Shopping At Lowe’s On A Saturday Morning, The Struggle Was Absurdly Real

As we drove away I turned to Z-D and said, “some blog posts just write themselves.”

HE NODDED IN AGREEMENT.

Granted we could have refused to buy what we came for, but after hauling about 500 lbs of stepping stones + bagged mulch + bagged pebbles onto a flatbed cart then pushing it from the back of the Garden Center to the checkout register by the gated entry at the front of the Garden Center, we were committed to the project.

Plus we’d intentionally parked our car near the Garden Center gate so that we’d make it easier on ourselves when it came time to load our items into our car, but the joke was on us about that, too.

Here’s what happened.

• ~ 🌼~ •

On a sunny spring Saturday morning around 9:00 a.m. Zen-Den and I went to Lowe’s to buy gardening materials and some plants. Like many other shoppers we wanted to get going on our gardening projects while the weather was with us.

The Garden Center was busy with about 20 people shopping, everyone grabbing items, putting them in a basket cart or on a flatbed cart. Then going to stand in line by the registers, waiting for an employee to ring us out. But there were no cashiers to be seen by the registers.

After waiting about 5 minutes, pleasantly chatting with other shoppers, I decided to walk through the large store to go tell Customer Service that… stick with me here… there were customers who required some service. That is, a cashier to ring us out.

Instead of being received in a positive way*, the woman in charge of Customer Service told me I was wrong, stating that at there were no customers waiting to be checked out in the Garden Center.

YES, SHE SAID I, THE PERSON STATING A VERIFIABLE FACT, WAS WRONG.

• ~ 🌼~ •

I said “yes” there were customers in the Garden Center with basket carts and flatbed carts filled with items to purchase. At least 10 when I left the area to come and politely tell her we needed some… stick with me here… customer service.

But she said “no” that can’t be. She knew she was right because the Garden Center wasn’t open. It opened at 10:00 a.m. and it was only 9:20 a.m.

Repeating myself I told her “no” it was open, that the gates were unlocked, and that about 10 people were waiting to buy stuff.

THEN SHE ASKED ME IF I’D BROKEN THE LOCK TO GET INTO THE GARDEN CENTER.

I assured her that I hadn’t broken in and that it was open when we drove up. And most importantly… stick with me here… we needed someone to ring us out. Like one of the three cashiers I could see standing at three customer-free registers in the main part of the store.

Again this woman told me I was wrong because the Garden Center wasn’t open. It was kind of a theme with her to not believe me, the teller of truth.

At which point I walked away from her heading back to the Garden Center, shouting over my shoulder, “IT’S OPEN.”

• ~ 🌼~ •

Welp, what happened next is absurd, a case study in poor retail store management. By the time I walked back to the Garden Center the customer service woman had sent an employee to… stick with me here… lock the gates. Yep, she didn’t send one of the three cashiers who was doing nothing to ring us out.

INSTEAD OF ACCOMMODATING THE CUSTOMERS SHE MADE HER VERSION OF REALITY COME TRUE BY CLOSING THE GARDEN CENTER.

But of course the story doesn’t end here. That’d be too easy.

Nope, then we the customers were directed to traipse through the store pushing are loaded carts to where the three cashiers were standing by registers ready to ring us out.

Except they weren’t really ready to ring us out.

This is because many of the garden supplies and plants didn’t have UPC codes on them so without the official Garden Center information notebook the inside cashiers had no way to know what to charge us for the items that are sold exclusively in the Garden Center.

• ~ 🌼~ •

So we waited… stick with me here… while someone from Customer Service went back into the closed Garden Center to get the information notebooks about the UPC codes for the items we wanted to buy.

Eventually our pleasant, but frazzled, cashier got the information she needed and was able to ring up our purchases. We paid. Then we pushed the flatbed cart across the large parking lot to where we’d parked our car conveniently adjacent to the Garden Center gates.

That’d be the Garden Center that was open when we arrived, but now was locked up tight on a beautiful spring Saturday morning in the suburbs.

BECAUSE CUSTOMER SERVICE MADE IT SO.

The end.

*Good Customer Service would have said something to the effect of: “Thank you for telling me what’s going on in the Garden Center. It’s not meant to be open until 10:00 a.m. I don’t have any cashiers to run those registers now BUT I’LL SEND SOME EMPLOYEES TO HELP YOU PUSH YOUR CARTS TO THIS PART OF THE STORE where we have registers open. I apologize for the inconvenience.” And that would have been the end of it. No story to tell.

As June Begins, I’m Doing Not Much Of Anything Enthralling

WHAT DAY IS THIS?

I’m scattered this week. I tell ‘ya, begin a week with a Monday holiday and I’m confused, more than normal, for days after. But then what kind of weirdo who isn’t? Hmmm…?

Anyhow, the title says it all. Well, everything except the deets about the Not Much Of Anything Enthralling. That’d be things I’ve done, or tried to do, or hope to do.

I read The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisnero and it’s wonderful. Originally published in 1984 I can’t believe I’ve never read it before. Oddly enough I thought of each short succinct chapter as a blog post; the style of this book is prescient vis-à-vis today’s blogosphere. This book was part of my own unique 2021 reading challenge.

We’ve been enjoying Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs [thanks Katie] and Corn and Black Bean Salad [thanks Dorothy]. If there’s one good thing about the pandemic, it is that we’ve tried many new recipes and that’s fun in my worldview.

We’re on Season 20 of Midsomer Murders. Almost every night this spring we’ve sat down to watch one episode. They’re charming and light and often have an unexpected twist that’s plausible. Also, if we can’t travel to England, then we can look at it and listen to posh accents.

I skimmed through The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D. It’s a deep academic book about trauma; there are many extensive case studies. While I found some of the chapters interesting, like the ones about how yoga and meditation help you release the negativity/emotional hurt in your body, the rest of the book was too deep for me.

I revised my About Ally Bean page and added a Blogging Hints page. I’m contemplating having an old-fashioned blogroll page again, but don’t know if there’s a need. I’d base it on the results of the Bean Personality Quiz that I shared in my previous post. Where do you stand on blog rolls? Yay or nay?

I’m hoping to go to the Le Creuset outlet store to look at, and maybe buy, new coffee mugs. I broke my favorite orange coffee mug this week and had a sadz. But then I decided I wanted to buy four new mugs that all match and are the same color. [Can you imagine?] There’s no better place than to see all the colors available than at the outlet store.

We’re hoping to to go to Summerfair at Coney Island, an outdoor art show. It’s this weekend and is an annual event that we missed last year because of… oh you know why. I like going to this particular art show because I enjoy walking around outside by the river; seeing, perhaps buying, some art; and indulging in some kettle corn freshly made in front of me.

LET SUMMER BEGIN!

~ ~ 💚 ~ ~

WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING LATELY? ANYTHING ENTHRALLING?

~ ~ 💚 ~ ~

On A Pretty November Day Chatting About Outdoor Furniture While We Wait*

AFTER A WET and thoroughly disappointing October, we’ve finally gotten to the pretty days of autumn.

The sky is clear blue with a few white puffy clouds, the leaves on the trees are gloriously colorful shades of gold and rust, and the daytime temps are in the 60s F.

I like everything about this scenario, so color me relaxed and happy in spite of what is going on in the world.

Nothing has been as I anticipated it would be this year, so why not have a delayed autumn? Maybe even a late winter, too? 

• • •

WE’VE BEGUN TO carry some of the outdoor furniture inside, storing it in the basement like we do.  Instead of taking one day to move all the outside furniture inside, we’ll do it in dribs and drabs.  Rather like the way in which leaves drop from the trees in the fall.

We’re also talking about taking the bold step of ordering some new outdoor chairs and a rocker to add to our outdoor furniture collection.

I only mention that we’re thinking about doing this because the estimated delivery time for this type of composite Adirondack-style furniture is 3 months [or more].  Therefore, if we want these items by next spring [or summer], we must order them soon.

In other words there will be waiting involved;  and isn’t waiting the subtext of 2020? And today?

• • •

* It’s up to you, my gentle readers, to decide whether the wait mentioned in the title of this post is for furniture delivery OR for the polls to close today ending [I hope] this dreadful presidential election. Comment as you see fit.

Shopping For Valentine’s Day Flowers, Chatting With A Fellow Shopper

Feeling the blues? Click on image above to go elsewhere to see and hear Little Milton & Bonnie Raitt sing Grits Ain’t Groceries.

A glimpse into my daily life demonstrating that random people talk to me– sometimes making me laugh out loud and to myself.

I’m in the floral department of the grocery store on Wednesday, late afternoon.

I’m shopping for a bouquet of flowers as one does when Valentine’s Day is on the horizon.

A random person, Observant Dude, a 40-something man walks into the floral department where I’m pushing my cart.  He looks at the displays and spies something I hadn’t noticed, being focused as I was on the price of mixed flower bouquets more than anything else.

Observant Dude stops in his tracks, looks amazed, then forsaking all other shoppers in the floral department he says to me: There’s cabbage in the floral department. Cabbage doesn’t belong with the flowers.

I look across the way to where he is pointing and see, nestled amongst the red roses, what appears to be bouquets of purple cabbage leaves wrapped in brown paper in a cone shape.

I start smiling because Observant Dude is correct. It looks like there’s cabbage in the Valentine’s Day flower display in the floral department in the grocery store.

Kind of quirky, but fun. On the surface of it.

• • •

At which point Observant Dude looks at me, totally baffled, and says in the most earnest voice I’ve heard in years: Who would get their loved ones a bouquet of cabbage? That wouldn’t be right.

I started laughing at Observant Dude’s sincere observation because you have to admit he had an excellent point.  Unless you’re a rabbit, bouquets of cabbage don’t generally express everlasting love.

True dat.

But here’s the thing, the kicker: what Observant Dude was looking at wasn’t cabbage at all.  Nope, it was a bouquet of hydrangeas, dark purple ones that he’d mistaken for cabbage, and while I could see what they really were, I didn’t feel it was my place to correct him.

Having just met and all.

So I nodded my head at Observant Dude and went on my way, smiling, because when you get down to it, who doesn’t like to hear an unsolicited heart-felt Valentine’s Day rant about something as mundane as cabbage, that wasn’t cabbage?

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, KIDS

~ ~ ❤️ ~ ~

The One In Which I Talk To Myself While Buying Beer & Am Overheard

This post has been published in black and white so that I won’t be accused of trying to influence your answer to the poll question below by using particular colors in this post. Nope, not doing that here.

• 🏈 • 🏈 • 🏈 •

I know that Super Bowl Sunday is a big day for gambling, but I know from experience that Super Bowl Sunday is a busy shopping day in grocery stores.

Keeping that in mind while I was at the grocery store yesterday, I decided to go ahead and buy food & drink for what will be our Super Bowl Sunday junk food feast.  It’ll be just the two of us so our snacking will lean toward healthy, but we gotta have something special.

It’s a law.

While in the store I decided to buy a six-pack of fancy beers, one of those create your own dealios, you know?  That’s when the store has a refrigerated section that offers a wide assortment [maybe 75?] of individual bottles of beer/ale/cider.  You pick the 6 you want, placing them in a generic cardboard carrier that when taken to the register rings a set price.

$9.99 to be exact.

Welp, I got totally swept away with the variety in front of me and found myself contemplating each bottle as if I’d never seen beer before.  I was smitten with the idea of having choices, and went with two local ales, two regional beers, and one national-brand ginger beer.  But I couldn’t decide about the last one bottle so I carefully reviewed all my choices, finally adding a bottle of international beer to the cardboard carrier.

As I did so, with a real sense of personal accomplishment, I said out loud: “And it’s Heineken for the win.”

At which point I heard a man, who I didn’t realize was standing behind me waiting for me to choose my bottles, say: “Yes it is, always.”

Of course I jumped about a foot in the air and started laughing, apologizing for taking so long– because really I’d been dawdling more than deciding— but this kind man just grinned and said: “No problem.”

Which in this situation was an appropriate response, so all’s well that end’s well.  Including, I do hope, football season this Sunday evening.