Saturday, January 17, 2009

The 8th Circle of Hell

My passion for shopping has already been well documented. And I confess, it takes a lot to take the joy out of a shopping experience for me. But it happened today at Sam's Club in Hickory also known as The 8th Circle of Hell.

In general, I love "price club" shopping. We have memberships to BJ's and Sam's and there is a definite thrill in buying 1375 Q-tips at once (as I did today) and calculating the per unit cost versus what you would pay "retail." It's a shoppers high on steroids. But there are some potential detractors from the experience.

For example, don't shop at Sam's on a Saturday (like I did today). Ever. Saturdays are for suckers. Kind of like going to a bar on New Years Eve. It's amateur night. STAY AWAY.

Also, don't go at lunch time. Sam's in particular is a maze of free samples. People were literally in line with their big ass carts waiting to sample a mini eggroll or a chicken wing. I hit at least 2 major logjams where I had to go around several aisles in order to keep moving and I spotted more than a handful of people who looked like they were jumping from one free sample to the next in order to have lunch. Hey - I know the economy is bad but c'mon people...

So here's the thing. I don't know Sam's that well as I don't go often so it took me some time to gather my goods. But after 45 minutes of navigating through the hungry masses and collecting all of the items that I NEEDED (yes needed), I finally got to the checkout. Checkout was actually painless until....


Ok - let me clarify that point. They don't take Visa credit. They take Visa debit. They take Mastercard credit. Discover credit. Cash. Checks. But apparently Visa credit (as opposed to MC credit or Discover credit) is a no no. Well, as it happened, all I had in my wallet were 2 Visa credit cards. There was about a 3 minute exchange between me (completely incredulous and dumbfounded) and the cashier (dumber than dirt) and I finally just walked away leaving my cart of goods (including 1375 Q-tips) behind.

Frustrated, I hoofed it in the freezing cold all the way across the parking lot to my car (because it's Saturday at lunch and so the parking lot was more than crowded), got in my car, pulled out to leave when I realized...I had left my Sam's membership card with the freaking cashier. ARGH. And so, I waited for like 10 minutes to pull out because the guy 2 cars in front of me seemed afraid to turn left, he finally turned, I got out of the parking lot only to circle around and pull in again. I was not going to park 2 miles away so I pulled up in front where it's illegal to park, left my car with the flashers on, and frantically rushed NYC style back into Sam's. I had to wait for the cashier to finish ringing up her current customer who decided to pay with cash in order to get my card which was in the cash register drawer. Have you ever seen Quick Change with Bill Murray and Geena Davis? That scene where he is trying to get change for a $100 bill in order to get on the bus which is leaving in 1.3 minutes and the woman in front of him is taking FOREVER???? That's what it was like (I don't know why I thought they could possibly tow my car in the 2 - 3 minutes it took but I did).

Anyways, I finally got my card, got in my car and left to head over to BW-3's to watch Duke beat Georgetown!

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

p.s. Because I am a glutton for punishment, I returned to Sam's after the game along with Marty's Mastercard.