I have had the last two days off, blissfully free of any mechanical farm equipment. I have still not really got the knack of enjoying these days off. There are always things that need doing that break the free time up in to small chunks. I guess it's good to get those things done, at least.
Yesterday I did some Christmas stocking-filler shopping at K-Mart. It is close to Elf's work, so after I dropped her off it seemed like the best place to go for inexpensive instant-fun style things. I don't go there much, and I was reminded why: K-Mart is awful.
I started by trying to find an ice-cream maker, which is Elf's request for Christmas. I covered the whole electrical goods area in vain. I hate asking for help in big shops, as in my experience the person you ask is always from a different department, and is actually less of an expert than you, as you've just combed the area twice. I asked the nearest staff member, a quite pleasant woman, and she said she would have to check with someone. My question was "do you stock ice-cream makers?" She relayed this to two invisible women having a whale of a time down a different aisle, unpacking stock or packing stock or something. She had to ask a couple of times to cut through the hilarity.
1st voice: Nah. Raincheck.
2nd voice: Na-ah-AH! We don't have em! Did he see it in the catalogue?
Pleasant woman: Did you see it in the catalogue?
Me: No. My wife rang to ask and was told you had them.
Pleasant woman: His wife rang to ask and was told we had them.
2nd voice: Well someone lied to 'er. Tell him someone lied to 'er!
Pleasant woman: Someone l...
Me (walking away): Great, thank you.
The other thing about K-Mart (same with Big W and anywhere else that sells $10 shoes) is the plastic smell. It just pervades everything. I go there, like everyone else, to buy cheap stuff, so I can hardly complain about this. But ... wow, it's just SO plasticky. I wonder if at some point these places will start getting hit with class actions from people who've worked there for years and breathed in heavy doses of poly this and ethyl that.
As I went through the checkout with my lego, crayons, notepads, torches etc, everything was put in a huge, unbranded white plastic sack. As if to say "We give up. Our identity is unimportant - just remember us as 'that plastic place'".