welcome to the danger zone

Poverty is Making Me One of “Those People”

Used to be, I could shop at Macy’s, or N(eedless) M(arkup) or other quality stores. I wasn’t poor then, You know, stores that  when you are shopping ask if they can help you, carry your clothes to a dressing room, run and fetch you replacement items and are generally friendly and helpful. I also got spoiled living in California because most of the time, people in retail are friendly and helpful. I mean really. It might have changed since I left, or maybe I remember reality differently, but I loved shopping out there, because it was pleasant.

I don’t shop much in stores these days. I prefer to pick things from the web and have them brought to the safety of my home without fuss or having to deal with people. I don’t like to shop at malls or department stores. I don’t particularly like people. I will go to the craft store, and the grocery store, and even bath and body works clearance sale, and yes, well, walmart. Because I am poor and like cheap stuff. But now I am reconsidering Walmart. Maybe I’ll just get the stuff I need from there on-line as well. You may be asking: Why? Well let me tell you.

First, let’s set the stage for the grand finale to my day…cuz even though it’s hug-it-out hump day, and the earth was thrown off its axis by random hugging in the office between non-huggers, hugging-it-out wasn’t enough to offset my ire. First, I went to get a teeny coffee on my way to see a client – and some unpleasant person cut me off in line instead of going around like everyone else – I said a silent “prayer” for her and paid for the person behind me in line as penance for the horrible names I called her in the sanctuary of the subaru while I waited for my coffee. I did my unannounced visit to find no one home so I drove off to some other visits and back to the office. Again, cut off on the Goldstar Hwy by some bitter woman in a truck who sped up when I tried to pass her – FAST cars left lane, everyone else, right, if she would just follow the rules. I get to work, and Nicole rejects my random hug, as does Alphabet Girl, and I’m feeling put out. (Not really, but I like to say that) and I leave for my last appointment of the day, and some other really bad driver blows through not one, but TWO stop signs on her way to get to some sale at Kohl’s apparently and AGAIN, I am cut off. AGAIN. And not a hug in sight.

Now it is time for the real drama to begin. Oh wait, I forgot to mention how when I went to Turkey Hill to get gas, only one pump was working, and whoever had purchased gas last left their car at the only working pump while going into the store. She then spent at least ten minutes in silent debate over whether or not they should get two roller items instead of one, and do they want the eggroll or the jalapeno cheeseburger dog or both. And THEN when they are overwhelmed by the numerous choices, they say “I choose NONE!” and return to their car. I pull up to the pump, I press the myriad buttons one must now push just to get gas, when the pump tricks me and overcharges me .10 a gallon. When I prepare to storm the Turkey Hill, leaving my car at the pump as so to have this fixed, another female patron says…I need you to move your car, there’s only one pump and I need gas. I bite my lip, tasting blood, but yes, the words “LOOK BITCH, I WAITED TEN MINUTES FOR THE LAST NITWIT TO MOVE HER CAR AND NOW I AM BEING OVERCHARGED FOR MY GAS, SO SHUT THE FUCK UP OR I WILL EAT YOUR YOUNG” are in my mouth, ready to meet air. I refrain, and say, be right back, there’s a problem with the pump. Okay, so I guess it really wasn’t the pump, and I should have remembered that at this particular Turkey Hill, the cheap gas pump is in the middle not the end. Whatev’. It’s that kind of day.

Now back to the climax of my story…

Last night I purchased an inexpensive top at walmart. $10. Last one in black in my size. I pay for it. I then forget the bag when leaving, probably because my checker and I were having a conversation, but whatever, I forgot it. So, thinking that Walmart, like typical stores, has this happen on occasion – I say to myself: self, tomorrow we will go get our stuff after work. Which is what self and I did. Or tried to. BECAUSE NOTHING IN MY LIFE CAN EVER BE EASY.

I pleasantly approach the customer service counter. (I hate walmart. I shop there because I am poor.) I ask the nice customer service lady “did you find a bag with a black shirt and green shorts in it?”. She checks the book. Ah! Says she, We did! It says so here in our book of found things. However, since we found it, our brilliant store policy states we must return it to the rack because you didn’t turn around and drive all the way back last night to get it, so in less that 24 hours, we put it back out for sale. You may go find it on the rack and bring it back. I calmly state, “that is not a very good policy, why would you return something someone paid for back to the sales floor” . She says she knows but that’s what happened.


Oh what’s this? You are surprised to learn that one of the items I ALREADY BOUGHT was sold again today to someone else? Why yes, as was I! And being that it was the only one they had last night which was why I bought it in the first place, there are no others like it. NOW I AM ANNOYED. And not a hug in sight.

I return to customer service and there is a huge line. The nice girl spots me, asks if I found my stuff and I tell her no, it’s gone and I need a manager. I get one. Damian. Not a smart enough devil to spell the name the right way, but a demon none the less. I calmly state my case to Damian. He will offer to refund my money. That’s not what I want. You took some thing I paid for, and you RESOLD it. It was mine. I paid for it. I have a receipt. My forgetting the bag in no way assumes I abandoned it for resale. It was less that 24 hours ago. I begin to get irritated. Damian insists all he can do is give me another item or my money back. I say you should give me an item and my money back, you SOLD MY STUFF. No, he says, not gonna happen, it’s store policy. I say it is a really stupid policy and if I left a bag at Macy’s or Lowe’s or even the Dollar Store, they would hold my stuff for at least a whole day before assuming I was never coming back for it. This is an asinine policy. (No, I didn’t use that word, he probably would not have understood it) I say I should be compensated for having to go find the stuff I paid for a second time, and then when WHAT I ALREADY PAID FOR IS SOLD TO SOMEONE ELSE, not being able to have the ITEM I PAID for, you know what Damian says? You know what he says, really says? Why did you forget your bag in the first place? How do I know what was in the bag belonged to you? How do I know you paid for what was in the bag? Damian, I see your customer service training did not stick. You are supposed to be defusing the situation, not taking me to blast off.

So I ask Damian his last name for the scathing letter I am dashing off to corporate when I get home. Really I know Walmart is a huge box store that kills small business and cares only about profit. I know Damian is going to get to keep his job. I know I make at least twice what he does. I try to tell him I understand he doesn’t make the policy but he is providing poor customer service and not even trying to be sympathetic to my irritation at this ridiculous policy. Okay, I get that you are a corporate walmart drone, but oh Damian, when I ask you your last name, don’t threaten me with you don’t need my last name, when you write corporate they are just gonna bounce it back to me, and I’ll tell you what I just told you, so don’t waste your time. Oh no Damian. I will get compensated for your ineptitude, even if you just have to personally apologize to me. You’ve crossed the line. Now it’s not just the stupid policy, it’s your failure to provide good customer service, something I know because I’ve been on the giving end of that service for more years than I like to remember. So before I strangle you with your sweater vest, you better step off brother. So instead of saying hey, here’s 20% off (which equals $2) your snotty little comments and defense of corporate big brother’s ludicrous policy of re-selling other people property (also known as theft) will earn you the wrath of my fingers. I will blog about you Damian. You will become Damian, he of the lame walmart management team, who cannot provide good customer service. You will be bloggified Damian. And believe me, everyone who will stay in one spot long enough to listen tomorrow will be told of your shame. I have already sent my treatise to Corporate. I asked for one thing Damian…and you will wish you never ended with that snarky “have a nice day”… I want a personal apology. I didn’t ask for you to be fired, because you know, you deserve that job.

And Damian, I heard you ask if I paid for that merchandise when I was leaving the store. How dare you twerp! You took an hour of my time. You should have given me my stuff for free since you stole it from me in the first place. I will not forget Damian. I will not. I will say a little prayer for you, and I will atone for my wrath tomorrow, but I will not forget. I hope your days are filled with bra-less, pajama pants wearing women who are wearing clothes two sizes too small and spitting at you while they speak. I hope you have to do the walmart cheer every day for the rest of your life.

I feel much better now. I am disappointed in myself that I lost my temper. I hope that if you are someone who knows me, and saw me angrily storming out of walmart, you forgive my failure to remain serene. Add this to my list of things that make me sad – incompetence at walmart. Oops. Oxymoron.


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