I just had the oddest retail experience at our local Kmart. I’m sorry, it’s actually a Big K, though I don’t know by it’s called that as the pharmacy, garden shop and cafe have been mercilessly ripped out of the place and to add to the deserted ambiance, there is a swath of empty aisles along the back of the store.

But I digress.

There was only one checkout open. Behind the check stand of register 7 stood no cashier, instead, plopped onto a stool was Albert. He seemed a friendly sort, though I think he had been screwed down to the stool. Because Kmart, I’m sorry Big K, does not have automated belts on their registers, he beckoned to me to slide the items down. He did not use the built in scanner designed for maximum efficiency and cashier comfort, instead he opted to use the gun usually reserved for the likes of kitty litter and lumber.

When asked my phone number so I could add the order to the rewards program, though I have no idea what the rewards are, he broke out into hilarious laughter when I gave him my Google voice number, a number based in Buffalo. Apparently my name, combined with Buffalo is fall down but not off the stool hilarious. He asked how it was in Buffalo. Apparently he’s never left the stool to go there.

As he gunned my order he just slid the items down to the bagging area and then asked me to bag it myself, lest he get off the stool.

I was kind of in a state of shock with his level of customer service. But, he did remember two important things: 1. He asked me if I wanted to put this on my Sears charge (I replied, absolutely not until Mr. Roebuck is reestablished with the company) and 2. TYFSAK, “Thank you for shopping at Kmart”.

I miss when the savings were amazing at Ames.


    1. I think it’s a combination of both. Walking into our local Kmart is like taking a trip back in time. The store has not been remodeled since the mid 80s, aside from the Big K sign on the front of the store. They tried self-serve registers for a while but removed them, leaving a HUGE gap of nothing between the service desk and the checkouts themselves. They were going to be the next best thing to Home Depot but that went out the window, hence the swathes of empty aisles in the back. I’m happy to see that they recently painted the plywood over the pharmacy areas. A bunch of junk is piled up where the Kmart Cafe used to be. Now that I think about it, I don’t know why I go there.

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