If I ever lose my mind, I know just where it will be. Rescuers will find me curled up in a fetal position in Walmart, laying between a palate of —– and a bin full of ——–. Okay, the exact product placement may end up be Inc slightly different, but there’s a pretty good chance overall that it will be somewhere in Walmart.
Whenever I’m forced to enter the black hole of disappointment and depression that is that place, I think that I’m completely mentally prepared. I really do. I think up all of the worst case scenarios I can come up with, only to find that it’s much much worse. Or maybe I just go in with the wrong attitude. Is that a possibility?
As I rush down the main aisle to get through with my visit as quickly as possible, there’s an obese man with a 3-day beard that’s holding half a slice of pizza within its whiskers carrying an extra large selection of pink lingerie, and I avoid eye contact because if would feel wrong on every level. Then there’s the older woman literally screaming at the top of her lungs (right at the moment when she walked behind me, causing me to physically jump into the air) into her phone at ‘gramma’, the guy with the massively stained baseball cap that stated to the world ‘Don’t ask me shit’, and the woman I assume is attempting to shoplift toilet bowl cleaner by stuffing it down her Scooby Doo t-shirt. And that’s just in the first 50 yards of this visit.
See…It doesn’t take much to come up with plenty of examples and specific reasons why the place drives me straight-jacket level crazy. Especially when you look back and consider that I even worked for that place twice. Yep, you read that correctly. Twice. Not in this local store, but they’re all the same, right?
The first time was when I was just a 16-year old kid in high school – just old enough to drive there myself. They offered me a better(?) job than the one I had held at Wendy’s for the past three days (don’t ever ask me about their chili if you don’t actually want to know the truth…) and I jumped at the chance. That summer either wasn’t very memorable, or I managed to completely blot out all of the memories. But…the second time working there, when I was right out of school and needed something/anything to pay the oncoming bills, I took on the challenge of working at a brand new Walmart. One that wasn’t even finished yet. So, without any construction background at all, I was put to work with a few other guys pouring cement floors, building huge storage bins and putting up hundreds and hundreds of shelving units.
And, believe it or not, we all survived. Sure, one blew himself off a 30 foot ladder when attempting to use a nail gun for the first time, and a 60-year old man dropped a 27″ television on my head (no comment about how that “explains” things please) when I rushed over to help him as he was struggling to put it up onto a huge shelving unit.
But what I remember most fondly is when we all tried following the boss’ instructions for building the mounts for all of the shelves to hold into the wall. And…when we were finished, those brackets that were supposed to look perfectly straight all looked like the letter “C”. Even though I’m still certain to this day that we did them exactly as we were instructed to.
So…I don’t trust anything in Walmart. I still feel like everything is going to collapse if I touch it, though I also feel like anything I touch might contaminate me anyway so care needs to be taken. And I’m not sure if I’d rather bump into one of the sticky shelves or into the couple who’s coming down the chip aisle with a hungry, crazed look in their eyes, wearing matching socks, Crocs, camouflage shorts and nearly identical t-shirt pit stains.
I don’t scare easily, but you might end up find me hiding out in the middle of the place where it not as busy (and there’s carpeting), curled up and rocking back and forth. All if I can’t escape this place within 10 minutes or less.
Fortunately for me, everything you could ever need is within a few feet of the checkout lanes. See…there’s a box of Crispie Creams and a dvd copy of Anchorman right over there. Wait…now what did I ever come into this place for anyway…???