Surviving Walmart

As you know, madness is like gravity.  All it takes is a little push.

why so serious?

Rumors of the death of my personal blog are greatly exaggerated. Yes yes, I know...I have been away a long while. Where are the survival tips?  Where are the reviews? Where is the award winning photography?  

I get it. Life without me is understandably hard. 

So I disappeared for a bit because I decided to punish Google. They suspended my ads for what they termed "clicking my own ads".  I am not sure if that is a metaphor...I am afraid to ask.  I do know Alexa is always listening.

I don't even know why I have ads on here.  I am pretty much my only reader. I guess I somehow clicked an ad that showed up and it was actually kind of intriguing. They must frown upon that sort of thing.  In order to fight back I decided to go on a writer's strike.  

Yes, I know that only hurts my audience(me). It was still important to take a stand and protect my most important resource:  the reader.  I am all about the reader.  The ads really bring my blog posts together and it wouldn't be fair to put out a subpar, ad-free product when i can put out subpar product with ads. Also, I have been insanely busy.

So while this post may seem a little off center it really is right down the middle.  This is a survival guide for otherwise rational people...and Walmart tests mental survival like nowhere else.

So over the holidays I chose to make a lot of trips to Walmart.  I generally question my decision as soon as I pull out of the drive.   Still, the prices on their 5 hour energy knockoffs are too good to ignore and I had a whole lot of 5 hour stretches ahead of me.  I like to pretend I am the Joker when i go to Walmart.  It keeps me sane for some I am among my people.  Smile, because it confuses people.

The Walmart journey inevitably starts and ends with the scooter people.  I have a Psychology degree so I am qualified for little else than an in-depth study of scooter civilization. I see them as my most obvious hurdle to getting back out alive.  I like to evaluate each scooter person I see and assess their motivation for scootering.  Sit in their seat, you might say.  In sweat pants.  It is important to separate those fine folks potentially benefiting from scooting from those with alternative and potentially dangerous motives.  Like, are some of them just lazy?  Do some of them treat Walmart like their own personal thrill ride?  Look, I can't interview each one for scootability scores.  I know many fine, fine folks benefit from the scooters and it bothers me to lump them in with the fringes of scooter society.  Experience has forced me into some assumptions.  Look, I just want to get my bagels and get out.  I want to, but the bagels are blocked by fake Scooter the Hut who refuses to get out of said scooter but still plans to snag some bagels.  How did you get into that scooter yet you can't leave the scooter to grab the bag of bagels I wonder?   You are blocking my path for fear of exposing yourself (said no walmart customer ever).  So you just block the whole section and I can only assume you think the bagels will jump off the shelf.  So I wait.  And I wait.  And I rage.  By rage I pretend to look at breakfast sandwiches in the freezer section JUST in case you are scooter legit.  Plus the rule of the day in surviving Walmart is to assimilate, or blend...stealth blend.

The self-checkout is the new war room of retail.  I mean after the clearance aisle, which is inexplicably the narrowest aisle despite being the most populated...the self-checkout is ground zero.  The enemy regularly uses it as a price checker and then just move on.  I talked to some locals for intel after realizing i was paying for things I didn't buy.  Sure enough, when Wal-people don't know the price of things, they just go scan them and walk away.  No cancel of the transaction.  Why would they care?

The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules. 

It is the poor schmuck after them that better notice the items scanned during that previous terrorist price-check...or pay the price my good sir.  Pay the price.  I guess this is a normal thing, according to local intel.  And don't even get me started on battling self checkout with my favorite sidekick, miss Autumn Bacon.  The bag sniper.  She plots each bag battle with such detail you will be at the self-checkout for at least an hour.  I am not allowed to touch anything in the cart.  Everything has its place.  Everything in order.  I wouldn't understand.  Back away.

Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos.  The items in this cart are the agent of chaos.  I need only toss that frozen food on the treadmill along with a bag o chips.

Seriously, this is what I am reduced to.  Daydreaming of food treadmill chaos.  Self-checkout is the worst thing to happen to retail ever.  Also, I am afraid to learn how to self-checkout bananas.  Do I really look like a guy with a plan?

Do not remove a bag from the baggage area prematurely.  You have been warned.

How does that angry looking man at the entrance decide whether to check my receipt?  Is he profiling me?  Should I look indifferent?  Should I smile and exchange pleasantries?  Am I sweating?  Did I scan those Christmas Snowball's that were 90 percent off?  I don't know!!!  I hate it here.  Why is that person yelling for their kids across the store?  Why is the room spinning?

As a side note, I regularly see coworkers on the front lines in Walmart.  I think we go to great lengths to avoid eye contact.  I respect that.  I don't want to be there...they don't want to be there...better to just pretend it isn't happening at all.  Peace and love.

So my activity tracker broke.  A Garmin Instinct.  Love the thing.  It suddenly stopped holding a charge but no problem.  I have a warranty.   Until I didn't.  A quick chat with Garmin support to start my claim ended in learning that my Instinct is from Southern Asia and there is nothing the international company that is Garmin can do.  Not their region.  Seriously?  Despite my frequent trips to southern asia that are a story for another day, I actually bought this one stateside.  Amazon, to be exact.  I pointed this out to Garmin, who basically again shunned me.  North American Garmin has no time for those of us with south asian instincts.  Garmin, you should only sell your products at Walmart.  You would fit right in.  Which brings me to my point....I LOVE AMAZON!

So I jump on a chat with Amazon from the laptop I have mounted on my scooter.  I didn't ask for a return...I mean I have had it six months.  I simply said I bought this from a third party on your site and it never mentioned it was from South Asia and now I have no there a way to like report a seller?

A few minutes later Myrtle from Amazon had refunded my purchase pending a return, despite them not even being the seller!    I love Myrtle.  I love Amazon.  This is how you become the biggest retailer in the world.  You simply realize it is my world and everyone else is just living in it.

So No Eggs and Ham is back.  Look forward to a flurry of activity surrounding drones, holidays, fasting or lack of it, and how to turn 50, a shade of gray minus the ropes and excitement.  Buckle in...2020 is about to break some eggs!

When the chips are down, these... these civilized people, they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve.