I definitely have a love/hate relationship with Walmart. Love the convenience and bargains–price matching is awesome. Hate the hassles and long lines. Here’s why…
After a couple of years, my $10 Walmart watch finally gave out. Figuring I’d gotten my money’s worth, I made a trip to a nearby store, hoping to find another bargain watch as a replacement. For a Saturday, the store was surprisingly quiet. Since I frequented Walmart nearly as often as my own home–I know the floorplan like the back of my hand. Surveying the choices, I found a watch to my liking, and quickly made my way to the jewelry counter where two women were standing behind the cash register. One woman appeared to be wrapping up her shift, while chatting with another clerk. Neither of them even noticed my husband and me standing within a foot of them. In fact, it seemed they were actively ignoring us, particularly aggravating, since, as a quality assurance facilitator, I trained and coached customer service reps at a large call center. We called it “acknowledging the customer”, especially important when the customer is standing right in front of you. The one lady finished her shift, left and, after a few minutes of awkward silence, the other clerk, looking like the proverbial “deer in the headlight” finally said, “Can I help you?” Shopping is not one of my husband’s favorite activities, especially when it does not involve food products, so I was feeling more than a little hurried. Plus, patience is not one of my finer qualities, and God often presents me with these types of situations to exercise it. So, I took a couple of deep breaths, in order to respond calmly. In front of the obviously inexperienced clerk, I set the watch I’d chosen down on the counter. Withholding any comment about being previously neglected, I paid for the watch. Then, I asked if she could take it out of the plastic packaging for me, so I could try it on. Again, the “deer look”, then she finally figured out how to release the watch from the container. For the first time I would see the watch out of the package. Since my hands are slightly arthritic, I needed an expandable band. On closer inspection, I determined the band was not.
So, unfortunately, it was back to the drawing board to look for a watch with an expandable band. Now, I needed a refund of my previous purchase, so I could put the new watch on my credit card. Except the clerk, with that familiar headlight look, and multiple tries later, finally called for a manager to come over and help her with my transaction. The manager was able to complete the process, successfully putting the money back onto my credit card so I could purchase the new expandable band watch.
After trying on the watch, all I needed were a couple of links taken out of the band, since my wrists are one of the few smallish parts on my person, along with my feet. Surprise, the clerk politely informed me that she was incapable of helping me with this, and that I would need to come back during the week, between 9-4, and there would be someone in the jewelry department qualified to help me. So, watch dangling freely around my wrist, dignity and sanity intact, my husband and I calmly made our way out of the store. Like the Terminator, “I’ll be back”, ready to take on the next installment in the Walmart saga.