Monday, May 05, 2008

Shopping Ain't Like Mama Did It

Some time ago I went out to buy a card for my digital camera. I was at WalMart to get some other things so thought I'd just pick it up there, figuring they'd have a good deal on it anyway.

Well, they did have it. They even had a good deal on it.

The only problem - I couldn't purchase one.

It's a store who's business is to vend products. It seems that the combination of store wanting to sell and customer wanting to buy would be a win-win situation.

But, not so fast. The customer cannot take the tiny little card in its hermetically sealed foot tall plastic package off the peg on which it hangs. It is somehow locked onto the peg. You have to go find an employee with a little widget that opens it up so you can buy the product. Of course, not just any employee who happens to be nearby, but the employee who has the little widget.

Well, I didn't have time to invest in all of this so I thought I'd just go to Office Max a couple of blocks away.

Of course, one can't just purchase products there either. An employee has to go to some inner sanctum and return with the product you've requested. At least it was on sale there.

Is it the customers who steal so much (the Walmart system would lead one to believe) or is it the employees who steal so much (the Office Max system supports this theory)? I realize it's not the fault of employees and I do my best to be pleasant to them.

I just know it makes shopping a huge pain. I just want to buy a freaking product - one you sell - would you please make it possible without involving a half dozen other people?

And they wonder why internet shopping is increasing in popularity...