Transformers on a Budget...or...How to Pick up Creepy Male Wal-Mart Cashiers

I was visiting a Wal-Mart that usually has a nice stock roboty goodness, I guess there aren't very many fellow addicts that go to this store to pick the place over. I hit the jackpot...there was major Tranformer stock on clearance, everything but Movie toys. They had some of the Heroes of Cybertron key chains, I picked up three Brawns, two Cliffjumpers and a Windcharger (no Bumblebees *sniff*), and even found a 'bot I'd been looking for for a long time, Classics Grimlock. (They still have a bunch of DVD Primes and Primuses [Primii?] so if anyone wants...) <> I decided to go back a few days later to see if they had any more Classics figures so I could double up and not steal them from my son anymore. They must have had a few left in the back, because there was another Grimlock PLUS a Cliffjumper, which I promptly picked up and put in my buggy.

I went through the self-checkout lane when there was a problem. They weren't ringing up on Clearance. Screw that! I don't need Cliffjumper THAT bad. (I'm glad I got him, though.) I decided to void those off and just get my stick of deodorant and split. No dice, the register decided that I couldn't just not want the toys anymore, one of Wal-Mart's highly trained professionals was going to have to come punch in a 4-digit code to verify that I, indeed, did not want the figures anymore. The guy came up, balding, mid-40s, "You collect Tranformers?" Ah jeez. The only thing I hate more than kids that ask me that question is grown-ups that ask me that question. Through trial-and-error I have found the response that usually diffuses the situation "Nah, I just buy them for my son." Usually that shuts up any inquisitive post-pubescent.

This guy wasn't having any of it. "Well, I don't think there's anything wrong with it even if you did. I think they're cool." I decided that I needed to look more like a responsible adult and less like a pathetic loser, so I switched to concerned consumer mode. "Well, I came in this weekend and bought one of these for my son (emphatically emphasized). They were ringing up on clearance, but they aren't now." "Really? That's strange. Yeah, because I seen these things on sale. Let me check on them."

Okay, I can play around for a little bit if its going to save me some money. He called an even more professional Floor Manager over and explained what was going on. She seemed unconcerned. "Well, we have price changes ALL THE TIME!" she huffed. Hang on, chick. I'll let it slide that your computer is messed up and isn't ringing up on clearance when it should, but I'll be damned if you're going to tell me that the prices were changed when they were on the CLEARANCE aisle this weekend and they're still on the CLEARANCE aisle today. "Really?" I asked innocently, "because these are over on the CLEARANCE aisle with all the other stuff that's on CLEARANCE. That's where they were this weekend. Seems like stuff in the CLEARANCE aisle would, you know, be on CLEARANCE." I punctuated "CLEARANCE."

"Yeah, well, we have price changes all the time," (Which is bullcrap because Deluxe Tranformers have been the same price since Armada came out), and walked away.

I returned my attention to the cashier guy. "Don't worry," he said, "I'm going to get these things for you on clearance. I'm just going to call the toy manager." "Look, don't worry about it," I said, "I don't have to have them." "Oh, no, I'm going to get these the right price. You seem like a pretty cool guy. I want to help you out."


"I'm just going to call the floor manager, and if she don't want to fix it, I'll just override it and do it anyway." "Hey, I really appreciate it, dude." (We're all just guys here, right?) "I don't mind doing it at all. Like I said, you seem like an okay guy. You just remember that I treated you right."

Are there any witnesses around for when this guy decides to rape me?

So I got my toys on sale, but now I have to face the difficult decision, do I settle for picked-over and scalped stores, or should I try to brave the waters where some mid-40's, toy-obsessed weirdo (hey, wait a second!), tries to hit on me again.


Evil King Macrocranios said...

Slightly older balding guy working at Wal-Mart? You've described Jon Hartman, founding father of Botcon! Maybe he got transferred to Louisiana and was doing the cashier thing that night? You may have just brushed off one of the greatest Transformer collectors of all time and called him a toy obsessed weirdo on the internet! That's actually pretty funny if you did.

Strange how Target toy aisle workers are notoriously mean but Wal-Mart people will treat you nice if they think you collect. I recently got an email from a guy who works at Wal-Mart in my town. The recent influx of older product got him hooked on collecting so he's started going to the boards and being active online. Maybe that's what happened with your friend.

You did a good job holding your ground against the self-checkout SWAT team. I'm surprised they didn't make you pay the difference for the items you already bought that unclearanced themselves later. I'm glad it ended well. Next time you see your friend you should mention that you once bought those DVD Primes for $17 and grab two dozen of them.

viscous said...

Hi! I was referred to your blog by... ummm... some site. If you don't mind me asking, how cheap were the clearance items you got? The closest WM to me still won't mark down Classics or most Cybertron (grr).

Heavyarms said...


Sorry it took so long to respond, been busy.

The Keychains were $2.00 each. Classics Deluxe figures were $7.00. I also got an Alternator Optimus Prime for $15.00.

Jim said...

If he winked at you at any point, you are screwed. Or almost, it sounds like.

And that female floor manager was full of crap. I don't work at Wal-Mart, but Clearance merchandise doesn't go back and forth. Non-clearance might fluctuate week to week or some such, but not clearance. What a botclocker!