Saturday, August 23, 2008

Shopping Adventure

One day last week I turned on the TV when I awoke and saw a segment about the Salvation Army needing volunteers to help children shop for school clothing. Hey! who doesn't have 90 minutes to volunteer!?! When I looked at my preferred site, it turned out they needed 249 volunteers besides me.

So this morning the alarm went off at 6:30 and I was out the door at 7:00, stopping for coffee at Caribou on my way. I got to the Wal-Mart a few minutes later. No coffee there! One volunteer came up to me and asked where the nearby Caribou was. I explained near my house, not the Wal-Mart! Nothing for food/beverage was open at 7:00in the store and we were cautioned not to let our group of volunteers stray into the closed Subway shop area!!

We all signed in and got a T-Shirt(it seems like every event needs a T-Shirt!), and got orientation. We were instructed to be done at 9 AM (even through check out) and to spend to as close as $100 as possible (funds coming from the anonymous donor that seems to give all the money!). If we went over by a dollar or two there would be way to fix that.

At 8 AM two school buses rolled in and I was matched with an 8 year old girl. She also wore size 8 in everything but shoes. I asked her if she had been watching the Olympics and picked up that 8 is a lucky number in China!

I asked her if there was anything her mom had asked her to get for sure. She replied, "No, but she said 'No glitter."Next I asked her what she wanted first. She wisely replied, "Let's look at shoes. That takes a long time." Wise she was. It took us forever to find girls' shoes. This store had six aisles for shoes and only half of one was for little girls' shoes. We found a pair that suited her. Next we hit jeans. We had to avoid any pair of jeans that sparkles to keep the no glitter deal. We found three pairs. Then we did T-Shirt shopping and found 5 that she likes. We finished out with socks and underwear. Check out price -- $99.09.

What fun this was. Hope I find it next year.

And I learned something. When having to watch for prices so very carefully, I became quite sensitized to the fact that many things are not labeled with a price and that prices are often hard to find on the racks. We left our cart out of the fray and often I found when we got back, the item we had picked up had no label with the price. Is this a marketing ploy?

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