Some habits are hard to shake.

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Some habits are hard to shake.

Postby Jeff » 2008.02.01 5:50 am

Many of you know of one of my longest-held addictions: ripping off Wal-Mart. Now, I've never shoplifted from a Wal-Mart in my life, but I've certainly found other, more creative ways of eating into the profits of this corporation. Below are some of my greater efforts.

The A/C Swap
I bought a cheap window air conditioner at Wal-Mart a few summers back because I'm a whiny bitch when the humidity creeps up around here, and my apartment at that time, the infamous 815.1, offered no solutions of its own. We didn't pay the electric bill at this place, so I never turned it off, and this caused some interesting side-effects. The damn thing was designed poorly. I'll never understand this about certain window units: there was no drain hole. The inside of the unit would fill with the moisture it pulled from the air in my room so much so that there would be over a half inch of standing water inside of the air conditioner. No biggie, right? Well, the fan blades would dip into this water and make noises that would annoy the piss out of me all night. Also, mosquitoes loved the combo of warm, moving air and stagnant water and made a hatchery out of my radiator fins. It smelled like a well-used bass boat outside of my window.

I had to come up with some sort of solution, so I decided I would drill a hole in the base of the A/C to drain the water. Now, seeing as how close some of the freon (or whatever they use now) tubes were to the base that I was going to drill, I had to use a screwdriver to wedge them up and out of the way while I made my hole. I got my trusty Dremel (more on that below) and proceeded to carefully drill away. Doing my best to ignore the fish smell, I was feeling pretty proud of myself until my screwdriver managed to somehow come loose and a loud hiss accompanied the whir of my Dremel. Having popped the freon pipe, I was now stuck with a smelly, heavy, (but at least self-draining!) window fan.

Here's where the big W comes back into the game. I was on a mission. The next day after I went to work I stopped at the Fond du Lac store and located the same model A/C on display. I picked the one with the most beat-up looking box and went up and bought it. Took it home, installed it, drilled a hole (this time with no problems) for draining, and enjoyed cool air as I boxed up the busted stink machine. I then proceeded to drive to the Oshkosh Wal-Mart and made quite a fuss at their customer service department. I was rather upset at how obviously "used and returned" my recently purchased A/C was and wanted a different one. "Just smell it," I told the unfortunate lady behind the counter. I said I hadn't even taken it out of the box. They told me to go find a new one for an exchange. I did, and I smiled all the way because I knew this particular store didn't have any in stock. After the front desk lady confirmed what I already knew, she promptly refunded my money as I told her I was just going to go to Menards and buy one because I needed one tonight and wasn't driving all the way back to Fondy to get a new one. Saved myself $100.

Dremel Deaths
I bought myself a Dremel a while back. It's a damn fine multi-purpose tool. But you've gotta take care of it. I didn't read up on "conditioning" and my new rotary tool began spinning erratically. Apparently, the only way to fix it was to replace the engine brushes, and those could only be ordered from Dremel online. Great. Well, back to Wal-Mart it goes. I just said it didn't work and I wanted a new one. Bing, good as new. But that's just the start.

Remember my A/C? Well, my roommate got himself one too, and our rooms were on the same breaker. It tripped a lot. So I got it in my head to put an outlet on the electric baseboard heaters we had running in our rooms. They had their own circuits, after all. Their own 230V circuits as I, and my Dremel, would soon find out. I can't remember why I chose that thing to test the plug, but it promptly exploded, and it was back to Wal-Mart for another one.

Feeling inconvenienced (albeit at my own stupidity, but whatever) I "forgot" to pack up a lot of the attachments this time. Good thing there's lots of room in the Dremel box for extras.

There was also a fourth Dremel, but I can't remember why. All I know is I only paid for one.

Charge THIS!
I got an Xbox 360 Premium in exchange for installing a remote starter for someone. So already in this story someone's been ripped off. Anyway, considering it cost me nothing, I felt entitled to buy some accessories I probably otherwise wouldn't. This explains how I found myself at GameStop getting a Play-and-Charge kit for the wireless controller. I got it home and decided I didn't much care for it. I didn't like the charging cord sticking out of my otherwise sleek machine. Also, the USB connector only provided power, as I couldn't get it to recognize under Windows, which was my other goal with this thing. Problem was, at this point, GameStop was closed. But you know what store is always open?

I go in and plop my charge kit down on the service counter, explaining that I didn't much care for it and would like to exchange it for the charging base station (for those not familiar, its a standalone unit that can charge two battery packs and doesn't connect to your 360 at all), which costs about $10 more. Since it was an exchange and not a return, they didn't care that I didn't have a receipt, so I paid the difference and walked out. Now, this doesn't sound like much of a rip-off, I mean, even if it wasn't bought there, that product is sold there, right? Kinda. See, I returned it with two AA batteries in the plastic cover. It's the same size as a battery pack, anyway. So now I had a better charger and two battery packs, so I'd never run out of juice.

Expensive Piss
The best story to date doesn't involve the service desk at all. I got hired at the big W for a part time job during school. This... didn't last. I quit today. I thought I could suffer though, but being a part of that big machine just gave me a sick feeling in my stomach. I take comfort, though, in the fact that by only being around for two weeks, I cost them more than I was worth by a long shot. Considering the price of a drug test, orientation, the amount of paid time I spent watching mindless videos and taking computer skill surveys, I was nothing but a huge drain on that store's profits, and I've now left a big hole in their scheduling. Oh yeah, and because I worked in the Tire and Lube Express, they paid to ordered uniforms for me that I never even got a chance to wear yet.

It's good to be back in the game.
I do what I can.

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Postby playswithflowers » 2008.02.04 6:17 pm

From what I remember its like $90 for the drug test alone.

And I love the fact that you have the balls to do that. I would have never bitched them out about YOUR used ac unit.

Also, its good to see you back on blogger.

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