Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Recently, I spent a very frustrating afternoon doing some needed shopping. It's one of the few trips out into the world that I've made in the past three weeks, but I now wish I had stayed home.
I had two things to return to Walmart and two things to return to Babys R US. I'd kept the original receipts so there were no problems with the returns. The problem was the amount of time I had to wait in line everywhere I went. This seems to be the norm these days, but I don't have to like it.
Ok, so maybe I'm not the most patient person in the world, and I've just come out of a three week bout of flu, which made me tired and irritable. But I don't think it's unreasonable to expect to go into a store and complete a simple return within a few minutes. I stood in line for over 20 minutes at Walmart. There were 8 of us in the return line and the man at the service desk kept telling us he was actually assigned to security for the store and had never worked at the service desk. He said the store had cut back and was short on help. That was very apparent since there were over 20 checkout lanes available, but only two were open - at 4:00 in the afternoon.
I was looking for products Walmart used to keep stocked, but I found empty shelves where the products used to be, so I asked to speak with a manager. I had to wait for the manager to finish whatever she was doing and come to where I was waiting. She told me those items would not be re-stocked until merchandise was moved to the new superstore, which opens in June. I asked, "How does that help customers now?", and was told, "It's not my fault". I told the manager I'd be shopping elsewhere from now on and she said, "ok". Here's a question - if the regular Walmart won't hire enough people to serve its present customers in a timely manner, then how is the company going to staff the (larger) Superstore?
I paid for the few items I did find (only had to wait 10 minutes in line that time) and traveled down the road to Babys R US. As luck would have it, there was a customer in line before me who had a myriad of problems with her return. So there I stood, wasting another 15 minutes, listening to the customer's three whiny children, and waiting for her to comprehend that in order to receive cash for her item, she had to produce a receipt, which she obviously didn't have.
My final stop of the afternoon was Kroger, for groceries. It's always a treat to navigate the lot where some people don't seem to notice there are yellow lines to guide them in parking their vehicles. One of my pet peeves at Kroger is to not have antiseptic wipes available at the door. Yesterday, there were none. I asked for one at the service desk and it took 5 minutes for a clerk to find a new container of wipes. If I hadn't truly needed some groceries, I would have given up.
I arrived home tired and grumpy after my day out in the world. I eventually offered an apology to Spouse for my attitude. I know that not everyone in the world is rude and oblivious to the needs of others. There are many kind and considerate people - I just didn't happen to run into very many of them on Tuesday. I'm glad tomorrow is another day...


Shellmo said...

I'm so sorry you had a day like this at the stores! I totally sympathize! And I think it must be a trend to short staff the stores! I had almost the same experience at Garden Ridge - shopping late afternoon - 1 lane open (10 workers on the floor messing around) and close to 20 of us in line. Ugh!!

Kady said...

Hi Shelley, I think you're right. This does seem to be a trend these days, but it's very frustrating isn't it? Great picture of you and your handsome kitty!...Kady

Angie said...

Oh, I can totally relate. It seems these behaviors are noted on a daily basis now. I just wish they would realize that customer service is most important. What happened to "the customer is always right?" I love your pet peeve....that is one of mine as well. But, my most irritating pet peeve is people who do not replace their shopping carts or just not push them all the way in the cart return. I always am straightening out carts at all the locations. GRRRRR! Hope you are feeling better.

Kady said...

Hi Angie - it's aggravating, isn't it? I try to be a patient person but sometimes I don't succeed. I'm with you about the shopping carts. I mean, how much time and effort does it take to put it in the cart corral? I do the same thing! I guess people might think I'm nuts but if it saves carts from running into peoples' cars or blocking their spaces, I'll do it. Thanks for your thoughts!.....Kady

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