You know how there are certain stores you just won't shop at - until you do, of course, and remind yourself all over again why you don't shop there? That pretty much sums up my relationship with K-Mart... at least the one in Silver Spring.
I had a need for some merchandise on Friday, and not wanting to venture all the way to Rockville of Gaithersburg or Germantown, I made the closer drive to Aspen Hill, home of the over-crowded yet somehow understocked K-Mart. On this day, I did manage to find several items, and made my way to the register. There was only one register open, of course, and when I got there, the cashier was waiting for someone - the manager, apparently - to get her a price on an item. This act alone took at least five minutes. We waited another five minutes while the customer paid by check - another pet peeve of mine. By this point, there were at least a dozen people in line, and I was number six.
The bored cashier popped her gum as she leisurely scanned items. While she did this, the lady in front of me started to ditch stuff from her cart onto the candy/magazine display. She was apparently worried that she didn't have enough money, because when her time finally came, and the cashier rang up the total, the woman came back and grabbed most of the stuff back that she had already dumped. It was special. By the time I got through the line, 20 minutes had passed. I was sweating profusely because it had to have been 80 degrees in there, and I swore to myself I would never go back.
Of course, that promise lasted 24 hours. Through no fault of my own, some of the stuff I bought had to be returned and exchanged. So back I went on Saturday. To be honest, the returns went surprisingly smoothly, but buying other stuff to replace what I had returned? Fugeddaboudit!
I was able to find what I wanted quickly, and I returned to the front of the store to check out. I did mention this was Saturday, right? They had four registers open, but there were easily ten customers in each line, and they all stretched back to the linens department. I went to the back of the line, and waited for about five minutes without budging. This was not encouraging, considering I had spent 20 minutes in a shorter line the day before.
I looked around and noticed the shelves of folded towels that surrounded me were filled with pants and motor oil... Twinkies and blue jeans. Stuff that had no doubt been left behind by people who had better things to be doing on their Saturdays than growing old at K-Mart. I followed their lead, put down my merchandise on top of a very nice floral sheet, and walked out of the store.
Have I mentioned that I don't shop at K-Mart?