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Archive for the ‘walmart’ Category

I am not a patient person.  I’m working on it, really I am, but folks … even a group of nuns on Prozac would be tried by the Regent Mall Walmart in Fredericton. 

I purposefully enter that store with silent, calming mantras going through my head.  Mental preparation, if you will.  I figure that if I continue to talk myself down through it, I will walk out of there with at least a small piece of my nerves intact.  I have tried this several times (without success, mind you) until finally, on Saturday, I came to a decision. 

I will never set foot in that Walmart again. 

It has nothing to do with the store, really.  It’s the same as any other Walmart.  I have had no problems with the staff or the layout of the store.  I even have no problems with much of the merchandise.  It’s Walmart … you know the quality of the merchandise going in.  If you’re looking for Gucci (and most Walmart shoppers are not), you’re just not going to find it and you know that when the sliding doors part to greet you.  In my opinion, Walmart has its purpose and there are certain things that I will go in there for. 

But not the Regent Mall Walmart… not me as of 1:32 pm Saturday, October 20th, 2007. 

The sheer number of shoppers is certainly the biggest problem.  At about 6 am on Saturday morning, Walmart starts sending out a signal heard by the young, the old, the rich, and the poor and then it goes through their address books to find all of their relatives within a 100-km radius.  The crowd can be so thick that your pass through the big sliding doors is a slow shuffle.  The greeter’s eyes do crazy rolls in his head as he tries to give a smile to the masses. 

I attack shopping very methodically.  I rarely walk into a big box store just to browse.  So, with list in hand, and a plan mapped out in my head, I hurriedly hit the aisles.  About 10 yards in I hit the first roadblock:  a group of tweeners with died-black hair and pants half-way down their asses and/or three sizes too small (but let’s leave that for another post) and they’re blocking the aisle. 

I’ll zip over to the other aisle to … nope, foiled again by a little old lady pushing a cart with nothing but her purse and a greeting card in it.  Damn!  I look ahead, surveying both aisles, to plan my next move and see a break in the crowd where I can pass by her.  I make my move only to run into a woman and her child coming out of the shampoo aisle without a look in either direction. 

I finally find what I need.  With the skill of a race car driver I weave in and out of the aisles, passing people on the right and then the left, narrowly missing a pair of 13-year-old boys standing at the condom shelf and talking about which style feels good for “both you and her”.  Mantra long forgotten, every roadblock I hit makes me mutter profanity under my breath and climb an inch closer to the end of my rope.  I reach my second destination, hurriedly pick out what I need, and then I’m playing the game again, squeezing by people, moving from one side of the aisle to the other, making leapfrog-like leaps over children… it was breathtaking. 

And then the heavens open up and I can see it … the checkout.  I come up behind a pair of 40-year-old women, shuffling down the hallway at the speed of 98-year-olds, and pushing an empty cart.  But that’s okay … the checkout is in sight and I can feel my blood pressure lowering slightly already.  But then I see someone coming down the aisle toward us and they wave.  I think to myself, “If they stop in the middle of the aisle to talk, I might just lose it”.  My palms get sweaty.  A bead of sweat appears on my forehead.  A frightened look passes over my face as I wait to see what happens.  I survey the other aisle and there is no escape.  And then … they stop. 

I catch a break in traffic and steer to the other side of the aisle to continue to the checkout only after giving the ladies a glare.  I’m sure they are dumbfounded and think that I couldn’t possibly be looking at them. 

People, I am not an unreasonable person.  I am only looking for a bit of manners and some common sense.  I get out of your way when you’re meeting me in the aisle… why can’t you move for me just once?  I slowly approach the aisle so I’m not doing a face plant into some fat guy’s beer gut… why can’t you?  If I happen to run into my fourth cousin’s wife’s sister’s cousin’s daughter and feel the need to stop for chit-chat, I make sure there is plenty of room for people to pass by … why can’t you?  All I ask is that you step out of your own little world of oblivion and consider the people around you … if only for a moment. 

It is there, standing in the checkout line, that I decide I just can’t do it anymore.  For the safety of everyone involved and for my own sanity, I decide that this is the last time. 

If not, I might just punch the greeter in the happy face button. 

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I took a quick trip to Walmart today at lunchtime. 

When I get back in my car, a large and loud diesel extended cab half-ton was pulling in beside me.  I wasn’t paying any attention to it until the truck was turned off and I heard the driver say, in a very loud and somewhat southern accent …

“How do you say ‘I want to have sex with you’ in Canadian?!”  Guffaw! Guffaw! Guffaw!

He wasn’t speaking to me and, since I am in no way absorbed in my own appearance, did not even consider that they were speaking about me but I was pretty turned off by the statement.  I look over to notice that the driver was speaking to his passengers, a group of dirty guys that looked like they were on the road crew or in construction.  The driver got out of the truck… a big guy, probably 40-45, wearing droopy, greasy jeans.  You know the type:  the overweight, loud-mouthed types that make all kinds of deragatory remarks to his buddies just to get a laugh.  My favorite. <insert rolling eyes here>

As I drove away, I noticed the license plate was from Missouri.  Let me just say to all of the Missourians out there:  You were not well represented in Woodstock today. 

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