Stealing Cars & Groceries: Nobody Cares

Car alarms are useless. It doesn’t matter what kind of car you own, whether it’s a Lexus or a Hyundai, there is no real protection offered to you in the case of auto theft. I’ve never been the victim of this sort of crime in my life, but if it happens to me, I can’t say that I would be surprised. Just today I heard a car alarm going off in a grocery store parking lot, and neither me nor any of the people in the area cared enough to see what was going on. That’s just the way it is. An alarm is seen as more of an annoyance rather than an alert that something bad is going on, which is why I find car alarms completely useless and ridiculous. I click the button on the remote a couple times, first for the initial lock and the second to make sure the alarm is set, but that doesn’t really matter at all because nobody cares. Unless you are within eyesight of your car being broken into, the thieves will get away with whatever they want, and unfortunately this doesn’t just apply to automobiles.

As I left the grocery store today, I was behind a woman who set off the stores alarm when leaving, and and she didn’t even stop, not that it mattered because an employee was quick to offer her an apology for the “malfunction” and send her on her way. For all anyone knew this person could have stolen every item in her cart, but because nobody cared, she left the store free of any suspicion that any wrongdoing had taken place. The popular phrase, “the customer is always right” seems to take away any responsibility of the customers that shop at a particular store, one that is much more interested in having said customer return than the potential loss that is taken if a non trustworthy person decides to walk out the door with more groceries than they have paid for. I just don’t get it, and I wonder why stores let people get away from the flashing lights and beeping sounds of the security sensors as if the store is the one at fault.

I don’t plan to steal a car or anything from a grocery store but I have to say that it seems pretty easy to do so. When was the last time you heard a car alarm in the parking lot and actually went to investigate what was going on. That is somebody else’s problem, just like when a teenage employee doesn’t think twice about the person leaving the store while alarms go off all around them. I don’t condone stealing, but if other people are getting away with it then why should I continue to pay my weekly grocery bill at full cost? Don’t people care enough about what they own to step in and put an end to this madness? The evidence clearly says no, and that is why I won’t be surprised if either of my cars are stolen at some point in the near future.

Buying Groceries Online

I used to love grocery shopping, but all of that stopped at some point when my wife deemed it necessary to buy our weekly groceries at multiple stores and spending an exorbitant amount of time, around two hours, doing so. My wife focuses on getting the best values, combing through sales ads and going to one store for poultry and another for produce, whereas I just want to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible, because to me, grocery shopping seems like a huge waste of time. I realize that it’s key to survival, but do we really need to spend a big chunk of the day on it? I don’t think so, which is why, for the last few weeks anyway, my wife has done the shopping alone and we couldn’t be happier with the arrangement. Even though these arrangements are good for everyone involved, there is always room for improvement in any given situation, so this week we tried something new and ordered our groceries online.

Before my wife left for work this morning she gave me her debit card and the instructions to show up at Kroger sometime between ten and eleven to pick up the groceries. About ten thirty-three I pulled into the parking lot and tried to figure out where I was supposed to go. The email confirmation that Kroger had sent my wife and had been forwarded along to me just said to follow the signs and the instructions on them to pick up your groceries. I past sign after sign as I drove past the front of the store, careful not to run over any of the shoppers; fire lane: do not park, handicap parking, tow away zone, all signs I passed, none of which mentioned where to pick up your online order. After I finally made it past the store with no fatalities, I noticed a few parking spots to the side that were reserved for picking up groceries. Bingo, I pulled in. There was a phone number on the sign that told me to call it to let the store know I was here, which was pretty disappointing because I figured in this day and age that Kroger would have the technology to sense my presence as I pulled into the parking lot and be waiting at the front of the store with my basket full of groceries.

I called the number, gave them my name, and less than five minutes later an employee was wheeling my groceries towards my parked car. I got out, paid and signed the paperwork and told the employee she could put the groceries into the laundry basket sitting in the backseat, a genius idea thought up by my wife to carry in the groceries so we didn’t have to keep going up and down the stairs to our apartment multiple times just to carry everything inside. The employee asked me if I wanted the eggs up front with me and I said sure, but by the time everything was loaded, there were no eggs to be found. She said that she must have been mistaken in thinking we had eggs, and since I didn’t order the groceries I had no idea whether we did or not, but I’m sure I’ll find out quickly when my wife gets home from work and opens the fridge to make sure I’ve put everything away properly, which in all honesty, I probably didn’t.

Somehow we ended up with four boxes of croissants, and while I do use them for my sandwiches I take for lunch, sixteen large croissants seemed excessive so I texted my wife to ask why she’d ordered so many. She only meant to order eight, but must have accidentally doubled the order, either that or they gave us extra croissants instead of eggs. I honestly don’t know how accurate the order turned out yet seeing as how I have no idea what was ordered in the first place, but whatever the outcome, I hope we continue to do our grocery shopping this way in the future. It’s so easy and takes about the same amount of time as filling up at the gas station. If you haven’t already gotten in on this trend I would highly recommend giving it a try. Why not make your life easier?

The Curious Case of the Wal-Mart Bathroom

IMG_3573Does anybody else feel the need to use the bathroom while their grocery shopping? While the urge may strike you as soon as you enter the store or when you leave the checkout line, I feel that this human reaction is fairly common. My wife takes a crazy amount of time picking out groceries, and I, the basket pusher, finds myself in need of a restroom just about every time we go shopping, but unfortunately the bathrooms at the front of the Wal-Mart store where we go, are closed. It’s been that way four multiple months now, and every time we go, I’m forced to walk to the back of the store, through the paint section, and the hardware tools in order to relieve myself. Throughout the course of my life I’ve come into contact with different restrooms in different places that have been closed, with an out of order sign posted on the door, but this is the first time that stores that I frequent, have closed a bathroom for an extended period of time, and I just want to find out what’s going on.

Yesterday, my wife and I went grocery shopping and on schedule my bladder sent a message to my brain that it needed to be released. Unfortunately we were in the checkout line and the restrooms at the front of the store were closed off, baskets and caution tape preventing me from doing what was necessary at the moment. I wouldn’t be writing about this if it were a one time problem, but the truth is, these restrooms have been closed off most of the year and i don’t understand what could be so wrong with them that they would be closed for such an extended period of time. I called the store and asked about it, and the first person I spoke to told me that they had open bathrooms in the back of the store. That’s great but didn’t answer the question I was asking, so she transferred me to a manager.

I was respectful to the manager, more so that I probably could have, and he clarified why the restrooms at the front of the store were closed, because of a problem with the design of the building which subsequently led to too much sewage coming from that front bathroom. I expressed my displeasure and asked the manager when the bathrooms at the front of the store would be opened and he told me that Wal-Mart hoped to have them back opened within the month, which I’m not buying. The store in question is less than a year old, and I feel that proper precautions should have taken place to avoid his catastrophe, but they were not, which is why I have to haul my butt to the back of the store anytime I want to use the restroom. My advice to all my readers is simple; if you are the kind of person that uses the restroom at any point that you are shopping for groceries, go somewhere else like Target or Kroger, because at Wal-Mart you won’t find the adequate restrooms you deserve.

The Weekly Annoyance

Last night my wife and decided to get our weekly grocery shopping over with. Normally we do it on Sunday’s, but today we’re going to visit my family in Arkansas for the Easter holiday, and didn’t want to have to worry about going to the store when we returned home tomorrow afternoon, because for us, grocery shopping is an arduous process involving multiple hours and multiple stores. I’m not really sure why, but I just go along and try not to complain too much. We left the apartment at seven, and by eight o’clock I was standing in front of the deli counter at Walmart, to get some lunch meat, one of the few remaining items on the shopping list. An employee approached the counter and I told him wanted I wanted, a pound of the smoked ham, pretty straight forward if I may say so myself. He said something inaudible, but I figured he was asking how thick I wanted it sliced, a question I’m asked every week, so I gave my answer, and again the employee muttered something, so I guess I must’ve misheard him. I thought maybe he didn’t hear what I had said so I repeated, “one pound of the smoked ham” and in an attempt to make sure he understood me, I pointed at the product that I wanted.

He looked at me and said the same words again, but still I had no idea what he was saying. “Excuse me?” I asked, feeling like an idiot for having this guy repeat the same thing over and over to me. He said it once more and finally I made out the words. “We’re closed.” I walked back over to my wife who was checking out the abysmal selection of sweet potatoes, trying to convince herself to take one of the disgusting looking spuds, when I told her that the deli was closed. Without missing a beat she suggested we go to Kroger, eager to find some better looking sweet potatoes, so we added a fourth store to our grocery rotation, and backtracked all the way back to Kroger.

The good news is that the sweet potatoes happened to be on sale for thirty-nine cents a pound, and there was an enormous selection to choose from. The bad news is that when we rang them up at the self checkout, we were charged a dollar and ninety-nine cents a pound. Me being the con confrontational and impatient person that I am was all for paying the higher price and getting out of grocery number three as quickly as possible, but my wife was not about to spend so much for just two sweet potatoes. She voided the item on the self checkout screen and of course we had to wait for an attendant to come over and put in her little code and to make sure we weren’t trying to pull a fast one over on them by stealing the item we were pretending to void. I explained to the employee that we must have put in the wrong code because the sweet potatoes ended up being more expensive than advertised. Actually, we were told, we had indeed put in the right code, but for some reason that particular item was ringing up incorrectly, so she had to manually enter the correct price. It’s too bad we weren’t at Publix because if an item is more expensive than the sign says, you get it for free, but I was just happy to get the weekly soul sucking grocery shopping trip behind me. Now I can relax and enjoy my weekend.

Crazy People at Walmart

IMG_3466The Walmart where my wife and I normally do our grocery shopping got robbed today, so in an attempt to maybe see some excitement we moved our shopping day up to today rather than waiting until tomorrow like we normally do. By the time we arrived there was no big scene of police officers or news cameras, just the regular old boring people who spend their Saturday evening’s shopping at Walmart rather than doing anything culturally enriching, people like us. I’ve got to ask because multiple people have told me that it’s weird that I do the grocery shopping every week with my wife. Is this something that husbands don’t typically do? I’m probably not going to stop any time soon because I actually like going to the grocery store, although I have to admit that sometimes I don’t love how long it takes to pick out a jar of peanut butter. I just found it surprising that my going to the store with my wife was out of the ordinary so if all of the married people out there would please weigh in on this topic, I would greatly appreciate it.

It’s truly amazing the things that I see at Walmart, but what is even more amazing to me than what I witness is that people act like fools for anybody to see and don’t seem to care about it. While we were getting dog food I heard a woman behind me say “be careful, you’re going to hurt yourself.” I don’t know what words trigger your interest, but when somebody is at risk of hurting themselves, it is an absolute must see for me, so I turned around to witness a person standing on three stacked up boxes of kitty litter, a sort of redneck stepladder, reaching to get something from the top shelf. The reason I referred to the idiot as a person rather than identifying his or her gender is because my wife and I couldn’t agree on which one it was. Secondly, this was a very large person, and ironically he or she was standing on a box that said “light weight” and was in turn crushing it beneath its excessive weight. I realize I’m not the picture of physical health and could stand to lose a few pounds, but this difference between me and this fool is I know my limitations and realize that standing on three boxes made of cardboard would be a terrible idea. If damaging the products wasn’t bad enough, after the person got what they wanted from the top shelf, they walked away, leaving the three boxes on the floor in the middle of the aisle, a completely shameful move which allowed me to snap a picture of the idiocy.

As my wife and I meandered our way through the produce section, we encountered yet another fool, only this time she was recognized as a woman and was doing her damage from the comfort of a motorized cart. I first took notice of her when I heard a loud thud signaling to everyone in the area that she had backed into the strawberry display. I watched her for a few minutes driving in circles, almost hitting me once, and bumping into various things, and all the while she was talking loudly on her cellphone. In all the time watching her, I stared intently at her, trying to see what injury might have given her a reason to be on the cart, but as far as I could tell, her only affliction was laziness. I think there is a good teaching moment here, so if you’ll indulge me for just a second more I would like to leave you with some advice; there are a lot of crazy people out there, make sure you are not one of them.

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My Horrible Trip to the Mall

Yesterday evening I found myself in the hardware department of Sears. I was lured there by my wife who’d earlier in the day asked if I wanted to go to the mall and I made the crucial mistake of assuming that going to the mall meant shopping in stores much more exciting than Sears. When we arrived at the Wolfchase Galleria and the excitement faded from my eyes as we approached Sears, my wife made a suggestion that we get something to eat at the food court, to keep my occupied while she shopped for tools and salvage my trip to the mall. We got Chick-fil-a which is always a good choice, but I quickly realized once we were handed the bag of food that I wouldn’t be able to eat this walking through the store, because like any good american I needed to be able to dunk my fries in ketchup, which would be virtually impossible if not sitting down. We sat in the food court and ate the sandwich and fries, which were pretty tasteless by the way, no matter how much ketchup I put on them.

Once we got to Sears and made it over to the hardware section, the boredom kicked in almost instantly. In this way, I suppose I’m not your typical man, because I don’t have any interest in tools whatsoever. In this marriage it is my wife who is tool crazy and likes to do the typical manly things around the house, which is why we were shopping yesterday because she is going to change the rear brake pads on my car. Boring I know. I almost fell asleep typing that sentence, but it’s something that has to be done in order for my brakes to continue operating functionally so one day I don’t find myself speeding down the road unable to stop. Apparently that’s a bad thing but it’s not something I’ve actually experienced, and standing in the aisle full of sockets and wrenches I thought it might actually be preferable to being in the store at that moment.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that we were on the same aisle for at least twenty minutes. We were there so long that I began looking around me for something that I could use to hurt myself and be taken to the hospital. At that point I would have done anything to get out of that excruciatingly boring situation. I could use the box cutter to make a deep cut worthy of a 911 call, but it was in a plastic container that looked nearly impossible to open, so I settled on the foot long metallic ratcheting wrench. Before I could make my move, Leticia was ready to check out, so luckily I was able to leave without paying hundreds of dollars in medical bills. When we left the mall it was dark out, but I was feeling light and happy inside, proud of myself for surviving that excruciating ordeal. Hopefully I won’t have to go back to Sears for a very long time.

Holey Moley

It’s not like this came as any big surprise to me, sneaking up on me out of the blue. I’ve seen it happening for years now, time after time, but still today when I got home from work and saw it, I couldn’t help but feel a bit upset about it. When I arrived home I do what I normally do and get out of my work clothes as quickly as possible. It’s not that I hate them but I do have my limits on how long I can wear dress clothes without going crazy. My sweater and button down shirt were off by the time I reached the bedroom and my pants followed, shortly after kicking off my shoes. I pulled on some white shorts made out of the same beautiful material as sweat pants and put on my blue polo t-shirt, and let out a deep breath. I could finally relax. I walked into the bathroom and looked in the mirror and that is when it caught my attention, two small holes on both sides of the pocket on my shirt.

These holes have been forming on every single polo t-shirt that I own with a pocket and they are always in the same place, right above both of the top corners of the pocket. This has been happening for as long as I can remember, but today looking in the mirror it really annoyed me more than usual, and is why I’m calling out Ralph Lauren. If this had just happened to one shirt or even two, I might have written it off as a fluke mistake and thought nothing else of it, but it has happened without exception on every single one, which is very revealing about the quality of clothing at one of the world’s biggest fashion brands. I realize that polo t-shirts aren’t the most expensive in the world, but they do cost more than most of my other t-shirts.

I am of the belief that as a consumer I can pay more for a higher quality item. If I choose to buy something cheap, then I can’t be surprised to find out that it’s made of cheap materials and comes apart easily, but when I choose to spend more on something, I should be able to assume that it will hold up better than other products that cost less. None of my other shirts, not the three pack I bought from Walmart, or the fifteen dollar t-shirt from Dillards, have the visible signs of wear that my polo t-shirts do, and I’ve had some of those other shirts for years longer than I’ve had some of the Polos. I’m not going to boycott Ralph Lauren, because when it comes down to it, I love most of their clothes but the next time I’m in the store and need to buy a t-shirt, I’m almost one hundred percent certain that I won’t be purchasing a polo, at least not one with a pocket anyway.