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  • Writer's pictureFred

WalMart's Version of Idiocracy

So about a week before Christmas, I bought a small scrapbook and decided to fill it full of Christmas pictures for my wife. Unfortunately, she had to work Christmas Day from 7 am to 8 pm, so I spent the day taking photos of the house, kids, and pets.

She opened the scrapbook Xmas Night and couldn't wait for me to develop the pictures I had taken.

Sunday December 27: Went to WalMart in North Olmsted.

I asked my daughter where Mom got pictures processed, because I hadn't done it in 5-10 years, and she said "CVS." I made her come with me to CVS and she said, "due to Covid, their machine is closed, you're going to have to go to WalMart." Okay, no big deal....

Went to the photo kiosk, again with my daughter, and followed the directions on the screen. I had my own USB cord and a well connected teenager. After 20 minutes, multiple machines, and no sign of help from the staff, we left with NO PICTURES.

As we walked away, my phone said "you have 19 viruses."

Monday December 28: Went to WalMart in Avon.

I'm an adult, I can figure out the stupid photo machine. My daughter re-assured me that it was WalMart's fault, not my fault the day before, so I tried Avon's kiosk alone.

Dammit. I had forgotten my USB cord. No problem, I would use the WalMart USB cord. After 20 minutes, multiple machines, and no sign of help from the staff, I left with NO PICTURES.

As I walked away, I thought "Idiocracy was right."

Tuesday December 29: Went to WalMart in Elyria.

I'm smart. You connect the USB port to the machine and in four easy steps, pictures come out. Shouldn't take more than 2 minutes.

So I tried the Elyria WalMart. I walked up to the machine in the empty electronics section and two minutes later my pictures were printing up. Finally success! A very nice young WalMart associate asked if she could help me and I said "nope, just waiting for all the pictures to print."

About 30 seconds after she walked away, the machine froze. "You have got to be f%@king kidding me!" The error message said that the cartridge needed to be replaced, see an associate. No problem, associate was just here a second ago....

Where'd she go? She was very nice, but she didn't look very fast. No associates in electronics. I was sure she'd be right back, so I waited about 5 minutes. When she did come back, I told her my plight (the Elyria part) and she explained to me that the photo guy was in the back room. She didn't really know how the photo machine worked and would try to find someone in the back.

After about 20 minutes, I looked in the photo drop slot and realized that 17 out of 20 photos had printed, including the bar code cover print. "Close enough." Each print was 29 cents, so technically I was now waiting for 87 cents of photos. It took about 3 seconds to decide that WalMart could keep the difference.

As I paid for the photos at the front register, I thought of something Ted (our partner at Beacon of Speech) told me on the phone just this week. He asked "you know that no one cares right? Everything really is death by a thousand paper cuts."

That picture of Frye at the top might as well be me.

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