It’s a long story, but I did not own a Christmas tree before today. Oh, I’ve had one every now and then over the years, but something always seemed to happen to them – maybe aliens with bad eyesight abducted the tree instead of me, but I always seemed to lose the things. So for a number of years I have made do without one. It never seemed important to respecting the birth of my Lord Jesus Christ to put a tree up in my living room anyway. But, tradition being what it is, and my daughter loving all aspects of holidays, especially the shiny kind like Christmas, I was thinking of getting a tree this year.
So it was, that when Lowe’s advertised on the television last night a six and a half foot tall artificial tree with lights for $25, I took notice, and so I took my daughter to Lowe’s today to try to get a tree. The short version is they ran out fast of the advertised trees. That, in itself, was not a big deal, although I noticed that there was no obvious empty space where the bargain trees had been, which told me they did not have many to start with – while Lowe’s gets out of legal trouble with a “while supplies last” disclaimer in the printed ad, they clearly had no intention of meeting the moral obligation to provide the product they advertised, and I noticed that the next cheapest trees available were nearly a hundred dollars. What we have here is a company lying to people in a dishonest trick to lure them into the store for a promotion they have no intention of honoring.
Frankly, this stunt by Lowe’s is a disappointment. Compared to Home Depot, I have generally found Lowe’s to be a better and more responsible chain, but every now and then they do pull something like this, and why they think that counts as good business seems to me to indicate a mild mental aberrance in their board room. I would also note that, unusual for Lowe’s, the employees were abrupt and hostile. I put that down to the employee’s natural dislike of being told to lie to the public.
But that is only half the story. After getting lied to by Lowe’s, I went to my next stop on today’s errands, which happened to be Wal-Mart. Going into a Wal-Mart the day after Thanksgiving was not something I looked forward to doing, but I had to get more cough medicine for Jagan, and the most effective and cheapest stuff was Wal-Tussin at Wal-Mart, so in we went.
Wal-Mart was crowded all right, but orderly, clean, and with a relatively happy atmosphere. The employees were polite and cheerful, and wonder of wonders, I saw a display by the door advertising artificial trees for $19.84. I did not want to trust too much that such trees would still be in stock, but when I asked, they had them in plenty, and it was easy to get the tree in addition to my other purchases. In fact, Wal-Mart had plenty of extra employees ready for the rush, they were well-positioned to assist customers and answer questions, and generally the place was very well run, front to back.
I could put that down to a happy coincidence, except that now I think about it, this is always the case at Wal-Mart, enough that Wal-Mart is often my first stop when I need to buy something. Whatever “it” is, Wal-Mart is likely to have it, and at a good price, and if I should need to return it, there has never been a problem so long as I have the receipt. I mean really, in the past three years I cannot remember Wal-Mart ever being badly stocked, overpriced, or rude. Individual stores are better-run than others sure, but in the main I would have to say that if you need to go buy something, start at Wal-Mart. And no, neither I nor anyone in my family, nor any of my personal friends works at Wal-Mart, just in case you were wondering.
PS – I apologize for the light blogging, but it appears that Blogger is also taking vacation. The write/edit pages take forever to load and process, and fail repeatedly. I can’t decide whether they have decided to follow the Ford motorcar or Lowe’s marketing method for their template.