I was hoping that all of the grumpy salesclerks were just "holiday help" but, alas, that's one Christmas wish that didn't come true. At least at the Reisterstown Wal-mart. The grumpy, not to mention inept, salesclerks are still employed there.
I had a long list of items that I needed at Wal-mart today so I started in the jewelry department, where I needed a watch battery replaced. In the good old days, you could walk into any Wal-mart, Target, etc. with any watch and get a new battery. Not anymore. Now you need a photo ID and a signed affidavit from the "President of Timing" to put a $4 battery in a $10 watch!! But, since I'm a slow learner, I decided to try it anyway.
Of course, getting a battery replaced in the jewelry department generally requires an employee to replace the aforementioned battery. And, naturally, the jewelry help desk was deserted. I searched in vain for some sort of button to push or a phone to pick up and call for help. Finding nothing, I resorted to coughing loudly a few times and "Susie Smiles" emerged from behind the earring display.
SS: Can I help you?
Me: Yes, I'd like to have a watch battery replaced please.
SS: Did you buy it here?
Me: I have no idea.
SS: (Loud sigh) Can I see it?
I handed it over and held my breath. Ten loud sighs, eight rolls of the eyes, and four dollars later, I had a new watch battery! Miracles never cease!
A while later, I had finished my shopping and, because it wouldn't be Wal-mart if I didn't have to wait in line, I was waiting in line to check out. Evidently, Susie's sister, Sally Smiles, was assigned to Lane 10 today. Before she started ringing up my order, I asked her to check the price on one item that had no price on it. She acted like I had asked her to donate a kidney and scanned my item. I saw the price and said that I would take it. As I put it down, I asked Sally if she had rung up the item. "No," she responded indignantly, "you asked me to check it not to ring it up." I could see I was in trouble. I gave her the item again. She scanned it and continued with the rest of my order.
I moved ahead to pay and noticed a lot of bags going into my cart. Now, is it just me or does every Wal-mart employee only put two items--regardless of size--into each bag? I can't stand that. I don't want to load fifty Wal-mart bags into my trunk. I don't want to carry them into the house. I don't want to recycle them. Contrary to Wal-mart cashier training policies, Band-aids and granola bars CAN co-exist in a plastic shopping bag.
Anyway, by this time I was feeling snarky, so I said to Susie:
Me: You can put a few more items in this bag. (The bag I referenced held two, small clearance packages of Christmas tissue paper. Clearly, NOT a full bag.)
SS: (Loud sigh) Okay. (doesn't move to put anything else in the bag.)
At this point, I took matters into my own hands and started filling the bags myself. Sally caught on quickly and started to hand me items rather than bothering to do her job.
SS: I thought you wanted to put your Christmas tissue away.
Me: Excuse me?
SS: I thought you wanted to put your Christmas tissue away so I put it in a separate bag.
Me: (Wondering what the heck she is talking about??) Well, I will put it away when I get home.
SS: Well I thought you would store it so I didn't want to put other things in with it.
Me: (Wondering why the heck she cares what I do with my Christmas tissue and what it has to do with anything?) I will store it when I get home, but I don't want to unload 75 plastic bags.
SS: I can't believe there's any Christmas stuff left back there with all the stuff that's gone through here.
Sally went on loading, and I went on rearranging. I mean, call me strange, but I don't like my Oreos and my Windex in the same bag. Even though I don't want a million bags, I also don't want my Oreos to taste "mountain fresh"! Nor do I want my roll of paper towels flattened by the bottle of grape juice?? Am I asking too much?
But, alas, like the glutton for punishment that I am, I will return next week and subject myself to the same treatment. At least, next week I shouldn't need a watch battery!