Saturday, August 20, 2016

Braving the wal-mart

I realized I was almost out of eggs, which doesn't work if you're planning to make a crustless quiche later on in the week. (I found a recipe for one made with salmon rather than bacon, and I am going to modify it to stick a little spinach in there because I think that might be good, too. Oh, and use Emmethaler cheese instead of the cheddar they listed because cheddar and salmon just sound like an odd combination to me). I DEFINITELY did not feel like driving all the way to Sherman (also, we're supposed to get heavy rain today), so I decided to try the wal-mart even though I swore I wouldn't go back there until the re-do was finished.

Our local wal-mart is being "reorganized." I do not know the purpose of this. I am HOPING it means they will be able to carry more diversity of stuff, but as I've read the long-term trend is more of their store branded stuff (which, in my experience, is not that great), I'm not hopeful.

What it is right now, though, is a big mess. No one can find anything. About 10 days ago I made the mistake of going in the afternoon and dealing with crowds plus confusion was more than I could bear.

It was okay this morning. Confusing, still, but there was almost no one there other than the workers scurrying around moving things, so it was better than dealing with people with shrieking children or people blocking aisles.

Some aisles were pretty barren. The canned fruit aisle, I guess they are not restocking it until they move I couldn't get some of the things I wanted. And other things are in bizarre places. The aisle with bread, which is backed with the vinegar/tea/peanut butter aisle (yeah, my wal-mart is weird) is now over in the girls' clothing section. (At first I wondered: are they doing this to make people move around more in the store, on the assumption they will see more they want to buy? But the woman working there told someone else that it was "temporary," so).

I keep hoping they will start carrying the little Applegate Farms sausages again but so far no dice. (They were also out of the turkey sausage I had got once as a replacement. This is a problem with the local wal-mart: they don't always restock in a very timely way. I am sure it is a staffing issue, that they are at the bare minimum of staff to save money).

I also think I'm going to continue trying to ONLY do early-morning runs there if I have to go. First, because of avoiding the annoyance of crowds (it is the only large grocery in the county, or the counties to the east of it, so it get really slammed certain times). But also, because there was a Bloomberg Business article out that brought up something I had noticed and was wondering about: crime seems to be higher at wal-marts than comparable stores. (And not just "weird crimes" like someone loosing a monkey in the parking lot that attacks people).  I think a BIG part of this is the low-staffing issue, coupled with the fact that they don't do security guards: practically every time I have been in the Target in Sherman, I have seen a couple security guards walking around. And yeah, I know, in a Big Bad situation, a security guard won't be a lot of help, but I think they do serve as a deterrent. And it was also mentioned about how a lot of wal-marts kind of defer maintenance and cleaning, and the stores are grubby and ugly (I've noticed this) and there's some kind of weird tragedy-of-the-commons thing going on where people respect a place less that's not kept up. And for a while, allegedly they had a policy of not prosecuting/confronting shoplifting of less than about $50, which just encourages petty criminals to go there, I think. (And it raises prices for the rest of us.)

It was also claimed in the article that crooks would roam the parking lot, looking for dropped receipts, which they use to go and accumulate items to try to return for cash. I dunno, that seems like a lot of work for a crook to go to, but what do I know? Just another reason not to drop receipts in the lot (not that I would anyway because Litter). 

But yeah. We've had armed robberies in parking lots, a near-rape, lots of theft, car vandalism, fights....not all at the local store but in the area. And granted, some of those happened late at night when crime is just generally more likely, but the near-rape was in the middle of the day, which is seriously creepy.

So yeah. As I've joked other places, "Conversion to hermit 85% complete" except we don't have grocery delivery locally (which I would be all over if it were a thing: e-mail in my order at the end of the day, meet the guy at my door when I got home).

Then again, there's less chance of finding serendipitous things. I wandered over to the toy section with the vague hope of finding the DJ PON-3 Equestria Girls mini (I kind of want one, but I don't want one at the prices third-party sellers on Amazon charge; the wal-mart has these dolls for at least $4 less than the sellers on Amazon want).

No luck there, but I found another one. (They have all the Wondercoltified versions of the Mane Six, and I think they maybe had one of the Fall Dance ones). But this one was all by herself up on a higher shelf, a little away from the rest of the pony toys and if a local pony fan was hiding it there until s/he came back with more money, I'm sorry:

But not that sorry (I'm more sorry if it was a kid than if it was an adult collector; I remember being a kid with a tiny allowance and having to hope whatever I wanted was still in stock by the time I managed to scrape together enough money. This is Sunset Shimmer, the "mean girl" who got reformed at the end of the first Equestria Girls movie and was a pretty good friend in the second one. I'm not CRAZY about the concept of Equestria Girls but the "mini" dolls are certainly cute. And admittedly, Sunset's character design is pretty cool. (It's hard to see in the photo but she has a "leather" jacket with studs on over her tank top and skirt. And what are ALMOST biker boots)

She doesn't exist as a Pony in Equestria: the mythology is that the human world is an alternate world where there are doppelgängers in human form of everypony in Equestria. Except Sunset Shimmer, because she's a Bad Pony who ran away and self-banished to the human world.

And yeah, that seems symbolic to me: that the human world, compared to the Pony world, is a place of banishment.

Some have speculated that maybe she'd be allowed to return and you know? I think that would maybe be a nice series-ending episode: Sunset Shimmer comes back as a pony, she's welcomed back with she declares she is going to strive to be a good friend like she learned to be in the human world. At least, it would satisfy me - I am a big sucker for redemption stories.

1 comment:

CGHill said...

For what it's worth, I'm trying out the Walmart Grocery Pickup scheme today: I ordered about 18 items last night, and will pick them up at curbside this afternoon. Slightly less bravery involved.