Remind me never to visit the Myrtle Beach Wal-Mart on Monday evening at 8 p.m. again. Evidently the circus came to town and decided to converge on the store. Never before in my Wal-Mart shopping career had I seen such a plethora of aisles completely blocked by clueless people. Merchandise was disheveled, kids were running around like crazy, it was tough to maneuver a cart, and checkout lines stretched all the way into the clothing and jewelry area. It was a complete mess.
In times like tonight I look to my repertoire of tricks I have developed over the years when dealing with Wal-Mart disasters. I have trained myself to be as efficient and rational as possible when dealing with unfortunate shopping situations like I found myself in this evening. Let me share with you my five best tips for cutting losses and making the best out of a horrific Wal-Mart shopping trip.
Park in the Boonies- Although almost everywhere else I will seek out and wait for a gangbuster parking spot I concede when I enter a Wal-Mart parking lot I park my car far away. I decide to pass on the cars going the wrong way down the lanes, carts filling up full parking spots, people walking as if they were blind in the middle of the lot, and the less than stellar park jobs that prevent others from safely parking their own vehicles. I usually park to one extreme side of the lot and walk from there. I decide to spare myself the agony and possible death of entering too deep into the madhouse that is the Wal-Mart parking lot.
Be Prepared- It is imperative to bring a detailed shopping list when going to Wal-Mart, especially on nights like tonight. I knew exactly what I needed and never had to second guess myself. When you are in an environment with hundreds of people who are only looking out for themselves and couldn’t care less about your welfare or shopping experience you can’t afford any extra time meandering through the store going down each aisle to see what you need. Have your checklist, zero in on it, and pick up your items via the most efficient route possible.
Ditch the Cart- Tonight I didn’t even entertain the idea of taking my cart down any of the congested aisles. Not only were they packed with people pushing their carts but it seemed as if area clubs decided to hold their weekly meetings in the aisles as well because folks had no hesitation just standing in the middle and talking. To combat this I would just park my cart at the start of an aisle and go down it, grab what I needed, and retreat back to my silver cage on wheels. It saved me a lot of time but more importantly it saved me a big headache.
Get Passive Aggressive When Needed- Sometimes people are completely oblivious. Sometimes all the tricks in the world won’t let you bypass them. Although every effort should be given to shop without letting someone get under your skin there are occasions where you have to send just a little message. If absolutely necessary (like tonight) sometimes I will tailgate the snail-paced person in front of me to the slight degree where they know that they need to pick it up. If someone makes a ridiculous move with the cart or decides to stop in a busy area of the store I will offer a short “Um, excuse me” to let the person know that even though I am using polite language I am not using a very polite tone and I wish they would make better decisions behind the cart. Nonverbal communication gets the message across well too. If someone isn’t thinking or makes a bonehead move in the middle of the store any skills you have at conveying displeasure with your eyes is totally warranted and acceptable.
Just Stay Away – Out of the five tips I have provided, this is the one I neglected tonight. If you want to rid yourself of annoyance, stress, and possible heart attack when shopping the best course of action is to forgo Wally World completely and just go to Food Lion or Piggly Wiggly. Unfortunately I rather risk my sanity and health to obtain cheap items so I continue to go to Wal-Mart.
I hope you find my tips helpful. Remember to always know your environment and have a good idea of the layout of the Wal-Mart you are entering. Treat your shopping experience like a game and compete as hard as possible to ward off your opponents and obstacles to achieve your goal of getting inexpensive stuff. I wish you all good luck and safety when shopping at Wal-Mart. Don’t Blink.