Wednesday, May 17, 2017
The People of Walmart: Raising spirits and crushing them in one stop.
Have you ever gone out in public thinking, "Well I feel sort of crappy and I look not my best...but I need toilet paper, so I'll go to Walmart?"
I can't possibly be the only person whose had that thought.
That was me today anyway. I've got a plugged ear, something I get probably once, maybe twice a year. This wreaks havoc with me on all levels. The echo in my head makes it hard for me to hear, and gives me a headache. And it's super not fun when you work on the phone, using a headset, like I do. Work's been a bit hairy for me the last couple days (I'm learning a new procedure and you know the saying about old dogs and new anythings?)
So this afternoon I was feeling drained and sweaty (Yes, we went from, "Holy moly it's cold" to "Can I PLEASE turn on the AC" in a week.) but I needed a few things, including toilet paper, so I figured I'd go to Walmart and be anonymous.
And I was, for the first half hour. It was actually funny, fans of the show "Fargo" will appreciate the
fact that automatic door didn't open for me until I backed up and tried again. (If you're not watching FX's "Fargo" you should be.) The greeter at the door, once upon a time a fun old person, has been replaced by a lethargic teen who would rather die than actually say something to anyone who is not another teen.
I got through most of my list being invisible, which was nice. I didn't feel bad about the fact that I had bed head that had been mussed by the winds we've got going outside. I still felt sweaty, but the AC in Walmart, bless them, was on and I wasn't suffering.
Then I was in the candy/bulk ketchup/Asian food aisle (It's a thing, check it out. Sweet and sour sauce, Sour Patch kids, and 120 ounces of ketchup all in one aisle. I love this country.) getting some sweet and sour sauce when a gentleman roughly my age, and in pretty rough shape hygienically speaking, walked almost past me.
"How are you?" says he.
"I'm good," says I, without really looking away from the sweet and sour sauce shelf. "How are you today?"
"Oh I feel like I got into a fight with an ugly stick." Says the man. And yes, he looked like he slept in his clothes...in a garage...under a car...that was leaking oil...and mud.
"Oh no," says I. "That's too bad."
"Yeah, and the ugly stick won!"
With that, we reached opposite ends of the aisle and turned corners away from each other. But amazingly enough I felt good. I felt good about myself that this filthy guy had no trouble starting a conversation with me. Maybe I wasn't so bad today!
Having secured all the goods I needed and with a bounce in my step, I headed up to the check out counter.
And that's where this happened.
I greeted the checker who greeted me back and we exchanged a few pleasantries. And then, she picks up the 10 pack of 7.5 ounce Cokes I bought and says, "3.50 for such small cans. Why would you be stupid and buy these when the bigger cans are cheaper?"
There are many reasons. 1) I don't need 12 ounces of soda at one time ever and I hate wasting half a can. 2) fewer calories in a can. 3) Less aluminum, less energy to make the aluminum. 4) Less per serving, less sugar in my life 5) they are cute cans 6) WHY DO YOU CARE WHAT I BOUGHT AS LONG AS I BOUGHT IT HERE AND I PAID FOR IT?
That one little comment, said half under her breath, brought back all the icky feelings I was having as it echoed painfully in my head. Maybe I am stupid for spending more money on a smaller product. Maybe I'm stupid for buying Coke at all.
She handed me my receipt and told me not to put it in my purse because someone "might" check it at the door.
If it's the same person at the door, it's not likely she's going to see me much less ask me to stop and let her look in my cart.
On my way out I saw the filthy guy again and I smiled at him because he'd made my blues go away for a minute and I appreciate that.
And I was right about the girl at the door not checking my receipt. So I had to stop and put it in my purse in the entry way....the echoey, noisy entry way. Which didn't mess with my head at all.
And now I'm going to go and have an ice cold mini Coke.
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