It wasn’t my neighborhood Walmart. I happened to be on the other side of town for an errand when I noticed the Walmart a few blocks away. Oh well, I thought, as long as I’m here, I may as well run in and pick up the few items I needed. (If you’re a regular shopper, you immediately recognize that the phrase “few items” inevitably turns into a $100+ of an overflowing cart of what are aptly titled “impulse” buys.)
The first thing I noticed in this Walmart was how fully stocked they were of the items I buy most often, a pleasant surprise considering the shelves that bear these items in my neighborhood Walmart are consistently empty. My hoarding brain immediately went into overdrive, and once I found a cooperative strong-armed shopper to help, my cart was filled with two 12-pack cases of Lipton sugar-free peach iced tea and three 4-pack cases of Premier 30 gram Protein Shakes. My short stature (https://talktimewithjoan.com/2021/01/15/its-a-tall-tall-world/) and two shoulders with torn rotator cuffs ( another story for another time) prevent me from handling this job myself. I am lucky that there are plenty of tall, strong, kind shoppers, always willing to help.
My cart quickly filled up with those “impulse” buys I mentioned earlier. How could I resist the bag of fresh green beans that were $.50 cheaper than the ones in Publix? How could I not buy the fully cooked Barber Stuffed Chicken Breasts that could be nuked and ready in less than 3 minutes, when Publix only carried the raw ones that took 30 minutes to cook? And so it went. Impulse after impulse until I had a rather full cart.
Then the trouble began. I walked up and down the front of the store looking for that elusive green light on a register that signals “Open” with a human ready to ring up your order. Except that the lights were as dark as a New York blackout. All of them. Every single one of them. At least 10 – lights out. Back and forth I walked…………….The only lights on were the registers labeled “Scan and Go”, which translates to ……………In order to keep our family’s billionaire status, we’re not paying for cashiers. Check yourself out.
I was starting to get very angry. If I needed help from kind shoppers to lift the cases of bottles off the shelves, how was I supposed to lift them out of my cart and place them onto the scanner table? The one “checker” Walmart hired to keep an eye on 10 “scan and go” stations ambled over to ask if I needed help. Should I really write a public statement as to what I answered? Suffice to say that every “Scan and Go” shopper was aware of my displeasure.
After she begrudgingly lifted the heavy bottles out of my cart onto the scanner, she walked away. Unfortunately, if you thought my mood was becoming more agitated, I can only say that the mood of the scanning machine was worse. It did not like that I could not fit the large items into the plastic bag provided. It would not continue, instead admonishing me to……….Place item in bag. Place item in bag. It doesn’t FIT in the damn bag, I yelled at the machine. Here comes the checker again to re-program the machine.
Weigh your items. Weigh your items. Weigh your items, insisted the machine, even though I had done so 3 times. Here comes the checker to reset the machine.
By the time this “scan and go” process, which is designed, Walmart will tell you, to speed up your check out experience, was finished, 25 minutes had passed; I was furious, and my frozen items were melting.
On the way out of the store, I told the “receipt checker” ………………….the person Walmart hires to make sure you have not stolen anything, and the items in your basket match the items on your receipt, that I would never shop in that store again. Her response was a silent blank stare as she handed my receipt back to me.
I DO NOT WORK FOR WALMART. They are NOT paying me to do the job they should be paying a cashier to do. IF I had the stamina and arm strength to adequately do a cashier’s job, I would expect to be well compensated for it. I did not ask for this job. I am not physically capable of doing this job. I don’t want to do this job. And most of all, Walmart is not paying me to do this job. I do not work for Walmart.
How about you? Am I just a miserable old crank or does anyone agree with me?