Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Rant: Why You do the Self Check Out at Wal-Mart

Most of you who know me at all know that I don't shop at Wal-Mart all that much anymore. Contrary to their "Always low prices" slogan, I found out they are lying. Kroger has "always low prices", enough that I've saved almost $600 SO FAR on groceries this year. (Okay, so I'm watching what I buy anyway, but still, the difference is astronomical.)
Anyway, I DID go to Wal-Mart, I had a few things to pick up that I couldn't get at Kroger, and I had a coupon for free Excedrin (which we use a lot of), under $5.99. I know that Wal-Mart has a better selection of Excedrin than our Kroger, so I figured I'd get a bigger bottle, cheaper price, for a better deal with my coupon.
Now, here's the moral of the story, when I go to Wal-Mart I ALWAYS self check. Always. Maybe I'm anti-social. Maybe I'm self reliant. Who knows? All I know is that I always self check. That is, until yesterday. Yesterday I made the mistake of going through a check out line, thinking my coupon exchange would be easier. Boy was I wrong. My experience went something like this.
I got in the shortest line possible, behind the woman with the fewest items, hoping to get out quickly. (I had Bryton, and he'd just woken up from his nap at the sitter. It was 4:00 and he'd not eaten since 8:30. He was hungry and cranky about it.) The woman in front of me had about 10 - 15 things in her cart. No biggie. So, as she is checking out I'm putting my ten or so items on the belt. As I finished unloading my cart I noticed the cashier "inspecting" and commenting about every one of this woman's items. "Oh, I've not tried this... is it any good? Hmmm, really? Do we have it in orange? Wow, this looks interesting." I'm not kidding, not to mention my child is quite obviously becoming impatient, and I'm having to verbally tell him, "It's okay, we're hurrying, I know you're hungry," hoping the woman would get the hint. Then, as she announces the total after an insanely long period of time, (to check out 10 - 15 items, remember?) the woman purchasing the items decides she wants to add $40 to a gift card that already has $50 on it. No big deal, right? Nope, apparently it is. We had to call over every Wal-Mart employee to figure that one out. Another ten minutes later, and a withering 15 month old, and the woman had finally paid and was successfully moving her merchandise from the sack merry-go-round to her cart. Then, however, the cashier proceeded to explain to her why it was so difficult to add money to a gift card with an already existing balance.
And my child was crying. (If you're a mom, you understand the frustration. It took me 10 minutes to pick up all my items in Wal-Mart and get them to the cashier. It took me 20 minutes to check out. Seriously, keep reading.)
Then, as I finally get to the counter to pay (my money already out and in my hand, I knew within cents what my total would be... a new attribute that has come with my couponing life) the woman licks her hand, I'm not kidding, three of the five fingers on her right hand plunge right into her mouth and then proceed to open the bag on the sack merry-go-round, and then all of the food and products I was buying and would later be touching to unpack. I'm not a germ-a-phobe, but come on lady... seriously?
After inspecting and commenting on all of my items (keep in mind, Bryton is crying at this point, and I'm still trying to console him) I hand her my coupon (at this point my coupon is seeming to have cost me a lot) to which it takes her another 2 minutes to figure out how that works since the coupon wasn't for a "specific" total. Being I've done this several times, I told her that my excedrin cost 4.99, the coupon is for anything less than 5.99... which 4.99 was, so that my discount was 4.99. She apparently didn't believe me, because she felt the need to call over another employee who proceeded to tell her the exact same thing.
The total rang up, finally, I was .08 off of my total, I waited for my change, and I made a vow as I was frantically swerving my cart to try to cheer up my traumatized child that I would never give up my 'self-check' privileges again.


  1. wow. just wow. we shop opposite though - i never self check because it ALWAYS messes up. i do, however, butt in and double bag or rearrange things when necessary. i find that two boxes of cereal, kleenex, and two cans of soup do NOT fit in one bag, whereas walmart employees tend to think they do. and i never go to kroger because unless it's on sale, i always find it's more than a dollar difference on even small things.

    i hate shopping. ugh. (i have taken up your every-two-weeks shopping plan, and i LOVE it.)

  2. wow, I'm shocked that you've found Kroger to be more expensive. Maybe it's because I buy too much at Wal-Mart haha :) (And I do just shop the sales) I LOVE the every two week shopping plan! Haha... the less the better!