I used to consider Wal-Mart a necessary evil. Now I remove the “necessary” part of that statement. Not that they are evil in and of themselves, but I despise going into their stores!!!
Mom had sent a little spring outfit to Elaine. We needed a bigger size. So I drove to my super Wal-Mart. I stopped going there a year ago, mostly because it is not conveniently located to our home. But I rarely had good service, and the bathrooms were always disgusting. Really bad disgusting, maybe worse than a gas station off the interstate that you use in desperation on a road trip. Not much has changed at Wal-Mart.
The customer service person was friendly enough, though she was trying to serve a line of five customers, cash payroll checks, and wire money at the same time, all by herself. The manager walked by three times and did nothing. The cashier finally called for help, at which time the manager came back. But did she open a line? No, she waited for someone else to get up there and do it. Though the restroom has been remodeled, it is still disgusting. And I think it is a conspiracy the way they make the door go around three curves to get inside. How are you supposed to maneuver that with a cart or stroller? Do they expect me to leave my four month old sitting by the water fountain alone?
I have been shopping at Target lately because it is close to me. It is clean. The employees are nice, for the most part (no store is perfect). The restrooms actually have soap and warm water. They have a family restroom where the car will fit. The manager who watches the front lines actually calls for backup if the lines are too long. And sometimes the manager opens the lane herself! Whoa! You mean they do their job? I know that Wal-Mart has the cheapest prices, but I am willing to pay a few cents extra per item if it means good service and a clean store. (My tune might change when we move to Brooklyn because I know that every cent will make a difference and we will need to save as much as possible).
Then today I had an appointment at the picture studio. I decided to actually pay to get some prints to share with our family. The coupons was for a photo package for $4.99, and it said very specifically “choose your favorite pose”. The photographer was nice, but not very creative. She took about five shots and then announced that she was done. When I was selecting my pose, she informed me that the coupon could only be used on the first pose they took. And it was a terrible photo! Elaine wasn’t even looking at the camera, her dress was turned up, and she wasn’t really smiling. (And Elaine is a happy, smiling baby so there should have been no problem getting a good shot). Not to be proud, but the pictures I have taken at home were better than the ones Wal-Mart took.
At the Picture People, I go in every month and get a free 8x10 with the coupon they send me. They take lots of good shots, and their backgrounds are seamless. They have a little chair or bobby for the babies to sit in. At Wal-Mart there was some sort of a block behind Elaine, and even underneath blanket that’s what it looked like – a block. The table looked like…a table…with a drape behind it. Not great in my book. Very tacky, especially for a studio.
The photographer started to show me each shot and then every enhancement option, like black and white, etc. I told her she didn’t have to go through the enhancements, because I didn’t want one. “We have to show you every option.” So I sat there while her painfully slow computer (even slower than mine if you can believe it) shuffled through every possible option. I could only choose other poses if I bought a package deal at full price - $79.99. I could not buy individual sheets unless I bought a package. What a rip-off.
The girl said she would let me choose my pose for the $4.99 coupon, but informed me that she wasn’t supposed to and she could get in trouble (she made a big deal about it). I did not ask her to offer this, and I didn’t want to get anyone in trouble, so I was just going to leave without ordering anything. I didn’t like the first pose, even for $4.99. Then she insisted. So I chose a pose, the only one that I thought was decent.
So there are my thoughts about Wal-Mart. I don’t like their store, and I won’t be going back to their portrait studio.
Okay, I’m done ranting. Thanks for listening. I know my dad agrees with me. Mom probably agrees, but still goes to Wal-Mart because the prices are good. What do you think about Wal-Mart?