entire scenario to the uninterested cashier. Actually, the cashier reacted, saying, "Well, anyone in a yellow vest has a key to any lock in the store." The cashier wore a yellow vest. Mrs. P frowned. and countered, "The woman who tore the package was wearing a yellow vest." The cashier shook her head and answered, "That was a different yellow vest."
This evoked another blank stare from my wife.
As a footnote to this tale, we just returned from another trip to Walmart this afternoon. That one, however was not our local Walmart, but one that is thirty miles from our house. We picked up some fill-in items in their grocery section, including a package of Polly-O string cheese that retails at Walmart for $6.47. We had been issued a corporate coupon from Kraft Heinz Foods (Polly-O's parent company) for a maximum $8.00 off one package of Polly-O cheese. We took our selections to the self-check out. After I scanned the last item, I scanned the bar code on the coupon. The terminal beeped, prompting a yellow-vested employee to join us. She whipped the coupon from my hand and examined it. "Ugh!," she groaned with disappointment, "This is one of those 'eight dollar off' coupons!" She typed some numbers on the touch-screen and sighed. "I have to ring this at my register." She canceled our transaction, removed the receipt that was spit out and beckoned us to follow her to another cash register. She re-rang our entire order, hit some additional buttons and instructed me to insert my credit card into the card reader. It beeped when the chip had been fully scanned and the employee handed my wife the receipt. We exited the store and my wife read the receipt and laughed. "She took the full $8.00 off for the cheese instead of the actual price.," I was informed.
I love Walmart..... almost as much as I hate it.
Oh, I'm with you, sister.