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I’m not a regular Walmart shopper, but it’s close to home.  There are also times when I need something and I can at least find it at the nation’s largest retailer.  There are people who claim they never go to Walmart.  An old coworker used to joke that people who claimed to never watch television or eat at McDonald’s were obvious liars. I'll add shopping at Walmart is a corollary.

For the record, McDonald’s is among my favorite places to visit, and I watch a lot of television.  And I go to Walmart when it’s convenient.

My local store has been undergoing renovations and there are very few cashiers with a pulse left on the premises.  Self-checkout is often a pain in the neck.  I avoid it as much as I can.

Long, long ago, I had the oil changed in my car at the store’s auto center.  I wanted fresh oil before going on a recent vacation and arrived early at the auto center.  I went inside and there wasn’t anyone at the counter.  I buzzed for help four times before a guy showed up and growled when he asked what I wanted.  When I explained myself, he told me to get in line at bay two.  There aren’t any signs explaining this is a new procedure.  At bay two, he told me there would be at least an hour wait because of sick calls.  I promised to come back another day.

I was there before the opening, which was 11 minutes late.  I went inside the auto center and was again told to line up at bay two.  As I got outside, a liberal from Washington State (I can tell how you voted by looking at your car and the way you dress) pulled in and attempted to jump the line.  After a polite conversation, he got out of my way.

After 45 minutes the work was finished, but there wasn’t a cashier.  The techs aren’t allowed to cash out customers.  I was told one was expected to report for a shift in three minutes.  Then, nothing.  A tech paged for a cashier and not one person responded.  After 35 minutes, I chased down a fellow in another department and told him I was being held hostage in automotive.  He rang me out and then wondered where the scheduled cashier was.

The very same week I heard Walmart reported some great profits for the most recent quarter.  Apparently, at my expense and my time.

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