Medicine Hat Media

Posts Tagged ‘How To’

Has anyone ever tried to find an associate who works in the paint department of Walmart? It is nearly impossible, as my recent purchase of paint has lead me to believe. It is my conclusion that “paint department associates” do not actually exist.

Finding paint is the easy part, but what if once you find the desired paint, you need it shaken? There is never anyone around to operate the device for you, leaving you to wait without any idea on how long it may take for someone to walk by. Sometimes, by chance, someone will walk by, but usually it is not an associate who is knowledgeable enough to press the green (start) button or the red (stop/eject door) button. All they end up doing is paging someone else to assist you, leaving you to wait even longer. Even more frustratingly, there may even be a sign in the paint department directing the customer to walk halfway across the store to the electronics department to ask for paint shaking assistance. In one case for me, the associate in the electronics department only then paged someone from the automotive department to assist you, who may go there before you arrive, see no one, then leave.

Luckily there is an alternative that eases the frustration: The machine is fool-proof and you can do it yourself, as I resorted to doing. Here is a small guide on how to get away with it:

  1. There is a diagram on the machine that indicates how to place the cans, and a small instruction guide explaining that if you are mixing a certain type of paint, to change the timer to 3 minutes, otherwise it is defaulted to 2 minutes.
  2. Place the cans of paint in the machine as directed by the instructions, close the door and press the green button.
  3. Walk away for 2-3 minutes and perhaps go to an adjacent aisle and pretend you are looking at some other product until you hear the machine stop.
  4. Beware as an associate may walk by. Usually if they see no one there, they will assume some other associate is helping a customer that they cannot immediately see, and walk away.
  5. Once the machine stops, nonchalantly walk over, press the red button for the door to eject, grab your paint and leave.

1 of 3 possible outcomes can occur:

  1. A Walmart associate sees you doing the paint shaking yourself and asks you not to do it, but you can always do it again.
  2. A Walmart associate reports you to a Manager, who questions you, to which you can respond with them not having a convenient knowledgeable associate to assist you and as a result, you had to take matters into your own hands.
  3. You get away with it frustration free.

If you need anything more than paint shaking, such as tinting or information on what type of paint to use for what type of project, you can forget receiving any help from a Walmart associate.

As everyone knows, the Walmart in Medicine Hat has a self-serve checkout. What everyone does not know is that the self checkouts are meant to provide an expedient way for customers who have only a few items to get in and get out without having to wait in lengthy lineups. Unfortunately Walmart does not post an item limit for using the self checkouts. Customers who go to Walmart for a few items often have to wait for an unnecessary amount of time while some customers with 40+ items in their cart try to fumble around with the item lookup or not knowing how to scan their items.

I have been caught in the self checkout line many times waiting behind people who are scouring their cereal boxes for where an elusive UPC code might be, or more commonly, not knowing how the item database works when they have to look up vegetables or fruit that do not have a UPC. Some customers seem to think that the key to the self checkout is to get the UPC as close to the barcode scanner as possible, but as anyone who has worked in retail knows, this is not the case. Other customers seem to think that the key to the self checkout is speed, but as they soon find out, scanning a bunch of items at once and trying to cram them into the bag quickly just does not work.

Walmart offers 3 types of checkout lanes for customers:

  • The first is a small to medium item limit that has a maximum of 6 checkout lanes. Go here if you are not buying a full cart of items.
  • The second is a medium to full shopping cart item limit. This is where anyone who is buying a large amount of food or items should go.
  • And the last one is a self checkout that should only be used by people who are getting 1-10 items, ideally ones that do not need to be weighed or looked up on the item database, and most importantly, not used by people who do not understand the concept of expediency or being mindful to other people who may only be getting a few items.

I am not saying that my time is at all more valuable than anyone else’s. It just pains me to see someone not know how to locate a UPC on a box or understand alphabetical item listings in a database.

In short, if you cannot efficiently use the self checkout, then don’t.

We all have stories about pulling up to a 4-way stop and watching someone else come up to the same intersection who just slows down and goes without stopping. How many people actually know how to use a 4-way stop? Or for that matter, understand the concept of right-of-way?

For starters, right-of-way is indicative of who has the right to use a conflicting part of a road and who has to wait until the other does so. Generally the person who is at the intersection first has the right-of-way. If 2 vehicles arrive at an intersection that is controlled by a 4-way stop at the same time, you allow the person on your right to go. This is a concept which is usually taught in Drivers Education. Sometimes it seems to me that people believe they get higher priority on the road based on a number of factors, such as the size of their vehicle, their age, and so on.

For those who are unaware, when the power is out or streetlights are all flashing red, the intersection automatically turns into a 4-way stop. It also helps to think ahead and be in the lane that makes the most sense for the direction you want to go in and to eliminate any confusion for other motorists. For example, if you are coming up to an intersection and the lights are out, there are 3 lanes, the left of which turns left, the middle goes straight and the right goes straight and turns right, and you want to be going straight, you should be in the middle lane. If you are in the right lane and go straight, you may be confusing someone else in the intersection and that could leave you having a bad day.

We all dislike left turns, especially left turns without advanced green lights, better yet, left turns without advanced green lights during heavy traffic.

In addition to these left turn dislikes that make them even more intolerable is drivers who do not advance into the intersection to wait for their oppourtunity to turn left. Instead, they wait at the stop line while the light turns yellow and proceeds to red, declaring the lost opportunity to get at least one vehicle through and advance the left hand turning traffic.

It is in this rant that I want to tell readers that the way to execute a left turn at a controlled intersection is to pull ahead to about the middle of the intersection to wait for your oppourtunity to turn left. The most important aspect to doing this properly is keeping your wheels straight until you are actually turning. Disobey this commandment and you run the risk of rolling into oncoming traffic if you get rear-ended. One time shortly after getting my license I waited at a busy intersection for 3 consecutive red lights before pulling out during the solid green left turn yield to wait for my turn after finally realizing the logic in this simple act.



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