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Opinion: Big box nightmares

This week I visited what I think of as the big Big Box store on Shaw Avenue at State Route 99 in Fresno. As usual, it was a near madhouse of customers, families and their noisy crying children.

When I pulled into the parking lot imagine my surprise when I not only scored a parking place quite near the entrance but and in the shade too. Everyone knows what a blessing a spot in the shade can be in August in Fresno.

After far too much walking, I finally went through the checkout lane and returned to the car. I also discovered that if a patron needs help getting their merchandise to the car one need only ask the employees checking receipts at the door and it will be provided.

That is especially helpful when buying in bulk, such as 40-unit cases of water or enormous packages of toilet tissue.

Once the car was loaded I hit the first major glitch of the adventure. A woman pulled her car in right behind me and sat there with her engine running for a good 10 minutes. Eventually, a man carrying a large container of cookies exited the store. After silently spitting out a few choice words, I could back out and be on my way.

Once I calmed down, I realized that even after saying a small prayer of thanks to the gods of parking lots one must still pay a price for a great parking space.

Before heading home I pulled into a favorite fast food joint for a burger and fries to go. As it was approaching the four o’clock hour I should not need to say how long and slow the drive-thru lane was.

Finally, it was time for the drive home. This was the first time in a long time that I had driven to Madera from Fresno on the 99. As much constant road repair goes on in the Central Valley, one would think the two-lane freeway would have been expanded to three or four lanes by now. The tedious bumper-to-bumper, rush-hour traffic served as one more irritant on my journey.

Needless to say, after a doctor’s appointment and tedious shopping expedition I was just about on my last nerve and the traffic jam was stomping all over it.

Serves me right for shopping out of town to save a little money.

One of the attractions of big box stores is the variety of merchandise under one roof. The downside is the energy it burns to find the items one wants to buy. Since I seldom shop there it is nearly impossible for me to know the store’s layout.

Another thing that aggravates and irritates me about shopping is how often a store rearranges its merchandise. There was a time when I could practically shop at my favorite supermarket wearing a blindfold. Then management decided to redo its layout and move things around. I complained to no less than three visiting managers expressing how awful the new layout is and my displeasure.

It seems stores always display the milk case along the back wall. One must walk through aisles of merchandise to purchase dairy products.

I realize the reason for this is to entice its customers to buy things they didn’t know they needed until they saw them on the shelf.

Every time I leave the house I am always thankful to have made it back home again unscathed.

Long days and pleasant nights. Have a blessed weekend.

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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix at or @tamijonix on Twitter.


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