The night before a recent camping trip, there were a couple of last minute things I wanted to get.  You’ll find out in an upcoming post, but one of the things that jumped out that I really wanted was an awning stabilizer kit.

I knew that Wal Mart had these, so I set off to the store right after the kids went to bed.

I figured it’d be a quick trip.

Man, I forgot all about what Wal Mart stands for.

Yes, you might pay less.  But, it WILL take you twice as long.

For some reason, the WalMart by our house prides itself on long lines.  I’m not sure why, but you can never get to a register without waiting at least 15 minutes.  No matter what time of day, that’s the story.

That’s precisely why we rarely shop there.  We could probably save money on groceries and household goods, but especially if we were to have kids in tow, there’s no way I would subject them to ridiculously long lines of 30 minutes or more (which is probably more common during grocery shopping times).  I mean, if I’m getting impatient by myself, I can’t imagine it would be very good for a 3 year old and a 1 year old, neither of whom have exactly exhibited skills relating to patience thus far.

They have a ‘Speedy’ checkout area with six registers.

Two problems:

  1. They are limited to 20 items or less.  Twenty items in a shopping cart, for those who even bother respecting the rules, isn’t exactly a quick ring.  Most stores have 10 or 15 item limits.
  2. Out of the six lanes they have dedicated to this purpose, exactly one was open.  Still, it was slower waiting in the ten person line here versus one of the six or seven people lines that were open in the no-limit registers.

After waiting and waiting and finally getting to the front of the line, it became apparent that WalMart just doesn’t get it.  Someone (maybe a manager, but presumably just a runner) sauntered over and asked the poor cashier (who in his credit was actually working very quickly) if he needed change.

The cashier looked at him incredulously and said something along the lines of ‘No, but I could use some help here.’

The other guy looked around like he was seeing it for the first time.  And I’m pretty sure, given his ‘go-getter’ attitude, his message back was probably ‘No, didn’t need any change’ never even mentioning that reinforcements had been asked for.

How does WalMart stay in business when their customer service is awful and most of their stores look dirty two days after they’re brand new?