Monday, April 30, 2007

A little Monday hissy fit

For some reason, a trip to Walmart or Sam's Club for me is like visiting Dante's seventh circle of hell. I just hate it, dread it, put it off, and then grumble inwardly while I'm there.

The misery starts outside. The parking lot at either store is filled with v-e-r-y slow drivers who just can't seem to find a parking space and stick with it. If they see a space near the store that's opening up, they'll put on their blinkers and sit there, blocking traffic, until they can pull in -- even if they have to sit there for three or four minutes, during which time they could have parked elsewhere and waddled inside already. They've found a prime spot near the front and by golly they're going to snag it.

What really caps it for me is when someone backs into their parking spot. All the better for a slightly quicker getaway when they leave, even if it means that it took them twice as much time to get into the spot in the first place and they inconvenienced other people while doing so.

Once inside, the fun really begins. There's always a knot of people blocking the entry, so I have to stand there and wait for folks to rummage through purses and pockets for shopping lists. Then they begin pushing their carts at a glacial pace. You know what I'm talking about: People hunched over their carts with their elbows on the handles and their fat asses stuck way out, blocking my progress.

My goal is to get in and out of Sam's as quickly as possible in order to minimize the torture session. Therefore I push my cart at a rapid clip and zip up and down aisles, tossing food, paper products, etc. in and moving on to the next item on my list. So I really hate it when I'm at the mercy of other people.

Then there are those people who don't understand which side of the aisle they need to be on. When pushing grocery carts, the laws of driving apply, which means that people stay to the right and pass to the left. Not so at Sam's or Walmart. Recently, I was stuck behind a bottleneck of two equally slow people blocking all traffic coming and going as they moved slowly and stopped frequently to check prices. At one point, both dumb asses were stopped and there were, no exaggeration, eleven other people forced to stop too.

Then you get those folks who just leave their carts all over the place, even in the middle of the aisle, while they stop to peruse the shelves. Why they couldn't be a bit more considerate and park their cart to the side is beyond me.

I pride myself by being friendly and polite to all people, but I find myself tested when I'm in Sam's and Walmart. I've taken to listening to an iPod while I'm zipping up and down the aisles, just so that I can mitigate my misery somewhat. This is especially helpful when I'm stuck in the inevitable long line at the register. Once it's my turn, I take off my earphones so that I can interact with the cashier, who I feels deserves a whole lotta respect.

Right now you're probably wondering why I even go to Sam's and Walmart if I hate it so much. The answer is that I try to avoid it as much as possible but sometimes it's just necessary. For example, milk is over a dollar cheaper per gallon at Sam's Club, which is important when you consider that my family goes through five gallons of milk each week. That savings really adds up at the end of the month and throughout the year, so I feel that a little suffering on my part is just necessary.

I have found some relief in recent months. I griped so much about going to Sam's that Pete suggested that I only go twice a month, get a couple extra gallons of milk, and then pick up milk at the grocery store in the weeks between visits. So that's helped a lot. We finally got a Target two years ago, so now I'm almost never at Walmart.

So that's what's on my mind this morning. Nothing earthshattering. Just a minor rant. I'll get off my soapbox now.

No comments: