We all have had less than satisfactory products and services from a big box
store. What happened last night was not particularly bad as much as it was
surreal. Ya know, strange, werid, etc.
I needed to pick up a couple of items last night. I would have probably put
it off for a couple days but a padlock died and needed to be replaced right
away. So I venture into the borg to pick up my items. I got them, put them
in my cart and then went to the section that had the padlocks.
They had all kinds of cheap, small padlocks. And many big enough to tie up a
battleship. But almost nothing of a medium size that I wanted. And the
medium sizes were either out of stock or came in sets of three or four. The
other interesting thing is that the locks all sported new packaging. They
were actually locked onto a strong peice of plastic. (more on this later)
After making somebody check stock and climb up on a ladder, we came to a
decision on a lock that would probably work for me.
I put the lock in my cart and head to the checkout stand. I get up front and
discover that the only checkout stands available are the self service ones.
I push the english button on the screen and a voice starts giving me
instructions. As someone who has hearing problems, I knew this was not going
At his point a young man, who apparently works there to support a drug
habit, comes running up geturing wildly and berating me for "not following
instructions". I inform him that as someone who is hearing challenged, I do
not respond well to squeaky electronic voices. Also if he wanted to
communicate with me he had to stop waving his arms about and speak clearly
enough for me to understand him.
He looked at me like I was retarded and ran back to his station and produced
a portable scanner and scanned everything in my cart. Then he frantically
pointed at the screen and yelled for me to make payment. I produced a gift
card and asked if the machine took them. He shouted no and snatched the card
from my hand.
Then he played with the card for awhile including producing a swithblade
type knife from his pocked to scrape some imaginary substance off the card.
Finally the card got processed and the machine wants more money. I tried to
give the money to him but apparently they don't trust him with money. I went
back to the terminal and put in two twenties. Then I waited, and waited,
and waited....., for my change.
First a trickle of coins dribbled into a small cup that I was barely able to
get the money out of. But no bills The machine owed me $13 and I didn't
see it. I searched for a bill dispenser on this infernal machine. Then the
whacko kid started gesturing wild at me again and pointing at the floor. I
looked on the floor, but no money. He kept pointing and I finally figured
out that he bill dispenser was located about ankle level. I bent over and
picked out my money bill by bill because it too was too small to put my hand
As I left (fled) the oplace, the whaco kid was juggling a number of rolls of
tape. Duct tape, masking tape, packaging tape, etc. He tossed them into the
air and could keep a number of them going. He couldn't check me out. But he
could yell at me and practice his juggling.
When driving home I kept thinking that this could not get more unreal. I got
into the garage and got out the padlock. I tried to open it, no luck. I
tried to cut it open with a utility knife. Not only was I unsuccessful, but
almost cut an artery. Way too dangerous.
I concluded that he only safe tool to use on this hard plastic lock display
was diagonol cutters. It took several cuts and finally a sharp piece of
plastic shot off the cutters and almost hit me in the eye! I didn't realize
that you had to wear safety glasses to break into a padlock package!
Also, the key does not have a hole in the top of the key to hang it on a
ring. Instead it has a large, long hole on the side of the key. That way the
key hangs sideways and takes up about three times as much room in your
pocket. It also digs into your leg.This afternoon, I am going to drill a
regular hole in the top of the key. so it will go onto my keyring and not
make a mess. Werid keys, bulletproof packaging, What will they think of
It wasn't the worst experience I have had with a big box store. But probably
the most surreal in a long time. I kept looking for sign that I was drugged.
I was fine. It was the other guys who were obviously stoned.
<end of rant>
You friendly neighborhood curmudgeon,