I seriously doubt that "Ian" has a blog, but by golly, I'm in a public forum with my cyber-megaphone and he deserves this shout-out, so he's getting it.
Ian, if you are out there and you have any friend who reads my blog, I hope they will send you this link. Let me tell you how I feel about Walmart and how you changed my view, if only just for one visit.
Walmart makes me cry. I loathe Walmart. Wait, that's not accurate. I love Walmart - until I get to the checkout line. Here's my routine:
The Plan Before:
- Go in with a list of 10 items.
- Proposed time-frame for shopping is one half hour.
- Plan to spend around $60.
- Go home and be happy.
The Reality After:
- Bought 80 items, most of which were loosely on the list in a category, and ten of which were impulse buys, "I didn't know THIS existed!"
- Shopped for two hours, my feet are killing me, and I'm ready to cry already from exhaustion and the realization that I've wasted half my day.
- Spent $200 and can't possibly have her put $140 worth back for me and hey, I need this stuff. Then, try to figure out right there in the checkout line what I can cut out of the budget this week (gas or electricity?) so the trip doesn't bust my bank account.
- Go home beat up and depressed, filled with regret and self-loathing, thinking, "How could I have done this AGAIN?"
You get my drift. I do it over and over, several times a month. It's torture.
By the time I get to the checkout, I have a mixed sense of fear/wonder about what kind of checker I will get; slow, chatty, not chatty enough, rude, poor bagger, etc. As a result, if I don't have too much, I hit the self-checkout. Ian, this is where you come in.
Every time I use the self-checkout, two things happen. First, it tells me repeatedly to put things in the bagging area when I already am doing just that, and second, it locks me out and I have to get The Overseer to come help me. I don't know what self-checkout-counter-line-helper-guy's real title is, so for now, he's "The Overseer." It's usually a woman who could not seem less thrilled to be anywhere but there, helping anyone but me, and who parks herself behind that counter and doesn't budge unless absolutely necessary.
Ah, but today was different. Ian was working and I swear, Ian has magic Walmart pixie dust. I checked my items without it frustrating me even one time, and instead of me having to say, "Excuse me, I need some help here," I was interrupted by Ian approaching me and asking me if everything was going okay. I was so shocked that I thought maybe he thought I was stealing and he was approaching me for a shake-down, but then I realized that he was just... just... being polite!
I could scarcely believe it! I observed Ian as I continued checking myself out. He walked around and checked with each customer to see if they needed any assistance. Then when he saw that everyone was taken care of, he went back around and asked if people would like to donate to the Children's Miracle Network. As I exited the area, he thanked me for shopping with them and bid me a wonderful day. I eyed his name tag carefully, for these acts would not go unreported.
I had only spent about $100, hadn't shopped until I dropped, and was sprinkled with fairy dust by Ian of the Vandalia, IL Walmart and I had to tell somebody about it! I looked around. Line manager, busy. Customer Service counter, huge line. So I came home and got right on Walmart's site and found a way to contact Corporate to compliment this man for going above and beyond the call of duty.
Ian, because of you, I left Walmart without a tear in my eye, without a cloud of depression, and instead with a spring in my step. All because you made a difference in the end-user experience. My husband hates the self-checkouts because he says they take away jobs from real people, but no machine can replace an Ian. My hat is off to you, sir! You have done your job well. I told Walmart to give you something - recognition, a raise, or a promotion - and I truly hope you get it.
Tell me, Everyday Underwear followers, who have you recognized lately?