Thursday, July 2, 2009

Walmart is a Dick

We are having a big party this weekend for my grandma’s 90th birthday. It’s going to be huge, since we have a large family and she has lots of friends, plus we have invited lots of people from “the old days.” She used to own a bar, and people came from all over to hang out and have a good time. Her customers ranged from just local folks, to politicians, to professional athletes. Not many of them are around any more, but those who are, are coming and bringing their families. Even after she no longer had the bar, she tended bar elsewhere for year, so she’s got a large social circle.

Anyway, in addition to food and alcohol and bingo and cards and fun games and prizes for the kids, one of the things we wanted to have was a slide show of photos through the years. We changed our minds, though since it will be sunny (the party is at a local park) and we won’t be able to see it so I decided I would do a photo board and an album. I gathered up old photos from everyone in the family and intended to scan them and make multiple prints, so anyone who wanted a copy could have one.

My scanner at home was broken (I used the wrong power cord and it smoked and popped), so I figured it would be faster t take them to #Wal-Mart anyway and do them on the machine there. Oh how wrong I was. First off, it was actually slower than using a home scanner. Each photo took about 2 minutes to scan. And I had a ton of photos. I sat there for 2 ½ hours scanning. Two and a half hours! All the while silently cursing Wal-Mart, Kodak, Wal-Mart employees, other customers, the PA system, the PA system announcer, stupid cell phone ringtones, Phil Collins, and myself (for being so stupid as to think that Wal-Mart would be anything but hell on earth).

But finally, I was done scanning. Then, of course I had to go through each photo and select my number of prints, plus do any editing, cropping, etc. Which was another million hours. But I got that done and was ready to print. When I started, I saw the sign on the machine that said, “After you print your photos, get them on a disk.” I figured I would do just that, since there were some I wanted to restore, plus I’d have them for future prints if anyone wanted them. But when I tried to order a dick, it wouldn’t let me. I asked the woman working there about it and she snottily told me that I had to do the disk first and that I would have to scan them again is I wanted one. I pointed out the sign that said “After you print your photos, get them on a disk,” and she sighed like I was such a terrible inconvenience to her and said (even more snottily), “You should, have asked me before you started. You’ll have to scan them again!” Ummm…No thanks.

I figured I’d just print them and worry about scanning them again later, once I had a scanner that doesn’t smell like electrical fire. So after another 17 hours of waiting for my prints, I was finally done. I took the photos up to the counter with my charge slip (the machine prints one telling the number of prints), and the woman working there (the first bitch was on her break by this time), takes my photos and proceeds to go through all 110 prints, one by one. I was wondering what she was doing, since normally, they throw them in an envelope and ring you up. Turns out, she was pulling out all the “illegal” photos.

You are probably already aware that you can’t take your photos from a studio and reproduce them on a machine. I knew that too. I wouldn’t dream of taking my kids’ photos from Picture People and getting cheap copies made (well, I’d dream of it, since they are so freaking expensive, but I wouldn’t do it because I know I am not allowed). The one time I had a photo I needed a copy of, it was one that was actually taken at Wal-Mart. It was my favorite photo of my son and mine had gotten damaged. Since it was 9 years old, the studio didn’t have it any longer, so they gave me a release form and I was able to copy my mother’s. No problem.

But these photos? These illegal, professional, studio photos that she refused to let me print without a release form signed by the photographer? Were from 1935 to 1945. Nineteen motherfucking thirty-five!!! How in God’s name do they suppose I am going to get a release form? I mean, if my 90 year old grandmother was a teen in these photos, I think it’s a pretty good bet that the photographer is dead by now (not that I would have any idea who he was anyway). I should go back with a fucking Ouija board.

Of course she gave me the spiel about how it’s not her rule, but Wal-Mart’s rule, blahblahblah, but give me a break. Also? Wal-Mart is a dick.

Anyway, I got a couple of the professional ones scanned on my cousin’s scanner and have started working on restoring them (which OMG takes forever).

This is the one going on the cake (I didn’t get it restored yet):

Here is gram with my mom and Aunt Twin:

And here it is before I started restoring it:

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spoon said...

We had a problem with the dicks at WalMart Cranberry and our wedding photos.

I hate that store with a passion and the only thing slower is when there is an old person trying to figure out how to use the machine.

Gina said...

Spoon - I was there so long, I helped about 3 people on the next machine.

Your story is even MORE infuriating.

Magpie said...

Yup, they suck.

I love your photos though.

Uptown Girl said...

great job on restoring that photo! looks like in the end it will be worth all the crap you went thru.

we don't have big stores like Wal-mart here, 2 crappy Kmarts that I know of (that are located nowhere near me)... I'm sad to hear bad things bc I always dream about having easy access to a Wal-Mart or Target.

Now that you have crushed that dream, my only Q is this: why would you curse Phil Collins?

Gina said...

Uptown Girl - it's always an appropriate time to curse Phil Collins. But specifically, it was because they kept playing him on their crappy walmart radio.

spoon said...

Wal Mart can suck it. The photo department is a joke but their online ordering and creating prints on the fly is deliciously evil.

meno said...

Loved this typo: "But when I tried to order a dick, it wouldn’t let me."

Ha ha ha ha! I hate it when that happens.

Consider Wal-Mart boycotted by me, just for you. jerks!

Gina said...

OMG meno - I hate it when they won't let me order a dick!!

PSU Mom said...

Happy birthday to your grandmother! She is beautiful!

I hate Walmart for so many reasons, I won't even begin...