A few weeks ago I blew off a little steam about Wal-Mart and the “quality” of shoppers we encounter there. Recently, I had to pick up something and I decided to dash into a nearby K-Mart instead because it was close to where I worked. Holy Mother of Pearl! I haven’t been in one of those in years, but I learned quickly shopping there is a whole lot different! The Wal-Mart rules do not apply when you enter K-Mart. Instead, try these…
1. Be careful where you push your cart. – No lie, there are potholes big enough to lose your kid in! The stores have been rearranged so often that the cheap linoleum flooring has permanent dents, scratches, and marks of racks gone by. As a result, you could just find yourself strolling merrily along with your cart only to find it suddenly disappear in front of you.
2. There are dark corners of the store…avoid them. – Entering your local K-Mart is somewhat akin to entering a war zone. The pile of clothes you see crumpled on the floor might be discarded sale items, a homeless person, or a dead body. Stay to the center of the store, keep in the clearly marked and pitted main aisles (such as they are), and don’t touch anything you can’t clearly identify. There are areas of the store that are dark. The lights have not worked in those fixtures in years, and the salespeople have learned to avoid them. You should do the same.
3. You have no friends in K-Mart. – Think of your first few minutes there as your first few minutes in prison. You are the new meat, and if you look at someone the wrong way there is a good possibility they’ll shank you in the dog food aisle. Keep your eyes ahead of you, avoiding direct eye contact with anyone else–including salespeople. Remember, these are the folks who were considered too scary to work at Wal-Mart. There is a reason they’re hiding in Sporting Goods.
4. It will be a long time before you ever see your family again. – There may be 8 registers, but only one of them will have a cashier…and it is her first day. You may have run in there for a box of laundry detergent, but you’d better grab a bag of chips on your way to the checkout. By the time you reach the register, you’ll need something to keep your strength up. K-Mart is one of the few stores in which you can time the checkouts with a calendar rather than a stopwatch. Make sure you really, truly need it before you go in there to buy anything…and then take a picture of your family along so you can remember them as the days go by while you are in line.
5. You probably won’t find what you’re looking for, so be flexible. – Maybe you walked in wanting a can of Pringles chips. Well, most of the shelves at K-Mart are what they like to call “in flux”, which means they’re empty. Instead of Pringles, you might find a lovely bag of Lays chips that are only two months out of date. You could be looking for a box of Froot Loops, but you might have to settle for some Purina Dog Chow. Understand that when you walk through the doors to K-Mart you are entering a wonderland of mystery and excitement. Be flexible so you can enjoy the whole experience as it is meant to be.
That’s my experience after stopping at the local Big K. I think it’s time I paid Target a visit…