A NEW EXPERIENCE AT WALMART

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It was only yesterday when I was mumbling to myself that I hadn’t been doing any writing since we got back from our winter home. The problem was an old one, familiar to many writers I know. It seems like I just keep on talking about the same old things week after week and I am boring anyone who has stuck with me this far. And I am sure boring me. Yet the guilt keeps creeping in to the back of my mind and I renew my thoughts of sitting down with the IPad.
That all changed this morning! Bob and I had made our weekly trip to Ludington to get groceries, and all the other essentials like birdseed and dish soap and other good stuff. It’s about 25 miles to Ludington on US 31, the road is practically empty on a Saturday morning, and I always enjoy watching the windmills. Today they were hardly moving as we drove north. When we got to the store Bob left me off at the door as usual. He stayed in the car reading for a while and then came in to help at the checkout counter. We got in line behind a man who only had one article to pay for.
“This won’t take long, we were really lucky,” I thought. Bob has sorted out all of the groceries on the moving table, frozen things together, so that it will get bagged easily. We have bought quite a bit, actually, it being Saturday
Flash, flash, lights brightening and dimming, and then I hear all of the customers who have just realized what has happened. “Oh, no! Come on, come on!”
Alas, after a few more flashes I realize we have no power and if we have no power we have no cash registers!
And the prices aren’t marked on them anymore. It is beginning to sink into the minds of everyone in the store just what the problem really is.
We stand and wait and watch everyone scurrying around the store. Maybe 15 minutes later a lady comes along and says everything must be picked back up and put in our cart. Someone has managed to get three of the “scan and go” lines open to use as checkouts. Everyone starts running with their carts to be first in line. That doesn’t include us. Our groceries must be all picked up first. By the time we get them back in the basket there are long lines of carts ahead of us.
We wait in line and I am watching to see how people are managing. Some of them don’t have a lot, but others like us have quite a bit. When we get to the register I start the process of picking up each item, finding the bar codes, and listening for the beep. The main hassle is I don’t know where the bar codes are. Then putting them in a bag, moving the bag, looking over my shoulder, seeing the faces of the people behind me who realize just how slow I am. Waving my arm at a clerk going by, I ask her for help, and she is really fantastic. She moves me over to the side, I start handing her cans and boxes, as she just goes thru it as quick as a whiz. In no time at all she has me putting in my money, $115.96! This could have been a disaster if it weren’t for her.
Bob and I push the cart to the door, another clerk checks my slip and we see that it is raining. He heads for our car to drive up to the door. Another clerk is standing there with an umbrella to hold over him while he fills the trunk. Out on the street we can see that there are no lights, no signals, and lots of traffic. But when we get to the signal we find that everyone is taking turns and helping each other out.
Once we get on US 31 I begin to feel a lot better. It has been raining heavily but by the time we get to Hart it has just stopped. When we drive in the driveway there are a few branches and leaves down but it could have been a lot worse. We start putting the groceries away. The ice cream is soft but not beyond repair.
We have had an EXPERIENCE, and I realize I now have something to write about! I look on the Weather Channel and see that there was a “cloud shelf” in Ludington. We were part of an event that covered a lot of people, and we got thru it! By now Ludington is probably back to normal. Walmart did their best to help us in the store and I am thankful for that.
But I will be glad to go back next week and just let my checkout person do her job, quickly and efficiently. Everyone isn’t suited for scan and go!

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