Per the clerk’s suggestion, I showed up at 9 a.m. Monday morning to get links taken out of my watch. Several minutes later, I spied a nearby clerk, and asked if someone would be available in the next millennia. The clerk called a manager over. Admitting they were short-staffed and he didn’t know how to take the links off, but that he would at least try. He feverishly looked through a drawer for a tool to accomplish this. Unable to locate such a tool, he apologized and said that someone would be in shortly who could help me. Needing to do more shopping, I went on my way, and would circle back to jewelry department later.
Next thing on my list, two small decorative lamps for my bedroom dresser, which is where I apply my makeup. I need one lamp on each side, otherwise I end up looking like the villain “Two-Face” in Batman. Not exactly the look I’m going for. I found two nice lamp bases. Now, all I needed were two red shades to go on top. After rearranging the entire lighting display shelf, I located the perfect red shade. Only one. I still needed another. So, I found another clerk working in the vicinity. He scanned the tag on the shade, and said there was one in the warehouse. I was elated. My joy was short-lived when, right before the clerks’ eyes, the red shade that appeared on his scanner located in the warehouse, was no longer there, nabbed by another clerk right under our noses. Really?! The clerk offered to look around in order to locate the errant shade somewhere in this massive store. “Good luck”, I mumbled. The clerk finally reappeared with a “Sorry, I couldn’t find it”. Surprise, surprise. So, I asked if he could check other nearby Walmart stores to see if they might have the matching red shade. He advised me to check with customer service, and they could check on that for me. Two lamp stands, one red shade, watch band dangling from my wrist, I made one last glance over to the jewelry counter, hoping to glimpse any sign of intelligent life. Not detecting any, I asked another clerk, of course unaffiliated with the jewelry department, if someone would be in that department any time soon. Politely she wasn’t sure, but would be happy to get a manager for me. Initially thinking this would be a thirty minute trip, silly girl that I am, I decided I could wait a little longer, deciding that three hours is my absolute limit for resolving these issues. After all, my time is worth something, right? A few minutes, yet another manager appears, stating he would make a call and get a clerk there to help me.
Still no competent jewelry clerk in sight, I decided to make the best use of my time, and go to the customer service desk to check on the status of the red shade at other Walmarts. Fortunately, there were only a couple of people ahead of me in the customer service line till I heard the word, “Next”. I was pleasantly surprised to see someone I recognized as one of the many managers at this Walmart. Finally, I would get some actual assistance locating the shade. I showed her the shade, and asked if she could check inventories of nearby Walmarts since this store only had one. She quickly made a call, and, with a smile said, “You need to go to the hardware department, and they can check on this for you.” Isn’t that where I just came from, and didn’t they tell me to go to customer service and they could help me? Coming up on the three hour mark of my epic shopping experience, I made one last glance at the jewelry department. Oh rapture and joy, there appeared to actually be a clerk working the counter. Thinking I’d hit the jackpot, I strode over to the counter. Unfortunately, a couple of other customers, closer to the department, and also anxious for the mysterious jewelry clerk to emerge, beat me in a foot race to the counter. I finally garnered the attention of the prodigal jewelry clerk, and, demonstrating the dangling watch band, explained that I needed some links taken out. She studied my watch, and said, “four links should do”. Again, she rummaged through the nearby drawers, looking for the elusive link-removal tool. Finally, she located it, and Wa-la, the job was accomplished. Yea!! And, it only took two hours and 45 minutes to do it. Famished, and feeling weak from the unexpected prolonged experience, I decided to go home and eat, figuring I needed nourishment before tackling the hardware department about the location of a red shade.
To their credit, every clerk and manager I encountered was polite and courteous. Plus, I managed to remain calm through this entire ordeal. No small feat. Later, I realized this experience presented me with a unique opportunity to exercise my patience, an unexpected benefit. So, in a funny way, I guess Walmart is helping me to grow and mature as a person. So, thank you Walmart. Now, if only I could find the other red shade, and all will be well.