Often, for my work, I have to camp out in hotels and wait for my next job. Many times near the hotel clusters there will be ramshackle and/or abandoned shopping centers. As long as they don't look dangerous, I love walking through them. I posted about this type thing before.
If it's a K-Mart shopping center, it's like striking gold. You'd be hard pressed to find an easier retailer to make fun of than K-Mart. They always have a very special atmosphere. 😀 If you like to be alone, this is the place to shop. You can get a lot of thinking done in there. It's a good time for me while on the road for work. It gets me out of the hotel room for awhile, and I can meditate. 😀
Some of the fun things that happen at K-Mart are these:
- The parking lot will often have holes in it the size of lunar craters, but since I'm usually walking, they are easy to dodge.
- The floor inside the store will be worn down the the underlying cement along the main customer paths from customers long ago.
- At least one part of the store, and maybe the entire store, will have an "odor."
- Any shopping cart that you pick will have a wheel that is not round, or will jerk from side to side, making a nice klankity-klank sound as you go.
- Prices are high. I bought groceries at a Super-K one time and feared that I was going to need a loan to get out of there.
- Their store brands are usually more costly than name brands somewhere else.
- A great deal of the merchandise will be unpriced. The shelf tags are long gone. Don't ever buy these items and hope. You'll find that the $1.50 deck mop you just bought was actually $12.50. In my mind, unpriced merchandise is not for sale, period.
- The cashier lanes are narrow and so packed with do-dads hanging everywhere that your cart will invariably snag something and knock a lot of stuff to the floor.
- In the *one* check-out lane that is open, every single transaction will have a problem that requires a manager to make a long slow walk from the manager "skybox" on the other side of the store.
- The customer in front of you will *always* write a check that requires the world's most elaborate and time consuming verification procedure. I always stare in disbelief because it looks so strange to see someone write a check these days.
- Many of the employees and customers will look seriously troubled in one way or another.
I was reading a funny article about K-Mart at the Consumerist website tonight. A couple of posters made comments that were right on the money:
"johnrhoward" made a funny, but true, comment: "Every time I go into Kmart, I feel like the customers are outnumbered by the employees. It's disorienting."
"IfThenElvis" said: "I love shopping at Kmart. It's so quiet and empty. My local Walmart does more business at it's return counter than Kmart does at all its checkouts."
😆 😆 I've never seen a retailer die a slower more painful death over more decades than this one.