Thursday, January 27, 2011

The register 12 chronicles.

Late this afternoon, I was once again in the line for register 12 at Walmart - the ostensible "express lane."

In front of me was a middle-aged woman with no more than a half-dozen items.

One of the items was a Kelly green t-shirt for a small child, maybe three or four years old from the looks of it. It had a brightly colored picture on the front. I could not make it out, but I would guess it related to some children's television show.

When the clerk attempted to ring up the shirt, the screen flashed a message that read "May not be sold." The clerk set it aside and said, "Sorry, I can't sell you this" while reaching for the next item.

The customer said, "Excuse me. Why can't you sell it to me?"

The clerk said "We never know why. Sometimes it just does that."

"Well could you try to ring it up again in case there was some kind of mistake?"

"Okay, but it will just say it again." She did and it did.

"Well, could you check with someone to find out WHY I can't buy it?"

A few minutes later, one of the long-time front end managers (short Scottish lady) showed up at the register. She explained to the customer that they really never know why.  She said it could be something that was the subject of a safety recall or Walmart had decided the quality was so bad they were going to get their money back from vendor.

So, let's think about this. You would think that when something can no longer be sold, Walmart would have employees pull it from all of the shelves world-wide within hours of that announcement or decision.

Well, I'm just guessing here but it appears that some whiz kid in the Walmart organization decided that rather than having to pay employees to pull all of the products off of the shelves, it would be cheaper to let the unsuspecting customers bring the products to  the register where it can be confiscated by a cashier already on the clock anyway.

And the thoroughly pissed-off customer ( and trust me, she was)? I guess the calculus is that they will get over it.

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