Dec. 26, 2018 - Don't Shoot the Messenger


Shopping was an activity that I used to enjoy. I have decided that after this year, it is a necessary chore. A few weeks ago, my husband and I had to go to Casper. Of course, the day we chose to go was a typical weather day in Wyoming. A little sun, a lot of wind, rain, sleet and snow, in that order. 

I have lived in Wyoming pretty much my whole life. I know the road between here and there can be terrifying with the right weather conditions, but what are you going to do? 

I do fairly well if I am the driver. It’s a control thing. As a passenger, well I’m a total hot mess. I use my imaginary break, A LOT. I do interesting contortions when my husband passes semi’s. At my worst, I question my husband if he has a date waiting at our destination because after all, why would he risk his wife’s life to go to Wal Mart? Perhaps a little dramatic especially since if we actually went any slower, Bruce would have to put the car in reverse, but I’m not exactly rational at this point.

We finally arrived and made our rounds to our different appointments with the final destination being Wal Mart. We needed exciting things like dog food and toilet paper. I also splurged on some cosmetics, perfume and beauty products. Retail therapy always makes a stressful trip a little more bearable.

We checked out, loaded our purchases and headed east on black ice. Two hours later, we pulled into the driveway. Since I had spent all of my disposable income on powder and paint, I wanted to take those packages in so they wouldn’t freeze. With snow pellets filling my right ear I dug through our purchases. And then I went through them again. Almost $200 worth of products was not there. 

I did have a receipt, though. On the receipt was a phone number, which I immediately called. After a couple of transfers to anyone that could help me with my dilemma, I was finally put in contact with George. 

Now I could tell right away George was a company man. I explained what had happened and he promptly responded with a prominent lisp that my purchases had been “redistributed” per corporation policy.  If I had a receipt I could come back to the store and “reselect” my purchases.

Now why in heaven’s name, George, would I want to do that? I already did that. Once is plenty in my estimation. And since we are on the subject, why were my purchases “redistributed”? They were bought and paid for. My purchases were no longer the property of Wal Mart Corporation. 

After several minutes of back and forth, I became more determined and George became more confused. He tried a different tactic. “We value you as a customer”, Oh George, you are going to have to do better than that. “If you can come back tonight, I will hold your merchandise at the service desk”. Well George, that just isn’t going to work for your valued customer. Cosmetics at my age are a feeble attempt at making myself feel better. Risking my life for them isn’t going to accomplish that aspiration. 

George finally caved and since it was expressly forbidden to hold my packages, he would take responsibility to go against procedure and I could retrieve my goods from the service desk. Now we are communicating, George. The next day I picked up my stuff.

About a week ago, this valued customer returned to the store. I was standing in line, because we all know that there are 30 check-out stands and 2 cashiers, but I was trying to make the best of it. The Landkamer’s were behind me so we were catching up a little. A woman in front of me was having difficulty scraping enough money for her purchase. She was near tears and terribly embarrassed. She begged the cashier to let her run out to her vehicle to get more money. And then I heard that distinctive lisp. “That is against our policy. I can’t hold this because of my other customers.” So, I stepped forward, handed the cashier the minimal balance. It was more of a self-preservation action. I just wanted to pay for my stuff and go home. But it did make me feel good. I returned to my previous conversation and began to recount my own Wal Mart experience. All of a sudden, the cashier exclaimed, “I KNOW YOU”. Bruce and I both turned to look at the cashier and his name tag. By George, it was GEORGE. We both responded, “GEORGE”. He again reminded me the agony he suffered “unredistributing” my stuff. Well George, may I suggest spinning that bagging carrousel one last time to make sure that I have everything. Because I’m fairly sure neither one of us want a repeat of our interaction.

The moral of this story is SHOP LOCAL, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

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