Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Customers of the Year

I have a love/hate relationship with Wal-mart that only be rivaled with the love/hate relationship I have with chocolate.

I love that I can pay only $1.84 for the same bottle of shampoo that would cost $2.79 at Safeway, but I hate the fact that I always leave there with a big headache, a huge bill, and an inexplicable desire to take a shower.

Sometime mid-August every year, I start bracing myself for our annual pilgrimage to the land of long lines and roll-back prices to replenish the kids' school supplies. The school publishes a list of all the items they need grade by grade. Markers, pencils, highlighters, scissors, folders...it's all spelled out for me in black and white.

4 dozen pencils--check. 6 Highlighters--check. 3 pink erasers--check. 3 boxes of 24 crayons--check...

Things were going surprisingly well until we hit one box of 12 Washable Markers on the first grade list.

Sounds easy enough, but I dare you to find a box of 12 anywhere. We found boxes of 8, 10, 16, and even 11, but not a single box of 12.
So after wasting 5 minutes of searching high and low and briefly entertaining buying non-washable markers, I eventually decided it was a box of 10 or nothing. Whoever wrote that list clearly had no idea what they were asking for.

Then I got to the next item....20 glue sticks. Woohoo! Double packs of glue sticks are 5 for $1.

Oh wait, their lists clearly state that only large, white glue sticks are acceptable, which happen to be $1.59 each. Yep, that would mean I spent 30 bucks for glue sticks that could have totaled 4.

So an hour and a half later with 2 carts full, our bank account drained, and the kids in various stages of starvation I left with a satisfied air that somehow we made out better than last year...

then I went home and took a shower.


Denise said...

seriously...we had the same thing on our list...and two-subject notebooks as well...for the life of me --- 1 subject, 3 subject, 5 subject...but no 2 subject.

I was almost batty by the time we were done!!

K said...

Sounds like I have something to look forward to next year!

alexandra said...

I don't know if this is a good idea to leave or not, but last week when I was at Wal-Mart there was another mom with the same lamentation. I then went to Target and they had the big sticks for something like 60 cents apiece. Don't know if that was a weekly special or not.

Personally, I would have bought the 2-packs for 20 cents and written "2 little = 1 big" on each one. Yeah, I'm that rude.

Andie said...

Ugh, I have completely put off school shopping for all of the reasons above, but I know I have to deal with it soon. Thankfully our Wal-Mart here is a super WM and I actually can't complain about Wal-Mart for once in my life. No decontamination showers required if you can believe it. I don't know if this is true or not, but a girl in our ward works there and she said that Wally World has a nationwide building freeze but their business plan includes a schedule to gut all existing Wal-Marts and turn them into Supers by some certain date.

About the obnoxious lists....Janie's kindergarten list had some weird type of binder that was very specific. We searched high and low looking for one and it was very expensive. On the first day of school I heard the kindergarten teachers giggling, 'Ooops, I guess people didn't understand that we actually wanted this OTHER [very cheap and simple] kind of binder.....' Then I watched them collect them all from the kids and put them on a shelf where they sat unused all year!

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