Friday afternoon at Walmart

There are never enough checkout lanes open at the local Walmart. Never, never, never. I accept that; I can shop elsewhere if I don’t like it. So that’s not what I’m writing about.

Friday afternoon I went to Walmart and did a big bunch of shopping. When I went to check out, there were four express lanes open, but only two “full load” lanes. Oddly enough, there was hardly any line at the express lanes -– usually the lines there are about 10 deep. The two full load lanes, however, were backed up big time. It takes at least 10 minutes to process each full load shopper (mostly because Walmart does not use baggers), so even if there are only three carts ahead of you, you’re waiting 30 minutes. People get very irate, especially if they have young children who start getting fussy. So I’m in a long line of very pissed off people and unhappy kids.

There used to be a manager’s stand in the aisle behind the checkout entrance. It made it very easy for me to walk over and suggest to the manager that they open more checkout lanes (not that they ever did). I notice that the manager’s stand has disappeared.

Waiting in the checkout line, I 'm facing the customer service area. Normally, there are one or two people working customer service for a huge line of customers. Oddly, there’s no line at customer service, but there are FOUR employers behind the counter. Additionally, there are EIGHT employees milling around the customer service area, holding conversations or fiddling around with stuff in carts. So there are TWELVE emloyees in the customer service area, basically doing nothing. Every one of them has their back turned to the checkout lanes, and every one of them is wearing a smock that says on the back: How may I help you?

Some day I will be old and crazy enough that I will do things like yelling, “Hey – you in the blue smocks! How may you help me??? Well, about ten of you could stop screwing around and open some friggin’ checkout lanes.”

Probably about the same time you start wearing purple dresses with red hats, and are not afraid to spit in the street. :wink:

Is it a Super Walmart? When our small local Walmart was replaced by the Super Walmart, the customer service flew out the window, ( or maybe it flew out those skylights that leak everytime it rains).

I have manic depression, whenever I feel the need to show my ass I like to go to Walmart. They’ll take you to jail, now, at the Federal Building.

Experience has shown that people are willing to be treated like shit, just to save a couple of dollars. That’s why Wal-mart is so succesful.

That sucks but you should have said something. Simply politely call out (so that everyone can hear) and ask that they open another aisle or two. It’s worked for me in the past.

The key to getting better service at a Super Wal-Mart is to bring a chunk of Kryptonite with you. The employees will then try their best to help you find what you want and get you in and out as fast as possible, before the Kryptonite starts having too much of an effect on the store. Red Kryptonite is better than green, since you never know what effect it will have. A nice necklace or ring with a Kryptonite stone is nice. Just don’t wear it too much when you don’t need it. Lex Luthor never took his ring off, and he lost his hand.

I don’t get to the Wal-Mart here too often since it’s out of the way, but I remember at point they had signs above the cashes saying that they’d open extra lanes if there was more than a certain number of customers in the lanes already open. Of course, someone had to point this out to an employee, and then you had to wait for whoever they decided to work the new lane to get there. However, they’ve long since removed those signs. I guess they didn’t think people would actually notice them.

If I have to wait too long in a line, I sometimes realize that I really don’t need what I was planning to buy. Which is often a good thing (more toy robots), but sometimes not (deodorant). :smiley: If I don’t see any employees standing around doing nothing, I might put what I picked up back where I found it. But sometimes I just drop everything where I am. I’m not sure how I feel about doing that. But I make up for it by actually cleaning up the toy aisles myself sometimes. May as well; if I have to dig through the mess to find what I want.

The one situation where I don’t feel too bad about not putting something back where I got it, is when I can’t find the price of a product and have to find a scanner. I’ve left a number of things that exceeded my price range lying below those things. I wonder if someone will ever get the hint.


Our late, unlamented Venture chain (based here in St. Louis) use to have big signs posted over the checkout lanes “You’ll Never Be More Than Third in Line Until All the Lanes Are Open”

This, of course, was completely ignored by management and staff. Along with a host of other bad decisions, it ultimately led to the chain’s demise.

Customer service is a cost of doing business. Bad customer service is a cost of doing business for a consumer.