Not just Another Day At Walmart
Y ou might think it would be just another day at the local Walmart Supercenter. Nothing could be farther from that.
We started off going to the nearest Walmart store, which is about 8 miles from the house. My wife had a bra to return and exchange for a different size. We drove to the Walmart thinking we would be finished doing our shopping before the heat wave arrived by noon.
She got on an Amigos electric shopping cart and I followed behind her as she approached the Customer Service returns counter. I walked with her to the clothing department where she found the a bra that was the right size and design for her and then we went together to the Arts and Crafts department where they in fact sold the bra extender straps with 4 hooks. By the time she found them we were about to go look in the non-foods department for household cleaning supplies and bug spray. I picked out a few boxes of Combat and placed them inside her Amigos cart in front of her electrical ride around. She has bad knees and can’t walk inside a Walmart which has about the same square footage as 2 football fields.
I followed her on foot then when we got to the grocery department, I told her I was going to pay for my items and take them out to the car, then go over the Micky D’s for a large Coke. She told me she would be in either the food section of the store or the pharmacy section. I told her I would contact her by cell if I was late or couldn’t find her after I returned inside and ordered my large Coke from the in-store McDonalds.
For a dollar & eight cents I bought a large drink and walked around looking for my wife, who was nowhere to be found. I walked around the entire perimeter of the store 3 times and checked the registers and then walked out to the parking lot to see if she had already gone out to the car but she was not in the car. She must have been in a different department so I called her on my cell phone and got her voice mail. It turns out I had 10 missed voice messages so I deleted them one by one as they were solicitations to get better credit and were frankly a waist of air time.
B y the time I finished deleting all the messages I tried once more to contact my wife on her cell phone. I got the same voice mail message. I told her if she got my message to go to the Micky D’s and wait there for me that I would find her. But it turns out she had forgotten to bring her cell phone with her to the Walmart. This and the fact that after I had her paged 3 different times and had walked the store over and over about 5 times and went out to the parking lot yet a third time, finally she appeared from the direction of the lawn and garden department.
Okay, I had already finished one glass of Coke and paid for a refill because McDonalds was not offering free refills of soft drinks at that time. I paid the counter person again another dollar and eight cents., filled it up with ice and Coke. Walked around to the checkout counter with my wife leading the way. There had been thoughts going in my head as I had been walking around the inside of the Walmart. Thoughts like, “What if she had been kidnapped in the parking lot and taken away by a group of thieves?” Then, minutes before I had finally located my wife after she had spent the past 35 minutes looking for me, there were at least 6 uniformed Dallas police officers gathered in the store and talking casually amongst themselves, about what I had no clue, but I don’t usually see that many officers of the law in that store.
W hile my wife led me to the register to check out her groceries and clothes and other items, the cash register clerk began to scan her items and along comes this Walmart guy, who stands at the end of the counter, behind the register clerk, looking on as if expecting something. What I had no clue. It must be that he was there because he suspected someone of shoplifting. What other reason for his presence there? My wife paid using both her debit card and some of the bill was paid for by using a Walmart gift card. Then she had trouble with scanning it and putting the PIN number in and had to do some steps over because she was unfamiliar with the use of a gift card. I was tired from having walked around the store all that time for about 50 minutes, looking for my wife, and worrying that she might be sick in the bathroom or abducted by criminals and since before I saw her finally appear okay in that Amigos cart, I had seen those police officers and thought maybe a criminal was lose in the store and trouble might be ab out to happen.
After she finished paying and got her receipt, she began to ride the cart to the exit and I followed her on foot, tired from all the walking and she and I got out to the car and a man got out of his car and asked if he could use the Amigos cart when we were through unloading. We said, Okay and she had trouble getting into the car as she lost her balance and finally managed to get in the driver’s seat and I placed all the bags of items in the back seat where half of the passenger side was occupied by a folding wheel chair.
The man took the Amigos cart and was on his way and thanks us for giving it to him as these electric powered ride along shopping carts are hard to find because there are many customers of old age and ill health and thus require these carts to move around and do their shopping otherwise they would not be able to do so.
S o, we finally came home after being out for over 3 and a half hours, only first we had to make 3 more pit stops along the way, the Fiesta Mart to pick up 2 packs of bacon, the public library to return some videos and books and to pick up one DVD video movie, then one last visit to Aldi to pick up some more grocery items that sold for less even than Walmart’s prices.
The time we got home was 4 and a half hours since we had left the house to go out and by now it was almost 1:30 PM and the temperature had reached 93.5 degrees. We have no air conditioning so we basically baked our brains while driving with windows down going about 40 mph. Once back home, unloading all the items and going over my check book and writing all my debits down, I asked my wife, “Why do you suppose that man was at the register, hanging out while you checked out? And what about all those policemen?” She told me, “I told you not to wear that Faded Glory T-shirt Anthony.”
So from all this I gather the police thought I was suspicious because I was wondering about the Walmart, in and out the store and to and from the parking lot. They must have been suspicious of me. I guess it must have been so. They are paranoid. I am as honest as the day is long and hot. I pay for the things I get and I honestly was exhausted looking all around for my wife. If not for these facts and that I wore that Faded Glory T-shirt and sunglasses, maybe I would have had a more pleasant shopping experience, but in retrospect, I think I might just not shop there again for a long time.
N ot only was I followed around the Walmart by store security but I had to pay double for that large Coke from Micky D’s. I went to the bedroom and laid down flat on my stomach and tried to get some rest and of all things, AT&T salesmen were knocking at the front door offering U-Verse Cable TV and had the nerve to ask my wife for 2 bottles of purified water as they were hot and thirsty. She told them she only had plastic cups with ice and tap water. One man drank his but as they both walked down the street a little farther, the other man poured his ice water on the ground.
I went back to lay down. I had had about all the trouble I could have for one afternoon.
Image of pen is my own artwork.
Image Credit » black pen icon by Anthony Davis, original art.