Ever got “stuck” at Walmart’s self check out? This might help.
I was at Walmart yesterday, the one in North Charleston, on Rivers Ave. I went through the self check out, no problem but as I reached the door I realized I had forgotten one little thing – the candy I promised my husband I would pick up for him.
I turned around, grabbed it off the display, and went back to the self check outs – because that would be so fast, right?
I rang up my little $1.98 bag of candy (so my sweet husband would be happy), my total was $2.17 so I put a $10 bill in the machine.
It gave me my loose change (all in dimes – thanks) and a $5. Then it stopped.
There was a message on it that said I was still due $2.
I looked around. The cashier that was watching the corral at the time was with another customer. When she was finished she came over to me, looked at the register, punched a couple of buttons. She said, “This is a card only machine.”
Well, I sure wish she had told me this before I put my money in it!
I replied, “There was no sign, I didn’t know. The machine didn’t even indicate it was card only.”
She said, “We hadn’t switched them over yet.” Then she just stood there looking at me.
I briefly considered apologizing for leaving my psychic belt at home that day.
Instead, I just looked back.
She pointed (like I didn’t understand), “This is a card only machine.”
Oh! That machine! Thanks for clearing that up!
Me, (to her) “I didn’t know..” (to myself) “Sure wish someone had told me that BEFORE I put my money in here and wound up in the the Walmart Twilight Zone.”
Then she stared at me some more. It was clear she didn’t know what her next move should be.
I stood there, looking back, I didn’t know either; I’ve never worked at Walmart – but I am fairly certain resolutions to these types of problems do not involve brain surgery or rocket science. But I might be wrong.
It was getting hot. I think it must have been about 78 degrees in there.
The little light on top was spinning or flashing or whatever it does to signal the gurus on the mountain top to come down and make the world right again with their mystical swipey card thingys and mysterious codes.
I’m pretty sure it was about 84 degrees in there. I was starting to sweat.
Still I waited. The girl went from register to register while I stood there waiting for my long lost $2. I started considering names for them to pass the time. In retrospect, none of them were particularly nice names so I’ll just keep that part to myself, if you don’t mind.
At one point she came up and mumbled something to me but I couldn’t understand what she said – partly because she mumbled and partly because she was trying to talk around what appeared to be a quadruple tongue piercing. I never knew there was such a thing.
It must have been new because she was slurring her words – bad.
The sweat was rolling. I am almost certain it was 95 degrees in there.
So about 10 minutes passed. She kept saying someone was coming, no one did. I was starting to wonder if it was worth $2 to stand here in this blistering heat (It had to be 100 degrees in there). Then I thought, YES! It is worth it! It’s the principle of the thing!
5 more minutes passed. Principle wavered.
In an act of desperation, I took out my phone and looked up that Walmart’s website. I hit the “Call” icon and pressed 0 to connect to an associate.
When the operator answered, I said, “Hello. I am standing here in your store, right now. I’m at the self check out, register 45. This machine owes me $2 and I have been standing here for quite a while. The lady here doesn’t know how to help me. Can you please send a manager over here?”
I think I caught the operator off guard. She hesitated, then said, “Uh, sure.”
I said, “Thank you so much. I am the large woman with long hair, standing by the register with nothing to do.”
I thanked the bewildered operator again, hung up, and wiped the sweat from my brow (I know for sure it wasn’t a degree less than 110!).
THREE MINUTES later the STORE MANAGER showed up. In less than a minute she had fussed at the woman from the self check out corral, grabbed a guy and told him to get her off those registers, appointed another woman to take her place, and escorted me to customer service where she handed me my $2.
I thanked her and went on my way, eager to escape the overstimulating sensory jungle that is Walmart. I was never so grateful to walk out into the muggy, sticky South Carolina heat as I was that day. I’m pretty sure it was cooler outside than it was in there – I know for a fact it had to be 150 degrees in there!