Tonight played out in some very unexpected ways for me. I had to go to 3 different stores- Cracker Barrel, Walmart, and Stein Mart. Three very different stores, in three very different parts of town, with three very different clientele.
My first stop was Cracker Barrel, right off the highway, on the far end of town from where I live. I had to return a book on CD I had "rented" from their library. (It's a fabulous service and I highly recommend it.) If you have ever been in a Cracker Barrel you know that the store patrons and restaurant patrons all pay at the same check out counter. I got in line behind one older gentleman. A line formed to the side of the man by people coming out of the restaurant. I was in no rush and let 3 people go ahead of me, even though I was there first. They never even noticed I was standing there. Another older gentleman did see me and saw how many people I allowed to go past me. He insisted I go next, even though, quite frankly, I really didn't care. My business was transacted quickly and easily and I left.
My next stop was Walmart. We have 2 of these behemoths in our town. One is brand spanking new and is right by my house. That was where I had purchased the items I was returning today. It's clean, bright, and rather nice. When I shop there I expect to run into people I know. I also expect courteous treatment. Don't get me wrong, there's still the "people of Walmart" crowd, but for the most part, it's not a bad shopping experience.
And then there is the other Walmart in town- the one in the ghetto. Except it isn't in a ghetto, it's just closer to the ghetto than the other store. This Walmart is actually right next to the "nice" mall, Target, Best Buy, and all of the other big stores in town. It's smack dab in the middle of everything. And yet most people avoid it like the plague (I wish I had). It's dingy, dark, and full of the scariest, nastiest people you have ever seen.
A few days ago I went to the Good Walmart to return some items. I walked straight in, went to customer service, got helped immediately, and left. I got home and realized I forgot the second bag of items, and needed to go back and return them. Because I had to drive to the far end of the galaxy to go to Cracker Barrel, I stopped at Ghetto Walmart.