Both of the following statements are true:
Statement #1: I love Walmart.
Statement #2: I hate Walmart.
I guess you could say I love to hate Walmart. But I guess my love for it overrides my hate for it because I keep going back. Don’t get me wrong. Walmart provides me with me with endless hours of amusement. Ever gone to the website “people of Walmart”? http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/ Hilarious. I mean you can’t MAKE this crap up. I remember someone once sent me a newspaper clipping from some small town where they were interviewing a woman at the grand opening of their local “dollar store” and she said she liked it because she didn’t have to “dress up” to go there like she did at Walmart. Really? I mean, REALLY???
I sometimes think that people that work there have to take a special incompetency test just to work there. I’m not saying that there are not NICE NORMAL HELPFUL people who work at Walmart. They just don’t seem to be “the norm”. And I apologize in advance to those people. I have 3 places on “my list” that I think employ the worst employees. #1 – The IRS (Sorry Tessa, this does NOT include you) #2 – The City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management #3 – Walmart . I get a headache immediately just thinking about having to deal with any of them. The first two I have had to have extensive dealings with in previous jobs. In fact later today I have to help a former employer draft a letter to the Watershed Department and I’m already getting the beginnings of a headache just anticipating it. Thankfully they are closed today so I don’t have to actually deal with them one on one. But, as usual, I digress…
The two particular departments of Walmart that cause me the MOST frustration are the Automotive Department and the Photo Department. I’ll save the auto stories for later. Today I’ll touch on the photo department. I have had many, many dealings with the photo department at Walmart. I know… WHY do I keep going back if they frustrate me so? Well, they are cheap! When you can get what you need. I’ve had many instances of frustration trying to get copies of actual pictures because they think the pictures look too professional, whether they are or not. I almost got into a physical altercation with one employee because my mom and dad had been to a dinner and had a picture taken by a friend there and it did turn out to be a really good picture and it looked too professional so they would not make copies for me. I was particularly frustrated because my mama wanted me to get those copies made for her and I will do anything in the world to try to make my mama happy and the fact that she was refusing to help me make my mama happy made me even madder. I ended up storming out absolutely livid. Actually I think my husband had to DRAG me out of the store after I called the girl an idiot because he was afraid they were gonna arrest me. Sorry lady… I’m sure it was NOT your fault… yeah, right. She had told me that IF I had had the disc with the picture they could have printed them for me. Sorry, my mom only sent me the actual picture. This is the picture:
Fast forward a couple of years. Last year, I wanted some good pictures of my youngest to send out with her graduation announcements but didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg going to a photography studio. Plus, as usual, I waited until pretty much the last minute and knew I would not have time to get to a studio and get the pictures done and order them, blah, blah, blah… so… A friend that I worked with was taking photography classes and said she was wanting to get some experience with taking more “studio quality” pictures. She hadn’t really taken any type of professional photos before and this was going to be a win/win situation for both of us. She would get the experience of taking this type of photo and I would be able to print out the pics from one of those “do it yourself” machines (at Wally World) and still meet my deadline of getting those announcements out.
We went by her house one evening when I got off work and she took the pictures in her “family room”. She really did do a GREAT job with the pictures. Maybe too good. Here is one of them:
Anyway, knowing how they are about copying those types of pictures, I made SURE that my friend gave me a copy of the pictures on the CD so I could go get them printed. I go into my local friendly (I use that term loosely) Wally World armed with my CD. I go to the machine, insert my disc, select the prints I want and the number I want of each print and the size. I was having a hard time deciding on the size of some of them and how to place the order since some of them I wanted both 5 x7 and wallets and I wanted to make sure they were the nice sized wallets and not those little bitty ones you can barely see. I called the photo employee over to have her help me place the order and she even commented on what nice pictures they were. She was even very helpful in letting me know that it was going to take a LONG time to print all those copies from the machine and that I could “send” the order to them and they would print them off from their BIG machine and it would be quicker. She helped me finish the order and told me it was going to be an hour or so iif I had other shopping to do. I didn’t but I figured I could “waste” an hour wandering around Wally World people watching and browsing since it wasn’t the store closest to our house and would have been out of the way to come back.
I had been wandering around about 45 minutes when I heard my name called over the intercom. I was actually quite excited because it was quicker than I had expected. Before I could make my way back to the photo department, my cell phone rang. I answered it and it was the photo shop employee asking me to come back to the department because they were having a “problem” with my order…. Hmmmmnnnnn. I get back there and she informs me that they can’t complete my order because they were “professional” photos and she was sure that they must be copy righted so I’d need permission from the photographer. I told her that they were NOT “professional” photos and explained the situation of my friend taking photography classes, yada yada…. She was adamant they could NOT complete the order. I pulled out the CD and said “See, we anticipated something like this happening so she gave me a CD with the pictures on it.” She said “Oh, no… I need PERMISSION from the photographer.” I pull out my cell phone, call my friend and hand the phone to the employee (after explaining to my friend the situation). The employee talks to her and hangs up and tells me “How do I know that was the photographer? That could have been ANYBODY.” Say what????
I was trying to keep my composure and keep my mounting anger in check and told her… “The last time I had a problem with getting pictures copied here I was informed all I would need would be the CD with the pictures on it to have them copied”. She said “How do I know you didn’t just download those from the photographer’s website onto the CD. I need written permission on the photographer’s letterhead saying you have permission to make copies from that CD.” Are you F***ing KIDDING me? NOW, I’m angry. She has gone from just being obstinate to accusing me of being dishonest. I explained to her AGAIN that my friend was not a professional photographer therefore she did not have company letterhead on which to write her a freaking permission letter! (I might not have used those EXACT words… ooops). Then she said “Well, if you had them on a flash drive I could print them.” OK… so what’s the difference between being able to download to a CD and a flashdrive? I asked her that and then said “If I HAD downloaded these from a photographer’s website and they were indeed copyrighted don’t they usually have a little copyright logo ACROSS the pictures so that you CAN’T download them and copy them?” Then she said… “No, no… what I mean is that you need to have that little thing that goes inside the camera that the pictures are on from the photographer’s camera to make the pictures.” By this time I was probably a little condescending as I replied “You mean the memory card?” She said yes. I go “Do you really think photographers go around handing out the memory cards from their cameras to all their clients? Besides, it would be the SAME THING as downloading to a flashdrive or CD. I can do any of those from my computer. You just insert it into your computer instead of the camera.” She just said “Oh”. I asked if she had even STARTED printing off the pictures and she said yes, they were almost finished. I asked her what she was going to do with the pictures they had already printed out and she said “Throw them away.” So I said, “You would rather THROW AWAY perfectly good pictures that you have already printed out from my CD that my friend gave me that she took and GAVE TO ME than let me pay for them and be on my merry way?” She said “I could get in trouble if I let you have them. They look professional.” I asked for the department supervisor only to be told she wasn’t there. I then asked to speak to the store manager and she said it wouldn’t do any good because they were “independent” of Walmart and not under their supervision. So – AGAIN – I storm out of Walmart TOTALLY frustrated and angry and in a VERY bad mood. I ended up taking them to Wolf Camera and getting them printed no problem. Cost a little more but had I taken them there FIRST it would have been totally worth it NOT to have wasted that hour+ of my life arguing with the Wally World girl.
As an added footnote, and closure to THIS Wally World story. . . About a month ago I was at work and my cell phone rang. It was a local number but not one I recognized. I answered the phone and a voice on the other end asked for me. I said “This is she. How can I help you?” She goes “This is the photo department at the Walmart on XXXX Road. We are cleaning out our stock for the new year and I found this LARGE order that you never picked up.” ARE YOU F***ING KIDDING ME??????? “Do you want us to hold this for you to pick it up? When do you think you could come get it?” Yeah, sweetie… keep holding your breath for that to happen….. and I’ll be by to pick them up on the 12th….. of never….!